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Archive for October, 2014

1 Samuel

Pastor John,

I was reading the “Suffering and the Saints” book last night.  I started the 2nd section The Judges and read these scriptures:

1 Samuel 15:22-23:

22 And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.”

​​I felt like the Lord really opened my eyes to this scripture last night.  Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Whew!  It put a fear in me that I had to stop and pray that the Lord finds no rebellion or stubbornness in me!  To really see it like that really did something to me.

Michelle H

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Hi Michelle.

It is interesting that you should bring that up.  During the night last night and this morning, the Lord has been showing me how “the pride of life” plays into stubbornness and rebellion.

The pride of life makes us feel that our life is so important that we are equal to those whom God has put over us – and that feeling is there, in the flesh, from the time we are born.  It is the reason toddlers have to be disciplined, and older children refuse to follow instruction, and grown ups ignore laws and do things their own way.  This is the way of all the earth, the way of the flesh, not of the Spirit of God, and it is evil.

Paul said, “In me (that is, in my flesh), dwells no good thing.”  But he had to suffer greatly to gain that knowledge.  As a young man, persecuting God’s children, he did not feel that way.  He was too full of the pride of life to see it.

May God grant us the humility of Christ, which overcomes our inborn assumption that our kind of life is something grand and important and that our way is as good as the way of those whom God has set over us for our good.

Pastor John

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Preacher Clark Pearl

Hi John,

Preacher Clark had some very good things to say.  I found this pearl today, from a prayer meeting long ago:

I wish people could do right.  But I am not going to fret myself.  We can’t fix others when we have not been delivered.  We can only complain about them.  God can fix us more than once.  I have been fixed since God fixed me the first time.

And then he added:

This place would be a hard place for someone to come who does not really want to be delivered.

Amen!

Amy B.

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Hi John,

We have finished reading Judges and also read Ruth in our O.T. class last night.  The Judges were very sobering, as always, and Ruth is a very sweet love story about God and His people.

Otis also read this from your O.T. course (see below).  It’s always fascinating to me where we read in class because it’s pretty much where we are as a body a lot of the times.  You can feel the severity AND the love of God for His people in these passages.

Billy

(The following text is from photocopied images. The quality maybe impaired as a result.)

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Hornoring God Above  Children pg. 1 001

Honoring God Above Children pg. 2 001

Honoring God Above Children pg. 3 001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bringing In The Sheaves

Hey Pastor John,

This morning the song “Bringing in the Sheaves” was playing in my head.  I’m not really familiar with that hymn, but we have sung it a few times I know.  When I looked up the lyrics, there was a scripture reference to Psalm 126, so I read it. Jesus is so full of encouragement.

Psalm 126: (KJV)

When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.

Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them.

The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.

Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the south.

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

Cris

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 http://www.goingtojesus.com/suffering-and-the-saints.html

​Good morning Bro John,

I have been reading in the “Suffering and the Saints” book this morning. The section on “The Saints in Corinth” felt so valuable to me after the meeting last night.

We all have said how much we love this book and what it means to have the truth taught by an anointed man of God. Well, what you said last night is what is in this section of the book.

So I typed up just one page that is so good.

Sheila

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Suffering and the Saints  

From the section: The Saints in Corinth – Pages 175, 176, 177: 

The subject of chastisement of the saints should never be treated as a subject that is apart from the goodness and wisdom and power of the Creator. His goodness, because God corrects us for our benefit, not His own. His wisdom, because He knows the thoughts and intents of our heart and makes righteous judgments. His power, because it is He alone who determines how and when and by whom our correction will come, whether by revelation, or by the exhortation of an elder, or by sickness, weakness, and even premature death. 

Those sufferings are from God, in wisdom measured by Him specifically for individual members and are judgments of the Lord. We can have hope and comfort, as long as we understand that the Lord’s discipline is a sure indication of His love and that the purpose is not to condemn but to save as Paul explained: When we are judged, we are chastened y the Lord so that we should not be condemned with the world.         

