01 Jul

America


Celebrating two-hundred and forty-four years of independence!

Anthem of freedom

Monument of truth

Emblem of faith

Resource of beauty

Independence for all

Courage in adversity

Anchor of justice

The foundation of a nation will determine its future. “In God We Trust” has been an influence in America’s greatness. The truths set forth in the Bible have given wisdom, strength, courage, and a code for morality. Psalm 144:12-15 gives reasons why a nation’s faith in God is important.

“That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace. That our garners may be full, affording all manner of store; that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten-thousands. That our oxen may be strong to labor; that there be no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in our streets. Happy is that people that is in such a case; yea happy is the people whose God is the Lord.”

As we fly the flag, may we be reminded of the sacrifice of the brave men and women who have given their lives for freedom’s cause. May its colors give a personal interpretation of their meanings as we pause to honor a nation whose foundation is strong, whose purpose is pure, and whose hope is in God.

“Long may our land be bright with freedom’s Holy light.
Protect us by Thy might, Great God, our King!”

17 Jun

Honor to Whom Honor is Due


On June 21, 2020, America will celebrate its 110th Father’s Day. The first Father’s Day was celebrated in Spokane, Washington, on June 10, 1910. Mrs. Sonora Smith Dodd was responsible for its beginning. Mrs. Dodd’s father, a Civil War veteran, raised six children by himself. Her goal was to have a national day to honor all fathers. In 1972, President Richard Nixon declared Father’s Day a national holiday. In America Father’s Day is always celebrated on the third Sunday in June. One hundred eleven other countries celebrate Father’s Day on different dates.

History gives evidence of the major accomplishments of fathers through the centuries from the building of great cathedrals before the days of modern machinery to the present-day technology that has allowed men to walk on the moon. Imagine the number of different job positions filled by fathers today.

Two important roles come from God’s intent. The father is to be the head of his house and family. A second most important role is that of teacher. All fathers teach by example.

The father who loves reaps loyalty.

The father who gives instruction teaches security.

The father who practices gentleness produces greatness.

The father who possesses patience creates appreciation.

The father who teaches discipline generates respect.

The father who lives by faith gives hope.

On this Father’s Day may our fathers experience overwhelming love and appreciation.

You who walked
The winding road
Up the jagged mountain,
You who talked
Beneath your load
Of one eternal fountain,
Forgive the words I said,
Bitter, heedless, blind.
I did not know that your feet bleed
To clear the tracks for mine.
–Ann Harley

To the families of those whose fathers have given the ultimate sacrifice serving in our military, or as police officers and first responders, we have no words adequate to express the gratitude of the heart except to say thank God for heroes who will never be forgotten.

Happy Father’s Day!

“The Lord bless thee and keep thee: The Lord make His face shine upon thee and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee and give thee peace.” Numbers 6:23-26

16 Jun

A Sermon in Shoes

“Christian do you know that you are a sermon in shoes?” This question is asked in a song often used in Bible School. Indeed, every Christian is a sermon in shoes. This is a high calling, which is also an important responsibility. What does it mean to be a sermon in shoes? The words in the song offer some suggestions. The Christian is to walk and talk like a follower of Christ.

Since Satan offers opposition for the Christian, God has provided the armor of God to guard against the wiles (tricks) of Satan. Paul says in Ephesians 6:11: “Put on the WHOLE armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” In verses 11-17 Paul describes the armor.

First, we must put on the Helmet of Salvation, which protects the most vulnerable part of the body because it is here that man reasons and makes decisions. Also, the Christian is to put on the Breastplate of Righteousness. Here resides the seat
of conscience, where we choose between right and wrong.

The loins are to be gird about with Truth. God is truth. There is strength in truth.

The feet are to be shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace, having readiness to present the message of salvation. Isaiah 52:7 describes this beautifully: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace, that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation, that saith unto Zion, thy God
reigneth!”

In addition, the Christian is to take the Shield of Faith, which gives victory to overcome the world.

Finally, the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, is a powerful tool against which Satan has no power.

The Christian is best dressed to be a sermon in shoes when he or she is clothed in the WHOLE armor of God.

