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What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
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Despite its lowest attendance in decades, InterVarsity's historic conference aims to combat student cynicism through scriptural hope.Plenty of today’s evangelical leaders look back to Urbana conferences over the years as the catalyst that drove them to ministry.But for the shrinking crowd at InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s (IVCF) triennial conference—held over the past few days in St. Louis—the path to the mission field appears more complicated.The college students who attended Urbana ‘18, though passionate about Christ, hold different expectations for life after graduation, often taking longer to settle into a vocation, and carry stress over growing student debt.“This is changing the way that InterVarsity and mission agencies are engaging with participants,” said Greg Jao, senior assistant to IVCF president Tom Lin.“We need a longer-term strategy to help people who may make decisions about the missions field while they’re at Urbana as college students sustain their interest and commitment over the longer period of time that it takes to figure it out.”Determining how to navigate these challenges as Generation Z enters college is crucial for ministries like Urbana. Attendance at the historic conference is down to its lowest in at least 20 years, with around 10,000 attendees in 2018, compared to 16,000 in 2015.But the crowd and speakers were more diverse than ever, already resembling the majority-minority demographics of the next generation: 64 percent of attendees were non-white.“At the conferences that I’ve been to that have been less diverse, I felt I was unrepresented and it was hard for me to worship well,” Daniela Bushiri, an engineering major at New Jersey Institute of Technology, told CT. “Seeing minorities on the stage means a lot because it shows us that we ...Continue reading...
Let me begin by saying I am young in the pastorate, and some would quickly point out that I have no business attempting to share counsel about music in the church. I am somewhat of an enigma because I am soon to be fifty years old, but I have only been a pastor for less than seven years. So I am an older guy with very little experience in the pastorate! My goal is to be biblical in these thoughts!With that in mind, here are five truths that have been helpful in our ministry.1. The Purity of the Vessel Is PrimaryLet the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.—Colossians 3:16Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:—Isaiah 29:13This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.—Matthew 15:8Even while singing, the singer's heart may be many miles away from the words on his lips! We would do well to ask the question, “Do they see Jesus in me?” When the vessel is pure, the song can then be pleasing to our holy God!2. The Date of the Selection Is Not a DisqualifierSing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.—Psalm 33:3And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.—Psalm 40:3O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth.—Psalm 96:1O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.—Psalm 98:1I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee.—Psalm 144:9Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.—Psalm 149:1Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.—Isaiah 42:10And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;—Revelation 5:9And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.—Revelation 14:3There seems to be some validity to singing new songs! There may be some (I say this “tongue-in-cheek”) who will be in a corner with arms crossed and a scowl on their faces as Revelation 14:3 becomes reality!It is certainly true that every song was once new! On the other hand, older songs that are in hymnbooks have arrived there through longevity associated with quality. They have survived because of their brilliance!3. The Excellence of the Delivery Is EssentialAnd it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place: (for all the priests that were present were sanctified, and did not then wait by course: Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets:) It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD; So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God.—2 Chronicles 5:11–14From appearance to performance, excellence was on display! “Winging it” may sound real, but it can be lacking in excellence. “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might!” Interestingly, the glory of God arrived after the excellence was on display!4. The Critique of the Writer Is Not CompulsoryAlthough I do not advocate for completely disregarding the source of our music, it is worth observing that some of our favorite hymns were written by those who would never be asked to speak in our churches. Their songs have been preferred because of the beauty of the words, but the writer and his or her doctrinal beliefs are not always identical to ours! It has been said and bears repeating that the greatest songwriter of all time (David) was an adulterer, liar, murderer, and polygamist!5. The Direction of the Praise is a DistinguisherColossians 3:16 indicates that we are to sing “to the Lord.” When our singing is to bring praise to our name, we have lost our purpose! The goal is to draw people closer to God with prepared hearts for the preaching of God's Word.We should pray more often than we criticize! It is not easy to prepare and sing publicly! Pray that every service is marked by songs that lift the name of Jesus and glorify His great name!To God be the glory!Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.—Ephesians 3:21
Temple Baptist Church - 12-2-2018Romans 11:1-6Introduction: A. Verse 1-2 - Paul now asked the obvious question: “Hath God cast away his people.” Immediately, we find Paul's answer to the question: “God forbid!” How could God cast away the Nation of Israel despite the prayers of God's people. Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.B. Going back to Jeremiah, Chapter 18, we find God's answer to the question:Jeremiah 18:4-6 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. (5) Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, (6) O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.C. Though set aside for a while, God will never cast away His peculiar people, Israel.Jeremiah 31:1-3 At the same time, saith the LORD, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people. (2) Thus saith the LORD, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest. (3) The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.D. Verses 2-3 - Elijah prayed against Israel in what we call in imprecatory prayer. “Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.”E. Verse 4-5 – God answered Elijah. “I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.” F. Though the Nation rejected the prophets in both Old and New Testaments, there has continued to be a remnant of believers in every dispensation.1. The Old Testament Saints – Acts 15: 7-11 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.a) Grace Was Before The Law - Genesis 