Thursday, January 30, 2014

Square Pegs in Round Holes

It is both laughable and sorrowful to watch a child with a beginner’s set of blocks trying to fit a square block into a round hole. Laughable, watching them try over and over to attempt the impossible; sorrowful, seeing the final frustration set in when they realize it can’t be done.

Many Christians of our day are continually attempting to fit into a secular world that considers them square. You don’t know whether to laugh or cry; seeing them trying to combine two things that do not belong or fit together. It is a spiritual impossibility.

We are elated, and rightly so, whenever we hear of one professing to be a Christian in the political, entertainment, or sports world. But I would remind you, the world never compromises its principles. The Christian must ultimately do this if there is to be co-existence. Change, with them, is always one-sided.

The world, says Christ Himself, hated Him. He also said they will hate those who are all out for Him. Like Jesus, we’re in the world, but not of the world. There is something drastically wrong when our brand of Christianity is accepted and respected by a Christ rejecting world.

I think sometimes many professing Believers of our time have taken, as the Old Testament King, a pen-knife to such scriptures as: “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” The only exception to this are those who do not live godly.

When Jesus told us, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me,”  it should have given us some hint of what lies before us. When you saw a man in His day carrying a cross, you could be dead certain he was not on his way to the Academy Awards!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

But You Promised

What parent is not familiar with the heart wrenching experience of pledging to do a certain thing for their child and, because of some unforeseen circumstance, are unable to make good on it it, and he or she cries out, “But you promised.”

Our God does not know of any such situation. When He makes a promise to His child you can be “fully persuaded that, what He [has] promised, He [is] able also to perform.” As it is written, “Hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” Again, “Blessed be the LORD... all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised. ”Therefore, “Let us hold fast...our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised).

Charles Spurgeon said, “The best praying in the world is pleading the promises.” He goes on to say, “My brother, if you have a divine promise, you need not plead it with an “if” in it; you may plead it with certainty.” And why is this? Paul tells us, “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen.”

O, beloved, let us never enter the Throne Room without carrying the King’s promises with us, for He Himself tells us to do so, “Put me in remembrance: let us plead together.”

Monday, January 27, 2014

A Letter on Repentance

Dear Reader: I thought you might enjoy this correspondence on the subject of repentance.

R.D.S.

My Dear Brother,

You wrote, "I would appreciate hearing your views on repentance and why a person believes it (repentance) is necessary for accepting the Gospel as found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4."

Generally, these days, because of my age (eighty), and my recent sickness (heart-attack), I do not go into in-depth answers to Bible questions. Also, the movement I was associated with for the greater part of my ministry were never satisfied with one clear cut answer to anything. It always ended up being an endless commentary on the subject. That is, until you came around to their way of thinking, or they gave up trying, and broke all fellowship with you, branding you as a heretic. The latter is possibly why I am still a little gun-shy in answering Bible questions. But I am convinced you are not of this sort, so here is a fairly brief answer to your request.

Let me say from the beginning, my position on repentance differs somewhat from many of the old-time Puritans (that it has only to do with sin) and the present-day hyper-dispensationalist (that it is excluded from Paul's gospel). These notes are from my personal study of the scriptures over the years. I am comfortable living with them.

I feel many have the same misguided view of repentance as they do of the word "holiness." As to the latter, it is generally held that it has some moral connection. But clothes, ground, buildings, and instruments have no inherent moral value. It simply means in scripture to,"set apart" or "separate." And so it is with repentance. It has come to be associated, as I said, only with sin. But sin is just one of the many sub-heads that fall under its definition

If you will read and think through my article on my blog entitled, "The Nurse's Guru's Preaching," you will understand my position on repentance more clearly. Repentance has to do with a change of mind. When Jesus tells the story of the two sons He says of the one, "Afterward he repented and went." That is, he thought it through and changed his mind. When Peter mentions repenting of wickedness, in the context, he says it has to do with the thoughts of the heart. The man was thinking wrong, therefore he was to change his mind (repent).

And so, when the Bible says, "Repent and believe," it is simply saying, "change your mind and believe." A lot of professing Christians today tell us they believe, but they have never changed their minds. If repentance has only to do with sin, then what do we say of God when we're told He repented? But if we make it to mean what the scriptures say it means, then all is clear; God changes His mind.

