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To the Work!

As the Southwesterner is being published preceding the graduation of SWSBS class of 2024, the congregation is busy getting ready for the banquet and for graduation Sunday. Of course, we are reflecting on the relationships that have been made and rejoice in the spiritual growth of the student body. Having been immersed in the scriptures and introduced to the work of evangelists, there have been valuable lessons learned in time management. Who knew that even sleep would be a matter…

Abstain from Fleshly Lusts

Peter said, “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul” (1 Pet. 2:11). The “fleshly lusts” which Peter spoke of are sinful passions and desires that direct our attention away from obeying the Lord’s will. Peter said that these lusts are continually waging war against us and, therefore, we must fight back. But how? 1. Be spiritually minded. Romans 8:6 says, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to…

Make Me a Servant!

We have just completed our annual Servants Academy. The week was well attended and encouraging. Giving young people a glimpse into the life of a SWSBS student while also emphasizing the need to serve is a good work, and we are thankful to the Lord for the privilege of doing it. Consider for a moment the term servant. What is a servant? What does it mean to serve? Notice 5 qualities set forth in God’s Word. 1. A servant surrenders…

Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

One of the most thought-provoking questions in the Bible is the one asked by Cain. When the Lord questioned Cain concerning the brother whom he murdered, Abel, his response was: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen. 4:9). This is a question we need to ask ourselves today. Do we have a responsibility to watch out for and care for one another? When we turn to the New Testament, it becomes clear that the answer is absolutely Consider our responsibilities to…

Thank You for Your Service!

Another year of Camp Hensel has come and gone, and it was a success! For more than 50 years the Southwest congregation has conducted the Hensel camp session with the help of our sister congregations from near and far. In that time we have seen hundreds of campers and staff members whose lives have been forever changed because of their time at camp. Every year friendships are born, problems are solved, and the bonds of fellowship are strengthened. It is…

Submit Not to Temptation

A wonderful blessing that we receive, when we become Christians, is the forgiveness of sins through the blood of Jesus Christ in baptism (Acts 22:16), but this does not mean that our problem with sin is over. In matter of fact, we still sin at times (1 John 1:8, 10). Thankfully, the Scriptures outlines the development of sin and how to overcome (James 1:12-15). The first stage is temptation (James 1:14). It includes two things: desire and enticement (an opportunity…

The Problem with False Doctrine

What is the core problem with false doctrine? False teaching is destructive (2 Pet. 2:1), but that is a result. It is empty (Matt. 15:9) but that speaks to quality. False doctrine is of the Devil (2 Cor. 11:3-4; 13-15), yes, but that has to do with origin. At its heart, the primary issue with false doctrine is that it denigrates the Cross of Christ. Consider Galatians 5:1-2, Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us…

The Holiness of Christ

“Be Holy, for I am Holy” (1 Pet. 1:16). This is a call that rings upon every page of Scripture. It stretches from the foundation of the world to the end of time. From a people enslaved in Egypt to the redeemed of all ages. Its foundation is eternal, because it stands within the very nature of our Holy God. So, let’s consider the holiness of God our Savior and see what we can learn from Him. The call to…

Do Not Grieve the Holy Spirit

Ephesians 4:30 says, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” This commonly misunderstood passage carries great implication in general, and specifically for the context in which is it found. What does it mean to grieve the Holy Spirit? How does the passage apply? Paul’s command implies an important truth about the Holy Spirit, namely, that He is a person. The Godhead is one divine essence composed of 3…

Developing the Mind of Christ

“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). What Paul says here about his own identity with Christ is to be true of all Christians. Christ is “our life” just as he was Paul’s (Col. 3:4). Within living this life of Christ, it has to do with taking on the mind of Christ. That is why Paul commands in Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” Yet,…

7 Things You Can Do to Help the Church Grow!

1. Make sure YOU put the Kingdom First! You don’t want to fall into the trap where everything becomes an empty habit – you show up to AMPM worship, Wednesday night, all of the events and activities (all are needed) but stop to ask WHY? Habit? Duty? Sense of accomplishment? No one else will do it? Or because you love the Lord and His kingdom? 2. Have a sense of Identity! We are Christians (Acts 11:26) – those who belong…

The Pure in Heart

Did you know that at the heart ofevery snowflake, there is a tiny speck of dust? Typically, they are known for their beauty and symbol of purity, but in reality, they are dirty-hearted little snowflakes. When it comes to us, is it the same? What are we at our core when we look beneath the facade or the dressing? The word, “pure,” carried the idea of “unmixed; it is a singleness of heart, as opposed to a divided heart.” In…