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#61 Resource Manager

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Posted 09 March 2021 - 10:26 AM

Enthusiasm
 
“Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.” This quotation is taken from a plaque said to have been posted over the desk of General Douglas MacArthur. Someone else has said that to lose enthusiasm is to bankrupt the soul.
 
It is interesting to discover that the etymology of the word enthusiasm comes from theos, the Greek word for God. It literally means en theos or to have God within us so it is quite true to say that a person who does not have enthusiasm (does not have God in them) has bankrupted his soul.
 
Consider what we have to be enthusiastic about!! We have the Truth, God has called us to His high and holy calling. We have become members of His royal family, Jesus Christ is now our elder brother, we are related to Abraham and an heir to the same promise God made to him. No one in all the world is as well off as we. And we’re not enthusiastic? Absurd. None have such reason to be glad. If a man just inherited a million dollars we can be sure he would be excited. We have more cause for being enthusiastic, for he can’t take it with him and within a few years he’ll be leaving it to someone else. Worldly riches also have a way of becoming tarnished even while in our hands but not so with God’s promises. Even now, God has promised us “houses, and brethren, and sisters and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.”
 
David was an enthusiastic man. Imagine him dancing before the Ark with all his might! No wonder he was called a man after God’s own heart. God surely would have us to be enthusiastic. He says “Be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.”
 
We all enjoy being around someone who is enthusiastic. God in describing creation to Job tells that “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” When His own son was born His angels enthusiastically proclaimed to the shepherds who were abiding in the field, “Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy.”
 
How are we reacting to the good tidings of great joy that God has revealed to us through the pages of His Holy Book? Does the Gospel message fill us with enthusiasm? Are we excited about our high and holy calling? “Seemeth it to you a light thing to be a king’s son in law?” asked David. How can we fail to be excited about being a king’s brothers and sisters?
 
It has been said that if you can keep your head when everyone else is losing theirs, then you just don’t understand what’s happening. If we can stay calm and unemotional about the high calling to which we’ve been called, perhaps we just do not understand.
 
“Be glad in the Lord, rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.” To be enthusiastic is to stay young and those who have en theos will be young for ever for “they shall shine as the brightness of the firmament and as the stars for ever and ever.”


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Posted 11 March 2021 - 11:35 AM

Evolution
 
“I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how he could look up into the heavens and say there is no god.” Abraham Lincoln
 
It would seem that too few people have been looking up lately for more and more people are saying, “There is no God.” David said that this would be said by the fool but look how many there are! David, like Abraham Lincoln, was convinced that there is a God when he looked upward and he recorded his thoughts saying, “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?”
 
When we consider the vastness of space measured in light years we also humbly ask, what is man that the God of the universe is mindful of him? The atheist and the agnostic will proudly tell us that all of this “just happened by chance” and that man is the ultimate. Actually this belief requires more faith than that of creation because it is so unscientific and unprovable. Professor Henry Morris rightly said, “The main reason most educated people believe in evolution is simply because they have been told that most educated people believe in evolution.” It is so obvious that it is ridiculous to deny it and unnecessary to prove it, so they say, and therefore they accept as a fact what is at best an unproven and unprovable theory.
 
The professional scientists have an interesting way of quoting one another so that A quotes B and B quotes C and C cites a paper by D while D now refers back to what A has said and by this process it is quite possible to confuse and therefore convince all those who want desperately to be convinced already. Charles Darwin said, “I would give absolutely nothing for a theory of natural selection if it required miraculous addition at any one stage of descent.” Dr. Watson stated that he believed in evolution “not because it had been observed to occur, or was supported by logically coherent arguments, but because the only alternative, special creation, was clearly incredible.”
 
Yes, those who believe in evolution do so, not because it is scientific because it isn’t, or because it can be proved, for it can’t, but simply because there is only one alternative and that is in creation as recorded by God in our Bibles. Truly it does take more blind faith to be an evolutionist than it does to be a believer in creation.
 
Now what are the advantages in being an atheist or agnostic and rejecting creation for evolution? Well, of course, the strongest point in its favor is the fact that now we can do just as we please because there is no one who is greater than us; man is the supreme being. This means that man is the ultimate and therefore there is no hope of salvation and no one who can deliver us from the mess that the world is in as a result of man’s bungling. There is no use looking up for there is no one above to help. Everything just happened by “chance” and no one has the right to tell us to do anything for we are each the master of our own destiny. We haven’t any future anyway because death claims each one in due course.
 
