Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

FB: State of Your Life

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This evening the President is set to deliver his final state of the union address to the combined houses of Congress, and the American people.

It is appropriate from time to time to take stock of where we are as a nation, to set goals, to correct mistakes, and to resolve to do better in the future.

It seems equally appropriate that we do the same with our individual lives. Paul wrote, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? —unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Corinthians 13:5).

So, how about it? What is the state of your life? What spiritual goals do you have? What mistakes do you need to correct? What are your specific resolutions as you seek to live “soberly, righteously and godly in the present age”? (cf. Titus 2:12).

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From the Preacher’s Pen: Assessment Before Resolution

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Late December is a time where we commonly consider possible resolutions for the new year. I am a fan of resolutions. One of mine is to lose the rest of my excess weight, and keep it off by exercise and proper diet.

Of course there are spiritual resolutions to set, that if kept diligently, will be even more beneficial to each of us. “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8).

There is a step to be taken prior to the setting of resolutions. That step is assessment. It takes discernment and introspection. Whether you desire to time any resolutions with the beginning of the new year or not, such assessment is needful, and should be constant. “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Corinthians 13:5).

Perhaps there is some deficiency that devotional acts of prayer, study and meditation might fill. Maybe there is a bad habit or trait that can be altered through diligent effort. It is possible that a careless neglect can be made into a point of focus in the months ahead. Surely there is something done, or left undone that can be addressed after an honest assessment of our life and faith is made.
Might I suggest that each of us set aside time this next week, amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, to “examine” ourselves, and then upon that assessment resolve to improve in any appropriate facet of our life and faith? This would certainly please our heavenly Father, as we improve the expression of our devotion to Him.

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Sermon: 2013 (Resolutions for the New Year)

A series of 11 spiritual resolutions to improve your Christian walk in the new year of 2013.

Audio

Powerpoint Slides

From the Preacher’s Pen: Resolve to Do Better in 2013

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A few days ago I came across the written thoughts of a young Christian who took issue with the idea of making New Year’s resolutions, at least with regard to a person’s efforts to serve his Lord.

He made some good points, emphasizing that we should resolve today and every day to serve God acceptably. This, of course, is true. I certainly would not suggest that anyone wait until January 1st before beginning an effort to serve God. (If you do that today, you would be waiting for 360 days!)

However, the first month of the year remains as good a time as any to take stock of your spiritual standing, and to determine to do better than you have in the past. With that in mind, I would encourage you to consider what you did last year in the following areas, and to contemplate what you could do to improve in 2013:

  • Making prayer a habit. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
  • Reading and studying God’s word (Psalm 1:1-2)
  • Diligently attending worship (Hebrews 10:24-25)
  • Achieving focus and zeal in worship (John 4:24)
  • Expressing interest in brethren (Philippians 2:4)
  • Walking with Love (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
  • Placing Christ first in life (Galatians 2:20)
  • Sharing the faith with others (1 Peter 3:15)
  • Living a transformed, holy life (Romans 12:1-2)
  • Practicing benevolence (James 1:27)
  • Practicing hospitality (Hebrews 13:2; 1 Peter 4:9)

Surely each of us, no matter what efforts we have made in the past, can do better this next year as we seek to serve our Lord!

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Sermon: Resolve

To resolve to do something is to earnestly determine to accomplish it. In James 4:14-16, the concept of “resolving” is accompanied with the phrase “if the Lord wills.” If the Lord wills, we should resolve to: Be courageous, Serve the Lord, Not grow weary, Carefully follow Him, and Remember that He is watching. (Note: Audio was not recorded for this lesson, Powerpoint only).

Powerpoint Slides

From the Preacher’s Pen: Looking Back

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It is not surprising to know that this morning’s sermon is on the subject of Resolutions. Its intent is to encourage us to greater work and diligence to God in 2011. New Year’s resolutions are a natural topic as we begin 2011.
But, as this is the last Sunday of the old year, it is also appropriate for us to look back. As important as resolutions are, introspection is necessary as well.

No, we are not to look back with longing, nor despair, nor pride at the accomplishments of the past. Our intent as we remember is self-examination. “Examine yourselves, as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves…” (2 Corinthians 13:5).

How did you do in 2010? What did you do right? What do you need to do better in 2011? Today is a good day to ask yourself.

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Sermon: Resolutions for 2011

The sermon encourages all to examine their priorities, and determine any needed changes to serve God acceptably in the new year.

Sermon Powerpoint: Click Here .

Sermon Audio: Click Here .

Sermon: I Will

A Study of Psalm 101. The Psalm reveals the resolution of the King of Israel to reign with justice and righteousness in the Kingdom. His resolve, and attitudes toward both the wicked and just serve as an object lesson for Christian’s today.

Sermon Powerpoint: Click Here .

Sermon Audio: Click Here .

From the Preacher’s Pen: New Year’s Resolutions

sketch6A new year is upon us, and it is a good time to resolve to do a better job of living for our Lord. Of course, any time is a good time to resolve to do a better job of living for our Lord, but none better than the present.

We are now a full decade into the 21st century. It is an amazing thing that despite the passing of time, God and His word remain just as relevant and significant today as He and it have ever been.

What do you want to do this next year to better serve Him? Study more? Pray more? Be more diligent in attending Bible class or worship? Share the gospel with more lost souls? Be more loving? More hospitable? More longsuffering? More patient? More diligent?

All are laudable goals, and are well worth considering. Surely we all have room for improvement!

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A List of New Year’s Resolutions

Clip these, and stick them on your refrigerator or some other
conspicuous space!

Personal

  • Read entire Bible within a year’s time.
  • Practice Hospitality.
  • Host a Bible Study.
  • Increase prayer quality and frequency.
  • Meditate often.
  • Preach to others.
  • Worship elsewhere while on vacation.

At West Side

  • Attend the 5:40 pm personal work meeting each Sunday.
  • Sign the duty lists in the foyer to volunteer.
  • Be diligent in both preparation for and participation in Bible classes.
  • Avoid conflicts with our scheduled gospel meetings and singing.
  • Increase weekly giving if possible.
  • Greet Visitors
  • Attend quarterly singings.
  • Take notes during preaching.
  • Tell others about our web site.
  • Request CD’s to hand out to others.

New Year’s Resolutions

“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

~ Philippians 3:13-14

The apostle Paul determined to “press toward the goal.” The record of his ministry in the New Testament attests to his success in this determination. Paul was not successful by chance. He was resolute, making it his primary purpose in life to fulfill the ministry given him by God. “So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also” (Romans 1:15).

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