VIDEO Oh Gentle Shepherd

Sept 10, 2011

We Thank Thee (1962)

Gentleman Jim Reeves with a top favorite country gospel song ‘Oh Gentle Shepherd’. Lyric was written by Cindy Walker.

Lyric:
My soul is lost, so lonely and so cold
Just like a lamb that has strayed from the fold
Across the barren waste of sin I roam
Oh, gentle shepherd hear my cry and lead me home.

The hours go by on frightened wings of flight
While wolves of hell are waiting for the night
To claim the soul that wandered from the fold
Oh, gentle shepherd hear my cry and save my soul.

Oh, gentle shepherd hear my lonely cry
And in Thy cool green pastures let me lie
Beside the still clear waters lead Thou me
Oh, gentle shepherd safe forevermore with Thee…

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Fathers Who Change the World

Love Father

I once heard my pastor make a startling claim.

After decades of counseling church members, he concluded that dads hold the key to their children’s spiritual lives. He said the best way to raise an agnostic or atheist was for the father to pray before meals, practice daily quiet times with an open Bible, tithe at the first of every pay period, go to church every Sunday, and then be harsh at home. The pastor said growing up in a home with an unkind dad who claimed to be a follower of Christ motivated children to run from the church and, ultimately, reject God.

It makes sense. If we say we follow the Lord and then treat others with unloving behavior—a child might interpret those actions as an extension of God’s character. The inconsistency could certainly be confusing enough to cause a child to question our heavenly Father’s goodness.

But we can’t forget the grace of God. We’ve all let an occasional unkind word slip out or done something that we regret. Our kids aren’t automatically doomed because we can’t live up to high and holy expectations. Fortunately, our kids see the big picture. How do we usually behave toward them? Do we communicate that we truly care about them? Do they hear us apologize for bad behavior and then witness us making appropriate changes in the way we act? Do they believe that we want to please our Lord? Do they see us struggle well?

Some of us had the privilege of growing up with a godly father, and we can be eternally grateful for the way he pointed us to the Lord through his caring words and actions. When we witnessed his Bible studies and heard his prayers, it was consistent with his loving behavior toward his family. His way of living validated his declaration of faith. We believed his faith was real because we witnessed it firsthand. He even showed us what God is like.

By living in obedience to the Word at home as well as in public forums, fathers can impact the world for generations to come. Children may be the most important disciples a father mentors. His children may change the world for good, all because he lived what he said he believed.

As we celebrate Father’s Day this month, Dr. Henry Morris III’s article “Rise up, O Men of God!” reminds godly men to live boldly. Men of God stand out—they’re different from the crowd, and they stand up to the enemy. This task demands their whole being, their “heart and mind and soul and strength.” They accept difficult challenges to oppose destructive teachings. Faithful men are willing to “actively engage the enemy and seek to stop the impact.”

True men of God demonstrate obedience to God’s Word, boldly offering truth and grace to others, beginning with those in their own households. As you honor the men in your lives—your fathers, grandfathers, fathers-in-law—remember to show gratitude to those who live the truth before you with boldness, integrity, and kindness. Daily lift them up in prayer and offer grace to them as they struggle well in their walk of faith.

by Jayme Durant who is Executive Editor at the Institute for Creation Research.

Cite this article: Jayme Durant. 2015. Fathers Who Change the World. Acts & Facts. 44 (6).

The Gospel of the Grace of God

Acts 20:16-24

The apostle Paul was consumed by a passion that was even greater than his desire for life or the dread of suffering. He had a ministry to fulfill and a message of salvation to deliver. His words in Acts 20:24 help us understand the foundational concept involved in our salvation. Paul called it “the gospel of the grace of God.”

We’re saved simply because the Lord is gracious. He knew we could never be good enough to bridge the gap between our sin and His holiness. That’s why you will never hear of “the gospel of the Law of God.” That would not be good news at all! Can you imagine singing, “Amazing law, how fearful the sound, that saved a wretch like me”? We could never fulfill the requirements, especially the way Jesus enlarged the meaning of the law in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). But grace—that’s totally different. It has nothing to do with our worthiness or good performance but is solely based on God’s unmerited favor towards us.

What’s most amazing is that the avenue for our salvation is through faith alone. The grace that God extends in saving us is His gift, and there’s nothing we can add by our works (Ephesians 2:8-9). Otherwise, we’d have to clean up our lives in order to be saved, and that would nullify grace.

Praise the Lord for His wonderful plan of salvation. Christ paid our sin debt with His death, and all we have to do is believe it. Even after salvation, God’s grace keeps flowing. We never have to worry that we aren’t good enough and will fall out of favor. His grace is forever.