Are you willing to trade evolution for creation? With creation comes the responsibility to learn of God, to obey His commands, to put our faith and hope in Him knowing that as great as He is, and the vastness of His universe, still He cares for us and numbers the very hairs of our head. This is the God who created all things and He invites you to learn of Him, to obey His commands and to become a recipient of His gift to the faithful, life without end.
 
Take your pick, choose between life and death, creation or evolution. The choice is yours, but be prepared to accept the consequences of your choice.


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Posted 12 March 2021 - 08:02 AM

Education
 
HUXLEY ONCE SAID, “The most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do when it ought to be done whether you want to do it or not.”
 
Using this as a true evaluation it would seem reasonable then that all educated people would be religious. Unfortunately the contrary is true. There are exceptions to every rule but it seems that the more highly educated have less time for God than the humble folk.
 
This proves Paul’s point when he said, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God,” because “the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”
 
With the increase of knowledge that is prevalent today we can become so absorbed in our own wisdom and our own petty problems that we completely fail to do what ought to be done when it ought to be done.
 
Let all of us, educated or not, learn the lesson that Huxley tells us we should learn, that of making ourselves do the thing we have to do when we ought to do it whether we want to do it or not.
 
Actually the difference between success and failure in almost any venture is the ability to do the right thing at the right time. This also illustrates the wisdom of Solomon who said “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die, etc.” Too many of us put off doing the thing that is unpleasant or unappealing. True religion does not attract the natural man. Paul tells us that “the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” If we are wise, we will learn what we ought to do and do it. With this comes success. Some well educated men have applied this to business and have risen to great heights. How much more important for us to apply it to serving God. In the final analysis the only education really worth having is in God’s law and the only worthwhile wisdom is Godly wisdom.
 
Too many have spent their lives without doing what they ought to have done for God and realized as they lay on their death bed that all the things they knew and all the money they had was of little use.
 
Let us remember our Creator NOW before the years draw near when we are no longer able to serve God. We must not use the lame old excuse that we haven’t time. We have all the time there is, 24 hours every day, and no one has more or less than that. If we are honest with ourselves we must admit that we find time to do things we like to do. Let us follow Huxley’s definition of the educated man and develop the ability to make ourselves do the thing we should do when it ought to be done. Now is the time to draw nigh unto God. At our death or the coming of the Lord it is too late.
 
“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”
 
Like learning to eat asparagus, for which a taste has to be acquired, we discover that as we do what we ought to do we find we derive pleasure from it. There is no joy like godly joy and no pleasure on earth like the peace of God but we shall never experience it unless we begin and persevere.
 
By doing so, we, being made “free from sin and become servants to God, have our fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.”


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Posted 13 March 2021 - 10:06 AM

Equal Time
 
“All men were created equal but some are more equal than others.” This saying pokes gentle fun at the premise that we are all equal for of course in reality, we are not. We come with varying degrees of ability in everything from athletic prowess to musical talent. God has never made two individuals alike, so naturally we are not equal.
 
The wonderful thing is that God knows the abilities of each individual and He does not expect one to live up to the potential of another. He does expect each of us to use the talents He has given us and to increase them for Him. There is no such thing as a “no talent Christadelphian.” This would be like telling God that He made a mistake when He made us and He certainly did not.
 
There is one area in which we are all equal and that has to do with time. God has given us 60 minutes every hour and 24 hours every day. The rich do not have more or the poor less, each has exactly the same. Time is the one thing that we always spend. No one gets to the end of the week only to discover that they forgot to spend all of Thursday afternoon and have some time left over. We always spend every minute every day. How we spend it varies greatly but spend it, we do.
 
Actually the difference between those who will be in the Kingdom of God and those who will be rejected by Christ will be in the way they spent their time. How do we spend our time? It is foolish to say, “We haven’t time” for we have all there is. How much time every day do we spend for the Lord?
 
When we stand before the judgment seat of Christ we will realize that so many things that took our time were just not worth it. We are wise to realize this now instead of waiting to face Jesus to see it.
 
Do we find time to do our readings every day? If not, we have allowed something far less important to crowd God’s word right out of our life for that day. What did we do that was so important that it took priority over the word of God? Can we imagine a sweetheart receiving a letter from the one they love and tenderly placing it on the mantle unopened because they did not have time to open and read their love letter? If they don’t bother to read the letter they received from their sweetheart, then it is apparent that they don’t really love the one that has written to them. Actions speak louder than words and if they don’t read the letter, they don’t love the writer.
 
