Corinth Baptist Church

...that in all things He might have preeminence. Col. 1:18

Category: 2019 Archives (page 1 of 10)

HELP!

  Imagine standing on the deck of a cruise ship and hearing someone shout, “Man Overboard!”  Imagine that as you circle the bow of the ship, hoping to get a glimpse of the action, you discover that you are the first, maybe the only one responding to the frantic call for help.  You scan the waters,… there he is, bobbing among the waves.  Immediately, you reach for the closest life preserver and run to the rail shouting, “Here, catch this!” Now imagine this; the soggy sailor shouts back, “No, not the life preserver, could you toss me that deck chair?”

  All right stop imagining, and tell me the question that is flashing in your mind.  You are probably thinking, “Why does this man, who is in such desperate need of rescue, ask for a deck chair?”  Maybe he bumped his head falling off the ship; maybe his brain is a bit waterlogged.  Whatever the reason, it’s obvious that his perceived need is not what he really needs.

  We live in a day in which needs abound.  There are victims of every sort with both real and perceived needs.  Offering help these days requires discernment on the part of those of us who would participate in the rescue and relief effort.  The man in the water might truly enjoy relaxing in a deck chair, but his most immediate need is to get his feet solidly on the deck.

  Helping others is certainly honorable, and many in our day go above and beyond the call of duty to reach out to those who have both real and perceived needs.  But I wonder; while we aid in the realms of the physical, should not we who are called “children of light” also introduce the needy to the only One who can sustain them physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually for time and eternity?

  Jesus Christ is “the Way, the Truth, the Life” (John 14:6), “in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28).  The Bible tells us that “by Him all things consist.” (Col. 1:17)  So, our greatest need is a relationship with Almighty God, the One who can meet the most grievous needs of man.

In Dependence

  Though what I am about to say will necessarily sound political, let me assure you that it is not my purpose to make a political statement.  In a free country, multiple philosophical differences about the role of government will in time manifest themselves.  There will always be individuals who are wealthy, independent, intellectual, and in their own estimation, destined to rule.  This ruling class stands to gain if there are many dependent, poor and ignorant paupers for them to exercise authority over.  These underlings are willfully dependent upon the proverbial “they” who are assumed, by some unwritten law, to be obligated to meet their every need.

  The ruling class has a propensity to rise to the top of the societal strata, while the poor, dependent, and ignorant settle to the bottom.  Political analysts have recently referred to the dependents as “useful idiots.”  Though brash, the characterization seems fitting to the mind of the honest observer.

  Let me get to the point.  If we love the freedom that our forefathers so sacrificially afforded us, two adjustments must be made:  First, those who would rise to the top of the societal ladder, and lord it over others, must realize that they too are dependents by nature.  The Word of God tells us, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever he will. (Proverbs 21:1)”

  Secondly, those who have surrendered to a life of dependence, must shift their dependence from the elite, to the One who is sovereign over the affairs of all men.  Paul wrote to his son in the faith, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. (1 Timothy 2:1–2)”

  I pray that we make the adjustments to our perspectives while there is time.  Our greatest virtue, from the beginning, was that we were “one nation under God.”

Caught Off Guard

  Have you discovered the pleasure of knowing God here and now?  Are you sure that you will be with Him in eternity?  Some continually dismiss these thoughts, believing that, if there is any truth to this God story, they will get around to it later, but some never do.  People die unexpectedly every day. “Ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. (James 4:14).” 

  In light of the unpredictable ups and downs of life, and what might be an untimely end, maybe you would do well to consider your relationship with God now.  If you hope to spend eternity in heaven, how do you expect to get there?  Some plan to go to heaven as a result of what they have done (i.e. baptism, church attendance, good deeds, etc.).  Others plan to go to heaven as a result of what has been done for them.  Most of the world’s population, and all but one of the world’s religions are in the first category; they believe and teach that if one does enough good, God will accept him.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

  Only biblical Christianity teaches that salvation is “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy… (Titus 3:5a).” It is “Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:9).” The Bible teaches that salvation is a gift from God, and like any gift, when you try to earn it, it ceases to be a gift. 

  Jesus, the Son of God, left heaven to die on a cross and pay the penalty for your sins.  He was buried, but rose again on the third day, and is alive to offer you His blood bought forgiveness as a gift from God.  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16).”  Salvation can be yours through dependence upon what Christ has done for you!  He is the only Way!

Thanksgiving

Today, it is quite common to read an article about Thanksgiving that makes no mention of God. Some promote the expression of gratitude one to another, while others ignore altogether the giving thanks part of Thanksgiving. Secular authors tend to deal with Thanksgiving simply as a commemoration of the harvest festival celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621.
Our celebration today takes on many forms. For some it affords another occasion for getting drunk or gorging on the traditional turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. For others, Thanksgiving is all about family, a time to see aunts, uncles and cousins, and catch up on the news that has effected their lives in the intervening months. Of course, not all of these traditions are bad; there is something to be gained by taking time to be with family and enjoying a table filled with that bounty that we have come to expect. But it seems obvious to me that the real meaning of Thanksgiving is being overlooked, and the Object of our gratitude forgotten.
James 1:17 put it into perspective. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” When Paul wrote to the church at Corinth he asked, “For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? (1Corinthians 4:7).”
Please don’t think that I am opposed to expressing gratitude to others, but I believe that we, as believers, should be the first to return this holiday to its “holy-day” status, at least in our homes. If we truly believed that all we are and have comes to us from the hand of God, it would change our perspective of Thanksgiving. As with love, the first recipient of our praise and thanksgiving should be our Creator God, by whom all things consist. “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. (1Chronicles 16:34).”

Learning From History

  Most attribute the following observations to Alexander Tytler, an 18th century Scottish born lawyer/historian, “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government.  It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess (generous gifts) out of the public treasury.  After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship.  The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years…Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.”

  Tytler’s observations read as a historical synopsis of our Republic.  If there is any truth to these quotes, America is moving quickly through the apathy stage and a majority of her people have, or will soon, succumb to lives of dependence.

  Is there any hope for our beloved nation?  YES, but it is not in a political system or party.  America is only as good as her people, who choose their representatives based upon their own spiritual moorings; if you doubt it, look at the record, if you can find an unaltered copy.   For generations, we were a nation who trusted in God.  Our motto was formally adopted in 1957 and printed on our currency for the world to see, In God We Trust.  It was God, His moral absolutes and the guiding principles of His Word that our founding fathers utilized in forming The United States Of America.

  If we are going to trust in God again, we must first know Him.  His divine Son, Jesus Christ, died, was buried, and rose from the dead, to make that possible.  “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (John 1:12).”

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