No Stealing

“Thou shalt not steal.” (Exodus 20:15)

The word translated “steal” is the Hebrew ganab and is restricted to acts done secretly. It figuratively describes wind sweeping something away unexpectedly (Job 21:18; 27:20) and illustrates the thief-like movements of military deserters (2 Samuel 19:4). It would fit the term “burglary.”

Burglary was punishable on a graded scale. A 200-percent penalty was levied if the property was returned unharmed (Exodus 22:4, 7, 9), a 400 or 500-percent penalty if the property was damaged or destroyed (Exodus 22:1), and a 700-percent penalty if the property stolen was food (Proverbs 6:30-31). Personal indenture was enforced if the thief could not pay the monetary levy (Exodus 22:3).

The command extends to our care of the property of others. Loss due to negligence is considered stealing (Exodus 22:7, 10-13). This would also apply to unfair business practices that defraud either customers or employees (Leviticus 19:35-36).

In our personal lives, we are expected to repay our debts (Ezekiel 33:15; 18:7, 12, 16) and pay our taxes (Romans 13:5-8; Matthew 22:17-21). Failure to do so makes us a “thief” in God’s eyes.

The Hebrew word qaba, on the other hand, is used to emphasize the violent seizing of property. It would fit the term “robbery.” This is the word used in the question: “Will a man rob God?” (Malachi 3:8). We can infer that disobedience to tithing is a more dangerous infraction of the eighth commandment than mere “burglary.” May God keep us from either violation as we seek to please Him. HMM III

God’s Inward Necessity

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. —Genesis 1:27

I believe that He created man out of no external necessity. I believe it was an internal necessity. God, being the God He was and is, and being infinitely perfect and infinitely beautiful and infinitely glorious and infinitely admirable and infinitely loving, out of His own inward necessity had to have some creature that was capable of admiring Him and loving Him and knowing Him. So God made man in His own image; in the image and likeness of God made He him; and He made him as near to being like Himself as it was possible for the creature to be like the Creator. The most godlike thing in the universe is the soul of man.

The reason God made man in His image was that he might appreciate God and admire and adore and worship; so that God might not be a picture, so to speak, hanging in a gallery with nobody looking at Him. He might not be a flower that no one could smell; He might not be a star that no one could see. God made somebody to smell that flower, the lily of the valley. He wanted someone to see that glorious image. He wanted someone to see the star, so He made us and in making us He made us to worship Him.

Be pleased this morning Lord, as I do indeed smell the flower and see the star, as I “admire and adore and worship.” Amen.

Life’s Greatest Honor: Following Christ’s Call

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name. Philippians 2:9

The humblest man who heeds the call to follow Christ has an honor far above that given to any king or potentate, for the nations of the earth can bestow only such honor as they possess, while the honor of Christ is supreme over all. God has given Him a name that is above every name!

This being true and being known to the heavenly intelligences, the methods we use to persuade men to follow Christ must seem to them extremely illogical if not downright wrong.

Evangelical Christians commonly offer Christ to mankind as a nostrum to cure their ills, a way out of their troubles, a quick and easy means to the achievement of their personal ends. The message is often so presented as to leave the hearer with the impression that he is being asked to give up much to gain more. And that is not good, however well intentioned it may be!

We are not called to be salesmen, pointing out the good things that will accrue if the right choice is made. No one can come to Christ with the idea of selfish gain in the transaction.

Salvation comes not by “accepting the finished work” or “deciding for Christ.” It comes by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, the whole, living, victorious Lord who, as God and man, fought our fight and won it, accepted our debt as His own and paid it, took our sins and died under them and rose again to set us free. This is the true Christ, and nothing less will do!

No One Changes God’s Law

I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. PSALM 40:8

Because we live in a period known as the age of God’s grace, it has become a popular thing to declare that the Ten Commandments are no longer valid, no longer relevant in our society.

With that context it has become apparent that Christian churches are not paying attention to the Ten Commandments.

But Dwight L. Moody preached often on the commandments. John Wesley said he preached the commands of the Law to prepare the way for the gospel. R.A. Torrey told ministers if they did not preach the Law, they would have no response to the preaching of the gospel. It is the Law that shows us our need for the gospel of salvation and forgiveness!

It is accurate to say that our binding obligation is not to the Old Testament Law. As sincere Christians we are under Christ’s higher law—that which is represented in His love and grace. But everything that is morally commanded in the Ten Commandments still comprises the moral principles that are the will of God for His people. God’s basic moral will for His people has not changed!

Lord, I pray that in my own life I will not bristle at the idea of following Your law. The deceit of my own heart is enough evidence to suggest that Your moral law is for my own good.