LAGNIAPPE AND CHRYSTAL WEDDING OATS
William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person
“Lagniappe” is a French word pronounced (lan-yap) that is well known in pockets of French culture such as Louisiana. South Arkansas, Quebec, Canada, etc. It means “A little something extra” as a favor from a merchant to a customer or something thrown in for good measure. In the little community of my childhood, it was always a practice, and in some areas, it is a custom presently.
This recalls corporate practice in childhood as well. We did not purchase much at stores beyond absolute necessities, but when it came to breakfast food, washing detergents, and cow feed. four things determined choice. In breakfast cereals it was always Chrystal Wedding oats and Nabisco shredded wheat, because there was a nice crystal-like drinking glass in every box of the oats. These lined our shelves. In every box of washing detergent there was a nice, free dish cloth. These filled cabinet drawers. In cereal, I begged my parents to buy Nabisco Shredded Wheat. I hated the stuff, but there were illustrated “Straight Arrow” cards separating the wheat loafs that taught me how to build an Indian shelter out in the woods. Finally, in cow feed, every gingham type sack of 100 pounds of feed must be clean and not torn because we would be wearing it as a shirt from momma’s hands very soon.
“Lagniappe!” What a good and helpful practice it was to poor families recovering from the Great Depression. A little something extra to the primary purchase. It brings to mind, the great goodness of our Savior. He loves us so much that He died to save us, and all who call upon Him in repentance finds that gift of salvation in full power as it was at the beginning.
However, if that were not enough, it goes on and on from that initial gift. His spirit guides us and illuminates us to the marvelous truth of His Word, so that peace beyond understanding, promises that are staggering, and comprehension to the harmony, unity, and symmetry of His ingested Word renews the mind, and implants an insatiable desire to know more, and to receive their fulfillment. His gifts are “Lagniappe” forever and ever.
William Andrew Dillard
Sometime ago, I witnessed to a friend who at fourscore years of age is not long for this world. I have prayed for his salvation and told him so. He reply brought shuddering to my innermost being. He said, “I have not lived a bad life. I will take my chances.” This man is under the delusion that a chance may exist when in fact there are no chances. Jesus said, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” John 3:17-18. Jesus also said that he who comes to Him, He would in no wise cast out. So what is there to gain in a supposed chance? Where is the logic?
It is like a number of years ago, when a man was killed as he drove his car across a railroad track in front of an oncoming train. He lived long enough to answer a few questions: it went something like this.
Did the barrier arms lower? He said they did. Were the lights flashing? He said they were. Was the bell ringing? He said it was. Did the train have its headlamp on? He replied that it did. Did the engineer blow the whistle? He said he remembered hearing it. Did your brakes fail? He replied they did not. Did the throttle stick? He said it did not. Then came the inevitable question, “Why in the name of God did you try to cross the track?” His reply was, “I thought I could make it.” I THOUGHT I COULD MAKE IT??!! Why? What was there to gain? There certainly was much to lose as he found out.
There will be no one in heaven but those who have received the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. There will be no one in hell, but those who have refused to do so. Do not be a fool. Do not think you have a chance, because you don’t. Lights are flashing, bells ringing, and horns blowing, and you can’t make it! There is no chance! Open your heart to Jesus in repentance and faith. He paid the sin-debt for you. For every man, in every age, there is no other plan.
Signs this week:
Past-leave it to God,
There comes a time of ending.
A time of mourning the past is ended. – II Sam 11:27
Mercy given in the past – Rom 11:30
Forgiveness of sins given in the past. – Romans 3:25
There comes a time when our days are past. – Job 17:11
Eph 2:2, 3, 11
How often do we look back to refresh old hurts, defeats and disasters?
Present-Live it for God, – John 6:32-33
The work is given for today and not a future day. – John 4:35-38
Luke 11:3 – Our life is lived day by day.
Remember Zacchaeus? Luke 19:5 – Today, not tomorrow.
Luke 19:9 – Today is salvation
Luke 23:43 – Today some one is dying. Today some are going to heaven and others to hell.
What we do today can make an eternal difference in some one’s life.
Future-Entrust it to God – Matt 6:25; Matt 6:33,34
Also God is waiting for you.
What will it take for us to truly commit ourselves to the work of the Lord.
Yes the physical things need to be done.
Spiritual things of greater importance.
God bless you throughout the Year.
