Monthly Archives: February 2014
1 Samuel 16:3-13
“But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart,” 1 Samuel 16:7.
When it was God’s timing for Israel to have a godly king, He sent Samuel to a man named Jesse to find and anoint the man God wanted to govern His people. To begin the search for the next king, Samuel started with Jesse’s son, Eliab, and Samuel thought, Surely he is the Lord’s anointed. According to Samuel’s own standards of kingship, Eliab must have fit the description. Immediately, however, God made it clear that Eliab had been rejected by Him. Jesse began bringing out his other sons, one after another, but each son was denied kingship by God. Finally, Samuel asked Jesse if all his sons were present, to which Jesse responded that his youngest son—David—was out keeping the sheep. When Jesse had David brought in to stand before Samuel, it became obvious that God had chosen him to be king.
What had they missed? Why were they off target so many times before David? It was not only because they were searching for a king that met their own human standards, but it was also because they had an inability to peer into the hearts of Jesse’s sons. The kind of people God uses to accomplish His will are people whose hearts are committed to His will. These may not be the best or the brightest according to worldly standards, but they are people who are chasing after God’s heart, like David
(1 Sam. 13:14).
JUST A THOUGHT
Will you chase after God’s heart today?
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.
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Having considered several synonyms for Scripture, nothing could be more appropriate than examining the second truth—God’s existence is the first—that Scripture declares: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen_1:1; also Isa_45:12). “Created” (or create) is the Hebrew bārā’ (H1254), a word that appears some fifty-three times and is used of God alone.
Unlike other words that speak of making something, bārā’ speaks of creating from nothing. The word yāsar (H3335), for example, means “to form, fashion, or shape,” as a potter makes a vessel (Isa_29:16) and as God made man from dust (Gen_2:7). Similarly, ‘āśāh (H6213) means “to do, to make, to accomplish,” as in constructing something with existing materials (Gen_13:4). There is also kûn (H3559), which means “to set up, to make firm, to establish,” as in founding a city (Hab_2:12). Amazingly, all four words appear together in Isa_45:18 : “God himself . . . formed [yāsar] the earth and made [‘āśāh] it; he hath established [kûn] it, he created [bārā’] it not in vain.”
Bārā’ is, therefore, unique. While the potter needs clay and the builder needs materials, God needs nothing. He merely speaks into existence whatever He chooses, as we repeatedly read “And God said” in Genesis 1. Further, God will also create the New Heavens and New Earth (Isa_65:17; Rev_21:1-5).
So in Genesis 1, we see the creation of all three basic elements of the physical universe: space (“heavens”), matter (“heavens and earth”), and time (“beginning”). God did it all, and any compromise with the idea of “millions of years” is a denial of God’s unique, finished work of Creation and is the result of the brainwashing of people’s minds by ungodly men.
Another particularly intriguing appearance of bārā’ occurs in Psa_51:10, where David, after his terrible sin, pleads, “Create in me a clean heart, O God.” We are reminded here of Eph_2:10, which declares that the believer is “created in Christ Jesus.” “Created” is ktizō (G2936), the word often used in the Septuagint to translate bārā’. God created the believer from nothing. Before Christ came into our lives, each of us was a worthless lump of clay, dead in trespasses and sins (Eph_2:1-3). But then God created us! And to what were we created? “Unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph_2:10).
Scriptures for Study: What is the purpose of God’s creation of man in Isa_43:7? What should be our response to that creation (Psa_148:5)?
PRIESTS, PRIEST, AND A TORN VEIL
In the organization of religious practice in the Old Testament there existed a moveable tabernacle, and later temple built on the same order. The two-room structure hosted an initial room known as the Holy Place. There was also a second room heavily veiled from the first. It was known as the Holy of Holies or The Most Holy Place. It was in this second room that the Ark of the Covenant was located. It was here that the high priest offered the blood of sacrificial animals for the sins of the people on Yom Kippur (day of atonement). It was here that a manifestation of Almighty God appeared from time to time. Busy priests ministered about the sacrifices of the people outside these structures and were admitted into the first room for specific purposes that had to do with the table of showbread, the altar of incense, and the candlestick. However, no one entered the Holy of Holies except the High Priest and that after specific preparation and for definite purpose at the appointed time.
Now these things are written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come, I Cor. 10:11. The Tabernacle and the Temple are no more, but they and their service are types and symbols of present realities that must not be overlooked or forgotten. The Old Testament priests are a type of New Testament priests which are bona fide, active church members, I Peter 2:5,9. The high priest of Israel is a type of our high priest, Who entered into the Holy of Holies in heaven with His own blood as a once-for-all offering for the sins of all who trust in Him, whereby He is able to save them the uttermost who come unto God by Him! Hebrews 7:25. But, as an high priest after the order of Melchisedek, rather than that of Aaron, He continues endlessly, the service of high priest in that He is at the right hand of God, making intercession for us, Romans 8:25, Heb. 7:25. Moreover, we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with our infirmities, Hebrews 4:15, but was tempted on all points as we are, yet without sin.