The Bible is God’s love letter to us. He so loved us that He caused His servants to write words “which are able to make us wise unto salvation.” God has taken great care to preserve His love letter down through the ages so that we might know Him and love Him.
 
Since He knows all things, can we imagine what He thinks as He looks down on our busy little lives and sees that we are not taking the time to read the very words He caused to be written for our salvation? There is no use us telling Him how much we love Him and that the Truth is the greatest thing in our lives if He observes that we regularly neglect to read His love letter to us.
 
Our’ time is all we can give to God. He first gave it to us and He can withdraw His breath of life from us and we are all out of time. While we live, let us live for Him. Let us find time each day to read His word and to pray to His throne of mercy. The time we spend with God is the best time of our life.


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Posted 15 March 2021 - 09:58 PM

Experience
 
We have all heard it said that we learn by doing and this is true. Experience is a very good teacher. The wise man, however, does not try to learn everything by personal experience. Life is too short to learn everything this way. 
 
A wise man reads and observes the mistakes and triumphs of others in an effort to benefit from their experience. An excellent example of this is the first Kaiser automobile which was built just after World War II. Now had the manufacturer started at the beginning as the makers of the first automobiles did, his car would have looked very much like the first horseless carriages. Instead, he studied the features and designs of all the leading makes and as a consequence he benefitted from their experience and produced a car comparable to theirs although he did not have the many years of experience behind him that they did. This wisdom is not found in all of us, for it seems that each generation insists on learning many things for themselves the hard way. The experience of their parents is disregarded and they insist upon burning their own fingers upon the stove that scarred the hands of their forefathers.
 
There are many things to learn where personal experience is too high a price to pay. To learn not to play in the street by being run over may teach us a never-to-be-forgotten lesson, but we may not live long enough to benefit from our experience.
 
As parents we know how much we could save our children if they would only listen and learn. For this reason we often repeat a principle over and over again in hopes that by the process of repetition the lesson may become engraved in their minds.
 
Paul tells us, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we, through patience and comfort of the scriptures, might have hope.”
 
We see then the love and wisdom of God in providing us with our Bibles to teach, warn, rebuke and instruct us in His holy precepts.
 
The wise man recognizes the importance of God’s words and the need for repetition. We should then remember Peter’s words, “I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance.”
 
The disciples at Berea were commended because they were more noble than those in Thessalonica in that they received the word with all readiness of mind and searched the scriptures daily.
 
Realizing the need for daily Bible reading, let us make use of the wonderful tool we have to aid us in our reading of the scriptures each day. It is called “The Bible Companion” and it will lead us through the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice each year. 
 
The good habit of daily Bible reading will help us to benefit from the trials and experiences of God’s chosen people and avoid the pitfalls which exact their toll upon the less wise. As God’s children we shall know the holy scriptures which are able to make us wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.


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Posted 19 March 2021 - 03:47 AM

Fall or Fail?
 
Mary Pickford is reported to have said, “To fall is not to fail, unless you fail to get up again.” The wise man Solomon said this by inspiration many years before. “For a just man falleth seven times and riseth up again.”
 
The people who never fall never do anything. How can you fall sitting down? A young girl practicing figure skating to compete in the Olympics was told by her teacher, “If you don’t fall while practicing then you are not learning enough to be a true champion.” People who do things will fall but if they are true champions then they will get up again, for to fall is not to fail, unless you fail to get up again.
 
David told us that “the LORD upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down.’
 
What a great comfort it is to know that the Lord will help when we fall, but how can He help those who won’t try?
 
Can we imagine a little baby wanting to learn to walk saying, “I’m not going to walk until I can do it without falling down.” That little child would never walk. We learn by doing, by trying and falling and trying again. Nothing worthwhile was ever done without falling over and over again. Thomas Edison is reported to have told a discouraged employee who had complained that ten thousand experiments had failed, that it was not failure at all because they now knew ten thousand ways that didn’t work and so they were that much closer to the one that would.
 
Babe Ruth is remembered as the “king of swat” because he hit so many home runs but he struck out more times than any other player in his day. When Carl Yastrezemski was honored for having collected his 3,000th hit, he recalled that he had been up to bat over 10,000 times. That meant, he said, “I’ve been unsuccessful over seven thousand times.”
 
