Category Archives: Devotional

THE RING OF TRUTH


THE RING OF TRUTH

William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person
Truth! Questioned by rulers, sought after in misguided paths of philosophy, pseudo-science, and secular education, obscured by false religion, servants of mammon, and demonic powers, truth survives unscathed. It not only survives, it reigns supreme in the intellects of the universe, and shall evermore, and It has a ring to it!
Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27. In this great Shepherd/sheep chapter, voice is underscored as the identifying factor of the true Shepherd. Doubtless, there was uniqueness in the voice of Jesus by which He could be identified, more-so than the telephone voice of dear ones in modern times. However, this discourse for the church throughout the age is not connected to tone, but to content.
After Jesus’ ascension, His physical voice was no longer audible to His saints, but the meaning of John 10 remains as effective as any other scriptures. His sheep hear His voice. He knows them. They follow Him. Inseparable from His voice are the meanings of words and ideas spoken and subsequently preserved in Holy Writ.
Unlike any other, the Shepherd’s voice is underscored by unity, harmony, and symmetry. But the uniqueness does not end there. The words (voice) of the Master are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63. The Shepherd’s voice is the voice of God preserved in the Bible, and carried by the Holy Spirit, the same Holy Spirit given to the sheep, by which discernment is possible. The carnal mind cannot perceive the Shepherd’s voice because it is spiritual, and spiritual things are spiritually understood. 2 Cor. 2:14.
Much is said in the Bible about ears and how they hear or do not hear. Jesus pronounced a blessing on those who had ears to hear, and sternly warned all of His people throughout the age to use their ears to hear (discern) what the Spirit is saying to the churches ( Rev. 2-3.)
From the Garden of Eden to this present day, there are other voices vying for one’s attention. They contain information which if followed end in eternal disaster more-so than Adam and Eve found out. So, try the spirits, listen for the Master’s voice. Truth always has a biblically harmonizing ring to it.

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different


I recently began thinking of how different things are today than they were in Jesus’ day. The pews are padded, but the cross was not. We sit in the midst of friends, family, and other believers while our Lord died before strangers and between two thieves. We complain if the church house is not warm enough in the winter and cool enough in the summer, but the Son of God had “not place to lay his head.” We enjoy a degree of respect (among some) because we are called “Christians,” but Christ was mocked and ridiculed and accused of being from Satan.

We get angry and hold grudges for the least offenses, while our Lord prayed for those who crucified Him, “Father, forgive them.”

We have more money, more freedom, and more resources today, but we do less with them than 120 dedicated believers did with their witness on the day of Pentecost. And today we have the completed Word of God readily available though most church members read and know it less than those of ages past.

Yet, in all of these things we often contend that it is more difficult for believers to live for Christ today than it was for the believers of those previous times. The truth is that we live in a time that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24:12, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”

I would to God that we would be the people who not only have more but who do more with what we have. May we so live that the term “Christian” is a description more than a title. We might then look forward to hearing a “Well done, thou faithful servant” from our Lord.

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Amazing Grace


I am moved and amazed. Andre Rieu and talented musicians playing “Amazing Grace” with violin, Bagpipes and I believe a piccolo. The people are entranced, awed and moved by this performance. People are hugging and tears are shed. For some it just emotion because of the beauty of the music. For others it is a recognition of their spiritual need and the gift of a life to meet that need. I think I will listen to this again.

 

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EXERCISING POWER OVER TEMPTATION


 

William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person

The alluring power of sin creates temptation. As it was in Eden, so it is today. Truly, an appeal from the devil, and the resident sin nature within to transgress in deference to the flesh is powerful. John summed it up as “. . .the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. . .” I John 2:16 Since all men are sinners; temptation is common. Much then is penned in Holy writ to warn, to guide, to provide escape, and to triumph over the power of temptation. 1 Cor 10:13 (There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.). The bottom line is that no power can negate the free moral agency of man. Thus, it is incumbent upon every individual to be proactive in guarding what is received and entertained. Paul put it like this: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” Phil. 4:8. Control, control, control what is mentally entertained at all times!


Certainly, temptations are strong or they would not be temptations. Somehow, they seem to hit in the weakest moments; hence, the necessity of the power of Christ. Temptations may be effectively countered by identifying present blessings. Why should I fall for the slimy pits of sin when I have a spouse who loves and respects me; children who look to me for guidance and example; fellow Christians whose fellowship is priceless; a Creator God who loves me even in my unlovely state so much that He left heaven and died for my redemption and eternal well being, I am a child of the King. My Father owns the universe, and I am a sharing owner in Him, I am in a brief experiential training environment designed to prepare me to rule and to reign in this grand universe we own, and graduation time draws near. Should I throw all this away for what I cannot keep; for what will benefit me nothing?!? That is just crazy! But some have done it; others will, but I choose to not be one of them. Sin knocks at my door, but I invite Jesus to answer the knock! Oh, yes, God’s people have power over temptation! They just need to exercise it more often!