Concerning repentance being a part of the gospel as found in 1Cor.15:1-4. There are many doctrines connected to salvation that are not mentioned in connection with believing. For example: justification, regeneration, adoption, sealing, etc. All of which are understood as one grows in the Lord. But each took place at the time of a person's salvation. And so it is with repentance. One may not have understood it, but they changed their mind (repented) before they believed. That is, if they're really saved.

Hope this helps. Sorry, I am tired and must close. As an old preacher used to say when closing his sermon, "I done preached out from underneath myself."

An Old Disciple,

R.D.S.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Faithful in Heart

"Thou art the LORD the God, who didst choose Abram...And foundest his heart faithful before thee." Faithfulness does not begin with an outward action, but an inward attitude of the heart. This is where all the issues of life begin. I have noticed in the last few years there has been more and more emphasis, both in sermon and song, on the faithfulness of God. And this is how it should be, but not to the exclusion of the saint's faithfulness. It is possible to call attention to the faithfulness of a good wife while allowing the unfaithful husband to get off scot free. One can come across as spiritual in testifying to God's faithfulness, while at the same time not emulating this Divine attribute.

The wise man tells us there has always been a problem in finding a faithful man. David showed his great concern in his day when he addressed the Lord by saying," Help Lord...for the faithful fail from among the sons of men." It is a shame, and most embarrassing for me to say this, but I know dogs more faithful to their masters than some professing Christians I know are to their Master!

When I pastored, I was frequently asked by some of my members why others in the assembly were blessed above themselves. Well, there are many reasons for this, but one of the greatest is found in the book of wisdom, "A faithful man shall abound with blessings." Paul tells us it is the first requirement for anyone who hopes to be a servant of the Lord. And Jesus says it's also the last requirement, it is to be so unto death. That is, faithful till you take your last breath. It is to this flock He will say at the last, "Well done thou good and faithful servant." 

Let us close with an encouraging word from the Lord to each of you who are found to be faithful, "Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me."

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Philosophical Philanderers

Recently one of my wife's readers asked prayer for a close family member. Salle, in turn, as we often do with one another, asked me to pray about the situation. It seems, a man, in this case, a professing Believer,  had met a woman on-line and was planning on leaving his good, Christian wife of many years for her. He had already met with her secretly on a couple of occasions. 

The lady making the request also included in her correspondence some of the adulterer's reasoning for his sin. After hearing of the affair, I said to my wife "Why is it every Christian I ever met intending to go into sin, all of a sudden becomes a philosopher? I have never heard such philosophical jargon come out of anyone's mouth like that spued out of these people. In this case a philosophical philanderer. 

Evidently this dunce is ignorant to the fact of the meaning of the word philosophy. The root meaning of the word is, "lover of wisdom." Now Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, apart from Jesus Christ wrote, "Whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away." If you have any doubts about the veracity of this, just take a little time to talk to David and Bathsheba!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Nurse's Guru's Preaching

During a recent hospital stay I spoke to one of my nurses concerning the things of the Lord. It seems she was caught up in the new Grace Movement; that is, majoring on grace at the exclusion and expense of all other Bible doctrines. She mentioned her "Media Minister" on television, located somewhere in the Orient. She quoted him when attempting to prove her point on grace, "What good has preaching individual repentance done us? To which I could have argued, "What good has preaching an isolated grace done us? The followers of this pseudo-grace movement, I have observed, are the very ones Jude refers to in his brief epistle, "Ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness."  This type of teaching on grace is a disgrace!

There has been much, some very heated, discussion on the meaning of the word repentance. But there is no need for lexicons, dictionaries, or the Greek. Our good old reliable K.J.V. interprets it for us. "Turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God. Surely after that I was turned, I repented." Repentance is a gift of God's grace to an individual (2Tim. 2:25). Repentance is not apart from God's grace, it is an intricate part of His grace. As Oswald Chambers writes, "It is the threshold of knowing and understanding God...it is the bedrock of Christianity." And when it takes place, there is a radical u-turn in one's life. It is not only a change in direction, but in a person's thinking, actions, and principles; your entire lifestyle, inward and outward is changed. 

It is important to realize repentance has not only to do with our unrighteousness, but our self-righteousness. We're to repent of our virtues as well as our vices.  The thing that kept David so long from repenting was, no doubt, his reputation. But when he did, it was a "true repentance." Augustine wrote, "Repentance damns many" (speaking of false repentance). And as the Puritan, Thomas Watson, says, "A broken bone, if not set properly, will result in a person being a cripple all their life. So it is with repentance, one will go through life not fully healed." Beware of substituting remorse for repentance. The former's attention is centered on you, the latter on God.

