Tag Archives: word

HEAVEN ON MY MIND


HEAVEN ON MY MIND
Parson to Person

The Lyrics of a gospel song include the words: “I woke up this morning feeling fine; I woke up with heaven on my mind.” What an inseparable duo! They are cemented more securely than “love and marriage” or “horse and carriage.” When thoughts of heaven and of the Good Lord are founded solidly on the eternal Word, they become the substantiating of heaven on earth. How else could one feel then but fine, mighty fine! Think about it!
David described the blessed man as one who meditates in His law day and night, Psalm 1:2. That is feeling fine, mighty fine! When others dish out unfair treatment, instead of being discouraged, consider the marvelous meaning of the words in Psalm 119:78, “Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause but I will meditate in thy precepts.” This turns personal hurt and discouragement into feeling fine, mighty fine! When the forces and “friends” of this world bring pressure to think and walk perversely, remember Psalm 119: 15, “I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.” This severs a bad situation and leaves one feeling fine, might fine.
Some folks are comparable to a reed shaken by the wind. They bend and sway with whatever force is predominant at the time. Others are more comparable to a mighty tree, realizing that even though evil winds may not be stopped, one may, but the grace of God, stand strong and not bow down to them. It is incumbent upon every Christian to know who he is through identification with the person and words of the Lord, not by simple, blind acceptance of the tenants of a church where he may belong.
In the classic movie “Gone With The Wind,” Scarlett dealt with unpleasant or difficult situations by procrastination: “I won’t think about that today, I will think about that tomorrow.” That mindset can only make matters worse by creating a vacuum evil is eager to fill. By all means, take the initiative!
Taking the initiative then to be in control of spiritual and mental matters, one will find himself marching in cadence with the Pauline instructions that speak so pungently to this point. “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.” Now there is the subject matter having come full circle. With goodness and heaven on one’s mind, life is fine, mighty fine!

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Stand Firm  


 

2 Thessalonians 2:13-17

“Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle,” 2 Thessalonians 2:15.

The church in Thessalonica dealt with a lot. Much like other new churches that we see in the New Testament, the members were facing incredible challenges. They were threatened, persecuted and bombarded with false teaching. They knew what persecution was. They were experiencing the tremendous pressure to just quit. There were probably moments that these early believers wondered if it was all worth it.

In 2 Thessalonians 2:15, they are encouraged to “stand fast.” This is a plea to stand firm and stay strong, to persevere in spite of the difficulties they were facing. Why should they choose to keep at it? What could motivate them to continue their pursuit of Christlikeness in light of all that it could cost them? It is the truth of the gospel that we see in 2 Thessalonians 2:12-14 that gave them the reason to stand firm.

The gospel that saved us has to be our motivation to hold to the teachings of Christ. When we understand how deeply He loves us and what a sacrifice it took to redeem us, it should motivate us to want to serve Him. Our desire should be for His glory and not ours. This level of love and grace should drive us to stand firm.

 

 

JUST A THOUGHT

When you find it difficult to continue standing firm for God, just remind yourself of the gospel and the price Jesus paid for our salvation.

Nathan Rogers

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56 – February – 25 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

Baptists Publish the Word

 

1824 – THE FIRST BAPTIST PUBLISHING HOUSE IN AMERICA WAS FORMED IN THE EARLY 19TH CENTURY – On February 25, 1824, from a meeting in Washington, D.C., the “Baptist General Tract Society” was begun.  Luther Rice was elected Treasurer.  He was a partner of Adoniram and Ann Judson and had returned from the mission field to raise money to keep them on the mission field.  Early on Christian people had united in the effort to evangelize through Christian literature.  “The Evangelical Tract Society” was formed in Boston in 1811; the Philadelphia Sunday School and Adult School Union were organized in 1817, and the Baptists joined with other denominations in organizing the American Sunday School Union.  However Baptist leaders were not satisfied until they had their own publishing house to formulate Baptist ideas and doctrine which culminated in the organization mentioned above.  On April 30, 1840, in N.Y. City, representatives from 15 states voted to change the complexion and name to “The American Baptist Publication and Sunday School Society.”  From that time Baptists have been able to obtain distinctive Baptist literature to train their members.  The “Baptist Manual” was published consisting of a Doctrinal, Historical and Biographical series.