Upon the resurrection of our high priest from the tomb, the veil of the temple that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place was torn into two pieces, Matt. 27:51. The veil is no longer there to restrict New Testament priests from coming boldly before the throne of Grace with petitions for self and for others, and to find help in time of need. What a “hallelujah-type” privilege! The profound wonder of the age is that it is so little used. May God help us all to not be lazy, uncompassionate priests, but priests that are busier than the Old Testament priests ever were, serving, praying, teaching, ever learning, worshipping in spirit and in truth.
“Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole,” Acts 4:10.
“Dead man walking,” is the chilling phrase said in the movie The Green Mile whenever a death row inmate was making his last walk down the corridor to the chamber of death. This meant he was alive but dead. Presently, there are dead people walking around everyday. They are dead in their trespasses and sins. They, in truth, can be raised to new life—Jesus is their only hope.
The account of a crippled man healed in the name of Jesus begins in Acts chapter 3. The people should be happy with this outcome but some were not. They were jealous. They did not know the healer and what He could do for their own lives. There is no disputing that Jesus makes a difference in the lives of people He touches. Believers must be busy proclaiming His life giving, life changing salvation to men, women and children.
Troubled, broken sinners need the Savior to set them free and give them meaning and purpose to life. We must tell them about Jesus because He is the remedy for sin and death. We must point them to Him by our actions and words in our everyday life. We must show and tell them about Jesus—He is risen that all might have new life!
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).
He knew not retreat
1876 – George Grenfell, Congo’s Pioneer and Explorer, having just married, sailed with his new bride for Africa. Within a year she succumbed to dysentery, and sometime later George remarried his second wife Rose, who was able to travel with him on many of his most thrilling journeys. George had been reared in a very religious Anglican home in England but was influenced by a Baptist Sunday school at the Heneage Street Baptist Church at Birmingham. It was during this time that he read Livingstone’s Travels and dedicated himself for service in Africa. He then entered Bristol Baptist College in 1873, but learning that his missionary hero, Alfred Saker was in England, after connecting through correspondence, accompanied him to the Cameroons, beginning his work in Africa at twenty-five years of age. In August 1877, Henry M. Stanley, having been sent to find Livingstone, appeared at the mouth of the Congo, and the world was electrified in that it had taken him three years to go from the east to the west coast. Even though the Cameroons were six hundred miles north of the Congo River, Grenfel was immediately burdened to plant the message of the cross through this great waterway. In God’s providence, a wealthy man in England provided a ship to penetrate Central Africa with the gospel that was made available for Grenfell’s use. With untold sacrifices and privations he gave himself to the work. He buried his children in Africa and grieved continually over the deaths of his fellow missionaries. But he wrote, “God’s finger points ONWARD! FORWARD! What caused him the most pain was the indifference of the home churches to sending missionaries. When his mission agency considered receding, he wrote, “It is either advance or retreat; but if it is retreat, you must not count on me, I will not be a party to it, and you will have to go on without me.” Grenfell died on July 1, 1906.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 76.
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James Smith Coleman
Lutheran’s Bible meant immersion
1827 – James Smith Coleman was born on Feb. 23, 1827, and was saved as just a boy in his native Kentucky. He became known as the “Old War Horse” for good reason. He refused calls to large city churches preferring to stay in the country ministering as pastor-evangelist to the hill people. His great-grand parents had become Baptists when they came to America from Germany. After reading Lutheran’s translation of the scriptures, they knew that the Greek baptizo with the German “taufen,” meant immersion. James united with the Beaver Dam Baptist Church at age eleven, but at adulthood he forgot his call to preach and became county sheriff. At a revival meeting the Holy Spirit burdened his heart again, and he resigned as sheriff and began preaching the gospel with great power. His efforts produced converts every time he graced the pulpit. He was especially a great debater and often put the pedobaptists to flight with his oratory and effective humor.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 74.
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1 Corinthians 15:12-20
“And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain,” 1 Corinthians 15:14.
All over Southeast Asia are thousands of huge, tall monuments called Chedi. Buried deep inside these gold covered mounds of concrete and plaster is a tiny fragment of Buddha. One may contain a couple of hairs, another, a tiny piece of bone, minuscule pieces of a dead man who did good and promoted simple living. But any one of these monuments can be destroyed in an instant by a flood or earthquake, and the relic inside would blow away with the wind or wash away in a flood.
Praise God that Christ is risen from the dead! There are no golden monuments that contain bones or hair or any other portion of Jesus, not even a blood stain, for He ascended to Heaven with all His earthly body parts. There He lives waiting for the day when His Father tells Him to gather His children. And there He loves and cares and intercedes for all believers. Here, He lives inside the heart of every believer as a testament of life.
Perhaps, if Christ had not risen, we, too, would build monuments to honor His death. We too would worship a relic of His body. Worry not my friend—He is not dead—He is risen!
Our faith is not in vain, we are absolutely sure that we, too, will be raised from this earth to our heavenly home!