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OFFENDED OR BLESSED?


William Andrew Dillard
The Choice of Every Person
Her daughter was vexed with a devil. She was a gentile believer begging Jesus for help. Jesus, Who was sent but to the lost sheep of Israel said, “It is not appropriate to cast the children’s meat to dogs.” Wow! What a rebuff! In modern times this would be a significant cause for offense. Would this woman return home in a huff with a mouth streaming bad words about Jesus? Quite the opposite. Being outside of the covenant people of God, but understanding the power of Jesus, she would not be denied. Instead of becoming angry, she doubled down in humility. She replied, “Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
Jesus said, “O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt.” Her daughter was made whole immediately.
Sin within us is so offensive to God. The righteousness and mercy of God is so offensive to the sin nature within us. When the two meet, sin will be destroyed. Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken, but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will indeed grind him to powder. Luke 20:18.
So, it is so much better to be broken than to be ground into powder. Those are the only choices. To be offended is to choose the latter, to be blessed is to choose the former. The Canaanite woman would not be offended, she was blessed! So are all those who seek God in a repentant attitude. What about you, dear reader? Are you offended or blessed? Be as wise and as humble at that Canaanite woman!

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FEBRUARY 12 – LET ME


FEBRUARY 12 – LET ME

Ruth 2:7  And she said, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves: so she came, and hath continued even from the morning until now, that she tarried a little in the house. 

Let me work. Is this not what Ruth said here? Let me work. Ruth was looking to provide for her and Naomi. She is asking to be able to work. All too often one has to beg people to work. In our day and age and society, welfare comes to easy and too cheaply. When abundance is given without requirements of work, then people become lazy. Ruth was saying, let me sweat. Sweat equity is a saying that shows the value of something. It is worth sweating for. Ruth was not looking for a handout.

In our Churches today, this often is the problem. They consider they have done enough when they simply come to Church. They are often more concerned about what they can get than what they can give God. They are looking for gratification instead justification. They are looking for approval rather than worshiping God and giving unto Him what is His due.

We have members of our Churches that have great talent, yet do not use that talent for the Lord. The most hypocritical reason is, I don’t have time. So many abilities go to waste today. I am reminded of the time that the President of the Seminary I went to related a story. If memory serves me correct, the President was pastor of that Church. Every Sunday morning a dog would find its way into the Church building and would have to be chased out. At the invitation of a revival, an old man under conviction of service walked the aisle and said: pastor, I can’t read or write, I can’t teach, I don’t know what I can do but I am ready to serve. The pastor said you know that old dog that sneaks in every Sunday morning? Yes, sir, I do. You can get here early and be the doorman and keep that dog out. For the rest of that old man’s life, he was the first to Church and that old dog never got in again.

DO something for God. If you have the gift of gab, gab for God. If you can create and maintain the sound system, do it for God. If you can create web pages for the Church, do it for God. If you can mow grass, do it for God. If you can be a doorkeeper, DO IT FOR GOD.

1Cor. 10:31  Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

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ANOTHER FOREMAN’S FABLE


ANOTHER FOREMAN’S FABLE

Parson to Person

William Andrew Dillard

The appearances and effects of sin in human life are myriad. In fact, Every bad thing in the universe of mankind is attributable directly or indirectly to sin. This is apparent in domestic disputes and their ultimate fruitions. Such is also the cause of unkind words and deeds directed toward brethren of the same faith and practice. (Biting and devouring is how the Bible puts it.)

Addressing this issue in another of his classes: Ministerial Practicalities, Dr. L. D. Foreman, former President of Missionary Baptist Seminary in Little Rock, Arkansas shared yet another of his well thought out and grounded fables for his students to seriously consider. He said, “Students, all of you have witnessed a big dog trotting down the street. The dog has a destination in mind and continues steadily toward it. However, as he progresses down the street, every little dog on the block will come out to bark at him. Now if the big dog is distracted enough to stop and bark back at every little dog that barks at him, he will never reach his destination. Consequently, he ignores the little dogs and their barking, and continues his journey.”

Foreman went on to make practical application which by this time had become obvious. Any devoted follower of Jesus will not be treated better that was Jesus in His ministry. He will be controversial on the basis of Bible convictions, and he will attract the attention of a number of “little dogs” who come out to bark. Like the literal big dog, the minister must know who he is, what he is about, and where he is going. With those things settled in place, it is very unwise to stop and bark back at those who cast objections, however frivolous those objections may be. The object is not to debate one another, but to serve the Master by carrying out his holy Will for your life.

Of course, it remains that there are those whose thrill of life, and apparent calling (not of God) is to object to everything, however holy, that may rub against their self-imposed comfort zone. Because this is true, one must determine early on to be on a mission, or to bark at everyone else who is.

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Offenses—Inevitable but Costly


 

Luke 17:1, 2

 

Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him,  through whom they come,” Luke 17:1.

 

In Matthew 18:5, Jesus rewards compassion for others; it is easy to offend others when we are focused on ourselves.

 

Often we offend others and do not even know it. About forty years ago, I heard the statistic on radio that each year Americans spend hundreds of millions on chewing gum and billions on dog food.

 

I had the clever idea that, if we put the same cost of our pet care in a jar and sent it to missions, what a blessing it would be. Then I made the statement that some people care more for their dogs than they do for God’s work. The lady on the third row was terribly hurt by the statement because everyone but me knew that her two twin giant poodles regularly got thirty dollar hair-dos.

 

Since I did not know the lady even had a dog, I felt excused. But, after many years of dealing with people and innocently offending some, I have learned that even the slightest  cute remark can break someone’s heart because others hear what we say between their own two ears, and there are a lot of factors in there that we do not realize.

 

Today, think of someone you may have offended, even if in jest, pray about it, and then make it right with that person. Eating crow is always a good elixir for one’s spiritual health.

 

Offenses can become baggage that we drag all through our lives, rendering us nonfunctional as mature Christians.

 

 

 

Just Saying

 

Pluck all the black feathers off a crow, bake it to a golden brown, season it with prayer and tears, and it tastes just like Pharaoh quail.

 

Robert Brock

 

 

 

 

 

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Mouth and Heart—Hearing and Doing


 

And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not,” Ezekiel 33:32.

 

Our pet dog is trained to ring a little bell hanging by the back door every time he needs to go outside. You would think that in a small house with six people living in it, there would always be someone available to respond to the ringing bell and open the back door to let out the dog. But, surprisingly, there are times when our poor dog rings the bell for five or even ten minutes straight, waiting for someone to open the door, even though there are four children who are in the same room. They all undoubtedly hear the bell, yet each child assumes that someone else will open the door for the dog. It is not until an adult yells above the volume of the music, TV or video game, “Somebody let the dog out!” that one of the children responds and opens the door.

 

God is always speaking to us. Like a persistent bell ringing in our ears, there is a constant, steady flow of guidance from God’s Word and Spirit, pouring into our hearts, giving us guidance, direction, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16, 17). Unfortunately, His Word does us no good unless we lower the volume of competing noises and listen with the intent to obey. And, every now and then, thankfully, mercifully, He raises His voice in our direction to prod us into a greater obedience. C. S. Lewis, in The Problem of Pain, said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

 

 

JUST A THOUGHT

 

Will you listen to God’s voice today with the intent to obey?

 

 

Mark Clements

 

 

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