Friday, July 22, 2016

Humanities Great Hatred

The World's Hatred of God and His Son
“...now have they...hated both me and my Father”
(John 15:24)

God loved the world and gave His only Son for it; this world in return hates God and rejects His Beloved Son. As they go their merry way thinking of this as being only a trifle in life, they do not realize the horribleness that awaits them at the end of walking the broad way. The old song, The Great Judgement Morning, that has been muted in most pulpits today, gives a miniature picture of what awaits them.

And, oh, what a weeping and wailing,
As the lost were told of their fate;
They cried for the rocks and the mountains,
They prayed, but their prayer was too late.”

Read Psalm two if you want to see the fundamental cause for the creature turning on his or her Creator. It has to do with rule and restraint. No Sovereign Monarch, even if Divine, has the right to tie them down in any area of their lives, say they. If He attempts to, they will simply snap the cords as Samson of old, did his. What is an intolerable yoke for the world's rebels, is an easy yoke for God’s submissive children!

Both the leaders and people of this insurgency have only one choice and chance for pardon, to lay down your arms, and as the custom of conquered foes of old, to kiss the hand (in this case nail-scarred) of the KING. If not, you can be sure God will get the last laugh.

A warning to professed Christians. If you’re running with this God-hating world; you’re running with the wrong herd.

“Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Not So Bad-Not So Good

Cold Christians

"I would thou wert cold or hot…thou art lukewarm, and neither cold or hot.” God is an extremist, at times. In the case of His people's zeal, it’s to be one way or the other, no middle ground. He prefers a state of coldness over one of lukewarm-ness. To Him, anything is better than that condition. In our day, we criticize coldness and accept lukewarm-ness. But it is the latter that nauseates God. Tepid Christians are the ones who sicken Him.

My dear, departed friend, Marvin Clanton, was so misunderstood when he used to say, “God says it’s alright for you to be cold.” What the blind brethren did not understand is that this is what our text says. A cold Christian is more honorable in character than a lukewarm one. Though he is in a sad state, nevertheless, he’s honest. There’s no disguise, concealment, or pretense with him.

God can do something for an honest man, no matter what his condition; but there is no remedy for a self-deceived, self-conceited one.

“My best members today would have been considered backsliders twenty-five years ago.”

( By the late James Barnes, a friend)

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Same Cloth

Folks Like Us

We also are men of like passions with you”
“Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are”

Neither Barnabas, Saul, or Elias would allow anyone to think of them as any different from the common man. Nor would any other Spirit-Filled saint found in the Holy Scriptures. They knew they were cut from the same piece of soiled cloth as any other man or woman. Most certainly, they were well aware they belonged to God, but just as conscious they were human; thus living within the boundaries of humanity.

Life comes with its downs and ups (we always end right-side- up), as David reminds us. It comes equipped with its valleys as well as its mountains. Bible Christians were not always on a spiritual high. I like the way one writer puts it, “They did not attempt to use God as a giant tranquilizer to obliterate their difficulties. Neither did they scoff at nor condemn as ‘unspiritual’ those who were hurting.”

You can hide your head in the sand, so to speak, refusing to acknowledge your brethren who are presently having a tough time of it. But know this, at some point in this life, every saint will experience Ecc.2:14, if you please, “walking the floor of hell.” It’s good to remember at such times the three Hebrew children. While walking in the fire they discovered the “Fourth MAN.” You can read of Him in Revelation chapter one.

“And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace.”

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Courthouse Drama

Faith On Trial

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Biblical faith has never won in the world’s court of popular opinion. Can you imagine, when questioned, the answer the judge and jury  would hear from the witness? That is, to its basic substance and evidential proof? Remember, it is a judicial system whose philosophy is seeing is believing.  You know, “Come down [now] from the cross, and we will believe.”

“Well sir,” says the confident witness, “My substance is hope.” When asked to define what this hope entails, there is snickering in the courtroom; then all-out laughter when the answer is given. “My hope is not seen...as yet! For hope that is seen is not hope.” “Concerning my evidence, it too is not seen...yet” This time, uncontrolled pandemonium breaks out.

A foolish faith says the world. Yes. But the WORD says, one that pleases God. Paul, that little man with a giant of a soul within, tells us, “He walked by faith, and not by sight.”  In contrast, Thomas said, “Except I shall see...I will not believe.“ Oswald Sanders writes, “A faith that does not walk may soon become too weak to stand.” Blind faith eventually sees. Ask Paul (Acts 9).

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A Lesson On Boiling Water

Just Forget It

“A watched pot never boils.” Ask any of us impatient men, and we will attest to this little cliché. How many times have I put the kettle on to boil water for a cup of coffee, and it seemed it was going to be the next day before it bubbled? On the other hand, a woman puts a pot on the burner, goes about other business, and, presto! the water is boiling.

So what is the cause of the male’s downfall? Simple. We spend our time standing around watching and waiting for results, while the ladies don’t worry about it. They busy themselves doing other things, while the process is going on. What seems like eternity to us doesn’t even flutter them.

And so it is in the spiritual life. Those who do nothing but stand around checking their spiritual growth will find that’s the sure way to stunt growth. The best way to grow is to forget it. Don’t lose any sleep over it (Mk.4:26-28). Get busy about other things and people, and it will surprise you how fast you will sprout up. Unconscious growth is the best kind.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY BELOVED AMERICA-MY PRAYER IS YOU'LL HAVE MANY MORE



A Patriotic Wish      
Edgar Guest
  

I'd like to be the sort of man
the flag could boast about;
I'd like to be the sort of man
it cannot live without;
I'd like to be the type of man
That really is American:
The head-erect and shoulders-square,
Clean-minded fellow, just and fair,
That all men picture when they see
The glorious banner of the free.