A missionary physician in one of China’s hospitals cured a man of cataracts. A few weeks later, forty-eight blind men came to him from one of Chia’s far corners, each holding a rope held in the hand of the man who had been cured. he had led them in this way, walking in a chain 250 miles to the hospital, that they too might be healed. Are we among those who can say “Once I was blind, but now I see?”
Jude 3, 4
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints,” Jude 3.
Jude begins this letter with the statement that he desired to write a letter concerning salvation, but something compelled him to send a warning first. Jude had to first warn the believers about the danger of false teachers among them. The salvation of the believers was not at risk, but the salvation of others was. There was also danger of the church being led astray. So, Jude instructed the believers to contend for the faith.
To contend simply means, “to compete and fight for something.” Jude was urging the people to put up a challenge to those who would seek to lead them away from God’s truths. He said that God has given this “faith” or truth once for all time. We have been given God’s Word. God has revealed to us His will and His truths. Now that we have the Scripture completed, there is no need of any additions or new revelations.
Even in our current day false teachers are trying to bring a new twist to biblical truths. There are those that seek to change the eternal truths to fit into today’s secular culture. Do not be fooled! Contend for the faith! Just as counterfeit “men of god” were creeping in and presenting false teaching in Jude’s day, they are still active in our day. Be ready to contend!
JUST A THOUGHT
What are some ways you are contending for the faith on a daily basis?
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,” Ephesians 1:13.
When does the truth become a lie? It becomes a lie as soon as something is added or taken away from the truth.
We have the completed Word of God. It is the Bible. Contained in the Bible and especially in the New Testament is the true way of salvation through Jesus Christ and Him only. To change any part of salvation is to change the truth into a lie. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to never add our personal philosophy or religious traditions to the gospel of salvation. It is what it is. Salvation is through Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, nothing added or taken away. Furthermore, salvation is a free gift that comes with multiple blessings.
Salvation, an extravagant gift from God, must first be accepted before it can be a blessing. Like a beautifully wrapped gift, it is layered with certain blessings, such as, being accompanied by the Holy Spirit who dwells in each believer. He resides in us to comfort us and intercedes in our prayers and groanings, sealing our souls forever., And, hallelujah, it does not depend on our good works! Salvation is a completed package when we believe in Jesus as our Savior. Our only responsibility is to believe. God is responsible for maintaining, that is sealing, redeeming and teaching (Rom. 8:35-39).
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom. 6:23).
Yesterday we considered the Valley of Achor (Joshua 7), the “valley of pain and trouble.” We conclude today by noting that not only does its history demonstrate how sin subtly overtakes us, but it also shows us sin’s results.
First, sin defeats us. As noted yesterday, Israel relied not on God but on her own understanding of the situation and so took only a small army of “about three thousand men” to Ai (Jos_7:4). The result of that attitude of self-sufficiency, along with Achan’s action of disobedience, was not only Israel’s defeat—her men “fled before the men of Ai” (Jos_7:4)—but also her disgrace, as the army of Ai “chased [her]” as she retreated (Jos_7:5; Jos_7:12). Indeed, sin destroys, dishonors, and debases us.
Second, sin hinders fellowship with God. As God Himself declared, “Neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you. Up, sanctify the people” (Jos_7:12-13). Accursed appears six times in Jos_7:11-15. The Hebrew is chērem (H2764), which speaks here of “devoted to destruction.” While Jericho itself was “accursed” (Jos_6:17-18), Israel had permitted that accursed thing to enter the camp, so God demanded that it be purged before she could know full fellowship again. While God “will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb_13:5), and while the true believer does not lose fellowship with God, since such fellowship is part of salvation (1Jn_1:3), fellowship and communion are certainly hindered by sin.
Third, even with confession, the results of sin remain. While Achan admitted his sin (Jos_7:20-21), he and his family were still put to death (Jos_7:23-25). While this might seem harsh to some today, it is a consistent principle. Even though God forgives us, the “wages of sin is death” (Rom_6:23), which is why Jesus had to die for sin. While God can certainly forgive, each sin can still have consequences.
Fourth, sin affects others. Achan’s sin affected his entire family (who were probably accomplices, see Deu_24:16), as he led them astray into sin. Even his innocent livestock and possessions were destroyed (Jos_7:24). One of Satan’s most effective lies is reflected in the often-used phrase, “My sin only affects me.” Families, churches, and entire nations are affected by the sin of individuals. Let us steer clear of the Valley of Achor.
Scriptures for Study: Read the following, noting what each says about sin: Jer_17:9-10; Jer_23:24; Amo_9:3. What is our provision for sin in those times it does overtake us (1Jn_1:9)?
