VIDEO Old Time Religion

Jan 13, 2014

During the 1800s and early 1900s “Old Time Religion” was popular at the brush arbor meetings which would draw Christians from an entire region for a week’s worth of sermons and gospel songs like “Old Time Religion.”

The brush arbor meetings where particularly predominant in Appalachia and Southern States.

The Unlikely – And After That What’s Next To Do?

The Unlikely
southern plantation
God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty. —1 Corinthians 1:27

Fanny Kemble was a British actress who moved to America in the early 1800s and married a southern plantation owner named Pierce Butler. Fanny enjoyed the life afforded by the wealth of the plantation, until she saw the cost of that luxury—a cost paid by the slaves who worked her husband’s plantations.

Having written a memoir of the cruel treatment slaves often suffered, Kemble was eventually divorced from her husband. Her writings were widely circulated among abolitionists and published in 1863 as Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838–1839. Because of her opposition to slavery, the former wife of a slave owner became known as “The Unlikely Abolitionist.”

In the body of Christ, God often wonderfully surprises us. He regularly uses the unlikely—people and circumstances—to accomplish His purposes. Paul wrote, “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen” (1 Cor. 1:27-28).

This reminds us that God, in His grace, can use anyone. If we will allow His work to be done in us, we might be surprised at what He can do through us!

How will you let God use you today?

God desires willing hearts ready to be used.

By Bill Crowder

Knock Knock - Matthew 7:7
And After That What’s Next To Do?

…seek, and you will find… —Luke 11:9

Seek if you have not found. “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss…” (James 4:3). If you ask for things from life instead of from God, “you ask amiss”; that is, you ask out of your desire for self-fulfillment. The more you fulfill yourself the less you will seek God. “…seek, and you will find….” Get to work— narrow your focus and interests to this one thing. Have you ever sought God with your whole heart, or have you simply given Him a feeble cry after some emotionally painful experience? “…seek, [focus,] and you will find….”

“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters…” (Isaiah 55:1). Are you thirsty, or complacent and indifferent— so satisfied with your own experience that you want nothing more of God? Experience is a doorway, not a final goal. Beware of building your faith on experience, or your life will not ring true and will only sound the note of a critical spirit. Remember that you can never give another person what you have found, but you can cause him to have a desire for it.

“…knock, and it will be opened to you” (Luke 11:9). “Draw near to God…” (James 4:8). Knock— the door is closed, and your heartbeat races as you knock. “Cleanse your hands…” (James 4:8). Knock a bit louder— you begin to find that you are dirty. “…purify your hearts…” (James 4:8). It is becoming even more personal— you are desperate and serious now— you will do anything. “Lament…” (James 4:9). Have you ever lamented, expressing your sorrow before God for the condition of your inner life? There is no thread of self-pity left, only the heart-rending difficulty and amazement which comes from seeing what kind of person you really are. “Humble yourselves…” (James 4:10). It is a humbling experience to knock at God’s door— you have to knock with the crucified thief. “…to him who knocks it will be opened” (Luke 11:10).

by Oswald Chambers

Keeping a Clear Mind

Romans 12:1-2

The human mind is an amazing creation of God. Nothing on earth can match its capabilities or creativity. It controls feelings, thoughts, words, attitudes, and behavior. Who we become and what we achieve are largely due to how and what we think. Wouldn’t it make sense to let the One who created us guide our thought processes?

A clear mind is one that’s aligned with God’s Word and controlled by His Spirit. When the Lord has authority over our thoughts, discernment will guard our perspective. He empowers us to look beyond the surface and view situations as they really are. We can distinguish not just between right and wrong but also between good and best. The Lord has granted us the ability to think rightly no matter what challenges may face us.

But such clear, focused thinking must be deliberately chosen and diligently maintained. If we don’t guard against the world’s influence, we will find ourselves squeezed into its mold. Soon we’ll have a fragmented mind that cannot focus on spiritual things because it is cluttered and clogged with worldly thoughts and concerns. We must carefully consider what we allow into our minds. So ask yourself, Is this helping me become the person God wants me to be, or is it hindering the process?

A renewed mind begins with surrender to the Lord. Until you give Him full authority over your thoughts, you’ll have no power to clear out the clutter that hinders you from living in the fullness of His will. But as you yield to Him and fill your mind with His Word, He’ll transform your life.

