Tag Archives: worship

LEFT THY FIRST LOVE!


LEFT THY FIRST LOVE!

William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person

The church of the Living God at Ephesus played a prominent part in the initial spread of Christianity as well as in the makeup of the New Testament. The book that bears its name features some of the best loved verses in the Bible.
The church was born in an idol worshipping city, creating significant, violent protests, yet it was a tremendous work of the Apostle Paul, who went out of his way to pay it one last visit near the end of his free ministry. It was also home to the ministry of Aquila and Priscilla, and a preaching station of glib Apollos.
It was this writer’s delight to visit the ruins of the ancient city which still bears ample evidence of its early prominence, including remains of winding streets, shops, libraries, homes, and huge storage facilities of grain. There are also remains of city laws engraved in stone in prominent places. Indeed the ancient amphitheater that hosted a protest crowd of some 50,000 in the days of Paul is there together with remains of an ancient church house and deep water baptistery. There are also prominent brothels, speaking to the sensuality of the idol worship so prominent, water cooled houses, epicurean regurgitation stations, and other indicators of material excesses of the day.
Again, the church is directly addressed in Revelation chapter two. The underscored criticism of it is that they had left their first love. Commentators, and other theologians have conjectured just what that means, and often skewed it to their own thinking more than to contextual evidence.
It is abundantly clear that the church, and indeed the entire city suffered from devastation of disease and earthquakes, yet the ruins of what once was remains. Evidence abounds that what happened to the church at Ephesus is what continues to happen to churches throughout the age: they left their first love, and their candlestick was removed, even though they may have continued to operate religiously for a time. What is that first love? The same that we all have. It is love for the God of the Word, of whom we want to know more from our spiritual birth onward. Carnality often deals that a mortal blow. Do you love the Word more than this material world? How much time do you spend with it?

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JANUARY 26 – A HOLY PLACE


JANUARY 26 – A HOLY PLACE

Joshua 5:13 – 15 – And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?

14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?

15 And the captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.

You are in the presence of God. This is a Holy Place. Take the shoes off your feet. This is the second time we have heard this. Moses was told the same thing. Why did Joshua fall on his face? He had just challenged God’s messenger. Joshua had a reverential fear of God and thereby Gods messenger. Joshua had served Moses and shown respect for the man that God has chosen as leader of the nation of Israel. Through this relationship he learned to truly reverence God. Some today are so nonchalant about their relationship that they refer to God as the man upstairs. This is disrespectful. I do not believe that people truly understand the Holiness of God.

Joshua was ready for a message. The mere presence of Gods messenger caused Joshua to look forward to a message from God. How often do we come in the presence of God and say preach to me the Word of God. People are the same as they were in years gone by. Study church history and you find that in the 1700s wicked men came to a preaching service with every intent to break it up. They would bring items to throw at the preacher. Rocks, rotten tomatoes and other items were used. If that did not break up the preaching, they would attack the preacher and beat him with fists. They did not want to hear Gods Word. Today, we have those that claim they have been born again, yet do not want to hear Gods Word.

Strong preaching against sin is not popular today. Preachers are not attacked with tomatoes, eggs and fists. Yet the attack is still there with ridicule, character assasination and innuendo. These days preachers are modifying messages to make them appealing. Samuel, under the direction of Eli, told Eli all that God had revealed to him, even the death of his two sons because of their wickedness. Eli replied, it is the Lord: let Him do what seemeth Him good. God spoke and Eli accepted. Services are being changed to make them more appealing.

Let me give you my thought. The gospel preached and sin condemned, and the Holy Spirit convicting is enough so that you could hold the service under a shade tree and that be acceptable. There is a holiness about worship and being in the presence of God. If our worship is acceptable to God, we never have to proclaim, “the Holy Spirit showed up today.” Every service should have the presence of the Holy Spirit if our worship is accepted.

Let us get ready for WORSHIP. Let us make our worship ACCEPTABLE TO GOD and not about our preference. Let us come into His presence with FEAR AND TREMBLING.

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JANUARY 17 – I did it my way.


JANUARY 17 – I did it my way.

Leviticus 10:1-3 – Not just any worship is accepted by God.

