“I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil,” John 17:15.
Early one bright and clear morning, the freckled-faced boy looked down at his poor, helpless, old dog. The dog had been his faithful companion for as long as he could remember, and, now, he had come to the end of his life. “Davy,” he said as he stroked the old dog’s whitened face, “I’m going to tell you the story my Sunday School teacher told us yesterday. It made me feel good and I hope it does the same for you.” Quietly, the aged dog lay still, for there was love and comfort in his boy’s voice.
In the innocent voice of the young boy, he began, “Jesus was about to go away and leave the good friends He had made on earth. He was sad to leave them but happy He had done what His Father had asked Him to do. One cool, quiet evening in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed for His friends. He asked God to keep them from evil. Davy, I know you love me because you kept me from stepping on that rattler two years ago, and you always walk me down the drive to catch the bus and wait for me to get home. Jesus loves His friends even more than that, Davy. He loved them so much that He prayed for them before He died to save them.” With that old Davy died.
Tears streamed down the boy’s face as he bowed his head and thanked the Lord for making dogs like Davy and for praying for boys like himself.
Yes, my friend, Jesus loves you so much He prayed for you even before you were born.
Author – W.A. Dillard
AND THEY KNEW NOT. . .
“ For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matt. 24:38, 39.
The Divine description of life in the antediluvian world may cause one to ask, “Just what is wrong with what they were doing? It is not still just fine to eat, and to drink, and to marry and give in marriage?” It depends on what is understood by the statement. If those things were done in moderation, and in accord with the will of the Heavenly Father, then there was indeed no wrong done by those deeds. On the other hand if these were the driving forces of life, they speak of a sensual, epicurean society that did not eat to live, but lived to eat, drink, and gratify wanton lusts. The deciding clue comes from the rest of that description, “….And knew not until the flood came and took them all away…” This underscores the driving force of life then as sensual continuously. They had neither regard for God nor any sense of accountability to Him. When people persist in debauchery, they exclude God from their thinking. Life then degenerates to the lowest level of “me only.” When that determination persists, God gives people over to a reprobate mind to do those things that and not convenient, but rotten, filthy, and without compassion. So, they continued on in a degenerate lifestyle which they must have thought would never end. And the flood came and took them all away, except the righteous man Noah and his family.
Jesus’ description of that time was given as a warning sign that the world would degenerate into that same condition as the time of His coming approached. Let the reader pause and read again the first chapter of the book of Romans. Certainly, this is a description of the dark side of civilization in Paul’s day. But that was nearly 2000 years ago. The kind of folks he described were the same kind as those before the flood. Moreover, this type of humanity has multiplied exponentially during the last two millenniums. On the American scene, at least, this has become considered normal and acceptable. It is not that warnings have escaped the scope of their knowledge; rather it is that they refuse to believe them and so discount them altogether. What can be done? Keep sounding the alarm! This evil world system is going down, and all with it who love it. But there may be one here or there who will hear. Still, for the most part it shall be repeated, “And they knew not . . . “ So soon shall the Lord appear and the corrupters of men will cry for the rocks and mountains to fall upon them to hide them from the face of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.” Rev. 6:16
The most often-used Hebrew word for love in the OT is ’āhaḇ (H157), which speaks generally of desire, affection, or inclination, “a strong emotional attachment to and desire either to possess or to be in the presence of the object.” ’āhaḇ has an extremely wide range of meanings, so wide, in fact, that its some 250 occurrences cover just about everything from “God’s infinite affection for his people to the carnal appetites of a lazy glutton.”
Unlike the Greek words philos (G5384, “esteem, tender affection”) and agapē (G26, “selfless, sacrificial love”), which differentiate kinds of love, Hebrew does not do this quite as clearly. While other words do show somewhat differing ideas—dôḏ (H1730), for example, speaks strongly of sexual affection (Pro_7:18; Son_1:2; Son_1:4; Son_7:12)—for the most part Hebrew words for love are general.
Like the word faith, therefore, the real crux of love (’āhaḇ) lies in its object. A man can love “pleasure” and “wine,” for example, but these will bring him to poverty (Pro_21:17). Likewise, it can refer to sexual lust, as Absalom had for his sister Tamar (2Sa_13:1). The prophets spoke of the wrong object of love when God’s people committed spiritual adultery with pagan gods (Jer_22:20; Jer_22:22; Eze_16:36; Eze_23:5; Hos_2:5-13).
On the positive side, examples of good love and affection include: a father for his son, such as Abraham had for Isaac (Gen_22:2); a husband for his wife, such as Elkanah’s love for Hannah (1Sa_1:5); and one friend for another, as was true of David and Jonathan (1Sa_20:17). Certainly one of the greatest objects of love in our lives should be wisdom: “Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee” (Pro_4:6). Another is truth coupled with peace (Zec_8:19).
