• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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It’s Time To Man Up!

In various forms, this has become one of my favorite phrases: “It’s time to man up!” It usually comes to mind when I see grown men not behaving like grown men. It has nothing to do with sports, or being able to defend yourself physically; it is taking responsibility in all areas of your life, living with honor, keeping your word, supporting yourself and your family, and obeying the Scriptures through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This all comes to mind again after reading a couple of interesting articles by Amber Lapp titled “Waiting to be Wooed” published by tothesource.org and Leon Kass’s article “The End of Courtship” at Boundless.org. Kass writes of our society:

Youth, not adulthood, is the cultural ideal, at least as celebrated in the popular culture. Yes, everyone feels themselves to be always growing, as a result of this failed relationship or that change of job. But very few aspire to be fully grown-up, and the culture does not demand it of them, not least because many prominent grown-ups would gladly change places with today’s 20-somethings. Why should a young man be eager to take his father’s place, if he sees his father running away from it with all deliberate speed . . . .? Contemporary liberals and conservatives alike are trying to figure out how to get men “to commit” to marriage, or to keep their marital vows, or to stay home with the children. . . .

While reading Amber Lapp’s article, the titles of two books caught my attention: Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men into Boys by Kay Hymowitz; and Why There are No Good Men Left: The Romantic Plight of the Single Woman by Barbara Dafoe Whitehead. You may or may not find these books an interesting read, but the titles are interesting.

“See the man who would not make God his refuge, but trusted in the abundance of his riches and sought refuge in his own destruction!” (Psalm 5:7)

The First Amendment

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

But the government violates the right to free speech on a weekly basis, just ask your local church.

As author Frank Miniter reveals in Saving the Bill of Rights, the government violates your priest’s, pastor’s, or preacher’s right to free speech every Sunday.

Historically church leaders have spoken their minds to the American public, but today’s church leaders are afraid to speak out against the progressive agenda that dominates our political system.

Why? Because many churches are nonprofit organizations and if your priest, pastor, or preacher talks about politics from the pulpit, the government can punish him by taking away your church’s tax exempt status.

Pray And Then Pray Again

Do you want the blessings that are necessary for the success of the church? Do you understand that prayer is both a privilege and a necessity? Does prayer power your ministry? Charles Spurgeon believed that we should abound in prayer, so that our preaching will go forth in power:

Asking is the rule of the kingdom. “Ask, and ye shall receive.” It is a rule that never will be altered in anybody’s case. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the elder brother of the family, but God has not relaxed the rule for him. Remember this text: Jehovah says to his own Son, “Ask of me and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” If the royal and divine Son of God cannot be exempted from the rule of asking that he may have, you and I cannot expect the rule to be relaxed in our favor. Why should it be? What reason can be pleaded why we should be exempted from prayer? What argument can there be why we should be deprived of the privilege and delivered from the necessity of supplication? I can see none: can you? God will bless Elijah and send rain on Israel, but Elijah must pray for it. If the chosen nation is to prosper Samuel must plead for it. If the Jews are to be delivered Daniel must intercede. God will bless Paul, and the nations shall be converted through him, but Paul must pray. Pray he did without ceasing; his epistles show that he expected nothing except by asking for it. If you may have everything by asking, and nothing without asking, I beg you to see how absolutely vital prayer is, and I beseech you to abound in it. . . .

Prayer must be in action, or else those blessings which are vitally essential to the success of the church can never come to it. Prayer is the great door of spiritual blessing, and if you close it you shut out the favor. . . .

Do you know, brothers, what great things are to be had for the asking? Have you ever thought of it? Does it not stimulate you to pray fervently? All heaven lies before the grasp of the asking man; all the promises of God are rich and inexhaustible, and their fulfillment is to be had by prayer. (“Ask and Have,” a sermon on James 4:2-3)

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