Nadab and Abihu decided to worship their way. It brought about their death. God had just laid out specific instructions that He expected His priests to observe. Nadab and Abihu were the sons of Israel’s priest, the nephews of Israel’s leader, the head of Israel’s princely elders. They had been with Moses and Aaron in the mount; they had looked upon the glorious vision of God as He appeared on Sinai; they had been chosen and consecrated to the priesthood; they had assisted Aaron in the first operations of the Hebrew ritual; and in all that camp of God’s chosen ones, Moses and Aaron alone had higher dignity than theirs. But, from the mount of vision they fell into the pit of destruction. They were accepted priests yesterday; they are disgraced victims of God’s holy indignation to-day.

We must understand that at this point, God had laid out each step to be observed in His worship. We have the examples of Nadab and Abihu. We also have David improperly moving the Ark and the death of one man. Saul also intruded into the office of the priest. If it is not God’s way, it is not accepted.

We are in the church age and some would say, that does not apply today. The Old Testament is our example and gives us principles that we need to be aware of. We no longer offer animal sacrifices but today according to Paul in Romans 12:1, we are the living sacrifice. We sacrifice unto God the way He wants us to.

How often do we hear, “God sees the inside” and thereby we consent to sinful acts of the flesh because in essence it does not matter how we live or talk or what we do because we claim that what is important is the heart of man. I concur that it is important that the blood of Christ cleanses man from sin. I believe it is important that the heart is clean and pure, Yet what is inward will be demonstrated outwardly. Read the book of Ephesians. We are to put off the old man and put on the new man where the inward change has change and cleaned up our mouth. Where our thoughts have been cleaned up. We don’t do the things we used to do.

Worship of God is not according to what pleases us. Some people want to worship God in their manner. We are very much in the me/I generation. It is a throw back to the 50’s and 60’s when Frank Sinatra sang, “I did it my way.” When someone points out some obvious scripture, the common mantra of shaming is thrown up; “judge not that ye be not judged.” Another accusation that is used as a hammer to try and bludgeon people into submission is; “you are a legalist.” This is a complete and total redefinition of the word. Paul knew what a legalist is. Some one that added works to the free gift of salvation. Jews that followed Paul and told new those saved by Grace that they had to be circumcised. A “legalist” is not one that wants to continually apply the Word of God to their life so that every day they are continuing to conform to the Word. Shame on those that try to destroy those that would live a life conforming more to God’s Word everyday.

God has set the standard. There are those that will not study enough to find out what pleases God. They are self-willed people. They do not heed the instruction of God. In the 70’s in Peoria, Illinois, some enterprising person decided to start a club for christians. The though was that people loved to go to bars and taverns so this club was set up just like a bar. There was no alcohol but the lights were turned down low. Soft music was playing. There were intimate settings for couples. There was a dark dance floor. This club failed. The doors were closed. To me, this proved that the Biblical admonition was correct, “they loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.” True christians do not want to be in a situation where emotions and lusts are aroused. Those that prefer that atmosphere also prefer alcohol to be involved so that inhibitions are released and inappropriate behavior have a skin of a reason. “I was drunk.”

The saddest part of this is that we now some churches practicing the darkness over light. Music has become the draw, doing it my way. Enticement instead of confiction bringing them in instead of “going” as the Great Commission says. Then we see the response; “bring them in by what ever means and what ever works.” We make them comfortable in a worldly atmosphere. There is a tendency to not delve deeply into God’s Word and simply make them “bottle babies” where Paul says we need to go on from the “milk of the word” and eat meat, and Paul never encouraged any one to stay as “bottle babies.” Meme’s, platitudes, and incomplete phrases and sayings have never driven anyone deeper in the knowledge of God and His Word. Today in some Baptist Churchs there is less concern about truth and feelings are emphasized above truth and music above the preaching of the Word.

Now the situation is that worship is all about me and not God approved or God accepted. Yes, no fire will consume you, but that doesn’t mean it is God approved.

My purpose here and your purpose here should be worship God “in spirit and in truth” and be accepted by God. God calls for obedience.

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My Church?


by Dale – From a Pastor’s Heart

While visiting family in Kentucky last week, I passed a storefront church with a catchy name . . . My Church.  Of course, my warped sense of humor made me think, “What a cool play on words for church outreach?”  And then, I heard the following conversation in my head:

Church Member: “How about visiting My Church this Sunday?”

Neighbor:  “What’s the name of your church?”

Church Member:  “My Church.”

Neighbor: “Yes, your church.  What’s it name?”

