Monthly Archives: May 2016

Sunday Singing

Sunday Singing

Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.  Psalm 200:2

I look forward to each Sunday service at the Wilton Baptist Church.  I enjoy our church services as we lift up the Lord in song and with the preaching of the Word.  In both the 11:00 AM and 6:00 PM we enjoy and benefit from encouraging, positive, and Christ-honoring music.

Serving the Lord with gladness includes good music!  Bible centered music will point the musician, singer, and the listener to the Lord.  This music will guide away from the world, worldly rhythm of life, and help those involved with the music learn more of Jesus.

The special music selections are always fresh and exciting to me.  We are blessed to have several talented musicians that serve in this ministry.

The choir is always a blessing.  Their songs really set a tone as they start off each Sunday morning service.

The congregational singing is terrific!  Blending our voices together in songs and hymns that are rich in doctrine are a great way to worship and also a good method of committing Bible truth to heart. We still sing out of songbooks for our congregational singing.  I am like most: occasionally I miss the name and number of the next song as it is called out.   I am blessed with the song selection our assistant pastor lists on a screen on the wall.  That is a real help!

Go to church Sunday.  Grab a hymnal.  Lift your voice.  Participate. This Sunday’s singing can be the best you have ever heard.

 

 

 

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Uncovering the Mysteries of the Bible

Uncovering the Mysteries of the Bible

And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.  Matthew 13:10-11

We all tend to enjoy “mysteries.”  From playing “Clue” to possibly watching Colombo, many readers like to uncover the facts and solve a mystery.  The New Testament speaks at least 14 times about “mysteries.”  In order to understand the mysteries, the first mention of it, in the Gospels, must be understood.  The Mysteries of the Kingdom of God can be understood!  The “mysteries” of the New Testament were not previously understood by Old Testament Saints.  The Lord reveals these mysteries to the Christians who are searching for the answers in the Word.

Recently I drove by a modern castle about 30 minutes from where we live in upstate, New York.  This huge house did not have a large wall around it, but it would have looked great if it did.  Near Lexington Kentucky, there is a beautiful castle that someone lives in as a residence.  I have driven by many times.

Imagine a giant door to a castle.  Perhaps a European styled castle.  What is on the other side of the door?  Who is on the inside of the wall?  How can I get into this place?  Heaven is a wonder place where Jesus is today!  How can I go there?  Then as a Christian, how can I have access to God and know more about God?

The Kingdom of Heaven has one door, one entrance, and one key that unlocks the door so a person can go in.

Mysteries in the Bible are Understood when we know the following three truths:

Jesus is the Door.  Matthew 13:10-17 is the first time “mystery” is mentioned and it is in direct correlation to the first parable Jesus gives about the Farmer planting the seed of the Word of God.

John 10:7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

To Understand God, You Must Know Jesus. Jesus was talking, but the people were not listening.  He was in front of them, but they did not see Him.  People who refuse Jesus are blind and deaf when it comes to the parables that Jesus taught.  The parables had clear earthly illustrations in them.  At the same time, they contained a Heavenly or spiritual meaning.  A person who does not believe Jesus may think of a parable as a good story or merely entertainment.  Hearing the parable, the still do not heat the real message.

There is a Penalty for Refusing Jesus.  These people who refused to believe Jesus and hear His message could not understand His teaching.  In fact, the curse on a person who is given the truth and refuses it is that they will not understand.  Being left in the dark is not a good place to be if you are a detective!

The Door that needs opened to understand the mystery of the Kingdom is Jesus.  The comprehension and understanding of any of the other mysteries depends on what you do with Jesus.  Believe or not believe.

The Bible is the Entrance.  This is the idea of a Door Frame or threshold.  Mark 4:10-13 indicates that what a person believes about the Bible makes a big difference.  In fact, without the Word, we would now know how to be saved. 

