Friday, April 11, 2014

Prayer of Peter Marshall 7-3-1947

God of our fathers, whose Almighty hand hath made and preserved our Nation, grant that our people may understand what it is they celebrate tomorrow.

May they remember how bitterly our freedom was won, the down payment that was made for it, the installments that have been made since this Republic was born, and the price that must yet be paid for our liberty.

May freedom be seen, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to please to do what is right.

May it ever be understood that our liberty is under God and can be found nowhere else.

May our faith be something that is not merely stamped upon our coins, but expressed in our lives.

Let us, as a nation, not be afraid of standing alone for the rights of men, since we were born that way, as the only nation on earth that came into being "for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith."

We know that we shall be true to the Pilgrim dream when we are true to the God they worshiped.

To the extent that America honors Thee, wilt Thou bless America, and keep her true as Thou hast kept her free, and make her good as Thou has made her rich. Amen.

-Prayers offered by the Cmaplain, the Rev. Peter marshall, D.D. at the opening of the daily sessions of the Senate of the United States during the Eightieth and Eighty-first Congress, 1947 - 1949.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

To All UK Fans

By Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

To all UK fans: 

I can practically see you, licking your sores today. I heard the bad news on the TV this morning, and my heart immediately went out to you in thinking I must say, "I'm sorry for your loss," but that did not seem to be appropriate.

Rather, I am saying "You should have known," or something in that direction. "They" have a saying that, "You can't win 'em all," and that seems to apply to this situation.

I was saved from all of this hurt and crying. I don't cry much. I almost cried when Zeva left NCIS and when The Mentalist came to its final episode; but I refrained from crying. 

Certainly we all should weep as the Lord wept at Lazarus' tomb. We should weep as he wept over Jerusalem. He wept, no doubt, due to those who did not understand him, who did not have a spiritual insight into his teachings. He wept because Israel had rejected her Messiah; and we should weep for those who do not know Jesus intimately through faith in his shed blood, his death, his burial, and his resurrection, realizing that he alone is God in the flesh, and the only way to Heaven is through him.

Let's cry a little more over lost sinners!

Monday, April 7, 2014

I Am Not What I Will Be

By Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe

It is a fact that I am not what I will be. There is no doubt that I will be older if I continue to live. I may be weaker, and  I may be ill or in a nursing home; but it is certain I am not what I will be. But I am not talking about these things. I will explain as we go along.

In thinking of this subject, let us consider that I am not what I used to be. When the Lord saved my soul at the age of 13, I was changed both in my mind and my soul. I repented of my sins and trusted Jesus Christ as Savior. I am now a new creature in Christ, because . . .if a man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all thing are become new, (2 Cor. 5:17).

Neither am I what I could be. I could be involved in all kinds of terrible sin. I could be a murderer. I could be a gambler or many more evil things, but I am not, due to God's grace.

But then I am what I am, as Paul says, . . . by the grace of God I am what I am . . . (1 Cor. 15:10).

But, then I am not what I will be. I will one day be perfect. I will be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor. 15:32). I will be with Jesus (John 14:3). I will be in eternity that was promised to me by Christ (Heb. 9:15). I will have a new body like the Lord's (Phil. 3:21). Are you saved by God's grace? If not, you may be right now what you will always be.

You are what you are, but are you what you are by the grace of God? Only God's grace can change your heart and give you a new life so you will be a new creature. Trust him today for salvation.

From First Baptist Church Bulletin, Feb. 16, 2014

Friday, April 4, 2014

Great Grace

By Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

The phrase “great grace” is used only once in the Bible:  Acts 4:33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.  The Bible speaks often of grace, but we notice here that for great grace to be used is a very special thing.  The word grace is used 122 times in the New Testament and 37 times in the Old Testament, so that wonderful word is used a total of 159 times in the Bible. That is an average of 2 1/2 times for each book of the Bible.

Grace is a wonderful word, because it expresses a work that God does for us that we cannot do for ourselves. To express great grace in our language, we use words such as amazing and wonderful. Some very precious songs have been written with grace in mind:  Amazing Grace, Wonderful Grace of Jesus, and Grace Greater Than All Our Sin, et al.

How to express this great grace is actually impossible for humans to accomplish. Grace is a mystery, and we are the recipients of it by God’s own will. How wonderful it is that God would extend his grace to us! We are undeserving of any grace from God, but he saved us by his grace. Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: I would call this Great Grace.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Closing The Doors

Malachi 1:10
By Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe

Malachi 1:10 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.

In our lesson today we are going to concentrate on the word "shut the doors for nought." The word "for nought" are taken from the Hebrew word CHINNAM, and it has shades of meaning, mainly the meaning of free of charge and the meaning of for no purpose, vain.

If we take the first meaning, we see that Malachi is asking if there were any who would simply shut the doors of the temple at the proper times without charge, or without being paid to do the work. This idea is shared by Hawker thus:  "though none of you will so much as open the doors of my house without a reward . . ." Henry relates it this way:  "The priests would offer the sacrifices that were brought to the altar, because they had their share of them; but as for any other service of the temple, that had not a particular fee belonging to it, they would not stir a step, nor lend a hand, to it; and this was the general temper of them."

Some, I suppose, today in our churches do a good work for the Lord, but it is only for pay; and, although a pastor is to live of the gospel, he is not to allow that to be his passion but rather the preaching and teaching of the word of God.

Jamison, Fauset, and Brown render the meaning thus:  "Better no sacrifices than vain ones (Isaiah 1:11-15)."

Also, John Gill thus:  "would there were any among you?" any good man that would shut the doors of the temple, that so a man might not bring an abominable offering; intimating, that the priests or Levites however, who were porters, ought to shut the doors against such persons;"

The text, I believe,  bears out that the shutting of the doors here refers to the vanity of the offerings that were given to God by the priests; therefore, the doors should never be opened to them, since the offerings have no real value.  The text states that the offerings have been profaned; that is, of no value for worship. Actually, this is a participle (according to some) and indicates a continuing offering of profanity to God (see verse 12).  Also, verse 13 explains further the vanity of the offerings given to God: they are a weariness, they are snuffed at; they are torn, lame, sick. This denotes that the offerings given in practice (not in heart) to God were actually vain.

With these vain and profaned offerings, perhaps there needs to be a shutting of doors among some "Christian" churches that offer up these vain sacrifices to God.Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.

But there will be a day, according to verse 11, that the name of the Lord will be great among the Gentiles, and there will be a pure offering given to God from among the heathen. This, no doubt, reaches far into time when Jesus will set up his Millennial Reign upon the earth, and both Jews and Gentiles shall offer a pure offering to him from the heart and not simply from practice.

We remember the words in Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. I pray we do not worship the Lord in vain. May he be glorified in our worship and our sacrifice of praise to his name.

May the door ever remain open in our churches because of our pure offering unto the Lord.