Editors Note: With the Labor Day Weekend upon us, I thought it appropriate to reprint the last Labor Day edition of A Christian’s Voice From Van Buren that my father ever wrote. He published this bulletin on Labor Day 2005 and passed from this life the following May. In it you will find, among other things, a short piece he wrote reflecting upon the tendency to travel far and wide on this holiday, but he asks us to reflect upon how much thought we give to ensuring that our surroundings are spiritually uplifting. How much planning do we put into ensuring that we will be with God’s people on the First Day of the week? Also in this issue is a poem that he wrote, Labor Day – a Christian’s View of labor. I commend it to your reading.
A Christian’s Voice From Van Buren: Man uses his voice and pen to convey thoughts. Paul mentions using words that by his voice he might “teach others” (1 Cor. 14:19). John says, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev. 22:17). My aim is to challenge, inform, and invite – us all to Listen to the VOICE of God. Editor Bill Sexton. 802 Adeline Lane, Van Buren, AR 72956-3530. Phone 479-474-2617. Car phone: 479-650-8399>>> I Have Voice Mail, call me and I can pick it up
Volume 7, September 4, 2005 Number 42
This Week’s Challenges
We are practicing: Memory, Meditation, and Application
- Memorize (Isa 28:16)
- Meditation: Who is that foundation, searching the New Testament one will se that it is Christ
- Application: How wonderful to see that the foundation stone is secure, and we can and should build on it (1 Cor. 3:11; Eph. 2:19020)
Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody
This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done, and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.
Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody even got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.
It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.
Labor Day weekend, how many people will be traveling, even with the HIGH gas prices, Etc.!?
This is another holiday and we Americans have the habit of traveling far and near, changing places to spend our time. How many will plan ahead about their worship of God, meeting with the saints (Heb. 10:24), studying the message from heaven to be lifted up spiritually?
It is wonderful to have the opportunity, means and freedom that we do have in our land to travel, go places and see things, and visit with relatives, etc. Yet, do we THINK as much about the type of environment we are in? THINK about the benefit of meeting our brothers and sister in the Lord, and how we SHOULD enjoy their company, and how beneficial it is to us to get to know more of our brother and sisters.
Beloved, let us see the NEED to place God first in our lives, and see the benefit of doing so (Matt. 6:33). However, in this busy work, with all the opportunities to travel, communicate, and be entertained, we are likely to spend the greater portion of our resources on the WRONG thing, in the place that is not appropriate to our spiritual growth, safety, and spiritual health. Let us be wise, loyal to the Lord and demonstrate to those observing our behavior that we are TRULY Christians, belonging to Christ. He is our Lord!
Labor Day – a Christian’s View of labor
Work is a four letter word many dislike
Yet, we all know that it is necessary and good
If we are active in the right things
Then to the work, to the work, we can/do sing!
So let us THINK on the right tract,
See God’s word on this and other matters of fact
If we are doing the Lord’s work all will be fine
There’s plenty to do, looking in His word we find
Labor is wonderful to be able to do
This day we may honor by looking at it truly
God has ordained that man be busy as he could
In his daily activity, for his own good
Jn. 9:4; 1 Cor. 15:58
Bill Sexton, 8-31-2005
Today’s Schedule for Yours Truly: !0:20A.M. Preaching at Van Buren, Sermons: The Storms Of Life Sermon –Lk. 8:22-25; Matt. 8:24-27). Tonight at 6:00 PM Singing at Van Buren
Excuses for departing from God’s graceful Path
In most any city one can find a number of people who began to serve the Lord some time ago, but now are out of service. Why? The reasons given may be many. In truth, however, all of them are excuses, only! There is no real reason for one to fall away (Lk. 14:15-24). Satan has a hand in each, but none can rightful blame him; each must accept personal responsibility for one’s action. Warning after warning is given (Cf.1 Cor. 10:12-13; Heb. 3:12).
Each of us needs to recognize that we may contribute to discouragement, etc., and be careful that we do not lend a hand to Satan to distract and destroy, because he has and will use every device (2 Cor. 2:11).
Each of us may be tempted to turn aside in some fashion, being influenced in one way or another, but let us be honest enough with ourselves to admit we are responsible! We’ll have to pay! There are all types of rationalizations one can make in trying to get around our personal responsibility. Yet, let us all remember that if we really want to be saved eternally, we’d better meet the standard ( Jn. 12:28; Rom. 2:16), to be recipients of God’s grace.
Perhaps there is not enough time spent on considering various factors that may influence us to turn aside, back, or around. Prayerful consideration should be given to the matter.
Likewise, there is likely not enough effort made to see that we do not discourage one another, so that Satan may deceive us into giving in to something (2 Cor. 11:1-3) that will destroy us.
Yet, we need to have indelible stamped on our brain — we DO NOT HAVE TO YIELD to any of these influences (Jas. 4:7).
Let us look at a few people who may be -instrumental in causing others to turn aside.
1. Preachers are to be examples ( 1 Tim. 4:12), but they can lead others astray –or give them cause to distrust and play into the hand of the evil one. How many people are out of service, partly, because they trusted a preacher and then had him betray their trust? Peter was instrumental in influencing Barnabas to “be carried away” with dissimulation, participate in something that deserved rebuking (Gal. 2:11-13).