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David’s Charge to His Son, Solomon


David’s Charge to His Son, Solomon

I Kings 2:1-12

Key Verse: “Be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man; and keep the charge of the LORD Thy God,” I Kings 2:2, 3.

David was a man after God’s own heart. Very simply that did not mean that David was without sin. It meant that when he did sin, he turned to God for forgiveness. He knew that forgiveness began with God. David was a sinner and committed some heinous sins. He confessed those sins to God and received forgiveness.

Now comes the time that all men experience. Death. He wants to leave some advice to Solomon who will follow David as King of Israel. “Be thou strong.” A simple piece of advice. Strength is what is needed to live life to its fullest before a righteous God. There are many trials and tribulations in this life. Strong living does not mean that we will not mourn events, be broken hearted, or suffer grief and indecision in this life. It means we will lay all our cares upon the LORD and depend upon Him to restore us to the Joy of serving God and living a life of honor.

Notice the part of the passage that says, “and shew thy-self a man:”. David knows that the man was given responsibility to guide the household in a Godly manner. He wanted Solomon to take his place before God and fulfill his duties to his family and nation in an appropriate manner. That means to lead the nation in a Godly manner and to take the lead in the family in worship in the house of God and in family devotion. I am always happy to the man take the lead in service and worship in the church. He then is shewing himself a man.

Keep the charge of the LORD thy God.” The LORD has given us many instructions for life, living, and serving Him. To the lost, its repent and believe on my Son for everlasting life. For those that are save and heaven bound it is live a life that is an imitation of Jesus Christ while he walked this earth. We have some excellent pointers from the sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 5, 6, 7. Matthew 5:1-12 gives us how our relationship with God and our relationship with man should be. The rest is directions for our life and how we should live. This was given to the church. A charge to be faithful and tell others about a Saviour is a charge that each of us should keep.

Thought – “A wise man will hear and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels” (Proverbs 1:5).

James Candler

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The Evidence of True Wisdom


Jas 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Key Verse: James 3:17 – “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

In these verses, James, guided by the Holy Spirit, gave us two contrasting types of wisdom. One is with bitterness, envy, dissension and selfishness. The other is pure, peaceable, gentle, approachable, merciful, fruitful, practices equality and is genuine. Is there any doubt where each one originated?

Earthy, sensual wisdom prompts us to feel superior, falsely important and causes us to think we are always right. People with this type of wisdom are difficult to live and work with. Nothing ever pleases them no will they sacrifice for others. Their wisdom is devilish.

On the other hand, wisdom from above will point away from self. Godly wisdom will cause our actions to be mindful of Christ, his love and sacrifice for us as well as others. Nothing, not even our feelings, will be more important than giving God the glory and telling the good news. It will blind our eyes to nationality, wealth or age and cause our Christian walk to be fruitful and genuine. Unbelievers will see Christian living as peaceable, gentle and merciful.

Thoughts: Live for Christ – practice godly wisdom.

Live for self – practice devilish wisdom.

Beverly Barnett

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JESUS BRING WISDOM


KEY VERSE: “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord,” I Corinthians 1:30, 31.

Two little boys debated whose father was smarter. Jon said his father was smarter because he discovered a medicine that stopped hair from falling out. Brad said his father was smarter because he discovered a medicine that caused hair to grow back. Both fathers were bald. This is about the amount of our earthly wisdom.

Jesus gives us heavenly wisdom that does not end when we die. God’s wisdom is Christ and Christ in us. We are given wisdom through Christ Jesus as the Holy Spirit tutors us in the love story of God. This story is so simple it confuses a genius but gives wisdom to an illiterate because he accepts it by faith. That message is this–God so loved the sinner that He sent His sinless Son to die in the sinner’s place.

REFLECTION: In Christ, one has His wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption; so if one is outside Christ, what does that make him?

Beverly Barnett

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT, MONDAY, AUGUST 10, 2015.

BACK TO SCHOOL

2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2Pe 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever.

Public schools, private schools, seminaries and universities all go back to class. Maybe it is time we all go back to school. The word study implies more than just a casusal reading for pleasure. The Greek word for study is spoudazw spoudazo, (spoo-dad’-zo) means to use speed, i.e. to make effort, be prompt or earnest:–do (give) diligence, be diligent (forward), endeavour, labour, study. There are certainly certain things that we gather as we look at going back to school: A set time to start and end each day, class gatherings, and an instructor. All these can be applied as we set aside a time of each day to read and study the Word of God. We can set aside a certain place to do our studies as we pray and meditate over the Word. We may also need reference books or instructors to help us in the quest for greater knowledge of the Word.

Yes, it should be back to school days for all of God’s people. Without time in the Word we will become weak and tossed too and fro from every wind of dectrine that comes along. There is a great falling away today from real Bible study and even some churches are doing away with Bible studies so that the church becomes weak and falls pray to preachers who fail to stand for Biblical preaching and Biblical standards.

We are given the reason for studing as being threefold: “approved unto God” , “needeth not to be ashamed”, and “rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Retired Pastor Charles Moore,
Serving as Interim Fill-in Pastor, Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, Leavenworth, Ks

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