VIDEO Distant Drums

May 24, 2013

Jim Reeves Distant Drums with Lyrics

I used images from the Vietnam War era and then the Iraq/Afghanistan Wars era to illustrate this timeless theme for soldiers and their partners in this Vietnam era song. Distant Drums was composed by Cindy Walker and covered by Jim Reeves, who died in a plane crash in 1964. Posthumously his cover reached number one in the UK in 1966 and number one on American Country charts and number 45 on the Billboard Hot 100. It had this success during the time of groups such as the Beatles.

An Important Command

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. —Mark 12:30

When asked by a lawyer to identify the most important rule in life, Jesus replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). In those words, Jesus summed up what God most desires from us.

I wonder how I can possibly learn to love God with all my heart, soul, and mind. Neal Plantinga remarks on a subtle change in this commandment as recorded in the New Testament. Deuteronomy charges us to love God with all our heart, soul, and strength (6:5). Jesus added the word mind. Plantinga explains, “You shall love God with everything you have and everything you are. Everything.”

That helps us change our perspective. As we learn to love God with everything, we begin to see our difficulties as “our light and momentary troubles”—just as the apostle Paul described his grueling ordeals. He had in mind a “far more exceeding and eternal . . . glory” (2 Cor. 4:17).

In the advanced school of prayer, where one loves God with the entire soul, doubts and struggles do not disappear, but their effect on us diminishes. “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19), and our urgent questions recede as we learn to trust His ultimate goodness. by Philip Yancey

Once earthly joy I craved, sought peace and rest;
Now Thee alone I seek; give what is best.
This all my prayer shall be:
More love, O Christ, to Thee. —Prentiss

The most treasured gift we can give to God is one that He can never force us to give—our love.

The Holy Spirit, Our Teacher

John 16:12-15

God sends His indwelling presence—the Holy Spirit—to personally instruct believers in His ways. This is a wonderful gift from the Father to every person who chooses to be His follower. And the Spirit of God is certainly well qualified to be our divine teacher: as a member of the Trinity, He is omniscient, just like the other two Persons of the Godhead. Because He knows all truth, He is clearly capable and trustworthy to provide guidance concerning divine matters (John 16:13).

So how can we benefit from the Holy Spirit’s teaching? First, we must trust in Jesus Christ and receive Him as Lord and Savior. The Spirit is freely given to every believer, but He isn’t present in the lives of those who have not yielded to Christ. For this reason, faith in Jesus is the essential first step.

Second, we must believe that the Bible is the Word of God. In it, the Lord shows us His ways, with the intent of drawing us ever closer to Himself. Scripture is God’s revelation to man, and though all 66 books were conveyed through human authors, every verse is fully divine.

Third, instead of relying on our own intellectual ability, we must depend on the Holy Spirit to teach us. Even the most admired human thinkers cannot begin to grasp the mind of the Lord. To the world, the gospel is foolishness, but in fact, it is the power of God (1 Cor. 1:18-25).

The wonders of the Lord are freely available to all who call upon His name. In the power of the Holy Spirit, ask God to bless your studies of His holy Word.

Adding to God’s Word

“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.” (Revelation 22:18)

This very sober warning right at the end of the Bible was given by Christ Himself (note verse 20) to indicate that the written Scriptures were now complete, and it would be a serious sin for some pseudo-prophet to come along presenting some alleged new revelation from God. That this warning applies to the entire Bible, not just to the book of Revelation, should be obvious but is made especially clear when it is remembered that Jesus promised His chosen disciples that the Holy Spirit “shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance,” and furthermore, that “he will guide you into all truth: . . . and he will shew you things to come” (John 14:26; 16:13).

This special revelation to the “apostles and prophets” of the New Testament would constitute the “foundation” of the church, and would be complete when the last of these “holy apostles and prophets” were gone. (Study carefully Ephesians 2:19–3:11.) When John completed the Apocalypse, he was very old; all the other apostles and prophets of the New Testament had already died (all by martyrdom), so God’s written Word was now complete. No new revelation would be needed before Christ returns. We shall do well if we just learn what we already have received from His holy apostles and prophets.

Note also the emphasis on “the words,” not just the concepts. God was able to say what He meant and we are wise if we take His words literally. Jesus warned about “false prophets” who would come after He left (Matthew 24:24), and there have been many of these through the centuries. The Bible as we now have it is sufficient for every need. HMM

What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee

What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.—Psalm 56:3.
They commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.—Acts 14:23.

A CONSTANT anticipation of evils, which perhaps never will come, a foreboding which takes away life and energy from the present, will simply hinder and cloud the soul, and make it timid and sad. If troublous thoughts as to the future will press, darkening a bright present, or hurrying on coming clouds, the safest thing is to offer them continually as they arise to Clod, offering too the future which they contemplate, and asking for grace to concentrate our energies on the immediate duties surrounding us.

Many have dreaded troubles which they thought must come; and while they went on ever expecting to make the turn in their path which was to open out fully the evil, lo! They found that they had reached the journey’s end, and were at the haven where they would be. Even for others it is not wise to indulge in overmuch looking forward in fearfulness. Come what may to the dearest ones we have on earth, God and His upholding grace will be there, and He cares for them more than even we can do. An earnest commendation to His love will avail them more than all our fretting.

Restore the stumbeled to faith

They talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded. Psalm 69:26

I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

He which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. — Comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

Let us not … judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. — We … that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak and not to please ourelves.

Charity … rejoiceth not in iniquity. — Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

Zechariah 1:15. Galatians 6:1. James 5:20. 1 Thessalonians 5:14. Romans 14:13. Romans 15:1.
1 Corinthians 13:4,6. 1 Corinthians 10:12.

Ye shall henceforth return no more that way

The Lord hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. Deuteronomy 17:16

Truly if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is a heavenly. Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt. — The just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition, but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. — No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. — Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

He which hath begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 11:15,16,25,26. Hebrews 10:38,39. Luke 9:62. Galatians 6:14. 2 Corinthians 6:17. Philippians