When God chastens, He chastens with a good, healing purpose.

That story of the lost lamb, told by Jesus, indicates that there is not an obedient saint alive who stands any closer to God’s heart than the saint who has sinned and is now suffering the bitter consequence.

Our loving heavenly Father does not afflict willingly nor grieve His children but when we resist His will, we push Him to unpleasant and severe measures. But it is with GREAT  thankfulness that it is still our heavenly Father who holds the chastening rod. Even though He causes grief, He will have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies. 

In difficult times, it is comforting to remember that the disciplining of the saints is a family affair. 

The worst thing that could happen is to be given free rein in our sin, to be abandoned to wander in darkness of our own stubborn way. 

The Father’s gentle, comforting touch shows us the higher way. Sometimes for our sakes, He must be more forceful. Nevertheless, when those harsher times come, we can still be confident that it is our father at work, answering – in His wise way – our prayers to be made more pleasing in His sight.  

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Hey Brother John,

Part of this page that Sheila typed out reminded me of one of my favorite verses.  She wrote, ​”In difficult times, it is comforting to remember that the disciplining of the saints is a family affair. The worst thing that could happen is to be given free rein in our sin, to be abandoned to wander in darkness of our own stubborn way.”

Last winter you encouraged all of us to go back and study the law, which I did.  That’s when I ran across this verse.  (Lev. 19:17)  “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him.”     

I have been on the receiving end of the kind of love that is required to keep that commandment.  The memories of that love is what makes that verse so special to me.  The saints that meet at your house that have loved me enough to keep me on the right track are very valuable to me.  All of them are very dear to my heart, and I hope that they can see that in the way that I treat them now.

Looking forward to getting my copy of the book soon.

Billy H.

 

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http://www.goingtojesus.com/suffering-and-the-saints.html

Good morning,

Don’t know why this section about King Sennacherib was so interesting to me​.  I just keep thinking about it:  

“The intoxicating gratification of his success blurred his judgment.”​

Your descriptive words caused me to think of their meaning. He was just drunk with joy, excitement and happiness in achieving his goal of success (in destroying Israel and Judah) that he forgot Jehovah, became proud, blasphemed God and took all the credit for himself.  

He didn’t stay sober-minded. In other words, he got “stuck on himself” with his accomplishments. Human nature just loves pride and to boast in itself. 

There is so much in this book to stop and think about and absorb. Of course, I have many, many favorite sections (not quite finished it yet). 

Sheila

 

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Hi John,

This evening I picked up an article of yours entitled “A Better End” which you had written when Josiah and Kaylie were married, and it caught my attention.

Some of the truths in it really rang true in light of the hour we are in.  I typed up a few things that I thought were especially important to fathers and every believer, really. 

Here are the things you wrote that stood out to me:

In Ecclesiastes, Solomon is quoted in the King James version as saying:  “better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof” (Eccl.7:8).  But that is true only in cases of something bad. The end of disease in your body, for example, is better than the start of it; and the end of a war on earth is better than the beginning of that war. 

If marriage sanctioned by God ends in divorce, the end is certainly not better than the beginning.  God hates that kind of end to a marriage he has sanctioned.

It is the completion, not the untimely end of a good thing that is better than the beginning of it.  And that is true of every good thing in this life, including life itself.

For our ends to be better than our beginnings we have to start something good, and then complete it.  Continue in the good things God has given you; be patient, and let them bear fruit.  If we love what good thing God has granted [us], then we will all do our part to give [each other] the help [we] need to reach that expected, better end.  May God give us the grace to do so.

The thing that stood out to me was that to truly be like Christ, we can’t stop short of completion.  The changes God requires of us now must happen, and then they must “stick.”  That is the “better end”, that is our victorious testimony.  That is the life God wants for us:  faithful now, and faithful to the end.  Changed now, and walking in that change till the end. 

And “any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5).  I have always loved that verse.  If we believe it, if our heart is in it, God will do it.  Why wouldn’t He?  That is our better end.

Gary

 

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