 

Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 77.

 

The post 56 – February – 25 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST appeared first on The Trumpet Online.

 

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HEBREW – Word


 

dāḇār [and] ‘imrāh

 

One of the most significant words used for Scripture, of course, is the term word, which actually is a translation of several Hebrew words. Today we examine two of the most important.

 

The first is dāḇār (H1697), which means a word or “speech” and is a general term for God’s revelation. The Ten Commandments are referred to in Exo_34:28 and Deu_10:4 using dāḇār, which we could translate as “the ten words” because they are exactly what God said. The passion of the Christian should not be the most entertaining speaker of the day or the latest self-help teacher. The believer’s passion should be, “God says . . .” Its first occurrence in Psalms 119, for example, is in Psa_119:9 : “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word,” a clear reference to God’s moral law being the one and only path to right living (February 14).

 

Another Hebrew word translated word is ’imrāh (H565), a derivative of ’āmar (H559). While the latter is found often, the former is a rare poetic word that appears more in Psalms 119 than everywhere else combined. It is more or less a synonym for dāḇār and simply emphasizes not just a concept or thought but the very words of God, and is often used in the phrase “the words of my mouth” (e.g., Psa_19:14; Pro_4:5; Pro_5:7; Pro_7:24; Pro_8:8). Another form (’ēmer; H561) is often translated with the Greek rhēma (G4487) in the Septuagint (e.g., Psa_78:1; Psa_138:4), which usually relates to individual words and utterances.

 

Turning once again to Psalms 119, the first occurrence of ’imrāh there is that wonderful verse, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psa_119:11). In a day when God’s words are more and more being replaced by concepts, or what is called “dynamic equivalence,” this word underscores that it is the individual words that are crucial. The same principle is underscored in Psa_12:6-7 : “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” Let us truly desire the words of Scripture.

 

Scriptures for Study: Read a few of the occurrences of ’imrāh in Psalms 119, noting the significance of each: Psa_119:50; Psa_119:67; Psa_119:76; Psa_119:103, and Psa_119:117.

 

 

 

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Thy Salvation


 

Luke 2:25-33

 

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation,” Luke 2:29, 30 

 

 

When Jesus was eight days old, Joseph and Mary brought Him to the Temple for the ceremony of circumcision, which officially placed Him under the Abrahamic Covenant, making Him a bona fide civil Jew. Also, He must be officially named and dedicated as the firstborn son. Simeon was justified and devout already, saved under the old Jewish Temple economy, but always by faith. He had believed that God was going to send a Savior. When he saw Jesus, God’s Spirit let him know that Jesus was the long awaited Savior who would be the glory of Israel and the Light to the Gentiles promised by Isaiah.

 

For all who look upon Jesus and trust His sacrifice on the cross as covering for their sins, God is pleased to give them His salvation as a gift, bought and paid for by His Son.

 

Just like Simeon, no human being is prepared to die in peace until he has seen, by faith, that Jesus is the Son of God, God’s Savior through sacrifice of His body, as the one and only Savior, who came to save men from eternal damnation in hell. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

 

 

Just Saying

 

God’s Christmas gift to the world grew up and completed God’s plan for our salvation.

 

Robert Brock

 

 

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Lot (2) Casting Lots


 

gôrāl

 

While no thinking person makes an important decision by “flipping a coin” or “rolling the dice,” that is actually what many do who depend upon subjective criteria such as feelings or urges. While lots were necessary in ancient times, God has provided us with no less than four tools for making decisions:

 

First, He has given us His Word. As noted yesterday, many verses tell us exactly, word-for-word, what God’s will is. This is always the starting point, and more times than not it is the only guideline we will need. I have heard some people say, for example, “I’m looking for a sign not to marry that unbeliever,” when God has stated categorically that a Christian should never do that (2Co_6:14 to 2Co_7:1). “[God’s] Word is a lamp unto [our] feet, and a light unto [our] path” (Psa_119:105), and it will show us each step we need to take and the decision we need to make.