15 Jun

Be Acceptable!

Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

As a child of the Lord one of the most difficult tasks that you will face is to keep your tongue (your words) and your thoughts under control. It is difficult because you constantly have to guard against saying that which will not please the Lord and the devil constantly bombards your mind with wicked thoughts.

However, this verse gives you great encouragement. In this ongoing battle, your Redeemer, Jesus Christ, is the One who gives you the strength that you need to be victorious. Will it always be easy? NO! But you can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth you!

13 Jun

Praise God From Whom all Blessings Flow

It has come to my attention these past few weeks and months that I’m not giving God the credit He is due. I find my prayers are generally directed to Jesus Christ with barely a mention of God the Father or God the Holy Spirit. In the early 13th, 14th and 15th centuries the prayers were directed solely to God and not to Jesus or the Holy Spirit, I believe this too was erroneous. But in this 21st century our prayers are devoid of God the Father.

After all my friends, it was God who determined to set us apart to have fellowship with Him even before He created the world.

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love (Eph. 1:4)

It was God who was grieved in His heart that because of sin in our lives He could not have that sweet fellowship that he so desires.

Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. (Gen 3: 23,24)

It was God who sent His only begotten Son to be the propitiation for our sin, that that sweet fellowship might be restored.

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God (Rom.3:25)

It was God to whom Jesus prayed when his disciples asked Him to “teach us to pray”. “Our Father who art in Heaven hallowed be Thy Name”. It was God to whom Jesus promised His disciples that when He was no longer walking the earth with them He would pray the Father and He would send the comforter (Jn. 15:26). It was God to whom Peter referred to when he said “because it is written be ye holy for I am holy” (1 Pet. 1:16). It is God who is now already sitting on the throne invites Jesus to join Him when He says “The Lord said unto My Lord sit thou at my right hand” (Ps 110:1).

So you see my friends, it is important to honor the entire Trinity: God the Father, God the Son who God the Father sent and God the Holy Ghost who indwells us. Let us work at realizing what great things He has done. As the song writer says “Praise God from who all blessing flow. Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost”.

11 Jun

Because He Never Changes

It’s much easier for me to teach others than to obey my own teaching! One verse that I have to remind myself of often is Philippians 4:6-7:

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

I like the peace of verse 7, but don’t always find it easy to obey the prerequisite of not worrying in verse 6! And recent weeks have unsettled my heart and mind even though I try to obey these verses.

So, I have had to frequently ask myself…why art thou cast down, oh my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me?! (Psalm 42:5) And I made a list of the reasons why I do NOT need to be worried or downcast. The shortened version is…because the Lord never changes

For I am the Lord, I change not (Malachi 3:6)

I could quit with that, but just so you see how definite and practical that thought is…if my joy is in the Lord, that joy is available always, BECAUSE HE NEVER CHANGES. If my strength is in the Lord, it’s always there for me, BECAUSE HE NEVER CHANGES. If my hope is in the Lord, I should be hopeful at ALL times, BECAUSE HE NEVER CHANGES. If my peace comes from the Lord, the circumstances don’t matter, BECAUSE HE NEVER CHANGES. My salvation is in the Lord so it’s forever, BECAUSE HE NEVER CHANGES. My refuge is in the Lord, no matter what the storm of life, BECAUSE HE NEVER CHANGES. Even if I don’t FEEL the Lord’s love always, it’s always there, BECAUSE HE NEVER CHANGES. He hears me…always…because He never changes. I think you get the picture.

05 Jun

The Garden of Thoughts

A pleasant feature of spring is the beauty of gardens. Flower gardens appeal to the eyes as they color the landscapes. A variety of flowers furnish this beauty.

There does exist a different kind of garden: that is the garden of thoughts. This garden is not seasonal; it is a daily part of the mental involvement. In Philippians 4:8, Paul suggests six attributes for the Christian to think on. These include: whatsoever things are TRUE, HONEST, JUST, PURE, LOVELY, and THINGS of a GOOD REPORT.

