Monthly Archives: June 2014

Rich Toward God  


 

Luke 12:13-21

This night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God,” Luke 12:20, 21.

 

When children divide an inheritance, they are actually dividing up the life of the benefactor who left the inheritance. When a parent buys a house or car, he trades an amount of his life for his purchase. When a father gives his son a twenty dollar bill for a date with his girlfriend, the father is saying, “Here is an hour of my life, son. Please don’t waste it.” I remember reading this passage and feeling that Christ was being unfair not to require the brother to divide the inheritance with him. However, Christ was speaking to the man’s motives, not to the law of inheritance (Luke 12:15). Our possessions give us a sense of security, a claim to the world in which we live. Like the mockingbird, God has made man with a nesting instinct for the provision of his family. Paul, who was raised in opulent wealth, implied that, if it had not been for God’s law against covetousness, he could be perfect. Covetousness drives men and women to overextend their credit to obtain things they desire, even though they cannot pay for them, thus, living a lie or pretending. Covetousness and debt have ended many a marriage in tragedy, which began in love. Jesus often taught His disciples to be satisfied with God’s provisions. God provides for the birds and the lilies. Are you not much more valuable to God than these?

JUST SAYING

Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matt.6:32, 33).

Robert Brock

 

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The Testimony of Unity  


 

John 17:20, 21

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me,” John 17:21.

 

A church’s testimony in the community in which it assembles is critical. It is critical to the spread of the gospel in the community, city, state, nation and around the world. It is critical to the acceptance of Jesus by the lost.

Every now and then, it would benefit a local church to evaluate how it looks to people outside its membership. You might be surprised. If a church has a reputation for arguing and splitting, you can be sure the evaluation will be negative. However, if the church body is involved, kind and caring to people outside its membership, then the evaluation will be positive.

Furthermore, unity in a body of believers always has a positive effect on the members as well as the guests (unbelievers and believers) who attend a service. Why? The way we treat each other is always visible. If we treat each other with respect and kindness, esteeming one another and showing brotherly love to one another, it will be a great testimony to our guests of our love for God and the precious sacrifice of Jesus. The opposite is true if we treat them badly.

 

 

REFLECTION

That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it (1 Cor. 12:25, 26).

 

Beverly Barnett

 

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Why I don’t talk about religion, 1 of 5 THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP


 

I am moreover averse to the communications of my religious tenets to the public; because it would countenance [“approve or encourage,” Webster’s 7th New Collegiate] the presumption [“audacity,” ditto] of those who have endeavored to draw them before that tribunal, and to seduce public opinion to erect itself into that inquisition over the rights of conscience, which the laws have so justly proscribed [prohibited].

 

Source: To Doctor Benjamin Rush, April 21, 1803

Koch & Peden’s Life and Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson

P. 519 – 522

Patrick Lee’s Explanation

Leaders should keep personal views private.

Jefferson’s language can be hard to follow. Here’s a summary:

1. He does not make his religious views public.

2. Doing so encourages people with bad motives.

– They would make his private views a matter of public debate.

– That debate could lead to an investigation of his beliefs.

– His beliefs, “the rights of conscience,” are no one’s business but his.

3. The Constitution’s 1st Amendment rightly prohibits such meddling in an individual’s personal choices about religion.

 

This post is part of a series of five, all taken from the same letter:

1. Why I don’t talk about religion publicy

2. Why you shouldn’t talk about religion publicly

3. Although I don’t talk about religion publicly

4. Jesus did talk about religion publicly

5. What made Jesus different

 

The Moral Liberal Thomas Jefferson Editor, Patrick Lee, is a professional speaker, actor and writer. Since 1990, he has inspired, entertained and educated audiences from Maine to Hawaii with his authentic, first person leadership presentations as President Thomas Jefferson, Frontiersman Daniel Boone, and Lewis & Clark Co-Leader William Clark. He also appears as himself, The Hopeful Humorist™, with a program of motivational humor, patriotism and inspiration.

 

His business address is ThomasJeffersonLeadership.com.

 

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180 — June 28 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

Jewett-Milo

 

The Pastor Who Couldn’t Ignore Immersion

 

Milo P. Jewett was born in Johnsbury, Vermont, on April 27, 1808, into the family of Dr. and Mrs. Calvin Jewett. Being the son of a medical doctor, young Jewett was offered the opportunity of a fine education and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1828. Looking forward to a career in the legal profession, Jewett spent a year in a law office in New Hampshire, but in 1830 he abandoned law and entered Andover Seminary. His brilliant mind fully equipped him for the field of education, and “he decided that teaching and not preaching was the work for which God had fitted him…In 1834 (he) accepted a professorship in Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio.”