Church Member:  ‘My Church.”

And this could go on and on like an old Abbott & Costello routine entitled Who’s On First?

Seriously, the name caused me to do some thinking about church.  Jesus said, “Upon this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).  What’s the difference between Jesus’ “My Church “and . . . my church.

Jesus’ My Church

  1. Christ is the issue, the motive, the celebrity, the subject, the preeminent One, and the name that matters (Colossians 1:15-19; 1 Corinthians 1:29-31).

  2. Christ is the architect, the builder, the model, and the planner (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 4:11-16).

  3. Christ builds His Church with broken, sinful lives (Acts 16:12-34) who are eternally changed for God’s glory (2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Thessalonians 1:5-10).

  4. Christ offers forgiveness (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14), reconciliation (Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:18), redemption (1 Corinthians 1:29-31; Ephesians 1:3, 7), adoption (Romans 8:15, 23), righteousness (Romans 3:21-26), and acceptance to all sinners on His merit alone (Ephesians 1:6).

  5. Christ fits every one into His body (1 Corinthians 12:18; Ephesians 2:21; 4:16).

  6. Christ is Who and What unifies His Church (1 Corinthians 3:11; 12:12-18; Ephesians 1:3-14).

  7. Christ’s Word is the Operations Manual for the Church (Acts 2:42; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 4:2).

  8. Christ’s church answers and handles all personal matters by obedience to the Word (Matthew 18:15-20).

  9. Christ is the “face” of His Church (Ephesians 5:22-27).

 My church

  1. My church promotes man, his struggles, his failures, his sins, his illnesses, and his pride.

  2. My church is built around what I believe the church should be and look like.

  3. My church says, “Come as you are,” but let’s you stay as you are.

  4. My church offers a temporal fix, a warm, fuzzy small group, and/or man-centered solutions.

  5. My church fits me and what I like; what makes me feel good.

  6. My church is unified around my music style, my dress code, my service times, my schedule, my selfish theology, my textual choice, and my perspective/assumptions.

  7. My church is entertainment driven, perhaps constitution over the Bible motivated, board-run, and man-feared.

  8. My church reacts to personal matters by anger, bitterness, gossip, and church-hopping.

  9. My church’s “face” is the pastor, deacons, the person (pastor, deacon, church member) who hurt me or disappointed me, and the denomination.

So, now I must look at the church I serve and ask, “Is this Christ’s church or my church?”  Look at the church you attend.  Is it really Christ’s church or your church?

Let me add, I know very little about My Church in Kentucky, and this article is not about them. It could be if any of these nine things fits them, but I am not out to target them. I will say this, on their website I read these words, “Make My Church your church.”  I think I understand their motive, but only you can make My Church into my church (your church).  Only Christ can make His Church, His Church.  I’ll choose the latter. . . and by His grace, make that the goal.

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John Adams – first U.S. President in the White House


John Adams – first U.S. President in the White House

White House 1846American Minute with Bill Federer

On NOVEMBER 1, 1800, John Adams became the first U.S. President to move into the White House.

The following day he wrote a letter to his wife, Abigail, in which he composed a beautiful prayer.

A portion of John Adams’ prayer was inscribed on the mantlepiece in the State Dining Room by President Franklin D. Roosevelt:

“I pray Heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof.”

Beginning with Thomas Jefferson and continuing till after the Civil War, church services, attended by sitting Presidents, where held each Sunday in the U.S. Capitol House Chamber, with attendance reaching over 2,000, making it the largest Protestant Sabbath audience in the nation.

After the White House was finished being built, the next building constructed on Lafayette Square was St. John’s Episcopal Church.

Nearly every President since James Madison worshiped there at least once, resulting in Pew 54 being designated for the First Family.

Other historic Washington, D.C. area churches include:

Christ Church in Alexandria, where President Washington attended;

National Presbyterian Church, where Truman attended;

New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, where attended Presidents:

William Henry Harrison, James K. Polk, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Benjamin Harrison, Dwight Eisenhower, and Richard Nixon, and where Senate Chaplain Peter Marshall was pastor from 1937-1949;

James Monroe donated toward the church bell of All Souls Church, which was attended by John Quincy Adams, and later William Howard Taft;

Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church was attended by William McKinley;

Holy Trinity Catholic Church, where John F. Kennedy attended.