God’s Rest Day

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” (Exodus 20:8)

The Hebrew word shabbat is found 108 times in the Old Testament. The basic meaning is “intermission” or “break.” The term never means “Saturday” or “seven.”

The pattern of resting every seventh day-night cycle was established by God at creation (Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 20:11). God “made” (performed activity) for six days and rested and ended His work on the seventh day.

Therefore, God blessed and “hallowed” the resting day to commemorate His initial work and rest cycle. There is no other basis for this pattern. There is no relationship for the seven-day week in any astronomical clock reference: solar, stellar, or lunar. In fact, the Lord Jesus clearly told us that He made the sabbath for humanity (Mark 2:27). Apart from God’s specific design, we would have no reason to observe the seven-day week, which is common to all cultures.

All humanity observes the seven-day cycle from a practical and physiological need. Christians, however, should acknowledge that the sabbath was dedicated by God at creation to be a day of “sanctification.”

God’s people should follow the pattern He set (Genesis 2:1-3) and recognize the wonder and majesty of the creation (Exodus 20:11). We should cease from our own profitable employment (Exodus 20:9-10) and, more importantly, concentrate on the worship of our Creator (Psalm 92).

This commandment is the only command listed with a specific reason, and the precise wording should forever settle the argument about a “day-age” interpretation of creation. In Exodus 20:11, the wording can only mean a “regular” day. There is no linguistic excuse for long ages anywhere. HMM III

Our Reason for Existence

Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. —Psalm 29:2

Yes, worship of the loving God is man’s whole reason for existence. That is why we are born and that is why we are born again from above. That is why we were created and that is why we have been recreated. That is why there was a genesis at the beginning, and that is why there is a re-genesis, called regeneration.

That is also why there is a church. The Christian church exists to worship God first of all. Everything else must come second or third or fourth or fifth….

Sad, sad indeed, are the cries of so many today who have never discovered why they were born. It brings to mind the poet Milton’s description of the pathetic lostness and loneliness of our first parents. Driven from the garden, he says, “they took hand in hand and through the valley made their solitary way.”

Oh Lord, we live in a world that has so totally lost its way! How few have any concept at all of their reason for existence. How sad to see so many all around us who “took hand in hand and through the valley made their solitary way.” Use me today to direct at least one to the right path. Amen.

Spiritual Authority: The Word and the Testimony

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies…. 2 Peter 2:1

Whatever it may be in our Christian experience that originates outside the Scriptures should, for that very reason, be suspect until it can be shown to be in accord with them.

If it should be found to be contrary to the Word of revealed truth no true Christian will accept it as being from God. However high the emotional content, no experience can be proved to be genuine unless we can find chapter and verse authority for it in the Scriptures. “To the word and to the testimony” must always be the last and final proof.

Whatever is new or singular should also be viewed with caution until it can furnish scriptural proof of its validity. Throughout the twentieth century quite a number of unscriptural notions have gained acceptance among Christians by claiming that they were among truths that were to be revealed in the last days.

The truth is that the Bible does not teach that there will be new light and advanced spiritual experiences in the latter days; it teaches the exact opposite! Nothing in Daniel or the New Testament epistles can be tortured into advocating the idea that we of the end of the Christian era shall enjoy light that was not known at its beginning.

Beware of any man who claims to be wiser than the apostles or holier than the martyrs of the Early Church. The best way to deal with him is to rise and leave his presence!

False Pretenders

When the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. MATTHEW 19:22

All persons who are alienated from God and outside of Christ are part and parcel of a mighty deception!

They are called upon to pretend that they can have peace of mind within and that they can be relatively happy and make a big success of their human lives if they have youth and wealth and morality and high position.

In that sense of what is going on all around us, David never had to apologize for writing that “every man is a liar!” (see Psalm 116:11). The whole human concept of success and happiness and inner peace, based upon who we are and what we have, is completely false.

The rich young ruler who came to question Jesus had wealth, morality, position and youth. But his very first question gave the clue to his own inner emptiness of life: “What good thing should I do, that I may have eternal life?” (see Luke 18:18).

He knew very well that there is not a person alive who has eternal youth or eternal position or eternal righteousness. So, like every other man, he had to make a choice!

Lord, make me sensitive to those within my sphere of influence whose goals for success and happiness are based on a faulty foundation. I pray for these people, Lord, that their eyes may be opened to the truth and that they willfully repent.