6:8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.b) Grace Was During The Law - Jeremiah 31:2 Thus saith the LORD, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest.Psalms 78:37-39, 72 For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant. But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath. For he remembered that they [were but] flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again . . . (72) So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.2. The New Testament Saints - Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:a) Saving Grace - Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believedin Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.b) Securing Grace - 2 Thessalonians 2:16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.c) Sanctifying Grace – Titus 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 3. The Tribulation Saintsa) Evident Grace - Revelation 7:13-14 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation,and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.b) Enduring Grace - Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. 4. The Millennial SaintsIsaiah 11:10-11 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. (11) And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people …5. The Eternal Saints (It started in grace and it will always be grace through out all eternity. Halleluiah!)Ephesians 2:5-7 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.G. The Character of God's Grace.1. God's Grace Is Amazing - Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.2. God's Grace Is Admonishing - Titus 2:11-12 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;3. God's Grace Is Available - Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,4. God's Grace Is Attacked - Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:Jude 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.H. The Consistency Of Grace. Grace has never changed.a. Grace Offered In The Past - Romans 10:21 But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.b. Grace Offered In The Present - John 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.I. The Continuing of Grace. Salvation will always be grace and grace alone and I thank God for it.1. Grace Frees Us From Works - Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.2. Grace Frees Us From Boasting - Romans 3:27-28 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.3. Grace Frees Us From Worry - Romans 4:4-5 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
In Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice in Wonderland, Alice asks, “How long is forever?” The White Rabbit responds, “Sometimes, just one second.” It sure felt that way when my brother David suddenly died. The days leading to his memorial dragged on, intensifying the sense of loss and grief we felt. Every second seemed to last forever.Another David echoed this sentiment, singing, “How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me?” (Psalm 13:1-2). Four times in just two verses, he asks God, “How long?”—reminding us that, sometimes, the pains of life are made wore because it seems as if they will never end.Into this heartache steps the presence and care of our heavenly Father. Like King David, we can honestly go to Him with our pain and loss, knowing that He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). The psalmist discovered this as well, allowing his lament to move from a minor key to a major key singing, “But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.” (Psalm 13:5).In our seemingly endless moments of struggle, His unfailing love promises to carry us through.
BoatWhen was the last time that you did something really dopey? A few weeks ago I heard an audio clip of a 911 call made by a woman in Florida who was beginning to panic because her car battery was dead and she had locked herself inside the car. With a tinge of hysteria she begged for help because the power windows were disabled by the dead battery, it was getting very hot in the car, and she wasn't feeling well. However, she handled it with great aplomb when the operator told her to pull up on the knob for the door lock and then open the door. As the clip comes to an end, one can actually hear the dear lady becoming aware of her dullness. She plainly apologizes and bids the operator a good day. However simple minded she was, something must be said of her humility. In the very same week, a few thousand miles away, President Obama accomplished a first among American presidents. He performed perhaps the greatest breach of etiquette of any American president, living or dead. In England, upon meeting a member of the royal family, rather than the customary handshake, he bowed, bending deeply at the waist. One might initially think, being in the United Kingdom, that he bowed to her majesty the Queen. Sorry, try again. Our president didn't choose to bow to the jolly Queen. Barack Hussein Obama showed deep appreciation and humble devotion to the murderous enslaver, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Instead of reciprocating the bow, denoting equality and mutual respect, the King waited for the act of adoration to be complete and then shook Obama's hand. If you ask me, it was a pretty dopey thing to do for a man holding the highest office of the world's only superpower and leader of the free world. I would say very dopey, if I were to put it bluntly. Our president - however humble he tried to be, something must be said of his dimness. Although, unlike the security challenged lady in Florida who recognized her hilarious error, those surrounding our president refuse even to acknowledge the obvious. Therefore, the obstinacy continues to abound with a presidential aide denying that the bow was even a bow at all. According to Ben Smith of Politico, an Obama aide defended, "It wasn't a bow. He grasped his hands with two hands, and he's taller than King Abdullah." The ridiculous denial of an obvious act of fealty sounds like something out of the "my dad can beat up your dad" school of playground insults. Hint to the White House - admit it, move on, and don't make the same mistake again. Americans should not bow to anyone other than Jesus Christ. They should worship none other than God Almighty. We are a free nation, and our ancestors fought long and hard to ensure our liberty. Hence, the sight alone of seeing the Commander-in-Chief self-deprecate before arguably one of the five worst dictators in the world makes my blood boil. But for everyone at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to deny it, compounds the problem ten-fold. Learn this Mr. and Mrs. White House Aide, the American people are not idiots, but they are forgiving. We are not helpless, but we are trusting. Don't treat us like kids. Try treating us like adults, and maybe the same respect will be returned, with a firm handshake, instead of groveling genuflection. Yours for Portugal, Bro. Michael Andrzejewski Bro. Michael Andrzejewski currently serves with his wife and five children as a missionary to Portugal and is sent out of Milledgeville Baptist Church in Milledgeville, TN. For more information about their ministry please visit MBC Portugal Missions.
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