“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; . . . with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation,” Isaiah 12:2, 3.
In his best moment, man is still a cup of dirt mixed with water. Add Jesus and man is a light bearer. Without Jesus, man realizes how vulnerable he is; therefore, he must search his entire lifetime for security and safety. Ecclesiastes 3:11 states, “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart.”
Jesus entered into the world offering eternity with the Creator, and man must choose. Shall I surrender that which I cannot keep to gain that which I cannot lose? The lost man made in God’s image wants to control his own destiny. He will do everything he can to create his eternity on earth. All the while, every evidence tells him nothing on earth is permanent. Isaiah 12:3 tells us to trust in Him and we can have joy drinking from the wells of salvation.
In his quest to determine his own destiny, lost man’s mind devised a system whereby he could believe that he created his own self as he struggled up the chain of evolution and, thus, eliminate the Creator or a system of justice by which he will be judged. In his confusion he has made himself very complicated. God simply says repent, believe, confess and ask and all the glories of Heaven are yours. Jesus does not just cause our salvation, He is our salvation.
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him (John3:36).
“He is the Rock; his work is perfect. For all His ways are judgment, a God of truth and without iniquity; just and right is he,” Deuteronomy 32:4.
From Genesis to Revelation God is represented as the Rock of our salvation, and man is represented as dust. In Daniel 2:34, 35, the rock is used to illustrate Christ’s return in judgment. The King of righteousness will rule the world with a rod of iron. The Prince of peace will have peace or else, and His kingdom will never end. God will cast the last stone, justice will prevail and the works of man will turn to dust.
In the desert, the rock or mountain was the only shade from the sun’s destruction. In the shadow of the mountain, David found rest from the battles of life and refreshing waters to quench his thirst. God brought water from the rock for His people in the wilderness, and Paul said that Rock was Christ. Jesus taught that when we build our house on the shifting sands of the world, it will fall. But, the house built on the solid Rock will stand the storms of life. We must all build on the solid Rock that will hold our lives together or we build in vain.
Even the biblical anchor was a huge boulder buried deeply on the beach. A forerunner was chosen from among the mariners to swim ashore with a rope and tie off the ship to the rock anchor. Then, the sailors could hold to the rope and make it to shore safely. Thank God for the forerunner who has gone before and tied us to the throne of God for safekeeping (Heb. 6:18-20).
He is the solid Rock compared to our dust running through the hour glass. Tie up and hang on—your little bark is in good hands.
Author – William Andrew Dillard
Parson To Person
God is so wonderful! He has done everything necessary for sinful men to be eternally saved spiritually, and to achieve salvation of the mind-life (proper maturity in understanding and employing biblical instructions) as His will is so plainly expressed in I Timothy 2:4, “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
Somewhere along the long line of history evangelism has taken on a new, but manmade, reduced meaning. Still, the true meaning of the term must be understood from the biblical presentation of it in action, and there is no shortage of that.
A few select instances are herewith cited. New Testament work is built upon repentance from sins in obedience to God, followed by receiving heaven’s authorized baptism. This was begun by John the Baptist, and placed in His church by Jesus Himself. All the disciples of Jesus received it, including our Lord Himself. From that point forward one may note the baptism of Cornelius (Acts 10); the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8); Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9); the Philippian jailer (Acts 16); the group improperly baptized (Acts 19), et., etc.
Deep water immersion of each professed believer was administered as the consistent biblical pattern for that time, and throughout the age. It is still God’s approved method of evangelism.
However, what is now largely assigned to the term “evangelism” is simply leading one to profess faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. At that point, the person is dropped to join whatever may exist under the broad banner of “Christianity.” whether such movement is scriptural or not or even if they do not practice baptism. This is the injection of man into the Word of God, and that is iniquity. It will not stand in the Day of Judgment. Some will be shocked to learn that they have been led astray, and others will be shocked that their “good” intentions were the source of leading others astray.
Folks, it should be known that “evangelism” is a Greek term that has been transliterated into English rather than translated. The translation of the term is “good news” or “good announcement” Contrary to what many want to believe, the good news or announcement is not simply that men can now be saved. That has been going on since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. Rather it is that lost men may continue to be saved, but now be added to the Lord’s church, the executor of the kingdom of heaven, and achieve a high degree of spiritual maturity under the tutorial leadership of the Holy Spirit given to it. Such will enable those so exercised to rule and to reign with Christ in the upcoming millennial reign. To short-change true, biblical evangelism is to cheat men out of this grand opportunity.