An average major leaguer hitting 250 gets three hits for every twelve times at bat. He will probably make a salary of somewhere between $100,000 to $200,000. The superstar who bats 333 gets four hits for every twelve times at bat. He makes over one million dollars a year. Yet he only gets one more hit every three games. That may not be much more but he makes ten times more. He probably gets more hits because he swings more often.
 
Going back to Solomon’s description of a just man, he falls seven times and gets up seven times. The failure falls seven times and gets up only six times. Do we qualify as just persons or failures? Do we keep trying even after we have fallen? Do we put our trust in God and realize that He will always help us up if we will just try again?
 
Again it is Solomon who tells us how we can be of help and encouragement to one another. He says that “two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour, for if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.”
 
Are we conscious of the needs of others and always willing to help them get up again when they fall? Our father-in-law is now 101 years old and he falls frequently. He cannot get up without help once he is down. Are we conscious of the needs of others and anxious to stoop down to help lift up our fallen brethren and sisters?
 
If the “Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down,” how conscious we should be of one another and ready to extend our hand to lift up those who are down.
 
The lesson we need to remember is that we all fall but only failures stay down. Keep on swinging, keep on trying, keep looking to help others when they fall and “humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”


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Posted 22 March 2021 - 05:01 AM

Fight the Good Fight
 
“You may have to fight the battle more than once to win it.” Margaret Thatcher.
 
No doubt the iron lady of Great Britain was speaking about politics, but her statement applies to us as we fight to overcome sin.
 
At one point, Peter was willing to fight a whole band of men who had come to take his Lord by force. A few hours later he was so weak that he denied three times that he even knew Jesus.
 
We must also continue to fight the battle to overcome the temptations that surround us. Sometimes we are able to resist with ease and come away unscathed. At other times we are weak and vulnerable to the very same temptation.
 
It is important for us to recognize that the battle must be fought over and over and that we are not always the same.
 
For this reason we need to get up mentally for the fight against the flesh. Paul said, “I die daily.” He also said, “Fight the good fight of faith.”
 
We need to recognize that the battle must be fought over and over again and each day we have to mentally get up for the fight of faith. Paul, at the end of his life, was able to say, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” He could only say this because he had died daily, he had kept the faith one day at a time, every day.
 
All too often we fight the battle and win, we resist the temptation and temporarily it is gone, and then we let our guard down, and here it comes from the other direction.
 
The Lord Jesus was tempted to eat when he was starving. He resisted. He was tempted to use his God given power to protect himself in a fall. He resisted.
 
He was tempted to take a short cut to glory and power. He resisted. But this was not the end of his temptations. These same temptations came back to haunt him over and over again during his ministry.
 
He had no sooner resisted the challenge to cast himself down from the pinnacle of the temple and land safely, but his own people in Nazareth “took him by force and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.” This time he could simply have allowed them to push him over the edge and used his God given power to float gently to the ground. He resisted again.
 
The lesson we learn is that every day there is a “battle to be fought, an onward race to run.” Everyday we must be prepared to face the temptations and trials of the day, knowing that we will never be “tempted beyond that which we are able to bear.”
 
We must not rest on our laurels and think we can win today’s battle with yesterday’s score.
 
“This is the day which the Lord hath made.” “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”
 
The words of our hymn express the truth of Margaret Thatcher’s statement that “you may have to fight the battle more than once to win it.” “There is a battle to be fought, an onward race to run, a crown of glory to be sought, a victory to be won.”


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Posted 23 March 2021 - 10:42 AM

Flag or Rudder
 
Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a rudder by which to steer.”
 
The teachings of the Master are not just a creed to be believed but a life to be lived. It’s one thing to sail under a flag of high ideals, it is quite another to use these principles as the rudder of our ship.
 
It is incredible that people will put their hand upon a Bible in being sworn into office when in that very Bible in the very Sermon on the Mount that Oliver Wendell Holmes mentioned, Jesus says, “Swear not at all.” He tells us to let our “communications be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay; for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.”
 
This is an excellent example of just how much this Sermon on the Mount is used as a rudder. It isn’t even used as a flag to sail under! 
 
Jesus meant what he said. He meant for us to practice what he preached. His words are easy to understand. Why are they ignored? 
 
He said, “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them.” Why then do we paste stickers on our doors saying “We Gave” to this charitable organization and wear a little red cross in our buttonhole to show that we contributed to that one? Why do we find plaques in the halls and on the doors of rooms of hospitals and colleges stating that this room was furnished by so and so and that wing was built by such and such?
 
