Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Book of God/The God of the Book

After looking back on my own life, as well as reading much by the old Puritan writers through these many years, and observing the lives of godly men and women whom I came in contact with, I have come to a conclusion. When you start out as a Christian, you long to know the Book of God; but in later years your only desire is to know the God of the Book.

Paul was soaked in the scriptures. He quotes the Old Testament throughout his letters. He knew the Word of God. But when aged and shut-up in prison, he writes of his one longing, "That I might know him..." And in his last letter to his preacher boy, Timothy, he pens these words: "I know whom I have believed..." That is, "I know the God of the Book," (not just the Book of God).

It is necessary to to know the latter, but imperative to know the former. I believe many a saint has gone to their grave knowing the Word of God who never got to know the God of the Word. To some, the Bible remains a novelty Book, so to speak, to the end; they're still searching for "little nuggets" to the last breath, never really knowing the owner of the the rich gold mine they've been digging in all those many years.

The one purpose of both the Written and Living Word is to reveal the Eternal Word: GOD!



Monday, July 21, 2014

Prayerful Consideration

My Dear Readers,

As a young Christian, I learned a great lesson from the renowned radio teacher, Dr. M.R. De Haan. Never create a crisis in soliciting funds, but be truthful. If you will, God will honor your life and ministry.

As most of you know, we are retired, so to speak, and live on a modest income of a little over $1000.00 a month. Along with our social security check, about seven people and three churches send us regular monthly offerings. In recent months we have lost over $600.00 in support. 

After my heart attack a year ago, and having five by-passes, we have gone through a great financial set-back. The hospital was some $65,000.00, and doctor costs were several thousand. My Medicare paid for the brunt of it, but still left us with the burden of picking up the rest of the tab. Thus far, we have been able to meet our obligations. But common sense teaches, you can't keep taking out indefinitely without putting back in.

I am asking each of you to pray about this and obey the Lord if He speaks most definitely to your heart. This is not an emotional appeal, it is a scriptural one, "If we have sown unto you spiritual things (The Journal)is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?

At eighty years old, and having served God some fifty-five years, I don't think I have ever asked for financial help more than three or four times. I think that speaks for itself.

An Old Disciple,

Richard

P.S. Twenty-five dollars a month is a lot when four different people send it.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

"Our" Almighty God


"And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God..."

Abraham was the first person God ever appeared to (Adam heard His voice). It occurred, as A.W. Pink writes, "in his old age, when nature's force was spent and death was written on the flesh." It is at this time in his life El Shaddai, the all-sufficient God, makes a promise to this aged saint. A promise that was impossible to fulfill apart from God's mighty power. As someone has so aptly said, "When God is getting ready to preform the impossible, He takes an impossible man or woman and crushes them." Both Abraham and Sarah could vouchsafe this truth.

It is when "all hope is taken away," God does His best work. During such times, we are to "hope against hope"; for "He is our hope." This was not only true in Abraham's case, but in other lives also, Job being one. The old patriarch, in his boxed-in predicament, refers to God no less than thirty-one times as, "The Almighty."  It's said of the former, we are to "follow in his steps," and of the latter, to take as an, "example." Therefore, their "Almighty God" is ours also. As Jesus said, "I ascend unto...to my God, and your God."

To believe He is "Almighty God," brings a deep, settling peace and assurance to one's soul. To see this All-mightiness accomplished in the lives of others is nothing short of awesome amazement. But to personally experience Almighty God working on my behalf, well, that is joy unspeakable and full of glory! O, blessed be our God, who, as Oswald Chambers says, "Has power to create new things in an old world."

"Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints."

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Conscious After-Life

When the Bible speaks of a saint sleeping in death, it’s speaking of the body, not the soul. Whenever the occupant temporarily moves out, their earthly tabernacle lies dormant for awhile. But there is no such thing as soul sleep. The soul has eternal consciousness, and this is true of both saved and lost (Lk.16).

Paul said, “To be absent from the body… [Is] to be present with the Lord.” How would one know this unless conscious? When Jesus said to the dying thief that he would be with Him that very day, soul sleep would have forfeited this awareness, for there is no remembrance in the grave.