Repentance is fundamental to all Bible preaching: John the Baptist preached it; Jesus commissioned the twelve to preach it; Peter preached it at Pentecost; Paul preached it to the Gentiles; and our glorified Lord preached it to the seven churches. And that, my friend, is why I've preach it it these many years, and will continue as long as God gives me breath.
 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Imaginary Grace

A few years ago I published what I thought to be an excellent article by a profound writer friend entitled, "Saying No to the Needs of Others." Along with it, I included his picture. The photo showed him with a cigar in his mouth. As I mentioned to my readers at the time, I inserted the picture purposely to see how much grace some had. It's always good to check up on ourselves from time to time to see if we have what Paul calls, "true grace," or if it be only imaginary. How embarrassing to find you're not as spiritual as you thought yourself to be.

Out of all our readers, many of whom wrote concerning the blessing they received from the article, there was one very unhappy fundamentalist who took me to task. He apparently did not read the article; he only saw the stogie. Ironically, he didn't attack the one with the Havana between his lips, but me personally. It seems he was upset with my apparent (to him) sinful life-style, and what he saw as my abuse of grace in condoning and propagating sin. I'm sure he was not aware of the wonderful compliment he was giving me (Romans 3:8).

I would not have been offended in the least had I been in the presence of the great Baptist preacher, Charles Spurgeon, when he lit up a cigar; nor would have I been when the renowned Bible expositor, G. Campbell Morgan, smoked his eight a day. Also, many of the Puritans when drinking a glass of wine.To do so would only have proven me to be the weak brother (Romans 14). And I'd like to think myself a little more mature than those who get upset at questionable things such as these and other things.

I like what C.S. Lewis has to say on this issue in his book, Mere Christianity. He writes, "One of the marks of a certain type of bad man is that he cannot give up a thing without wanting everyone else to give it up. That is not the Christian way. An individual Christian may see fit to give up all sorts of things for special reasons-marriage, or meat, or beer, or the cinema; but the moment he starts saying the things are bad in themselves, or looking down his nose at other people who do use them, he has taken the wrong turning."

"Not only do some people frustrate the grace of God, but it frustrates them!

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Old Dogs and the Pups

The old adage, “You can’t teach old dogs new tricks,” is just not true. It may seem improbable, but it’s not impossible. The difficulty lies not so much in learning the new, but unlearning the old. That is, provided the old needs forgotten. Remember, “What made you great, keeps you great.” To forget this is to reduce oneself to nothing, even less than nothing. (1Sam.15:17)

But as arduous as it is to train old “Rover” fresh techniques, it is even more grueling to teach new dogs old tricks. Young “Trixie” may have some cute little tricks up her paw; but the question is, will such antics bring a lasting delight to others, or are they potentially dangerous in the long run? Especially this is true as it relates to the next generation.

Pride can keep some of us “Old Dogs” from learning the new; but stubbornness can keep “Pups” from learning the old.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Unchangeable Christ

"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."
Because of a number of religious charlatans on television and not a few hucksters in the pulpits, many of God's dear people have faltered in the faith. These pseudo-ministers are easy to spot. Their ministries are build almost entirely around the material and physical, and major on the historical Christ's ministry on earth to Israel. Jesus' present-day heavenly ministry to both Jew and Gentile, with its emphasis on the spiritual aspect of our lives is seldom, if ever, mentioned. 

It is difficult to show any understanding toward those who should know better, a novice being the exception, of course. The former are expected to think things through. Most, if not all, the latter have not yet grasped this, either because of not being taught, or for the fact they are babes in Christ. But when one puts on his or her thinking cap, it's plain the text is speaking of our Lord's attributes, His character, His eternal principles. For example, most certainly, He was not the same after the Resurrection as he was before. In the days of His flesh He wept, was tired, and thirsted. That has all changed now! But not His love, compassion. mercy,  and grace; they are forever the same. And will be eternally.