Like the typical garden, the garden of thoughts must be properly maintained. The evil weeds of Satan grow fast. Also, plants need food in order to grow strong and mature. A daily spraying of the Holy Spirit keeps the weeds away, and a daily feeding of the Word gives nourishment for growth.

Come away daily to the garden of thoughts and meditate on Truth Tulip, Honest Hosta, Just Jasmine, Pure Petunia, Lovely Lilly, and Things of a Good Report Geranium.

Also, include thoughts from the Father such as these:

“Thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee because he trusteth in Thee.” (Isaiah 26:3)

“For I know my thoughts that I think toward you saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Proverbs 23:7 states that we are what we think. Think on that!

04 Jun

An Expression of Mercy

“And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor.” (II Samuel 12:1)

David had sinned and the Lord sent Nathan to David to confront him. What an expression of mercy. The Lord could have cast David aside and left him in his sin. However, in His mercy He sent His messenger to reveal to David that his sin was known and that the Lord desired to restore David into fellowship with Him.

Praise the Lord for the messengers that the Lord sends to us to declare His Word – even sometimes when we may not want to hear.

03 Jun

Great Truths for Times Like These

One of the hardest things in the Christian life is to reconcile God’s involvement in life-threatening illness, tragedies of all types, the impacts of the evil acts of other people, and in general, bad events or situations that occur in life. The current pandemic is one of those situations. However, regardless of circumstance, the Bible assures us of God’s love and care and continual working in our lives. The following eight foundational truths are for times like these.

God’s love for us is indisputable.
He loved us so much that he sent His only begotten Son to die for us that we might have everlasting life.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

God is interested in us personally.
He knows every sparrow that falls. He knows every hair on our heads. He has told us to come to Him with literally our every need. He knows and He cares about the details of our lives.

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.(Matthew 10:29-30)

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (Philippians 4:6)

God is not surprised by the things that happen to us.
He is omniscient or all-knowing. He is never caught off guard.

Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? (John 18:4)

God does not promise to deliver us from all the bad.
That includes evil and suffering and the impact of the choices of others. But He does promise to give us the ability to endure, and the grace, and the peace, and the strength that is needed to meet the situation.

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: (1 Peter 2:21)

God will never leave us nor forsake us.
His way is perfect. In return, He asks us to place our faith and trust in Him, regardless of the circumstance.

As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him. (2 Samuel 22:31)

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (Romans 1:17)

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5)

God is working to conform us to the image of Christ.
He is a sovereign God, who will work the tiniest blessing and the greatest evil to our eventual good.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:28-29)

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (Philippians 1:6)

God is good, every day, all the time.
His love for us and watch-care over us are ever present.

Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes. (Psalm 119:68)

The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. (Nahum 1:7)

God’s secret things are beyond human understanding.
We must be content to leave those with God.

The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29)

Regardless of what may come our way, we can stand firm on these rock-solid, sure foundational truths.

02 Jun

Trust and Obey

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Growing up in a Christian family and being in church my whole life, these verses are very familiar to my mind. However, over the last several months they have become more special to me as we have seen them up close and personal.

My husband’s health uncertainties and the necessary return for medical testing, as well as the unknown of what the next steps for our family left me feeling lost. I remember in Taiwan, as we were preparing to return, I felt overwhelmed with the “what ifs” and pressures that I felt were all on me. I sat down and had a hard cry. But God is faithful and reminded me that I need to trust Him, His plans, His paths for us, His strength that He freely gives to us. I needed to trust and obey.

It is He who allows the circumstances into our lives. He isn’t taken by surprise by our trials. We can allow Him to work His perfect will in us and through us or we can run from Him in our own way and strength. Our own way would certainly lead to our destruction.

God doesn’t show us the entirety of our path. He says His Word is a “lamp unto our feet.” He shows us enough for us to see the next step. It is our job to simply trust and obey. Just like the children’s song says.

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet.
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

We can rest assure that when we are trusting our faithful Father, He will lead and guide us in His perfect will. We look forward to the day that we will be with Him forever and can sit at His feet and sing His praises for all time. Even so come quickly Lord Jesus.

All content ©2020 Faith Baptist Church Simpsonville.