The soul of a Christian can only be in one of two places: in the body, or with the Lord. That is, if absent here, then present there. And why, please tell me; would the Apostle say that death was gain, and that he had a desire to depart this life, if there were no conscious after-life?

Friend, when you hear Richard Sandlin has fallen asleep in death, know this of a surety: I will never have been more alive! I remember that one of my granny’s oft used sayings was, “Saints alive!” What a theologian she was!

“We are travelers who take up our lodgings here for a night.”
(Thomas Watson)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I Don't See It That Way

"Except a man be born again, he cannot see..." I do no injustice by not finishing our text, for its truth runs from Genesis to Revelation. Every man born of a woman is born spiritually blind. It is not that he will not see; he cannot see. He was born with his spiritual eyes wide shut, so to speak. Jesus taught, man has two sets of eyes, physical and spiritual, "The seeing, see not," He tell us. They see but they don't see.

We hear much today about having a spiritual relationship with God, while little or nothing is said about the new birth. It seems the latter has been dropped from the Christian's vocabulary. But it is impossible to have the first of these without experiencing the second. Nothing is more pathetic or pitiful than watching professing Christians grope their way along at noonday as blind men and women, while all along thinking they see clearly and are part of the Kingdom of God.

The infamous statement by these counterfeit professors, "I don't see it that way," is proof positive they've never experienced the touch of Christ, along with His glorious words, "Receive thy sight." Strange, is it not? those saintly primitive Christians could see it; the Spirit-filled  Church Fathers could see it; our godly grandparents and parents could see it; but these carnal, worldly, pseudo-Christians just don't see it the way the rest of us do. A second birth would give them second sight. Then they would  see clearly!

Jesus said, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight."

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Women Warriors

Nothing so impresses me as to see a woman who, as Louis L’Amour, the Western writer says, “you can ride the river with.” That is, one who will stay the course, who has sinew of soul. Or as old Dr.Bob Jones Sr. used to say of such, “They have intestinal fortitude.” 

The Bible writes of “Women Warriors,” not whiney women. It records for us the mighty feats of such heroines as: Jael, her only weapon being a hammer and nail against the enemy; Deborah, the prophetess and judge of Israel, who was at the forefront of their army because a man refused to go-it-alone; and who does not highly regard  those courageous women Saul hauled off to prison; also, let us not forget Priscilla, along with her husband Aquila, who was willing to lay down her neck for Paul.

These women all had a “meek and quiet spirit,” as their blessed Lord, who was “meek and lowly in heart.” Notice, it was an inner quality, it did not change the women’s outward temperament and personality. How beautiful they are, these women warriors adorned in the whole armour of their Captain, the Lover of their souls. Look at some of them with me: Madam Guyon, as she lies in a filthy prison for her testimony; Elisabeth Elliot, who stayed on ministering to the Auca Indians after they killed her beloved husband; Amy Carmichael, fighting her battles from a sickbed, with just her mighty pen in hand; and my most blessed friend, Tina Green, who is a true warrior in a wheelchair!

“Let her sleep for when she wakes she will move mountains.”
(Napoleon)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Canes, Crutches, and Other Things

All of us stumble and fall from time to time, no matter how careful we may be. Most of these times we simply dust ourselves off and continue on. But if it is a bad sprained ankle, or even worse, a broken leg, then we must use certain means to maneuver. These helps manifest themselves either in things or people.

And so it is in the Christian life. The best of us can, and do, fall. David tells us a good man following the Lord can fall. And his son, Solomon, says, a just man can fall numerous times. As in the physical realm, some spiritual falls are more severe than others. At such times it is necessary to use the means God provides, so that we can still get around till we are mended. These canes, crutches, and other things come in different forms, shapes, and sizes, but all are meant to sustain us until we’re back on our feet.

There is always a twofold danger during these crisis times. The first is not to accept any help at all, thinking we can still make it on our own, in spite of the handicap we have incurred. This is spiritual pride. The second pitfall is depending on that thing or person indefinitely. This is spiritual presumption. Gods order is, to use your “walkin’ stick” till your strengthened, then to discard it with respect and thanksgiving. After that, you’re to walk on your own. And don’t forget, up the road the Lord may use you as a temporary crutch to help some limping pilgrim along life’s way.