In 1909, President Theodore Roosevelt, who was a member of the Dutch Reformed Church, stated:

“After a week on perplexing problems…it does so rest my soul to come into the house of The Lord and to sing and mean it, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty’…

(My) great joy and glory that, in occupying an exalted position in the nation, I am enabled, to preach the practical moralities of The Bible to my fellow-countrymen and to hold up Christ as the hope and Savior of the world.”


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 bookshere.

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Immigrants Not Taught Freedom Of Religion


Immigrants Not Taught Freedom Of Religion

schlafly 2 BY PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY

Liberals keep trying to sneak political correctness into America any way they can. We should not be surprised that they have targeted the study materials for the civics portion of the naturalization exam. Study materials have now changed references to our First Amendment Freedom of Religion with the weaker and more politically correct expression Freedom of Worship. While the difference may seem small, the implications are huge.

Even foreign dictatorships have no problem with offering their citizens Freedom of Worship. This is because Freedom of Worship implies only the freedom to express personal religious beliefs when your are inside your church after you have closed the door, or are within the confines of government-approved places of worship for government-approved meetings and events. This inaccurate and very limited view of religious liberty teaches that faith should be a private affair confined to designated areas. They want people to think that their freedom ends whenever they leave the four walls of their church. This certainly is not how our Founders envisioned the intrinsic constitutional rights of all Americans. Our American right to the Free Expression of Religion allows real freedom in choosing where and how we express our faith. Our First Amendment does not allow excessive government regulation about Freedom of Religion.

Unfortunately, the official study materials for the naturalization exam do not reflect this right as it is given in the Constitution. It is especially important that those preparing for and taking the U.S. naturalization exam have an accurate understanding of the foundational freedoms that they will enjoy as citizens of the United States. Many public schools are also starting to embrace this watered-down version of our most basic right, in order to indoctrinate the next generation with a distorted view of American government. It’s time to stand up to these attacks and make sure that our children know that our U.S. Constitution guarantees the fundamental right of Freedom of Religion.

 


We recommend Who Killed the American Family?


Contributing Editor, Phyllis Schlafly, is the Founder and President of Eagle Forum, a national radio show host, and a best-selling author.

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First Session of Continental Congress was opened with prayer


Continental Congress painting 01American Minute with Bill Federer

SEPTEMBER 7, 1774, the First Session of the Continental Congress was opened with prayer in Carpenter’s Hall, Philadelphia.

Threatened by the most powerful monarch in the world, Britain’s King George III, America’s founding fathers heard Rev. Jacob Duche’ begin by reading Psalm 35, the Anglican Book of Common Prayer’s “Psalter” for that day:

“Plead my cause, Oh, Lord, with them that strive with me, fight against them that fight against me. Take hold of buckler and shield, and rise up for my help.

Draw also the spear and the battle-axe to meet those who pursue me; Say to my soul, ‘I am your salvation.’ Let those be ashamed and dishonored who seek my life; Let those be turned back and humiliated who devise evil against me.”

Then Rev. Jacob Duche’ prayed:

“Be Thou present, O God of Wisdom, and direct the counsel of this Honorable Assembly; enable them to settle all things on the best and surest foundations; that the scene of blood may be speedily closed;

that Order, Harmony and Peace may be effectually restored, and that Truth and Justice, Religion and Piety, prevail and flourish among the people…

Preserve the health of their bodies, and the vigor of their minds, shower down on them, and the millions they here represent, such temporal Blessings as Thou seest expedient for them in this world, and crown them with everlasting Glory in the world to come.

All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Saviour, Amen.”

That same day, John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, describing the prayer:

“When the Congress met, Mr. Cushing made a motion that it should be opened with Prayer.

It was opposed by Mr. Jay of New York, and Mr. Rutledge of South Carolina because we were so divided in religious sentiments, some Episcopalians, some Quakers, some Anabaptists, some Presbyterians, and some Congregationalists, that we could not join in the same act of worship.

Samuel Adams

Mr. Samuel Adams arose and said that he was no bigot, and could hear a Prayer from any gentleman of Piety and virtue, who was at the same time a friend to his Country.

He was a stranger in Philadelphia, but had heard that Mr. Duche’ deserved that character and therefore he moved that Mr. Duche’, an Episcopal clergyman might be desired to read Prayers to Congress tomorrow morning.