Paul is distinctively the apostle to the uncircumcision (Gentiles), called by Jesus Christ to be so, just as Jesus and the twelve were primarily to the nation Israel. All Church truth you can get through Paul's writings. That is the reason you do not want to be out of his epistles any length of time. Interestingly, have you noticed the secular news media invariably go to the gospels to prove their point concerning issues of our day, but only mention Paul in a critical way. Think! does not this tell you something? Paul's writings are the many things Jesus could not tell His disciples while on earth, because they were not able to hear them. I wonder, are you and I?  

Friday, January 17, 2014

Our Responsibility

In this information age, I believe many Christians are sticking their noses into business not belonging to them, and neglecting those things belonging to us. I'm referring to the secret things belonging to the Lord, and to those things God has revealed to us and our children, to do them (Deut. 29:29). No one appreciates someone delving into every little detail of his or her life, nor does our God. Apparently some are not satisfied letting God be God! 

We'll never know all the answers, not even in heaven with perfect bodies and intelligence. To have that kind of knowledge you'd be God, and only one creature ever desired that (Isa. 14:13-14). I'm not against theology (the study of God), but we need to be content with what's revealed, and not attempt to open a door God has locked. A place where He keeps all his secrets for Himself. One of the medieval theological arguments was over how many angels could stand on the point of a pin. Ridiculous? Foolish? Stupid? No more than some of our modern day queries. We need to follow darling David's example on things above our pay-grade, "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it." 

God will not judge us for not knowing the intricacies of His self-imposed responsibilities, but He will for not knowing and doing ours. You know your part. Do it! You can always trust God to keep His end of the bargain. I think sometimes we put the emphasis on God's part to draw attention away from miserably failing to fulfill ours. We need to be careful our inquisitiveness not become iniquity.   

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Fly On the Wall

My wife and friend, a local pastor’s wife, had met for their monthly luncheon. While dining, the preacher’s wife brought up an interesting question. “If,” she asked my wife, you could have been a ‘fly on the wall,’ so to speak, what Bible incident would you liked to have seen and heard?” Salle’s friend chose the annunciation of Jesus’ birth by the angels to the shepherds. And my wife’s was to have observed and listened in on the conversation between Jesus and the two disciples on the Emmaus Road.

This all provoked me to think. If I were asked the same question, what would my answer be. It didn't take a second for me to answer the question, I would loved to have heard and seen all that went into Creation. Experiencing the Spirit’s movement, hearing God’s audible voice, and seeing the glorious light of God shine out of total darkness. Think of it, from complete darkness to eternal light, simply by the Spirit’s moving and God speaking.

Although I was not present “In the beginning,” I was there fifty-six years ago when God spoke to a young sinner in his early twenties. When the blessed Spirit of the living God moved upon my heart, which was in utter darkness, and God said, “Let there be light.” But our beloved Paul said it so much better than I, “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

Monday, January 13, 2014

Wait a Week

Until the angel descends from heaven and sets his right foot upon the sea, and his left on the earth, and cries “that there should be time no longer,” we will be creatures of time, living in a time capsule, if you please. I like to believe time is a parenthesis in God’s eternal sentence.

I was impressed as I went through the book of Leviticus that the waiting period for diagnosing leprosy was seven days. The leper had to wait a week for the Priest’s findings. Whether it had to do with his person, clothes,or house, there was this long, grueling waiting period.

We learn from this teachable incident that though we may be, God is not in a hurry. It is the first thing He taught man in creation when he placed him in time. He showed mankind that even God, when dealing with time, didn't create the world overnight. It took time!

There are no clocks or watches in heaven. They’re the two means on earth, many times, that push us to our wit’s end. We need to learn that with time is a little word that accompanies it, “process.” Therefore we need to be patient. We read of our father Abraham, “And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise...For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Coveted Spirit

C.H. Spurgeon writes of the Old Testament saint Caleb," It is a rough name—"Caleb." Most translators say it signifies "a dog." But what mattereth a man's name? Possibly the man himself was somewhat rough: many of the heartiest of men are so. As the unpolished oyster yet beareth within itself the priceless pearl, so ofttimes ruggedness of exterior covereth worth. A dog, moreover, is not all badness, though 'Without are dogs and sorcerers.' It hath this virtue, that it followeth its master; and therein this Caleb was well-named; for never dog so followed his master as Caleb followed his God." 