 

Second, inseparably linked to His Word, God also gives us wisdom. We need only ask Him for it (Jas_1:5). Wisdom is the ability to make the right choices at the opportune times (March 22), and so it is the ability to apply God’s Word to any situation, even those not specifically addressed. Solomon is our example. Already having the written Law, he did not ask for more revelation, but asked God for discernment (March 25) to apply what he already had (1Ki_3:5-12). God answered that request, and the verses that follow illustrate how he used that gift (1Ki_3:16-28).

 

Third, God also allows us our wishes, if they are godly. Desire does have something to do with our decisions. The most important aspect of desire, of course, is found in Jas_4:3 : “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” Be sure your desire is not just lust, but a godly, biblical desire. With that established, what do you want to do? As David assures us, “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psa_37:4).

 

Fourth and finally, God also gives us warning. As the last “safety valve,” God provides us with the godly counsel of others. This can be a godly friend, a parent, or a pastor who might see something we don’t or might give encouragement we didn’t consider.

 

Scriptures for Study: Read the following verses for each of our four points: Word (Psa_119:89; Psa_119:97-100; Psa_119:129; Psa_119:30; 2Ti_3:16-17; 2Pe_1:3); wisdom (Pro_1:20-23; Pro_2:1-6); wishes (Ecc_9:9-17; Ecc_11:9); warning (Pro_12:15; Pro_15:22; Pro_19:20; Pro_27:9).

 

 

 

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Hebrew Word For Today – Soft Answer


 

SOFT ANSWER

 

raḵ ma‘aneh

 

Our focus today is Pro_15:1 : “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” First we must understand the two operative words.

 

Answerma‘aneh (H4617) appears only eight times but is derived from the root ‘ānāh (H6030), which appears about 320 times. We considered this root back on November 2, where we noted that it means “to answer or respond,” either verbally, as when Abraham answered God with words (Gen_18:27, first occurrence), or nonverbally, as when Israel proclaimed peace to a city to “make [the inhabitants] answer of peace,” in order to avoid a siege (Deu_20:10-12).

 

Soft is raḵ (H7390), which appears about fifteen times; on occasion it means “weak” (Gen_33:13; Deu_20:8; 2Sa_3:39), but it primarily means “gentle, soft, or tender.” When our pre-incarnate Lord visited Abraham, the latter ran into his herd and found a tender calf to prepare for a meal (Gen_18:7, first occurrence). The coming Messiah is called a tender twig of a cedar tree in Eze_17:22.

 

Turning now to our text, we should also briefly mention again the word wrath (chēmāh, September 9), which expresses the ideas of rage and heat. What, then, will turn away heat and anger in a conflict? An equally heated response certainly won’t do it. Neither will a harsh remark or “telling them off.” In either case, in fact, the rest of Pro_15:1 tells us what the result will be: “Grievous words stir up anger” (“grievous” is ‘eseḇ, H6089, “pain, hurt, toil”). Such responses will only make the situation worse.

 

Rather what Solomon counsels is the use of a soft answer, a calm response that consists of mild, gentle words that flow from a humble heart. Does this mean we never speak directly, or imply we should compromise truth? Certainly not. This is the very contrast Paul addresses in Eph_4:14-15; as serious as false teaching is, and must, therefore, be addressed, we still must “[speak] the truth in love.” While Paul wrote many strong, sometimes even scathing, rebukes to the believers in Corinth, for example, no one there could have accused him of being unkind or unloving.

 

So, as Gideon’s soft answer turned away the wrath of the Ephraimites (Jdg_8:1-3) and Abigail’s soft answer turned away David’s wrath (1Sa_25:21-33), let us offer the same when conflicts threaten.

 

Scriptures for Study: What else does Solomon counsel about the tongue in Pro_15:2-7?