The motion was seconded, and passed in the affirmative. Mr. Randolph, our president, vailed on Mr. Duche’, and received for answer, that if his health would permit, he certainly would…”

Adams continued:

“Accordingly, next morning Reverend Mr. Duche’ appeared with his clerk and in his pontificals, and read several prayers in the established form, and read the collect for the seventh day of September, which was the thirty-fifth Psalm.

You must remember, this was the next morning after we heard the horrible rumor of the cannonade of Boston.

I never saw a greater effect upon an audience. It seemed as if heaven had ordained that Psalm to be read on that morning.

After this, Mr. Duche’, unexpectedly to every body, struck out into an extemporary prayer, which filled the bosom of every man present. I must confess, I never heard a better prayer, or one so well pronounced.

Episcopalian as he is, Dr. Cooper himself never prayed with such fervor, such ardor, such earnestness and pathos, and in language so elegant and sublime, for America, for the Congress, for the province of Massachusetts Bay, and especially the town of Boston. It has had an excellent effect upon everybody here. I must beg you to read that Psalm.”

The Library of Congress printed on an historical placard of Carpenter’s Hall, Philadelphia:

“Washington was kneeling there with Henry, Randolph, Rutledge, Lee, and Jay, and by their side there stood, bowed in reverence the Puritan Patriots of New England…

‘It was enough’ says Mr. Adams, ‘to melt a heart of stone. I saw the tears gush into the eyes of the old, grave, Pacific Quakers of Philadelphia.’”

The Journals of Congress then recorded their appreciation to Rev. Mr. Duche’:

Wednesday, SEPTEMBER 7, 1774, 9 o’clock a.m. Agreeable to the resolve of yesterday, the meeting was opened with prayers by the Rev. Mr. Duche’.

Voted, That the thanks of Congress be given to Mr. Duche’…for performing divine Service, and for the excellent prayer, which he composed and delivered on the occasion.”

Rev. Jacob Duche’ exhorted Philadelphia’s soldiers, July 7, 1775:

“Considering myself under the twofold character of a minister of Jesus Christ, and a fellow-citizen…involved in the same public calamity with yourselves…

addressing myself to you as freemen…’Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty, wherewith Christ hath made us free’ (Galatians, ch. 5).”


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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Benjamin Franklin – an American Icon


Benjamin_Franklin_engravingAmerican Minute with Bill Federer

On JULY 26, 1775, Benjamin Franklin became the first Postmaster General of the United States, a position he held under the British Crown before the Revolution.

Franklin’s public career began when he organized Pennsylvania’s first volunteer militia during threaten attacks from Spanish and French ships.

He then proposed a General Fast, which was approved by the Colony’s Council and printed in his Pennsylvania Gazette, December 12, 1747:

“As the calamities of a bloody War…seem every year more nearly to approach us…there is just reason to fear that unless we humble ourselves before the Lord & amend our Ways, we may be chastized with yet heavier Judgments,

We have, therefore, thought fit…to appoint…a Day of Fasting & Prayer, exhorting all, both Ministers & People, to observe the same with becoming seriousness & attention, & to join with one accord in the most humble & fervent Supplications;

That Almighty God would mercifully interpose and still the Rage of War among the Nations & put a stop to the effusion of Christian Blood.”

Franklin published evangelist George Whitefield’s sermons, thereby spreading The Great Awakening Revival.

He established a volunteer fire department, a circulating public library, an insurance company, a city police force, a night watch and a hospital.

He set up the lighting of city streets and was the first to suggest Daylight Savings Time. He invented bifocal glasses, the Franklin Stove, swim fins, the lightning rod, and coined the electrical terms “positive” and “negative.”

In 1754, Franklin wrote a pamphlet, “Information to Those Who Would Remove to America,” for Europeans interested in sending their youth to this land:

“Hence bad examples to youth are more rare in America, which must be a comfortable consideration to parents. To this may be truly added, that serious religion, under its various denominations, is not only tolerated, but respected and practised.

Atheism is unknown there; Infidelity rare and secret; so that persons may live to a great age in that country without having their piety shocked by meeting with either an Atheist or an Infidel.

And the Divine Being seems to have manifested his approbation of the mutual forbearance and kindness with which the different sects treat each other; by the remarkable prosperity with which he has been pleased to favor the whole country.”