One of the last times I saw my beloved mentor, Dr. Joe Henry Hankins, alive was when I picked him up at his motel. It was the last night of a revival he was holding at my home church. As I waited for him in his room as he readied to leave, I asked him if he would preach a sermon that night just for me. To which he replied, "Sonny boy, I'll do just that." That evening, when he announced his sermon title, he told the people he was going to preach a message on, "The Man Who Served God Eighty-Five Years and Never Failed Him Once."

Paul told us to "covet the best gifts," I have always coveted Caleb's spirit. I want nothing to do with the spirit that says, "We be not able." I desire that of Caleb's clan, "We be more than able." Nor do I wish to see giants, I want to see past them, as the old war horse, and see God! Only those with with "another spirit," "wholly follow the Lord." And possess all their possessions given them as their inheritance by God. 

You can always spot  a Caleb spirit: it is a courageous spirit; it is a God-honoring spirit; it is faithful spirit; it is a different spirit; it is a spirit whose faith is undaunted with time; it is a spirit that is willing to run the long gamut against popular opinion for forty years. IT IS A SPIRIT THAT DOESN'T HAVE "QUIT" IN ITS VOCABULARY! 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Needed-Christian Thinkers

I have always been impressed with Samson's mother. Not only was she a spiritual woman, but a profound Christian thinker. When the angel she had previously talked with alone showed himself to both her and her husband a second time, her husband said, "We shall surely die, because we have seen God." To which his wife replied, in essence,"If the Lord was going to kill us, He would not have accepted our offering nor told us all these things". A practical thinker indeed!

Most of you are familiar with the sub-heading on our blog-site. It reads, "Brief, Biblical Essays for Thinking People." My sincere intent is to get saints to think for themselves; it is so liberating and satisfying. Don't accept the norm, simply because it is tradition. Ask yourself questions, such as: "If the wine the saints drank was just grape juice, in Ro.14:21, why all the controversy? If a Fundamentalist woman's modest dress is considered worldly by the Amish standard, what would a first century Christian consider both of them? Does "one" always mean singular? Paul says all the law is fulfilled in one word, then adds six more.

O, beloved, think through things, then work them out. And after that, ask God for the courage to stand on your own two intellectual feet! Don't let the pseudo know-it-alls intimidate you. Read opposing views, have those in your inner circle who are independent thinkers;  and above all, break free of the cardboard, and think outside the box.

Oswald Chambers writes,"Some have a blatant pride of knowing nothing outside the Bible, which, in all probability, means knowing inside it either. Christian thinking is a rare and difficult thing. So many seem unaware that the first great commandment according to our Lord is, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy...mind."  

Monday, January 6, 2014

One Thing Or Another

"It's either one thing or the other." I do not know the times I heard my dear Kentucky-bred mother refer to this old saying. Life throughout is ever changing. It is not a consistent this; just as many times it's that. Whichever is our lot at any particular time, we need to learn to adapt. Those who do not adjust, I have observed, are in constant turmoil.

I came up with a little axiom some years ago: "Nothing's perfect, nothing's lasting,and you'll never get it altogether." It is impossible to get your ducks lined up in perfect order, let alone getting them to stay that way. 


You can forget perfection, there will always be a chip, tear, dent, or a spot. You can also rule out anything lasting. Everything and everyone wears away with time. Enjoy it and them while you have them, but don't try to keep a firm grip. Things and people have a way of slipping through our fingers. And as to getting everything all together, even wise old Solomon could not have accomplished such a feat. 


The writer of Hebrews tells us of only One who eternally stays the same. "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever." The hymn writer had it right when he penned-

  1. Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
    Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
    Change and decay in all around I see—
    O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
  2. Only He's perfection, Only He's everlasting, and only He has it altogether. And thank God, I'm in Him and He in me!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Paul/A Basket Case


"Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket...And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands."

This incident in Paul's life has always fascinated me. Like a pomegranate, it is full of seed thoughts. Allow me to pass along to you just a few that come to my mind.

1. God does not always use supernatural means of deliverance, as in Peter's case (Acts 12). Most of the time He uses the human and natural, like in Paul's situation.

2. Some go to great length to prove Paul was small, as his name indicates. But you'd know that by him fitting into a basket. I doubt if a "heavy" man like Eli would have fit. The baskets were used for food, grain and fish. Not overly large. Not made with holding humans in mind, I'm sure

3. Whoever was the weaver of the basket, I am certain, never dreamed it would be used to deliver the world's greatest mind from extermination. Therefore, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might."