 

Professor Jewett was persuaded to accept the pastorate of a Presbyterian church along with his educational duties, and for two years he served as pastor-professor. A disturbing situation developed which changed Jewett’s life, and that we might hear it in his own words, we quote from a letter he wrote from Marietta College, dated June 28, 1838:

 

Perhaps you know I have preached for about two years past to a Presbyterian church in the country. Some eighteen months ago, an elder of that church became a Baptist. On the occasion of his baptism, a sermon was preached by Rev. Hiram Gear, the Baptist minister in Marietta. This sermon disturbed several members of my church, and the session requested me to preach on baptism. . . . .

 

Afterwards I took up infant baptism; and here I found myself in clouds and darkness…I would lay down the subject for weeks, then resume it, till, some three or four months ago, I was obliged, in the fear of God, to conclude that none but believers in Jesus have a right to the ordinance of Jesus.

 

In January 1839 Jewett was baptized and united with the Baptist church in Marietta.

 

In 1840 he authored Jewett on Baptism, and the volume was blessed by the Lord in helping many to see the spiritual truth of the ordinance. Jewett passed into the Lord’s presence in 1882 after a full life of spiritual obedience and service.

 

Dr. Dale R. Hart: from This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 261 – 262.

 

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The Constitutional Convention was divinely inspired


 

Ben Franklin

American Minute with Bill Federer

 

The Constitutional Convention was in a deadlock over how large and small states could be represented equally.

 

Some delegates left.

 

Then, on JUNE 28, 1787, 81-year-old Benjamin Franklin spoke and shortly after, the U.S. Constitution became a reality.

 

Franklin stated:

 

“Groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights…

 

In the beginning of the Contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for Divine protection.

 

Our prayers, Sir, were heard and they were graciously answered.

 

All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending Providence in our favor…

 

And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?”

 

Franklin concluded:

 

“We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that ‘except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it.’…

 

I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed…no better than the Builders of Babel.”

 

Ben Franklin gave another address at the Constitutional Convention, 1787, titled Dangers of a Salaried Bureaucracy:

 

“Sir, there are two passions which have a powerful influence in the affairs of men…ambition and avarice-the love of power and the love of money…

 

When united…they have…the most violent effects.

 

Place before the eyes of such men a post of honor, that shall, at the same time, be a place of profit, and they will move heaven and earth to obtain it…

 

What kind are the men that will strive for this profitable preeminence, through all the bustle of cabal, the heat of contention, the infinite mutual abuse of parties, tearing to pieces the best of characters?

 

It will not be the wise and moderate, the lovers of peace and good order, the men fittest for the trust.

 

It will be the bold and the violent, the men of strong passions and indefatigable activity in their selfish pursuits.

 

These will thrust themselves into your government and be your rulers…”

 

Franklin explained further:

 

“There will always be a party for giving more to the rulers, that the rulers may be able, in return, to give more to them.

 

All history informs us, there has been…a kind of warfare between the governing and the governed; the one striving to obtain more for its support, and the other to pay less…

 

Generally, indeed, the ruling power carries…and we see the revenues of princes constantly increasing, and we see that they are never satisfied, but always in want of more.

 

The more the people are discontented with the oppression of taxes, the greater need the prince has of money to distribute among his partisans, and pay the troops that are to suppress all resistance, and enable him to plunder at pleasure.

 

There is scarce a king in a hundred who would not, if he could, follow the example of Pharaoh-get first all the people’s money, then all their lands, and then make them and their children servants for ever.

 

It will be said that we do not propose to establish kings…But there is a natural inclination in mankind to kingly government…

 

They would rather have one tyrant than five hundred. It gives more of the appearance of equality among citizens; and that they like.

 

I am apprehensive, therefore-perhaps too apprehensive-that the government of the States may, in future times, end in a monarchy…and a king will the sooner be set over us.”

 

Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.