On September 28, 1776, as President of Pennsylvania’s Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin signed the State’s first Constitution, “the most radically democratic Frame of Government the world had ever seen.

It stated:

“Government ought to be instituted…to enable the individuals…to enjoy their natural rights…which the Author of Existence has bestowed upon man; and whenever these great ends…are not obtained, the people have a right…to change it, and take such measures as to them may appear necessary to promote their safety and happiness…”

Pennsylvania’s Constitution continued:

“All men have a natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences…

Nor can any man, who acknowledges the being of a God, be justly deprived or abridged of any civil right…

No authority…shall in any case interfere with…the right of conscience in the free exercise of religious worship.”

Pennsylvania’s Constitution added:

“And each member…shall make…the following declaration, viz: I do believe in one God, the Creator and Governor of the Universe, the Rewarder of the good and the Punisher of the wicked. And I do acknowledge the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine Inspiration. And no further or other religious test shall ever hereafter be required.”

Pennsylvania’s Constitution had in Section 45:

“Laws for the encouragement of virtue, and prevention of vice and immorality, shall be…constantly kept in force…Religious societies…incorporated for the advancement of religion…shall be encouraged.”

At the end of the Revolutionary War, Franklin signed the Treaty of Paris, September 3, 1783, which began: “In the name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity…”

As Pennsylvania’s President (Governor), Ben Franklin hosted the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, where on June 28, 1787, he moved:

“That henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessing on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning.”

Franklin composed his epitaph:

“THE BODY of BENJAMIN FRANKLIN – Printer.
Like the cover of an old book,
Its contents torn out,
And stripped of its lettering and gilding,
Lies here, food for worms;
Yet the work itself shall not be lost,
For it will (as he believed) appear once more,
In a new, and more beautiful edition,
Corrected and amended By The AUTHOR.”

Franklin wrote April 17, 1787:

“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.

As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”


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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Walk Worthy of God  


 

 

Colossians 1:9-14

“Walk worthy of the Lord . . . Who hath delivered us . . . into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood,” Colossians 1:10-14.

 

The word worship comes from worthyship. God expects us to walk in such a way that He would not be ashamed to receive our worship (Mark 8:38).

In Paul’s ministry, there is an undertow of urgency and excitement in spite of reverses and persecution. He had reversed his priorities from the temporary pleasures of this world to focus on the things God has promised ahead. That attitude change affected his walk of life. “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18).

Jesus was Paul’s example of projecting the pain of life forward and walking on. “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds” (Heb. 12:1-3).

 

 

JUST SAYING

Keep your eyes on Jesus at the finish line. Keep on walking, even if you have to walk hurt. Better days are coming.

Robert Brock

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HEBREW – Tremble (1)


chārēḏ
In our study of the tabernacle, we referred to Isa_66:1-2 in passing, but there is a truth there that deeply affects this writer and that is well worth our serious consideration in light of our modern day: “Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.”
Does God demand magnificent structures, such as the breathtaking St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, to worship Him? Not according to Isaiah, who in this chapter continues his prophecy concerning the glorious future. He begins, however, by contrasting the attitude of the true and faithful servant of God with the apostate and worldly character of most of the nation. He declares that there are only two places where God dwells: first in heaven and second in the contrite heart of the person who trembles at His Word. God is not looking for a temple made of stone or sacrifices made without thought. He is concerned rather with what is in the heart, specifically, our attitude toward His Word.
Paul declared the same truth: “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Php_2:12). To our shame, we see little, if any, fear and trembling in our churches. Oh, we see much excitement, activity, and other user-oriented attitudes, but where is the trembling before God’s Word?
Trembleth is a translation of chārēḏ (H2730), “to shake,” from which are derived the ideas of trembling and fear. God told Gideon, for example, to limit the number of soldiers by observing who was afraid, which sent 22,000 back home (Jdg_7:3). In 1Sa_4:13, Eli sat “by the wayside watching: for his heart trembled for the ark of God,” because the Ark of the Covenant was in danger of being captured by the Philistines.
As we continue these thoughts in coming days, let us each ask ourselves, “Do I tremble before God’s Word? Do I have a deep reverence for God’s revelation and a fear in my heart of disobeying it?”
Scriptures for Study: Read the following verses, noting the emphasis on trembling at God’s Word: Ezr_9:4; Ezr_10:3; Psa_119:120.

 

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