We hear Jesus saying “Resist not evil” but we find those around us fighting for their rights. We listen as Jesus says, “If any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.” Why then do we discover the court dockets jammed with pending law suits? We all know Jesus said to turn the other cheek but we find that even killing is justified if done in self defense. We know that Jesus said to “love your enemies” but evidently few believe that he really meant for us to do it.
 
Why are these plain teachings of Jesus ignored? The answer is so simple it is missed. These things are just the opposite of what we want to do. After all, when we give, we want everyone to know how great we are. When someone wrongs us, we want to fight back. When there is a conflict between what we want to do and what Jesus has told us to do, it is obvious that most people cater to their own designs. We can look around and see that the Sermon on the Mount has never been hoisted up the flag pole, let alone used as a rudder.
 
Now it’s time to stop looking around to notice how everyone else is ignoring Christ’s commands. It is now time to look within our own hearts. How do we fit these easy to understand principles into our everyday life? There is no satisfaction in knowing that everyone else ignores them. Noah’s drowning neighbors could see their friends choking, gasping and sinking too, but that is no comfort to one going down for the third time. Misery may love company but we don’t want to be miserable and we don’t have to be either.
 
True happiness, true peace comes from obeying from the heart the things Jesus plainly taught. If we truly belong to Christ, then we “have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”
 
Crucifying the flesh has never been easy or popular but it brings great rewards. Let us follow our Master who not only taught us how to live but showed us. With him we say to our Heavenly Father, “Not my will but thine be done.”


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Posted 26 March 2021 - 12:42 AM

Foolish Fears
 
“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.” Mark Twain
 
We are all a lot like Mark Twain in that most of the things we have worried about never happened. All that worrying wasted on things that never happened! Many have spent sleepless nights listening for non-existent burglars. Others have endured endless agonies over terrible automobile accidents that never took place. Certainly there is enough real trouble in the world that has happened that we should not allow ourselves the luxury of becoming distraught over things that might happen.
 
We certainly believe that “the angel of the Lord encampeth round about. them that fear him, and delivereth them.’ Worry over things that haven’t even happened is clearly a lack of faith. There is a great difference between being cautious and worrying. It’s foolish to take unnecessary chances but to allow our imaginations to run wild in all the horrible things that might take place is very foolish. 
 
Solomon tells us that “whoso harkeneth unto me (God) shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.” Isaiah declares, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
 
Now we see it becomes a matter of faith and trust. God will do his part. He will keep us in perfect peace if our mind is filled with His thoughts. When we become disturbed over what might be, we are not acknowledging that the angel of the Lord is encamping around us. This does not mean that we will be free of all trouble and tribulation, but it does mean that nothing that happens will be outside the providence of our Heavenly Father. Therefore even the troubles that do come upon us need not disturb our peace of mind. Jesus tells us, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” 
 
Yes, our Saviour wants us to have peace even while having tribulation in the world. He wants us to be cheerful even while in the midst of our troubles. 
 
It surely was this attitude that caused Paul and Silas to be singing in prison at midnight after being beaten. No wonder Paul could cry out, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” We need to remember that we can too.
 
It’s a great comfort to know that God will never allow us to be tried or tempted beyond that which we can bear but will always provide a way of escape so that we may be able to bear it. When we turn our life over to God, He directs it in every way so that all the good things and all the trials that come to us are ordered by Him and His angel is there to see that all goes well with us. When we fully realize this and believe it, we truly are filled with peace. As David put it, “Great peace have they that love thy law, and nothing will offend them.”
 
The key to this happy and successful life is to love God’s law and fill our minds with His thoughts. This can only come through constant reading of His Book and prayer. It is then that God takes over and keeps us in perfect peace. When this happens we, with Paul, will be able to view the troubles that come upon us calmly and rejoice in them. Paul said, “I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.” This is the goal we must seek.
 
When this happens we will certainly cease to be bothered by troubles that never happen. Mark Twain’s problem will no longer be ours. Not even the troubles that do happen will get us down for we now live unto God therefore with Paul we say, “I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”


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Posted 27 March 2021 - 11:58 PM

Foot and Mouth Disease
 
No great idea has ever entered the body through the mouth. It was Abraham Lincoln who said, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open the mouth and remove all doubt.”
 
Mr. Lincoln was loosely quoting Solomon, the wise man who said, “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.”
 