 

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Famine


 

rā‘āḇ

Have you ever been really hungry? We don’t mean you missed lunch and were “starving” by suppertime. Rather, have you ever been without adequate food for days, weeks, months, or even years, perhaps to the point of death? Images that come to mind here are the countless pictures of the Jewish Holocaust, of the walking skeletons created by the Nazis. To prove this horror was not propaganda, and to answer those he knew would one day deny it even happened, General Eisenhower ordered all civilian news media, military camera units, and even regular GIs to take as many pictures as possible. Incredulously, some still deny it.

The Hebrew rā‘āḇ (H7458) appears some one hundred times in the OT and is usually translated famine (also “hunger, dearth, and famished”). Both Abraham and Isaac, for example, experienced famine in Canaan (Gen_12:10; Gen_26:1), and it is mentioned fifteen times in the story about Joseph and the famine in Egypt (Genesis 41-47).

The theological significance of rā‘āḇ is particularly striking. God is clearly sovereign over hunger and famine (Deu_8:3) and provides for His people who are hungry (Pro_10:3). Jeremiah is especially dramatic in his use of this word some thirty-two times, most of which refer to the judgment that is to come upon Judah (by way of the Babylonians) because of her headlong plunge into idolatry.

It is Amos, however, who pictures a famine far worse than any physical one: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD” (Pro_8:11). While Amos (a contemporary of Jonah, Hosea, and Isaiah) was a Judean prophet, God wanted him to speak to the northern tribes (Amo_7:15). During a time of great prosperity and security, God told the people the day was coming when because of their moral decay and rejection of truth, they would no longer hear the Word of God read or preached. This soon happened with the Assyrian captivity, and such “deafness” continues to this day.

What could possibly be worse than such a famine? And what of our own day? Amos does, indeed, have “a word for any nation in Israel’s condition,” one writer observes. “Put his descriptions in [modern] dress and they will strike home.” In a very real sense, some aspects of contemporary Christianity are causing a holocaust. Is the day coming when we will no longer hear the Word at all?

Scriptures for Study: Notice the further details of Amos’ prophecy in Amo_8:12-13.

 

 

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179 — June 27 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

Living Sacrifices for God’s Honor

 

Roger Holland had come from the affluent family of Sir Robert Holland, and in the first year of the reign of Bloody Mary, Roger married Elizabeth, a Christian maid of Master Kempton to which Roger was an apprentice. Apparently, Roger Holland became a member of the Hill Cliffe Baptist Church about this time. “Two of the signatories to the letter of 1654 from Hill Cliffe are of the same name, Holland. This points to, at any rate, a probability of his having been a Hill Cliffe Baptist, perhaps minister there.”

 

On one occasion as forty people gathered for a service of prayer and the expounding of the Word, twenty-seven of them were carried before Sir Roger Cholmly. Some of the women made their escape, twenty-two were committed to Newgate, who continued in prison seven weeks. Previous to their examination, they were informed by the keeper, Alexander, that nothing more was requisite to procure their discharge, than to hear Mass. Easy as this condition may seem, these martyrs valued their purity of conscience more than loss of life or property; hence, thirteen were burnt, seven at Smithfield, and six at Brentford; two died in prison, and the other seven were providentially preserved…They were sent to Newgate, June 16, 1558, and were executed on the twenty-seventh.

 

As was so often the case, Roger Holland’s death at Smithfield instead of destroying the faith of the Baptists only made it stronger. His relatives and friends were afterward more determined than ever to uphold the principles for which he died! May we with these heroes of the faith and with the hymn writer state and mean, “Thou (my Lord) art more than life to me,” for then our lives shall be in a true sense “living sacrifices” for God’s honor.

 

Dr. Dale R. Hart From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 261 – 262.

 

 

 

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175 – June 23 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

Medley, Samuel

 

When Medley Found Harmony with God

 

Samuel Medley, who had been born on June 23, 1738, at the age of sixteen when war broke out between England and France in 1755 was glad at the thought that he might be able to finish out his apprenticeship in the cloth trade in the British navy. Thus Samuel found himself in the famed Battle of Cape Lagos. He was wounded as the battle raged, and the greater part of the calf of one of his legs was shot away. The leg did not heal, and in time, the ship’s surgeon told him that gangrene had set in and amputation was imperative. Young Medley was filled with horror, and the doctor granted one more day before surgery. Medley began to think of his godly father and grandfather and remembered a Bible in his trunk. Sending for it, he spent the night reading the Bible and praying. The next morning when the surgeon returned, he was amazed at the healing that had begun, and no operation was necessary. Rather than being led to repentance, Medley rejoiced in his good fortune and turned again from the Lord.