Still another, and most notably, is God’s Word. ’Āhaḇ appears no less than twelve times in Psalms 119 to demonstrate the psalmist’s love for the Word (Psa_119:140). It was his “meditation all the day” (Psa_119:97) because he loved its commandments (Psa_119:47-48; Psa_119:127), law (Psa_119:97; Psa_119:113; Psa_119:163; Psa_119:165), testimonies (Psa_119:119; Psa_119:167), and precepts (Psa_119:159). We should also interject that He loved God’s name (Psa_119:132).
This should encourage us to be conscious of the objects of our love.
Scriptures for Study: What are the objects of love (positive or negative) in the following verses: Psa_4:2; Psa_11:5; Psa_26:8; Psa_40:16; Pro_22:11?
A husband and wife team
1834 – On this day Justus and Calista (Holman) Vinton were married. They met at the Hamilton Bible Institute at Hamilton, NY where they had both gone to prepare themselves for the service of Christ. Justus had been born on Feb. 17, 1806, in Wilmington, CT. He received Christ at age ten and called to preach at fourteen, and in 1826 he entered the Bible Institute in Hamilton, NY. Calista was born on April 9, 1807 and at 16 she contracted an illness and was near death. She requested to be baptized before she died, so they put her on a sleigh and took her to the river on a cold day in March and Pastor Grow baptized her. From that day on she began to recover. They sailed for Burma in July arriving in Maulmain in December. Vinton conducted services on board the ship and led the captain, the steward and a number of the sailors to Christ. Having studied the Karen language in school, the Vinton’s immediately began to evangelize among the Karens from village to village, which they continued for the next twenty-five years. They took a furlough in 1848 to allow for Mrs. Vinton’s health and to give Mr. Vinton an opportunity to stimulate the mission cause, which he did. After they returned to the field, war broke out and a Burmese evangelist in Rangoon asked them to come to assist the work there. The mission directors back home disagreed so Vinton resigned. Through great privations they saw unusual results. In one 20 month period Vinton baptized 441 converts. Vinton died in 1858 with jungle fever.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, pp. 144.
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1773 – Today in This Day in Baptist History Past, we again celebrate the life of our entry of March 9, Edmund Botsford, who was ordained into the gospel ministry by Rev. Oliver Hart, Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Charleston, S.C. on this date. The event took place in Savannah, Georgia and the sermon text was from I Tim. 4:16 – Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. In the area of Georgia where Mr. Botsford ministered the people were a mixed multitude of emigrants from many different places; most of whom were destitute of any type of religion. Those who were religious were zealous Lutherans and other styles of church men who were violently opposed to Baptists. On one occasion he preached at the courthouse and he seemed to have the hearer’s attention when someone yelled “the rum is come.” The crowd diminished and by the time the dust settled, so to speak, the crowd had thinned and many of his hearers were intoxicated and fighting. An old gentlemen came up to him, took his horse by the bridle, bragged on his sermon and invited him to drink with him, which Botsford declined. But in that the old man invited him to come and preach, and it was accepted, Botsford went and had great success when the old man’s sons and wife received Christ. During the last fifteen years of his life Botsford suffered from a nerve disease in one side of his head that would actually cause him to go into a cataclysmic state sometimes upward of a minute and a half, and then when he would come out of it he would assume preaching. The audience was aware of an unusual presence of God in his life.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, pp. 104.
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IT’S STILL ALL ABOUT ME!
The Kind of Christian I Am!
Some folks believe that trusting Jesus, and becoming His disciple is surrendering life and its potential to a static life of religion. Oh, how the devil delights in spreading that lie! The truth is that in Christ, nothing is lost but the condemnation of sin, and the new life in Him is continuous gain upon gain. Joyfully, in Christ, life is still all about me, but in a much better way! Think with me about this.
Why did God leave heaven and become a man? It was to fulfill the types and promises of the Old Testament, and to pay the penalty of sins on behalf of mankind. He did this for me! You see, it really is all about me!
Why did He provide an everlasting salvation for all who repent of sins and trust Him as the personal Savior, especially me? Oh, yes, it is all about me!
Why did He create the living organism known as His body, the church? He did it that I might learn of Him, grow in grace and knowledge. Yes, it is all about me!
Did He not promise His dear children new life, and a new, incorruptible body, even me? Oh, yes! It is about me!
Does He not give us the opportunity to mature in the faith once delivered to the saints? Will that not qualify us to rule and reign with Him in the age that is about to happen? Does this include me? Indeed! It is all about me!
He will show me how an entire universe may be destroyed and return to the unseen state? I will see how creation is done. Because once resurrected I will ever be with the Lord, I will have a bird’s eye view of the creation of new heavens and a new earth! Hallelujah, it is all about me!
Who then will get to live in the New Jerusalem on the new earth, but his disciples of every age? That includes me! It is indeed all about me! Who then has the joy of studying, praying, coalescing the rightly divided Word that takes one from mountaintop to mountaintop? Among others, it is I! Thank the Lord it really is about me!
Dear reader this is for you, too, because of God’s love. I claim all these blessings for myself within the constraints of the Blessed Word of God because that is the kind of Christian I am!
