Monday, February 20, 2017

Giving Credit

"I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.”
John 4:38

GIVING CREDIT TO WHOM CREDIT IS DUE

It is difficult to resist taking credit that in reality belongs to another. In such cases even the Spiritual man or woman finds, “the spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak.” And for the carnal person, it is almost impossible to give up the spotlight for another.

CHILDBIRTH WITHOUT PAIN

There are people who walk into hospitals and steal babies whom the mother of the child went through great suffering to deliver. Many of God’s dear people have gone through untold agony and paid a tremendous price for what someone else got recognition for.

THE UNSUNG HEROES OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

For the most part the whole of the Old Testament was preparatory for the New. All the prophets up to John the Baptist plowed and planted for the Disciples of our Lord. Even Phillip’s revival success in Samaria was due to our wearied Lord, going out of His way to lay the groundwork for that event.

IF NOT NOW-LATER

For you who have stood in the wings while someone else stole the spotlight, you can be sure, your time will come. For all those who love the glare of the lights, Jesus tells us, “They have their reward.” Soon, maybe sooner than any of us think, God will say to you in the back row to take a seat in the front. And the one whose seat you take will be asked to move to the back row.




Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Question For Every Christian

A THOUGHT PROVOKING QUESTION

In the classic movie, “The Wind and the Lion,” toward the end of the movie, the character that plays Sean Connery’s side-kick makes this statement to him: “We have lost all.” To which Connery’s character replies, “Is there not anything in your life worth losing everything for?”

THE WORTH OF LOSING

Three times in two verses the Apostle Paul tells us that he had lost all things for the sake of Christ (Phil.3:7-8). I think if Paul were still among us today, he would have said a hearty “Amen”

THE TESTIMONY OF MANY AT LIFE'S END

How sad to see Carnal Christians hold to their own plans and desires, knowing they will never come to fruition. The testimony of such pitiful people at their end is always, “I lived an unfulfilled life.” I’m reminded of martyred missionary Jim Elliott’s words, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.”

THE QUESTION STILL REMAINS 

Let me ask you the question “Is there not anything in your life worth losing everything for?”

Friday, February 17, 2017

I'm Almost Persuaded...I Guess

THINK! THINK! THINK!

“Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” Associated with arriving at this blissful and peaceful place of total confidence, is the use of the mind. To come to this point, you must be one who thinks things through. To go by your feelings, others’ opinions, or any other substitute, will only end in your being tossed about. It is not sufficient to be almost; you must be altogether persuaded, to have settledness and stability of soul.

TWO OPPOSITE OPINIONS

The background of our text, as found in the fourteenth chapter of Romans, concerns minor, or secondary, things in the Christian life. Those gray areas, if you please. Contrary to what some, whom Paul describes as “somewhats” say, no individual or group has a corner on all the truth. Two Christians, holding two completely different viewpoints, may be fully persuaded theirs is right. It is here the tug-of-war begins. Or as some call it, a “Mexican stand-off.”

TO EACH HIS OWN

Is there a right or wrong concerning these questionable things? Is one worse off if he does, and the other better off if he doesn’t? No! For God has received them both, and they are each accountable to Him. God (unlike us) knows that culture and upbringing, as well as temperament, play a large part in how we come to our conclusions in shaded areas. Like it or not, although all the Scriptures are inspired, they still have a “human-flavoredness.” And so we conclude, the issue is not “to do or not to do,” but rather, “to be and let be.”

“Intellectual stimulation ceases when all around you think just like you.” (rds)

Friday, February 10, 2017

Neither Rhyme or Reason

I applied mine heart to know... the reason [of things]”

THE MEANING OF THE TERM

We’re told the little aphorism I entitled this article began as far back as the year 1475 in France. To we English speaking people it has come to mean something that doesn’t make sense, without any reasonable human explanation.

NO...KNOW-IT-ALLS

There is a segment of Christianity who teach that the Bible has the answer to every one of life’s problems. This is true in many cases, but not in all. For anyone to say or believe this, he or she would have to be immature in the faith or much ill-informed. And in some cases, I’m sure, pride has crept in. Most of us like to be known as having all the answers. Spiritual superiority, you know.

FILL-IN THE BLANK

The fact is, the Word of God does not give us the answer to everything that happens in one’s life. If each of God’s reasons were made known to us, there would be no need for faith. The purpose for Romans 8:28 is to fill in the blank when there is no apparent reason. To be sure, when no reason is revealed to us, still, THERE IS A REASON!

BY FAITH WE UNDERSTAND

The prayer God is pleased with, I’m sure, is, “Lord, I do not ask thee to explain the reason to me, just help me to accept your silence as a sufficient answer.” As someone has said, “He who demands a reason from God is not in a fit state to receive one.” The song says, “I’ll ask the reasons—He’ll tell me why, When we talk it over in the by and by.” Some things we’ll just have to wait for till we get home. By God’s grace I’m willing. Are you?

Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.”

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Adult Christian Children

Dear Chistian Parents,

I wanted you Christian parents of grown Christian children to hear this message by my son Andrew. It is brief, but full of encouragement for those of us who have prodigal sons and daughters.

rds

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Things That Really Matter

RUSHING TO CONCLUSIONS 

I was reading a quote by a ninety-year-old man some time ago. He said, “There are some things I haven’t made up my mind about yet.” Some, especially among the younger generation, should take this aged one’s words as good advice. You do not have to cross all your “t’s” and dot all your “i’s” on minor subjects. In fact, you can go a lifetime with these kind of unsettled conclusions. There is no rush to settle things that have been unsettled among great minds for centuries.