I'd like to be the sort of man
the flag now typifies,
The kind of man we really want
the flag to symbolize;
The loyal brother to a trust,
The big, unselfish soul and just,
The friend of every man oppressed,
The strong support of all that's best,
The sturdy chap the banner's meant,
Where'er it flies, to represent.

I'd like to be the sort of man
the flag's supposed to mean,
The man that all in fancy see
wherever it is seen,
The chap that's ready for a fight
Whenever there's a wrong to right,
The friend in every time of need,
The doer of the daring deed,
The clean and generous handed man
That is a real American.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Ultimate Christianity

“Tried with fire.” Was Peter thinking of his forefathers in the book of Daniel when he penned these words? Possibly so. You remember those three brave believers would not bow to the intimidating threats of the hierarchy, though it meant being put into the fires. Their answer to the King is the ultimate Christian testimony: “Our God...is able to deliver us...and he will deliver us...But if not...” A general consensus—God is able; an individual trust—God will; a personal acceptance—if God doesn’t.

You can’t stop a person armed with this philosophy. These three Jewish saints are undoubtedly the ones referred to in Hebrews eleven, where we are told, “and others...not accepting deliverance.” They knew it was just as great, if not greater, to be delivered in the fire, as it was out of the fire. Maybe they were trusting the promise of Isaiah, “When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.”

There is a double blessing to be found in the fire. They had a Divine Companion Who entered with them, and they had a glorious liberty. Both fellowship and freedom are found in the midst of the flame.

Amy Carmichael tells the following precious story. “One day we took the children to see a goldsmith refine gold after the ancient manner of the East. He was sitting beside his little charcoal fire. ("He shall sit as a refiner"; the gold- or silversmith never leaves his crucible once it is on the fire.) In the red glow lay a common curved roof tile; another tile covered it like a lid. This was the crucible. In it was the medicine made of salt, tamarind fruit and burnt brick dust, and imbedded in it was the gold. The medicine does its appointed work on the gold, "then the fire eats it," and the goldsmith lifts the gold out with a pair of tongs, lets it cool, rubs it between his fingers, and if not satisfied puts it back again in fresh medicine. This time he blows the fire hotter than it was before, and each time he puts the gold into the crucible, the heat of the fire is increased; "it could not bear it so hot at first, but it can bear it now; what would have destroyed it then helps it now." "How do you know when the gold is purified?" we asked him, and he answered, "When I can see my face in it [the liquid gold in the crucible] then it is pure.”

Thursday, June 30, 2016

What's On Your Plate?

Eat All That’s On Your Plate

“Whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question…” In the context, Paul is discussing meats offered to idols. He shows the Christian’s responsibility in different situations that may arise in the eating of such. I’d like to take these words and apply them to our lives in a practical everyday way.

How many remember their Mother saying, “Make sure you eat everything on your plate?” And that meant eating those detestable vegetables. Your loving chef knew what was good for you, even if you didn’t!

And so it is with our single parent Heavenly Father. When He prepares and sets our meal before us, He expects us to eat everything on our plate. We are to accept whatever’s placed before us and believe Father knows best.

His only begotten Son, and our Elder Brother, left us an example by wiping His plate clean! And that included partaking of what you and I try to set aside and dispense with, crucifixion of self.

Putting the Cross in the mix makes even the bitter sweet.
(Ex. 15:23-25)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Frustrated Saints

[He] hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose.”

The word frustrate is used three times in the Scriptures. My intention is not to expound the texts but explain the word. Webster gives the definition as “in vain; to cause to have no effect; to prevent from achieving a goal or gratifying a desire.” It is plain to see that if Satan can keep a Christian frustrated, he or she will never reach the potential God has set for them. Our adversary knows, to keep a saint frustrated is just as effective as getting him or her to fall. Either way, the believer is ineffective.

I have observed that there are three areas in which the enemy of our souls works to achieve his goal of keeping us continually frustrated. If he can get us “entangled” in any one of these, he has bound us. The first has to do with the political see-saw of our day. The second, with its social ills. And the last, with the sad spiritual condition of God’s elect.

Let’s face it; the root of all frustration is to be found in our inability to control people and situations. Happy is the man or woman who has learned that only a Sovereign God can accomplish this. Therefore, Let us keep our eyes upon a never-changing God in this ever-changing world.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

C.S. Lewis on Politics

Christians in Politics
(by C.S. Lewis)

Politics, Christians in From many letters to The Guardian [Footnote: a weekly Anglican newspaper], and from much that is printed elsewhere, we learn of the growing desire for a Christian “party,”a Christian “front,”or a Christian “platform”in politics. Nothing is so earnestly to be wished as a real assault by Christianity on the politics of the world: nothing, at first sight, so fitted to deliver this assault as a Christian party.

. . . It remains to ask how the resulting situation will differ from that in which Christians find themselves today.

It is not reasonable to suppose that such a Christian Party will acquire new powers of leavening the infidel organization to which it is attached. Why should it? Whatever it calls itself, it will represent, not Christendom, but a part of Christendom. The principle which divides it from its brethren and unites it to its political allies will not be theological. It will have no authority to speak for Christianity; it will have no more power than the political skill of its members gives it to control the behaviour of its unbelieving allies. But there will be a real, and most disastrous, novelty. It will be not simply a part of Christendom, but a part claiming to be the whole. By the mere act of calling itself the Christian Party it implicitly accuses all Christians who do not join it of apostasy and betrayal. It will be exposed, in an aggravated degree, to that temptation which the Devil spares none of us at any time—the temptation of claiming for our favourite opinions that kind and degree of certainty and authority which really belongs only to our Faith.

God in the Dock, “Meditation on the Third Commandment” (1941), para. 1, 4–5, pp. 196–198.