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin,” Hebrews 4:15.
He Sympathizes with Your Hurts
One reason it is so important to tell others about Jesus is that no other religion in the world has a God who cares about them. In most religions, Buddhism, B’Hai, Islam, Hindu and others, teach doing good works to gain points or merits. They have an image or god who is uncaring, unfeeling and dead. Furthermore, other religions teach humanistic ways to make this condemned and corrupted world a better place to live, but it is not working.
As Christians, we need to spread the good news of the gospel, and the Savior of the gospel. Jesus is the Savior who loves us immensely and is touched by our physical hurts and emotional disappointments. He came to earth and for thirty-three years was the God-man known to us as the Son of Man. Jesus both sympathizes and empathizes with us. Because of this, we can go boldly to the throne of grace in prayer, and He intercedes for us, petitioning God on our behalf. Verse 16 teaches we do not depend on our merits but on the perfect merits of Jesus Christ. Praise the Lord!
Go to Jesus with your hurts, disappointments, needs and worries. He is the friend who will lift you before the throne of grace.
An Exciting Missionary Adventure
The die was cast on April 25, 1844, when Richard Fuller, prominent pastor from Charleston, South Carolina, presented a resolution at the Triennial Convention to restrict its action to missions and not to become involved in the problem of slavery. From 1814 until 1845, missionary efforts had been primarily made through the Triennial Convention, but in 1845 the split between North and South occurred. However, Baptist associations in various states had formed small, independent mission agencies as well. Richard Henry Stone, born in Culpeper county, Virginia on July 17, 1837, he was sent as a missionary by a Georgia association to serve the Lord in Africa. He united with the Salem Baptist church in Culpeper County and answered the call of the Baptists in Georgia for a missionary to Africa, he and his wife Susan sailed out of Baltimore on November 4. They were three months on the journey, and landed at Lagos. They disciplined themselves to learn the Ijayte language, but with failing health, the couple was forced to return to the States. Mr. Stone then joined the confederate army, and served as a chaplain with the 49th Georgia, Benning’s Brigade. In 1867, with the completion of the war, Mr. Stone returned to Africa and Lagos for two years. The last twenty years of Mr. Stone’s life were spent in Virginia and Kentucky where he supported his family by teaching. Mr. stone died on October 7, 1894, and he was buried in the Fairview Cemetery in Culpeper.
Dr. Dale R. Hart adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins) p.p. 239 – 241
Liberty equals peace equals churches
1644 – William Penn, son of Admiral William Penn of England was born. In early life he embraced the tenets of the Quaker religion, and in 1666 was imprisoned in Cork, Ireland for practicing his faith. In 1668 he was put in the Tower prison in London and again in 1671 he was incarcerated in the Newgate Prison for six months for his outspoken faith. Following that he accepted in full payment for all obligations from the British Crown a great territory in North America called “Pennsylvania”, and on March 4, 1661 Charles II gave him the charter. Penn established a free colony for his Quaker brethren and in 1682, along with many emigrants, sailed for America. It was Penn who laid out the city of Philadelphia, and for two years, before returning to Great Britain he governed wisely, giving full religious freedom to all of the inhabitants of the colony. Several Baptists from England, Wales, and Ireland were among the first settlers. Thomas Dungan, who had fled Ireland because of severe persecution, had sailed to Newport, Rhode Island, to enjoy soul liberty and after several years, in 1684, hearing that a new colony had opened, migrated with a few others to Bucks County, near Philadelphia, and formed a Baptist church, along with a cemetery. Elias Keach, son of the famed English pastor Benjamin Keach, and one of Dungan’s converts referred to him as, “an ancient disciple and teacher among the Baptists.” Dungan finished his course in 1688 and passed the mantle on to Elias who founded the Pennepek church which, subsequently, became the foundation for all of the Baptist work throughout the colony. [William Cathcart, The Baptist Encyclopedia (Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1881), 1:350. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 563-64] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
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FEMA roots started sixty-years ago
1961 – David L. Cummins was pastoring in an industrial suburb of Detroit, MI when he was severely tested as to whether he would stand on his Baptist convictions, or compromise over what many would consider an insignificant issue. Those days were the height of the “cold” war between the U.S. and Russia when the media and movies were warning of the fall-out from a nuclear attack. Many citizens were building bomb shelters in their back yards and equipping them in case of an atomic attack. Against that background, Pastor Cummins was asked by the city officials to represent the community in a government sponsored training school, geared to train religious leaders in preparation for a possible nuclear attack by the Soviet Union. He consented and attended such a training session in classes daily, at Sheepshead Bay, NY, with about forty other clergymen for a week. On one occasion, after an attack, a young lady asked the pastors to give the “last rites” to her dying child. The instructor asked for a show of hands those who would be willing to do so. Cummins was the lone dissenter claiming the time honored Baptist doctrine of “soul liberty.” From then on he was ostracized by the others. This is the kind of treatment that preachers can expect, who refuse to go into the world religious system that will include all religions. [This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 521-23]