A person can enter if: the Bible is the Authority and the Bible is trusted.  Then the Door can be opened.  In this parable, the Seed of the Word of God receives various responses.  Each response is indicative of the condition of a human heart.

Why Then Do Some Fall Away?  It seems that come allow the Word to entire their life then fall away.  Why?

  • Some were not believers to begin with. The seed is on the “way side.”  Mark 4:15 tells how Satan steals the seed of the Word.
  • Some have big troubles that come and are not rooted. Mark 4:16-17
    • They are happy for a moment then fade away.
    • They have no “depth” in their Christianity.
    • There are many shallow Christians. Bible reading, prayer, witnessing, church attendance are the start of depth.  Most are unfaithful in this.
    • These uprooted are not in the Bible so the deeper things of God are unknown to them.
  • Some Have Temptations that are Powerful. Mark 4:18-19
    • The cares of this world.
    • Riches and money.
    • The lust for stuff.
    • These things choke out the Word. These are too busy for the things of God.
    • They are not focused on the Lord and His Word so they do not understand the deeper things of the Kingdom of God.
  • Some grow in the Things of God. Mark 4:20
    • They accept the Word.
    • They let the Word grow.
    • They see fruit in their life.

Our Response to God’s Word is what reveals His mysteries to us.

Radio preacher J Vernon McGee said: “If a man wants to know the Word of God, he can know it. He who wants to know the truth can know it. But you can shut your ears to it. There are multitudes of so-called broadminded people who shut their ears to the Word of God. If you don’t want to hear it, you won’t hear it, my friend. Not only would you fail to hear it, but you wouldn’t understand it if you did hear it. You must have the kind of ear that wants to hear the Word of God.”

Faith is the Key in Luke 8:9-18.

Jesus said in Mathew 16:17 “… Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”  Since eternal life is a spiritual proposition, it cannot be attained or understood in mere physical terms.

What is Required to Enter the Kingdom?  What is needed to Open the Door and Go Through the Entrance?  Faith!  Faith in Jesus and His Gospel is what is needed!  Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

What is Required to Know Jesus and Understand the Word? Faith! Hebrews 11:6 declares, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

This concept concerning faith is thoughtfully captures in this old song:

“Prayer is the key to Heaven,
But faith unlocks the door;
Words are so easily spoken,
But prayer without faith
Is like a boat without an oar.

Have faith when you speak to the Master,
That’s all he asks you for;
Prayer is the key to Heaven,
But faith unlocks the door.”

The Mysteries of the Kingdom of God can be understood!   The mystery is this: the truth is in plain sight, but some do not understand it because of a lack of faith…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life Lessons From Mother

Recently I came across the following in a message illustration file…

‘My mother taught me to appreciate a job well done. “If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.” 

My mother taught me religion. “You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”

My mother taught me logic. “Because I said so, that’s why.”

My mother taught me more logic. “If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me.”

My mother taught me irony. “Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

My mother taught me about the science of osmosis. “Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”

My mother taught me about stamina. “You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”

My mother taught me about weather. “This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.”

My mother taught me about hypocrisy. “If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times. Don’t exaggerate!”

My mother taught me about envy. “There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have wonderful parents like you do.”

My mother taught me about anticipation. “Just wait until your father gets home.”

My mother taught me medical advice. “If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way.”

My mother taught me humor. “When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”

My mother taught me about my roots. “Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?”

My mother taught me wisdom. “When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.”

My mother taught me about justice. “One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you.”’

Did you enjoy those sayings?  Perhaps your mother spoke some of these things to you too!

Today, thank the Lord for your mother.  Determine to show her honor and respect.  Recall and remember the instruction she gave to you.  There are many serious lessons she taught you during your childhood.  Some were verbal lessons while many were demonstration lessons given in everyday life.

Much of how you act, behave, speak, and even what you accomplish in life has been impacted by your mother. Don’t forsake the lessons she gave.  Take them with you.

Proverbs 1:8-9 says, “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.”

Mom, I love you.  Thank you for the life lessons!