 

 

 

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William Andrew Dillard – HEBREW HONEYCOMB AIR CONDITIONED CHRISTIANS


 

“And because iniquity shall abound , the love of many shall wax cold.” Matt. 24:12
The past few decades of vaunted progress have given Adam’s race no few creature comforts, not the least of which is air conditioning. It is almost a necessity in southern parts of the country where high temperatures and equally high humidity send all who are able scurrying to the cool indoors. Of course, a very large crowd of Christians will endure extreme heat, humidity, rain, etc. for hours at a sporting event, but would never subject themselves to a short worship service if the air is not conditioned for comfort. This underscores the point I am attempting to make.
In the Hebrew Old Testament, the common word for “cold” as in lower temperatures is “Qal.” Its Greek equivalent in the New Testament is “psucho” which specifically refers to a lowering of temperature by the process of blowing or evaporation; the same thing as modern air conditioning. Metaphorically, it denotes a cooling of love, zeal, desire for a thing, and names the responsible, causative agent: the abounding of iniquity. To be more specific, it is the individual reaction to the abundance of iniquity. What does this mean?
Iniquity is sin, to be sure, but a specific type of sin. The term means “no law” or “without law” and specifically to proceed in religious affairs not knowing, nor wanting to know, what the rules of God (His Word) teaches. In the vernacular it may be stated, “I know what I want to do, or believe, so don’t confuse me with the facts.”
It is sometimes difficult for New Testament church members to follow the plain teaching of the Word when others all around them make a loud claim to be Christian, but have little to no regard for the Word. Such cooling for God, His Word, His church is not a sudden turn of events, but a slow, consistent process. Discouragement pervades the psyche of the nominal Christian who is by virtue of spiritual immaturity, totally unsuited for pressure, ridicule, or persecution in any form. He then finds himself aligning more closely with the unfaithful and practitioners of iniquity: thus is he air conditioned, air conditioned, cooling, colder, cold! One need not be highly intelligent to identify this as a current, widespread reality, but though it is happening as Jesus said it would, one does not have to be identified among the “many” in that process.
Consider that “God reacts to man as man reacts to God!” is indeed a true statement. Hear the apostle James, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” There is much joy and excitement in witnessing this age come to a close. Doubtlessly, but though troublesome and sometimes most stressful, this is the grandest time to be a knowledgeable Christian on the planet, but you can’t see it if you have waxed cold.

 

 

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J.R. GRAVES LIFE, TIMES AND TEACHINGS 16


 

HIS WORD AND HIS WORKS

 

 

There was a degree of mental and physical energy in Dr. Graves which was possessed by few men. A prominent minister says: “I heard him preach three and one-half hours before the General Association at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in 1860, to a great congregation whose undivided attention he held to the last.”

 

 

The same untiring endurance and application marked his daily habits. He would read, make notes and prepare matter for whatever book he had on hand from early morning until noon. Then, after lunch, go to his office and attend to editorial business and return in the evening to write and revise his editorials or his book manuscripts on into the small hours of the night and sometimes until almost morning. From this constant labor, he would go to meet a list of appointments to preach or lecture, even in distant states, and speak for hours at a time to enthusiastic audiences, traveling many miles from one appointment to another, and then return to his desk to write night and day. Could this tremendous drive be borne for long? Could brain or body bear the constant strain? We shall see later that a stroke did come.

 

 

Dr. Graves had accumulated a very valuable and extensive library. He kept the historian, S.H. Orchard, of London England, on the constant lookout for important books to be found in the secondhand stores and bought them with reckless prodigality. When Dr. Graves died, he gave his library to me, along with the files of The Tennessee Baptist. The books were so valuable and so much exposed to danger of destruction in a pastor’s home that I placed these papers and books in the library of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary at Seminary Hill, Texas. There they may be consulted by any student, whether he be of the Seminary or not.

 

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The Faithful God


 

Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations” (Deuteronomy 7:9).

 

God will always keep His word.  He is “the faithful God.”  He is immutable (unchangeable).  Because He is the perfect God, He cannot change, nor can He ever lie. The writer of Hebrews reminds us that this truth should result in hope, like “an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast” (Hebrews 6:19).  The faithful promises of God keep us secure, like an anchor, during the storms of life.

 

You can count on the promises of God. They are true and will be fulfilled, just as He has said. As Moses wrote, God will keep His commandments, even to a thousand generations.  Most people believe that one generation is 20 years.  If that is so, God’s promises are good for at least 20,000 years! Now that is a guarantee worth believing!

 

God is faithful for a lifetime and throughout eternity.  Upon what promises of God are you building your life? Upon what word from our faithful God are you depending?

 

At times you may not be faithful, but you can depend on the faithful God!

 

Larry

 

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