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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
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Technology is interesting in that the more integrated into your life a particular aspect of it becomes the more likely you are to take it for granted. And perhaps the less likely you are to consider its impact on your life—for good or for bad.In the early days of social media (which, believe it or not, was only just over fifteen years ago), I remember how carefully many pastors and mature Christians approached it—with caution regarding what it was designed to do and how it might be used to damage lives.That statement probably sounds silly to anyone who wasn't around or aware when some of the earliest networking platforms were first coming on the scene with reports of broken homes, hidden addictions, exploited children, and other disastrous situations closely following. As a pastor of a large church, some of my earliest exposure to these platforms was tragic counseling situations.Even so, fast forward fifteen years, and here we are—with social media so integrated into our lives that we check it on our phones during thirty-second downtimes, without even making a conscious choice.The danger in this is not necessarily the social media itself, but our lack of awareness to how it is affecting us and our lack of conscious choice to use it as a tool.Social media, in fact, can be a tremendous tool. I blog (obviously) and use Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram…and I enjoy them all. But if we're not aware of and purposeful in how we use it, we're likely to miss out on benefits and become burdened with its negative aspects.BlessingsSo what are some of the blessings of social media?Edification—Our words have tremendous potential for good, and social media can magnify this potential. It is a blessing to me to read reports of how God is blessing in other people's lives and ministries or to receive encouragement through others' social media posts. I endeavor to make my posts edifying as well.Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.—Romans 14:19Communication—Social media is a powerful tool for communicating with friends and co-laborers around the globe. Being able to see and send prayer requests instantly to many people is a blessing to me. Additionally, I love reading updates from friends in ministry of God's blessings. Social networking provides added opportunities to rejoice with those who rejoice. I still appreciate the longer, more direct forms of emails, missionary prayer letters, and other forms of communication. But for instant sharing of ministry blessings or prayer needs, social media is tremendous.As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.—Proverbs 25:25Strengthened relationships—Social media will never be a replacement for face-to-face relationships, but it does strengthen existing relationships and can provide a greater sense of connectedness.Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.—Proverbs 27:17Godly influence—Social media provides a free platform from which to exert a godly influence. It provides another context in which we can be a voice for biblical truth.The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.—Mark 1:3BurdenLike anything in a fallen world, however, these blessings don't come without potential for misuse. In what ways does social media become a burden?Self-focus—Have you ever found yourself mentally composing a post about an event while you were actually in the moment…or, perhaps worse, seeking out an event for the social media currency it may bring?…be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.—1 Peter 5:5Gossip and slander—Social media is like a megaphone to the communication sins to which we are already prone. Gossip, lying, slander, angry rants, or foolish conversations—all of these and more too often fill our social media streams. Whether it is our own propensity to engage in these or just the frustration of sifting through them, they sometimes make social media a burden more than a blessing.Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.—Proverbs 18:21A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.—Proverbs 29:11Constant distraction—The online world fights for our attention to feed its voracious appetite for clicks and the layers of engagement and ad revenue that feed off of our clicks and taps. Constant notifications, subconscious scrolling of our feeds, and the ever-present access of our phones combine to limit our focus on work and ministry that really matters.Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.—Ephesians 5:16So is social media a blessing or a burden?Yes.It can be either.And awareness is a big part of the solution. Recognizing both the blessings and the dangers of social media helps us to use it more purposefully and wisely.Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.—Ephesians 4:29
“Give Me This Mountain” I find Caleb to be one of the most inspiring personalities in the Old Testament. At eighty-five years old, he had not relinquished the spirit that had motivated him when he was forty. He still believed that through the help and power of God great things could be accomplished. Mountains could be possessed!And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children's for ever, because thou hast wholly followed the LORD my God. And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.—Joshua 14:9–12A study of the life of Caleb will yield four lessons that are important for us to consider today.1. He Was Not Defeated or Discouraged by What Others Thought of HimI enjoy considering the meaning of names as I study; at times, especially in the Old Testament, they can reveal something to us about the person. The name Caleb does not reveal the character of this man, but may be an insight into some of the obstacles he faced. Caleb literally means “dog.” One scholar says it means “raging with canine madness.” In our vernacular, I think we would say Caleb was a “pit bull.” The truth is that though Caleb was of the tribe of Judah, he was from a clan in Judah that had a lower culture and a poor reputation.Notice his father was Jephunneh the Kenezite. This was a wild clan that lived as much amongst the Edomites as the Hebrews. They were not a well-thought-of group. My point is simply this: Caleb was not probably the best educated, nor was he the most cultured man, nor did he come from the royal folk; but he did have a heart for God. He was not going to let his education, his culture, or his family history stop him from being all he could be for God. He became a “pit bull” for God. No giant, no negative Hebrew could stop his zeal for serving the Lord.2. He Refused to Be Influenced by the Negative MajorityAnd Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.