DOG HOUSES ARE CRAMPED PLACES-THERE'S LITTLE SPACE TO MOVE AROUND IN

Don’t let some dogmatist dog you into taking a position that both your conscience and convictions are not convinced of. Remember, a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. Paul tells us concerning questionable things, "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." If we would major on things that matter we would all be a whole lot better off. As Dr. M.R. DeHaan used to say, "Far too many of us arguing our position creates more friction than light!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Worth of the Wait

“I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.”

ADAM’S KIN

From my observation through the years I do not think many, if any, of Adam’s posterity are born with an innate bent toward patience. It seems this virtue is acquired, as Paul says, through the tribulations of life. We just naturally want it yesterday. Possibly, the very worst pit into which one can fall is what has been called the mire of despondency and to sink even deeper as time passes, making it impossible to work one’s way out. That is, (unless God comes to our aid) the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

DAVID IS OUR EXAMPLE

But, thank God, He does hear our cry. As in David’s case, He stoops when we are at our lowest and brings us up out of the horrible pit. But more often than not, it is not instantaneous. We do not, so to speak, go from here to there. What I mean is going immediately from the bottom to the top; most of the time, it is a slow process. As the words of the gospel song goes, at times He removes our mountains one stone at a time. If we will just be patient, we’ll notice our mountainous problem is getting smaller with time. Just like with a wound, so with our dire circumstance, “Time heals everything!”

Friday, February 3, 2017

Keep Driving the Old Clunker

JUNKYARD CARS

Many of us entered the Christian life with dented fenders, smashed in grills, and cracked windshields. It’s to you that this article is dedicated. I trust it will be as great a blessing to you as it was to me, who is also among the ranks of those unfortunate ones.

A QUOTE BY C.S. LEWIS

If you are a nice person—if virtue comes easily to you—beware! Much is expected from those to whom much is given. If you mistake for your own merits what are really God’s gifts to you through nature, and if you are contented with simply being nice, you are still a rebel: and all those gifts will only make your fall more terrible, your corruption more complicated, and your bad example more disastrous. The Devil was an archangel once; his natural gifts were as far above yours as yours are above those of a chimpanzee.

But if you are a poor creature—poisoned by a wretched upbringing in some house of vulgar jealousies and senseless quarrels—saddled, by no choice of your own, with some loathsome sexual perversion--nagged day in and day out by an inferiority complex that makes you snap at your friends—do not despair. He knows all about it. You are one of the poor whom He blessed. He knows what a wretched machine you are trying to drive. Keep on. Do what you can. One day (perhaps in another world, but perhaps far sooner than that) He will fling it on the scrap-heap and give you a new one. And then you may astonish us all—not least yourself: for you have learned you’re driving in a hard school. (Some of the last will be first and some of the first will be last.)

I MADE MY CHOICE-HOW ABOUT YOU?

Years ago I made a conscious decision that I was going to drive my old clunker right up to the Gates of Glory, then trade it in for a shiney new one. What about you, my friend?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Don't Go Back

“...how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Gal.4:9

ONE OF MY EARLIEST MENTORS

I was taught as a novice that, “A text taken out of context is a pretext.” This is true, if it is done to deceive or to prove one’s personal preference. But it is not so, if you are applying the scriptures in a practical way to
“instruct in righteousness.” The latter is our intent.

AN OSWALD CHAMBERS SAYING

One of my favorite axioms by this godly man is, “Beware of paying attention or going back to what you once were, when God wants you to be something that you have never been.”

PAUL’S SEARCHING QUESTION

Why do you [we], who know the Lord, like the Jews, who went back to a legalistic system, return to, not only a weak way of life, but one that doesn’t enrich but leaves us begging for the blessings we once experienced.

RETURNING TO PRISON AND OUR CHAINS

Something is drastically wrong with a free man or woman who desires to be in bondage again once liberated. The book of Hebrews is all about those who desired to “go back,” rather than “go on.” Every child of God needs to keep before them the words of the gospel song, “It’s too late now to turn back...there’s nothing to turn back to.”

Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go?





Friday, January 27, 2017

The Importance of the Second Advent

IT IS PART OF OUR FAITH

Christ’s coming to this earth a second time is an essential doctrine in the Christian’s belief, or should be. As another has stated, “It is not an optional extra.” C.S. Lewis states, “It seems impossible to retain in any recognizable form our belief in the divinity of Christ and the truth of the Christian revelation, while abandoning, or even persistently neglecting the promised return of Christ.”

THE PREEMINENCE OF HIS COMING IN THE BIBLE

The Second Coming of Christ comes second to no other doctrine in scripture. Not even the Atonement! By careful observance, to my dismay, I have found only a small remnant of the elect carry this stimulating hope in their bosom. Most, it seems, have lost the blessing of the “Blessed Hope.” This is rapidly becoming an extinct topic from the pulpits in our day.

THE TEACHINGS OF CHRIST

A right belief in Jesus Christ’s teachings involves a climactic appearance of the Son of God  on the stage of human history at some unexpected time. Again,quoting Lewis, “Because we cannot predict the moment, we must be ready at all moments.” Or better yet, to put it in the Master’s words, “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” (Matt.24:44)