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William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person

From earliest times, opportunities and tremendous blessings from the Creator were underscored for those prepared to receive them. Recipients’ key requisites most often were education and faith in His word and works. It remains that way! Think with me a moment.
Antediluvian world folks, far afield from the primitive state imagined by modern man, show excellence in education. Adam must have been created with the equivalent of a Ph.D. since he gave names to everything in creation, Gen. 2:19. Jabal excelled in animal husbandry; Jubal in music, especially in harp and organ; Tubalcain was a master artificer in brass and iron; Nimrod built a city: on and on it goes. Then God called upon Noah to build an ark to the saving of air-breathing life. It was approximately 450 by 45 by 30 in foot dimensions. Now just what dumb-bunny was able to do that? Noah was a righteous man, but he was also an educated man and prepared for the job.
Looking at other instances, Moses stands out as exemplary of educational readiness. He had the best Egypt could provide plus 40 years of personally examining the terrain of Sinai. David was a mighty warrior, but also a master of strategy, faith, and music. Notice also that Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) were specially selected by King Nebuchadnezzar, not because he knew them, but because they fit his criteria of service, to wit: “. . . no blemish, but well-favored, and skillful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had an ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.” Daniel 1:4. They were ready for both spiritual and material education to seize upon opportunities to serve both God and man.
Finally, in the important initial evangelism of the first century world, God chose Saul of Tarsus, a Hebrew of Hebrews, more zealous in his faith that all his brethren, and who could not only evangelize with the New Testament doctrines after God got through teaching him, but who could by his excellent education in the tradition of his fathers persuade thousands of Jews and Gentiles alike to embrace New Testament faith. Men should excel in something, faith notwithstanding and underscored, and then use that excellence to help others as God provides opportunities which He most certainly will do.
Through brick and mortar institutions, and online educational offerings, the present generation has more information and outreach ability than all the past generations had in all their collective forms. Still, the propensity to submit to the lure of inertia manages to hinder both individual and church progress. Perhaps we all would do well to hear God’s still small voice to Elijah saying, “What are you doing here?”

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Adam and Eve comic

AUTHOR – William Andrew Dillard

Parson to Person
There is a conceptual wall separating the mortal and the immortal. Man is finite. God is infinite. The finite simply does not comprehend to any appreciable degree the infinite. In simple terms, God put it simply this way: “As the heavens are high above the earth, so are my ways to your ways and my thoughts to your thoughts, saith the Lord.” Isa. 55. It then behooves us who are finite to accept in full the presentation of God and his work to man as recorded in Holy Writ while avoiding the temptation to sit in His chair to postulate what he knows, and by which principles He is bound.
Still, it is an apparent, favorite pastime of bible students to build tenets of faith on what they insist God does or does not know based on their finite reasoning of spiritual principles. Perhaps revisiting the book of Job would be helpful. He longed for a meeting with the Creator until he got one. There he found himself as helpless and mentally and spiritually inept as a toddler would be to run a factory.
A particular case in point is the Eden scenario. It goes something like this: God knew man would sin before He created the planet; therefore, Adam and Eve had no choice but to do what God foreknew they would do. That is fatalism, unfounded, and contrary to the whole presentation of the Bible. If such nonsense were true, God would not have given Adam and Eve the bone fide offer of eternal life in the fruit of a tree. Such would be simple mind games.
Alas! Adam and Eve did plunge themselves and their posterity into a world of sin and death by casting down that perfect order in Eden, but, Thank God, the Lord Jesus, the Christ stood as a Lamb slain from the casting down of that order. The entire interlude of sin in the world of men provides the opportunity to overcome it through the triumphant cross-work of the God-man: Jesus, and to see that perfect order restored in ages to come. Meanwhile sin is shown to have no intrinsic value by which it may claim right to continued existence other than in the hell reserved for its founder and practitioners who have rejected the grace of God. One may claim he does not understand all of this. Then welcome to the club. It is not to be understood, rather it is to be believed without reservation. By His own revelation to us, the “limited” may know and live the faith of the “Limitless.” This is only possible in Christ Jesus. This then is the emphasis of the resurrection; the meaning of Easter; the continuous first day of the week celebration of His churches through the age. Know Him then, and follow Him at all costs. The limited are on their way to becoming as the Limitless, and what a day that will be!

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