—Numbers 13:30When ten of the twelve spies brought an evil, negative report, Caleb spoke in opposition to them and in favor of entering and conquering Canaan. How easy it would have been for him to just blend in. He could have let those articulate ten princes have their say and just nod in agreement.Why should he choose to go against such an influential crowd? Because the crowd was wrong! Caleb was not going to remain silent while the majority was doubting and disobeying God. Thank God that Caleb was willing to take a stand for what was right even when that stand was unpopular.3. He Remained Steadfast throughout His LifetimeCaleb said the Lord had kept him alive for forty-five years from that fateful day when the majority ruled. For forty-five years, Caleb had wandered in the wilderness through no fault of his own. He suffered the same hardships and trials as those who had disobeyed God. Yet, his zeal to serve the Lord had not waned.Our generation needs to learn the steadfastness of Caleb. I am told that the average time a person is passionate to serve God in our churches is three years. May God help us to have the spirit of Caleb to passionately serve Him all the days of our lives.Dr. John Rawlings played such a vital role in leading me to Christ and in encouraging me as a young pastor. He was a man who possessed an unflagging spirit. I will never forget as I visited with him when he was ninety-six years old, and he showed me his ten-year ministry plan. When he went to Heaven at ninety-nine years old, he was still planning and serving. God help us to be committed to serve until our last day! Age may require changes in the work of our ministry, but it never supplies a reason to quit serving.4. He Did Not Let Obstacles Keep Him from the Fight and, Ultimately, the VictoryJoshua 15:13–19 tells how Caleb organized his family to fight the enemy and take the mountain, the walled city, and overcome the giants. Everything in life that is worth accomplishing has obstacles. But knowing God's will allows obstacles to become opportunities for Him to work through us.One of the greatest soulwinners I have ever known was a man named Carlos Demarest. He led thousands to the Lord and encouraged so many Christians to be better witnesses. He was stricken with ALS, and the last stages left him unable to speak and greatly restricted in movement. In his last days of life, he felt led of the Lord to get the phone book of Mexico City, Mexico, and put a letter explaining the gospel and a gospel tract in an envelope and mail it to every listing. Many churches gave to that project; and in his last days, I went to Cincinnati and sat at the table with him and worked with him as he labored, trying to get the letters and tracts into the envelopes.Though he could not speak, he wrote in an almost illegible note, “Pray, Mike, maybe these folks will get saved!” No obstacle could keep him from serving. I have no doubt that in Heaven we will meet people who got envelopes in the mail and met the Saviour because of a severely handicapped man's untiring efforts to “take that mountain.”May God give us the spirit of Caleb. There is still so much to be done and more mountains to conquer!
Temple Baptist Church - 4-28-20191 Chronicles 29:1-9Introduction:A. In our text this morning, we find Israel preparing to build Solomon's Temple. From the time of Israel's departure from Egypt to King David's day, God's presence was found in the Tabernacle, a special tent where God met with man.B. David's desire was to build God a house but was not allowed to do so because he was a man of war so David and Israel prepared by storing up the materials necessary to build the Temple in Solomon's day.1. Verse 1. The Work was Great. “the work is great.” It was to be the greatest building project the world had ever known: a house built for the glory and worship of God. 2. Verse 1. The Temple was Great. “the palace … for the Lord.” Heretofore, God's presence had resided in and met with the people of God in a tent, the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. Israel would now begin building Solomon's Temple.3. Verse 2. The Effort was Great. “I have prepared with all my might.” David prepared with all his might as there was so much to accomplish in such a short time.4. Verse 2. The Cost was Great. “gold … silver … brass … iron … wood … stones … marble … in abundance.” Solomon's Temple was the most expensive building in the world. 5. Verse 3. The Affection was Great. “I have set my affection to the house of my God.” The people of Israel were thrilled by the prospect.6. Verse 3-5. The Sacrifice was Great. “I have of mine own proper good … over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house.” David and the people gave of their “proper good.” Something put up or a peculiar treasure.7. Verses 5-8. Their Willingness was Great. “(5) who then is willing to consecrate … (6) offered willingly … (7) gave for the service of the house of God … (8) gave for the service of the house of God.” They gave above and beyond expectation. They did not give the minimum required by law, but gave freely of a willing heart.8. Verse 9. Their Rejoicing was Great. “rejoiced with great joy.” What a privilege and blessing it was to them to give to the work of the Lord. Their sacrifice was a thing of rejoicing and joy, not sorrow and hardship.C. I just wanted to take a few minutes this morning to commend Temple Baptist Church for your willingness to give. I do not spend a lot of time preaching on tithing and giving because most of you understand both the command to give and the blessing of giving. 2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.D. This is the greatest giving church that I have ever been associated with! I do not know who gives what but I do know what is given and stand amazed.E. The local church is the place of God's choosing to edify the saints, teach the Word of God, prepare for the ministry, and carry the gospel to a lost and dying world.1. The Purpose of Giving. It is two-fold.a. The Commission is great. Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (To go into all the world while remaining at home. The only way to do that is to give to missions.)b. The Church is great. Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (26) That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (27) That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.2. The Proving of Giving. a. Our Attitude towards God's House - Malachi 3:10a-12 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house … b. Our Attitude towards the souls of men - Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (To evangelize at home and abroad at the same time.)c. Our Attitude towards our finances - 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; (2) How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. (3) For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; (4) Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. (5) And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God. (The local church is a non-profit organization by design. God's money is to be spent wisely.) 3. The Pleasure of Giving.a. Giving with cheerfulness. 2 Corinthians 9:7-11 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. (8) And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (9) (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. (10) Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) (11) Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.b. Giving with confidence. Malachi 3:10b-12 … and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. (11) And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. (12) And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.2 Corinthians 9:6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Your weekly Dose of SpurgeonThe PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. The following excerpt is from the MTP, volume 14, sermon number 843, "Effectual calling." Image result for charles spurgeon"Brethren, it is no child's play to be a Christian." Many have I known who have had a call of a certain sort, who have tried to go to Canaan and yet to stop at Haran. They would fain serve God and yet live as they used to live. They think it possible to be a Christian and yet to be a servant of the world. They attempt the huge impossibility of yoking the Lion of the tribe of Judah and the lion of the pit in the same chariot, and driving through the streets of life therewith.Ah, sirs! the call which comes from God brings a man right out, while the call which only comes to your fleshly nature leaves us with the rest of mankind, and will leave us there to be bound up in the same bundle with sinners, and cast into the same fire. Many come out of Egypt but never arrive at Canaan, like the children of Israel who left their carcasses in the wilderness, their hearts are not sound towards the Lord.They start fairly, but the taste of the garlic and the onions lingers in their mouth, and holds their minds by Egypt's fleshpots still. Like the planets, they are affected by two impulses: one would draw them to heaven, but another would drive them off at a tangent to the world; and so they revolve, like the mill-horse, without making progress; continuing still nominally to fear the Lord, and yet to serve other gods practically and in their hearts.Beware, dear friends, of the call which makes you set out, but does not lead you to hold out. Pray that this text may be true to you, “They went forth to go into the land of Canaan, and to the land of Canaan they came.” Do not be content with praying to be saved, never be satisfied until you are saved.Do not be content with trying to believe and trying to repent; come to Christ, and both repent and believe, and give no slumber to your eyelids till you are a penitent believer. Make a full and complete work of your believing. Strive not to reach the strait gate, but to enter it. For this you must have a call from the Lord of heaven.I can call you as I have called many of you scores of times, and you have gone a little way, and you have bidden fair to go the whole way; but when your goodness has been as a morning cloud and as the early dew, it soon has been scattered and has gone. God grant you yet to receive the call of his eternal Spirit, that you may be saved.
In the 1820s frontier wilderness, survival is a bear.mpaa rating:R (For strong frontier combat and violence including gory images, a sexual assault, language and brief nudity.)Genre:Drama, WesternDirected By: Alejandro G. IñárrituRun Time: 2 hours 36 minutes Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will PoulterTheatre Release:January 08, 2016 by Twentieth Century Fox Film CorporationOne of the memorable (and most talked about) scenes in The Revenant is an epic fight between Leonardo DiCaprio and a grizzly bear. The bloody brawl occurs early in the film and is the plot’s inciting incident. Gravely injured by the bear, 1820s frontiersman Hugh Glass (DiCaprio) is left for dead by his fellow hunters/fur-traders and must survive in the wilderness in the dead of winter.As if it wasn’t already hard enough to survive the Pawnee tomahawks and arrows, subzero temperatures, blizzards, dehydration, and treacherous men within his own group (most notably Tom Hardy’s villainous character Fitzgerald), Glass must do it all having been maimed, mauled, and flayed by a bear.But the death match with the bear is also thematically significant, as it sets up the film’s existential grappling with the meaning of humankind as unique (or not) among the creatures of the earth. What makes a man different from a bear? In their brutal fight, Glass and grizzly are evenly matched. Their fight is mirrored later in the film by a human-on-human blood bout that is no less savage and similarly choreographed.Throughout the film, as he survives alone in the wilderness, Glass is purposely made to look and act like a bear. He wraps himself in bear fur as a coat and crawls along the ground. He grabs fish directly from a mountain river and takes bites out of them. He devours flesh directly from the carcass of a buffalo. His most elemental instinct is to protect his young.Director Alejandro González Iñárritu, fresh off an Academy Award for a film where a man has fantasies of being bird-like (Birdman), this time explores a story that may as well be called Bearman. (Read our exclusive interview ...Continue reading...
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