4. And what were the names of the helpers who gently let the apostle down to safety? No one knows, except God. And in the final analysis, that's all that matters. "Who they were nobody knows; what they did, everybody knows."

5. Should not Paul have stayed, like many missionaries, and died a martyr's death. No! it was not yet his time. Of the two witnesses in Revelation we're told, "And when they shall have finished their testimony...the beast...shall overcome them, and kill them." Jesus' rule was when they persecute you in one city, flee to another.

6. As a new convert, this was Paul's first suffering for Christ, and it came in the form of humiliation. It was a wounded pride he suffered. He came into Damascus with pomp, representing the  Jewish supreme council. Now he leaves in the darkness of night like a hunted thief. He learned early, "The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord." I wonder if some of us have learned this yet?




Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Christian and Technology

I was holding a meeting for a preacher friend of mine, Pastor Larry Groves in Indianapolis, Ind. Personal computers were fairly new and he had just purchased one. He mentioned how wonderful it was that he could now read his Bible and was not limited to the personal notes he could put next to a text. I mentioned I would never give up my Bible for technology. I now read my Bible, as well as many other books, on my Kindle.

The truth is, pseudo-spiritual saints such as I was, have a lot to learn. But, sad to say, because of pride and stubborn ignorance, some never do. It hasn't entered their dull mind to consider the printing press, that it was new technology at one time. The Word has been engraved in stone, written on plaster, in the dirt, on paper, and parchments. Even on the heart. It is not the type of platter the steak is served on, its the steak itself!

While walking down the street one day, evangelist D.L. Moody was approached by a drunk. He handed Mr. Moody a ten dollar bill for an offering, which he accepted. A companion asked, if he was going to keep it, coming from such a derelict. To which the wise man replied, "The devil's had it long enough, I'm going to use it for the glory of God."

My sentiments exactly!  

      

Friday, January 3, 2014

One Little Word Will Fell Him

In the third stanza of Martin Luther’s hymn, A Mighty Fortress is Our God, it reads…

And though this world, with devils filled,
should threaten to undo us,
we will not fear, for God hath willed
his truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim,
we tremble not for him;
his rage we can endure,
for lo, his doom is sure;
one little word shall fell him.

The Man Christ Jesus defeated the most powerful force in the universe (apart from God), by using the scriptures. With every one of Satan’s moves, quoting from one book, Deuteronomy, the Son of God would checkmate him with, “It is written.” And what our Lord used to defeat the devil is available to you and me.

I like how Amy Carmichael put it, “The only thing that matters is to throw all the energies of our being into the faithful use of this precious blade.” But to do this one must, as I like to say, be soaked in the scriptures. As one writer has said of Christ, “His mind was a storehouse of the Words of God.” And so must ours be, if we are to overcome the wicked one.

Personally I have never been big on memorization, but rather familiarization. Jesus said we are to live by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, not select passages. O, how precious to behold a man or woman whose entire being is governed by the principles as they are found in God’s Word! Was He called the LIVING WORD because His soul was saturated with the WRITTEN WORD? I don’t know the answer to my question. But I know the statement is true.   

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The "New" Jawbone of an Ass

"And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith. And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men. And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking, that he cast away the jawbone out of his hand."

Here again, as we have seen throughout the scripture, is one of those many "foolish things," God has chosen to use; "That no flesh should glory in His presence." I think it was Matthew Henry who brought attention to the fact, one of David's men slew 300 with his spear; and another, killed so many his hand grew weary holding to his sword. But both came short of Samson's jawbone. God told Isaiah, "Behold, I will do a new thing." This was one of those times.

Samson did not have a weapon; he, like many of us , had to do with what was at hand. How many times when a hammer was not available, our shoe-heel got the job done. In Samson's case, it was a "new jaw-bone of an ass." Not an old, dried up, brittle one that would break. He used something moist, tough and strong. The marrow was still fresh. God doesn't use rust, mold or soured.

Notice too, when Samson's chore was complete, he discarded the means "he cast away the jawbone out of his hand." Israel kept the brazen serpent used to heal, and ended up worshiping the means instead of the Maker, until good Hezekiah brake it in pieces. Don't allow the means that helped you, to become a relic that receives all the attention. You know, like counselors, doctors, rehab-centers, medicines, preachers, and a host of other people and things we are prone to put first before God!

Remember! "For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house."