April 28, 2019

Wonderful Words Of Life – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

“Your testimonies are wonderful; Therefore, my soul observes them. The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple. I opened my mouth wide and panted, For I longed for Your commandments.” (Psalm 119:129-131)
That which the Psalmist describes as wonderful, your “testimonies,” is translated by a number of different words; “rules” in the NET, “laws,” in the NLT, “decrees” in the NRSV, “statutes,” and in the NIV. It is a generic term describing God’s Word. David says it is wonderful.
Modern liberals often ridicule Bible-believing Christians as “bibliolaters.” They charge, “You worship the Bible.” Such accusations usually come when the accuser is shown to be in violation of scripture. But the fact is that it is not possible to place the Bible on too high a pedestal. David says it is “wonderful.”
Consider just how wonderful are the Scriptures. It’s truths were written in the heart of God even before the creation. “Forever, O LORD, your word is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89). Then, “He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways,” (Hebrews 1:1).

Finally it was complete, and the last of the prophets concluded it with an all-embracing warning: “if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book…” (Revelation 22:18-19). In other words, critics who tamper with the words of the Bible are facing disaster. The psalmist said: “The sum of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.” (Psalm 119:160). Jesus said: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). Eternal in the past; inviolable in the present; forever in the future! All we shall ever need for our guidance is to be found in God’s wonderful testimonies: “seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” (II Pet. 1:3) “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable. . . That the man of God may be perfect” (II Timothy 3:16-17).
You can have no higher view of God than you have toward His word. Therefore, contrary to the attitude of those chafing under His decrees, it is not possible to have too high a view of Scripture, You can have no higher view of God than you have toward His word. Therefore, contrary to the attitude of those chafing under His decrees, it is not possible to have too high a view of Scripture, “for thou hast magnified your word above all your name” (Psalm 138:2).
We need to imprint into our hearts the thoughts we sing in the hymn written by Phillip P. Bliss in 1874, “Wonder Words Of Life.”

Sing them over again to me,
wonderful words of life;
let me more of their beauty see,
wonderful words of life;
words of life and beauty,
teach me faith and duty:
Beautiful words, wonderful words,
wonderful words of life;
Beautiful words, wonderful words,
wonderful words of life.

Adapted from an article by Henry Morris.

April 21, 2019

Disturbed By The Name of Jesus – Ken Weliever

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

Several years ago Bill and Gloria Gaither wrote a short, simple but powerful song with these moving lyrics.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus; there’s just something about that name
Master, Savior, Jesus, like the fragrance after the rain;
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, let all Heaven and earth proclaim
Kings and kingdoms will all pass away
But there’s something about that name
Kings and kingdoms will all pass away
But there’s something about that name

Today the name of Jesus is controversial. People don’t like hearing anyone invoke Jesus’ name.I’ve personally been advised not to pray in Jesus name in some settings. Former Florida football star, Tim Tebow, was severely criticized for invoking the name of Jesus as his Lord and Savior. Ironically Chaplains in some states have been ordered not to speak of Jesus or pray in His name during their counseling periods.
When Franklin Graham released his book, The Name, he was accused of “bigotry” and engaging in “hate speech.”
Graham expressed his frustration in the book. “Tolerance has become the new watchword of our times. It is heralded as perhaps the highest virtue in Western culture that glues people of differing backgrounds and ideologies together for the sake of promoting cultural unity. We are told by the media and the government bureaucrats to be tolerant of everything and anything except the gospel of salvation, all in the name of political correctness.
“It seems almost ironic that Christians are not being tolerated by such a ‘tolerant’ society, Graham wrote, “So I admit I get frustrated and a bit defensive when I encounter intolerance toward the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
This reaction, however, is not new. The New Testament apostles experienced it in their preaching.
In Acts 4 the Sadducees found Peter and John preaching in the Temple. They were “greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead” (v. 2).
As a result they were arrested and brought before the Sanhedrin, the Jewish Supreme Court, to give account of their actions. Peter used this occasion to preach the gospel. Regarding Jesus, Peter concluded his sermon with these powerful words:
“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved’ (v. 12).
The apostles’ unflinching boldness, and courageous response confounded the religious leaders. After conferring with one another, they released Peter and John and “charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus” (v. 19).
Unfazed and unafraid, the apostles replied, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”
Those who did not believe Jesus was the Messiah and denied the resurrection were upset. Today the name of Jesus angers and irritates orthodox Jews and Muslims.Atheists, infidels and agnostics don’t like hearing the name of Jesus. The politically correct crowd tries to bully and shame us in not speaking Jesus’ name.
There’s just something about that name.
You see Bible believers affirm that Jesus was more than a mere man. He is Divine. He is the Christ. He is the Son of God. He has pre-existed from eternity with the Father. And is the Creator of Heaven and earth.
There are over 200 names, titles and designations for Jesus in the Bible. They each bear witness to Jesus’ greatness. His prominence. And His Preeminence. I am reminded of the statement of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The name of Jesus is not so much written as plowed in the history of the world.”
Jesus is the Lamb of God. The King of Kings. The Lord of Lords. The Head of the Church. The Light of the word. The Way. The Truth. And the Life.
Jesus is our High Priest. Our Mediator. And our Savior.
Never be ashamed of the name of Jesus. Pray to God in Jesus name. Proclaim it. Preach it. Praise it.
There’s just something about that name.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

April 14, 2019

Be Strong and Brave! – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

I Chronicles 28:20

“David said to his son Solomon: “Be strong and brave! Do it! Don’t be afraid and don’t panic! For the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not leave you or abandon you before all the work for the service of the LORD’s temple is finished.” NET
Through His spokesmen the prophets, God gave this command — to be strong brave — eleven times. The charge was found on the lips of Moses, five times in Joshua, then twice from David, and once from Hezekiah.
Each of these divine mandates focused on unique trials. Each clearly defined the response God required of His people when challenged by threating situations in a wide variety of circumstances. These numerous examples emphasize the divine principle: Challenging situations do not excuse. They teach us, they strengthen us, they urge us on more determined, unwavering service to God.
(Unfortunately, this valid, critical lesson is too often distorted to produce greater contentiousness. “Stand for the truth,” becomes code words for, “Split more churches.” We must learn the difference.)
The first occurrence of this divine command is delivered by Moses to the Israelites. The poignant scene of Moses’ death, just after he was allowed to view the unattained promised land, loomed just ahead. Israel was finally to enter the Promised Land, but Moses would not be leading them. They would face the giants without him. God’s instruction to them in that situation was…
“Be strong and courageous! Do not fear or tremble before them, for the LORD your God is the one who is going with you. He will not fail you or abandon you!” (Deuteronomy 31:6). In the next verse, Moses gave a similar exhortation to Joshua, their new leader.
The next-to-last occurrence is the text with which we began, quoted above. It expresses almost the same words of the first occurrence. This time David is exhorting Solomon to courageously move forward with the enormous responsibility, building God’s marvelous temple in Jerusalem. Whether finally entering the land that intimidated Israel and the unfaithful spies previously, or beginning God’s magnificent temple, God’s children should expect opposition and but must be strong and brave to carry it through.
The word “brave” often translated “courage” occurs more in Joshua than in any other book of the Bible. The specific requirement is given five times: three by God, once by the people to Joshua, and once by Joshua to the people. In all these passages, the context stresses doing what God says, regardless of the situation, especially in resistance to sin and pagan belief systems. Especially significant is God’s command:
“Make sure you are very strong and brave! Carefully obey all the law my servant Moses charged you to keep! Do not swerve from it to the right or to the left, so that you may be successful in all you do.” (Joshua 1:7).

Adapted from an article by Henry Morris