 

Having to convalesce before continuing to pursue his aspirations of advancement in the navy, Samuel Medley went to his grandfather’s home in London. The elderly gentleman witnessed to and warned his grandson, but young Medley was unconcerned. Then one Sunday evening the grandfather chose to read Medley a sermon by Dr. Isaac Watts, and the Holy Spirit brought conviction and worked a wonderful transformation in the young sailor’s life. What a change resulted! Day by day Samuel Medley studied in his grandfather’s library. He was twenty-two years old now, and there was no time to lose. He was baptized in December of 1760 by Dr. Gifford. He learned both Hebrew and Greek and prayerfully studied the Word of God.

 

Medley’s usual day began in the study soon after his 4:00 A.M. rising. Private devotions and study were observed until ten o’clock, and then the various pastoral responsibilities among his people took place. He loved to witness to the sailors in his seaport city, and he had a keen interest in youth. The pastor loved music and wrote much poetry that found its way into useful hymns.

 

The man of God approached death in his sixty-first year, and on his deathbed he said, “ ‘I am now a poor shattered bark, just about to enter the blissful harbour: and O, how sweet will be the port after the storm.’…His last words were, ‘Glory! Glory! Glory! Home! Home!’ He died on July 17th, 1799,”and thus ended a glorious journey in the grace of God.

 

Dr. Dale R. Hart: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 257 – 258.

 

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The Good Life


 

Proverbs 22:4, 5

 

“By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life,” Proverbs 22:4.

 

Who in their right mind does not want the good life? No one I know. But are we ready to actually do what it takes to have it? It means that we must humble ourselves and lift God to the high place He is due, give Him full control and full honor. Or, are we satisfied with life in the status quo?

 

The fact is clear from the Scriptures, that God resists the proud. He hates a proud look, a lying tongue (Prov. 6:17). And, “Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble” (James 4:6). The proud may appear to have everything they want while on this earth. They may be wealthy in money or other earthly treasures, but one day that will be useless.

 

On the contrary, the humble person may be poor on earth, maybe because they sacrificed pleasures to give to the Lord’s work or they gave up a fine home to become a missionary in a poor country. Possibly, they worked hard in their local church, doing whatever job needed to be done without reward or accolades. Yet, their acts of humility did not go unnoticed by God. God may replace riches with joy, fame and sweet family time, the ladder of success with peace and contentment. How God rewards humility is up to Him. Whatever way He blesses will be good.

 

 

REFLECTION

 

Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud (Prov.16:19).

 

Beverly Barnett

 

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178 – June 26 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

A Fearless Ambassador of Christ

I. B. Kimbrough was born in Tennessee in 1826.  While ministering in Tennessee, Kimbrough at one time served as the financial agent of Carson and Newman College and traveled extensively in his state attempting to raise money with which to train young Baptist preachers.

On June 26, 1886, at Waco, Texas,  Dr. Kimbrough recalled an incident from his days in Tennessee and his work with Carson and Newman College. As he was traveling from one appointment to another through a secluded forest, he was confronted by two highwaymen. Holding their guns on the man of God, they insisted that he dismount from his horse and hand over all his money.

Very well, gentlemen, please give me a little time, and I will obey your orders.” Kimbrough responded. After dismounting, he laid his money in two piles, then turning to the highwaymen he said: “Gentlemen, this small pile of money is mine: you are at liberty to rob me of that; the larger pile is God’s money, and I dare you to touch it. I collected it for the young preachers of the state who are struggling for an education at Carson and Newman College.”

The earnestness and courage of the man attracted the attention of the robbers, and they began to inquire into the work in which he was engaged. He told them he was a Baptist preacher and explained to them his mission. After hearing what he had to say, the elder of the two men said:

We will not take either your money or the money of the young preachers.”
Turning to the young men, and looking them full in the face, Dr. Kimbrough added: “Young men, you are in a mighty bad business. I believe you ought to give it up. In the meantime, I will be grateful if you will help me in the work in which I am engaged.”

Following this appeal, the robbers gave him $5 each for the young preachers, whereupon the faithful minister mounted his horse, and all rode away, going in different directions.

I. B. Kimbrough was a fearless ambassador of Jesus Christ!

Dr. Dale R. Hart: From This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 261 – 262.

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