It has been said that God gave us two ears and one mouth, so therefore we should listen twice as much as we talk. Instead, some people appear to have two mouths, and sometimes they speak out of both sides of each one.
 
Right now the British Isles are alarmed over the spread of hoof and mouth disease in their cattle, but we have had an epidemic of this terrible malady in humans for years. Most of us have been guilty of putting the tongue in gear before engaging the brain. If only we would stop and think before we speak, we would have a great many less sins to take to our Heavenly Father in prayer for forgiveness.
 
We read that in a fit of anger Moses spoke “unadvisably with his lips,” and, as a result, was kept out of the promised land. We need to guard our tongue. It was David who said, “I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.”
 
James warns us of the dangers of the tongue. He tells us:
 
We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check. When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.
 
It ought not to be so, but it is. We need to realize that our tongue could keep us out of the Kingdom. Jesus tells us, “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
 
If only we could just remember that we never learn anything while we are talking. There is a course that no college curriculum offers that we would be wise to take. Paul tells us about it when he exhorts us to “study to be quiet.”
 
Isaiah tells us, “For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; in returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” Isaiah’s message projects an image of peaceful pastures, of quiet, of comfort and security from living under God’s guiding hand – until the picture is shattered when Isaiah adds four more words. “And ye would not.” Will we? Are we willing to be quiet, to quietly wait and hope for the salvation of our God?
 
Let us be wiser than those Isaiah wrote about. Let us guard our tongue. Let us study to be quiet and trust in the strength of the Lord of Hosts, and let us learn by listening to the Lord. “The LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him”.


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Posted 29 March 2021 - 09:45 AM

Fear vs. Faith
 
JESUS TELLS US THAT just prior to his second coming men’s hearts would be failing them for fear. Today we find that men are full of fear and the psychiatrist’s couches are loaded with patients who are seeking relief for their fears, both real and imagined.
 
Fear causes many organic diseases, especially ulcers, and those in the household of faith are not immune to the fears and anxieties that seem so prevalent today. While we are not immune, we have an antidote that will do away with fear as quickly as an antidote kills germs. What is it, and how does it work?
 
Well, of course, we know that fear is a state of mind. Sometimes we are fearful when there is no danger and other times we could be in great danger and calm because we are not aware of the facts. Two people may react entirely differently in the same situation because of training, knowledge, faith or experience.
 
Now we believe that “all things work together for good to them that love God.” This being true, our life is in God’s hands and we can say with David, “The Lord is on my side, I will not fear. What can man do unto me?” Paul said almost the same thing when he declared, “The Lord is my helper and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”
 
Why should Christ’s true soldiers be fearful? If God be for us, who can be against us? Nathan Hale, a patriot in the Revolutionary War, said as he died, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” His zeal for the cause he believed in completely cast out fear in the face of death.
 
As followers of Christ we can cast out fear even as Nathan Hale did. “Whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.” This being true, why should we fear anything that concerns our personal safety? This doesn’t mean that we are justified in doing something foolish like running in front of a truck, but if we truly believe that the angel of the Lord is encamping around us, then why should we be filled with fear at the thought of flying or driving? Should we allow electrical storms and earthquakes to frighten us? Where is our faith? Are we not in God’s hands? If a sparrow does not fall to the ground without God’s knowledge, do we think that our plane could crash against God’s will? If God should allow us to be struck dead by lightning or earthquake, our days of probation would be over. How wise to develop the philosophy of Esther who did all that she could do. She fasted and prayed, and she was reconciled to what ever happened. She calmly said, “If I perish, I perish.” Queen Esther’s faith was rewarded and God delivered her and her people out of their trouble.
 
If it is God’s will for us to continue our work in His vineyard, no force on earth can harm us. If God is ready to give His beloved sleep, nothing can stay the hand of death. Peter was miraculously brought out of prison by an angel of God the night before he was to be slain. Later he was crucified with his head down. God does not always intervene, but all things are working together for our ultimate good.
 
How long we live is not important. Looking back we realize how insignificant it is that Jacob lived 147 years while Joseph died when he was 110. What difference does it make now that Joseph lived 37 years less than his father? He would be dead now anyway. Hezekiah would have been better off if he hadn’t lived that extra 15 years.
 
At the judgement seat, it won’t matter how long we lived, but what we did while alive. If we serve the Lord, we need have no fears, for we are in God’s hands. “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer . . . be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” Rev. 2:10.





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