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GRACE AND TRUTH


Author: W.P. Mackay

Let us suppose that a convict, who has just finished his term of penal servitude, wishes to lead an honest life. He comes to a man who has a large jewelry establishment, and who requires a night-watchman. He is engaged to watch this house through the quiet hours of the night, when he has everything under him, and every opportunity to rob his employer. On the first evening of his watching he meets one of his old companions, who accosts him. “What are you doing here?”

‘I’m night-watchman.’

‘Over this jewelry shop’

‘Yes.’

‘Does he know what you are?’

‘No, no, be silent; if he knew, I should be dismissed.’

‘Suppose I let it out that you are a returned convict!’

‘Oh I pray don’t, it would be my last day here, and I wish to be honest.’

‘Well, you’ll require to give me some money to keep quiet.’

‘Very well, but don’t let any one know.’ Thus the poor man would be in sad feat and trembling, lest it should come to the ears of his employer what his previous character had been. He would be in terror lest he should meet any of his old friends, and lest his resources should be exhausted in keeping them quiet.

Let us suppose, however, that instead of the employer engaging the man in ignorance of his character, he went to the convict’s cell and said, ‘Now I know you, what you are, and what you’ve done, every robbery you’ve committed, and that you are worse than you believe yourself to be.  I am about to give you a chance of becoming honest, I’ll trust you as my night-watchman over my valuable goods.’ The man is faithful at his post. He meets old companion after old companion, who threaten to inform upon him. He asks, ‘What will you tell about me?’

‘That you were the ringleader of house-breakers.’

‘Yes, but my master knows all that better than you do, he knows me better than I know myself.’

Of course this silences them for ever.

 

This latter is — GRACE AND TRUTH

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Test of True Prophets


 

Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him,” Deuteronomy 13:4.

 

Help yourself to happiness.” “Save money. Live better.” “Have it your way.” “Just do it.” These are just a few slogans of prominent companies which presume to fill voids in the hearts of Americans with their products. These kinds of words, accompanied with slick advertisements and images of happy people, speak with power and authority to those watching or listening. While I assume no Christian would admit to worshiping a product, it is true that we are swayed in our decision making when we give ear to messages presented with authority. When our choices lead us to place products or people on a pedestal with equal authority as God, we have been led astray. What should we do?

 

Test the product. Test the message. Test the authority. See if what you have been led to think about a person or product is actually true. See if what you place on a pedestal of devotion is God or is simply something that God has allowed you to receive as a gift. In the text, God told His people that authoritative voices would compete for their attention and desire to guide them away from love and devotion to Him. He said He would allow it to happen as a test to see whether they were genuine in their devotion to Him. Every day, you and I observe powerful messages from our acquaintances, in print, on the TV, radio and Internet. These messages compete for our attention, claiming to make our lives more abundant, but ultimately serve as daily tests of our love and devotion to God. Have you been passing the test or have you been led astray?

 

 

JUST A THOUGHT

 

Will you hold fast to God today?

 

 

Mark Clements

 

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178 — June 26 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

A Fearless Ambassador of Christ

 

I. B. Kimbrough was born in Tennessee in 1826.  While ministering in Tennessee, Kimbrough at one time served as the financial agent of Carson and Newman College and traveled extensively in his state attempting to raise money with which to train young Baptist preachers.

 

On June 26, 1886, at Waco, Texas.  Dr. Kimbrough recalled an incident from his days in Tennessee and his work with Carson and Newman College. As he was traveling from one appointment to another through a secluded forest, he was confronted by two highwaymen. Holding their guns on the man of God, they insisted that he dismount from his horse and hand over all his money.

 

Very well, gentlemen, please give me a little time, and I will obey your orders.” Kimbrough responded. After dismounting, he laid his money in two piles, then turning to the highwaymen he said: “Gentlemen, this small pile of money is mine: you are at liberty to rob me of that; the larger pile is God’s money, and I dare you to touch it. I collected it for the young preachers of the state who are struggling for an education at Carson and Newman College.”

 

The earnestness and courage of the man attracted the attention of the robbers, and they began to inquire into the work in which he was engaged. He told them he was a Baptist preacher and explained to them his mission. After hearing what he had to say, the elder of the two men said:

 

“We will not take either your money or the money of the young preachers.”
Turning to the young men, and looking them full in the face, Dr. Kimbrough added: “Young men, you are in a mighty bad business. I believe you ought to give it up. In the meantime, I will be grateful if you will help me in the work in which I am engaged.”

 

Following this appeal, the robbers gave him $5 each for the young preachers, whereupon the faithful minister mounted his horse, and all rode away, going in different directions.

 

I. B. Kimbrough was a fearless ambassador of Jesus Christ!

 

Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 261 – 262.

 

 

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They Want Our Money


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86,400


Brief Devotional Thoughts From Scripture by Joseph Harris
 
                                                                                                    

   86,400

What if someone promised to deposit $86,400.00 into your bank account each day?  You would ask for the catch.  The catch is, all money , left over at the end of the day would be lost.  But remember, the next day, another $86,400.00 would be deposited again.  Would you try to spend the entire amount each day in order to keep from losing any of it?

Actually, this does happen to everyone each day…sort of.  Every 24 hour period contains 86,400 seconds of time and time is a priceless commodity.  The time you do not invest wisely each day is gone forever.

How much time do you spend with God each day?  We must not only make the time, but it must be quality time in the presence of God.  Real prayer takes time.  Reading the bible and waiting for God to speak from His word requires time.  In this fast paced modern world, it is all too easy to never have enough time in important areas of life.  Family time often suffers, and personal relaxation away from stress and cares of life is often non-existent.

As always, the bible has a word and example to follow.  Paul himself is a good example to follow.  He worked full time in the ministry and supported himself by making tents.  A study of his life and missionary journeys will reveal that he was extremely busy with little time to spare, yet he stayed in communion with God.  Personal time with God ranked high on his list of priorities.  His fellowship with God helps explain his positive attitude in suffering and his tireless determination to press toward the mark.  He received strength by consistently spending time with God for renewing and refreshing.

Perhaps William Longstaff said it best with these well known words:

Take time to be holy,
The world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret
With Jesus alone;
By looking to Jesus,
Like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct
His likeness shall see.

J

oseph Harris is the Vice President of Southeastern Baptist College in Laurel, MS. (This article may be reprinted in whole, as long as the name Joseph Harris and http://www.miniedition.net also appear).   


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