2. Elders and deacons can fail to lead and serve to the extent that some members become discouraged, and think “what’s the use,” and yield to weaknesses.
3. Being overly concern with and involvement in everyday activities of “making a living,” paying the bills, educating and entertaining our children, can take us away from our duty of attending all the services, participating in Bible classes, spending time to invite others into our homes, spend valuable time with others to influence for good!
4. Family demands are many, to be sure and they are very important, yet they must not be allowed to derail our train of service to God (Matt 10:37-39; Lk. 14:25-33).
Yes, beloved, there are many avenues of influence that are away from God and His Son Jesus Christ. Let us first be convinced that we, individually are responsible because we are able capable of resisting the temptations — with God’s help and grace and mercy! (Phil. 1:12-13).
Let us look at a few things that may turn us/others aside. 1. Immorality –we may come to think that life is too dull serving the Lord, and determine to “enjoy life,” as seen through the blinders Satan provides.
2. Wealth may come to attract our attention and cause us to give too much of our time in obtaining it.
3. Laziness –we may decide we want to REST when we should be practicing our religion — attending services, helping others, taking time to teach others the gospel of Christ! –William C. “Bill” Sexton
There are many words which are miss-used In today’s religious world. When teaching the truth, I am accused-And hateful, angry words are hurled.
One word, of which I speak, is “Pastor”, Used by ‘most every denomination. The way it is used is truly a disaster and causes God much consternation.
Pastor simply means “to feed”, Acts 14:23 Acts 20:17, 28 and referred to a plural group of men. I Pt. 5:1-4 The “Elders” were responsible for the “seed”, which would guard their flock from sin.(Singular)
“Reverend” is another miss-used word—It was never applied to any man. To make that application is absurd—It was never a part of God’s holy plan. Holy and “Reverend” is HIS name, And that applies only to almighty GOD. Ps. 111:9. Man’s using it for himself is a shame, For, before the almighty, man is only a clod.
When Christ said, “I will build my ‘church’ “— To a physical structure He didn’t make mention. If, the scriptures, you will thoroughly search, You will find, that was not His intention.
“Church” simple means ‘those who are called out’ I Thes. 2:12; II Thes. 2:14; Rm 8:30 .Coming from darkness, into the kingdom of light.. A “spiritual house” are all the devout, I Pt. 2:5, 9 Who have left the darkness and sinful blight.
And, what a miss-use of the word “priest”, This, too, is such a sinful shame. With Christ the old system of priesthood ceased; Heb. 11:7-8; Rev.1:6Now, every Christian is called by that name. I Pt. 2:5, 9; Rm.12:1
The next I would mention is the word “baptize”. It is a word which means to “immerse”. And most do not seem to realize. Without immersion, they are under God’s curse. But it must be for the remission of sins, Acts 2:38. That, as for Paul, they would be washed away. Acts 22:16. That is the ONLY way that Christ will cleanse Rm.6:3-5 And lead you into the light of day. There are many such words in the bible which man, in his foolishness, miss-uses. When, in truth, he is committing libel. When, the gospel of Christ he, thus, abuses.
Oh, well meaning but foolish, religious man, Mt. 7:21-23. Please consider the use in the gospel of Christ. Don’t try to change it, but yield to His plan. For nothing else has ever sufficed –By L. B. Strawn May 11 & 12, 1998 *****
Editor’s Note: There are so many Bible words that are misused, perhaps the above will assist in keeping some of them before our mind! Let each of us labor to call Bible things by Bible names, as well as do Bible things in Bible ways! For, you see, some day we’ll stand before the Lord (Matt 7:21-23). How terrible if we have spent so much time, effort and resources misusing what the Lord provided us with and then hear: “ I never knew you: Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
I know that to some people this is “Legalism,” but I had rather be accepted by the Lord, even though I’m classified by man in various uncomplimentary fashions (Matt. 5:11-12), than to avoid their criticism and be rejected by the Lord.
I remember that the people Paul spoke of in (Romans 1:18-32,) professed themselves to be “wise,” when in fact they were very foolish. Shall we be as they were? Or, shall we be seen as “foolish” by man while we embrace the “wisdom of God” (Cf. 1 Cor. 1:23-25)? Beloved, I prefer to be seen as foolish by my fellow man, wordily creatures than to be thus seen and classified by my Lord and Maker. I challenge each of us to look carefully at the words used in the New Testament and let the Lord’s meaning be established in our mind. William C. “Bill” Sexton
Reprinted from Van BurenVanGuardin 1998
BOOK OF 1 TIMOTHY – Chapter 2.
Introduction: In the second chapter of this book, Paul begins by expressing his desire that prayer be made for various people. Also, there are various types of prayer. God’s desire relative to all men is expressed. He points to the proper position of women, looking back to the deception of Eve.
His exhortation is that as a “first” order of priority supplication, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men. Thus we see that it is proper to pray for all persons, but each category will have different needs, and we should recognize and comply with that fact. Then he identifies one category of men: kings, and all that are in authority. We should recognize that these people affect our lives, and we should see the need to pray that they would perform so that we can receive benefit from their rule. The benefit we should desire and pray for is: “we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty.” (1 Tim. 2:1-2).
The inspired apostle shows why the prayer and benefit we may receive is: “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.” For he shows that God would have all to be saved, by coming to the knowledge of truth. That involved some fundamental facts: That is only ONE God and One MEDIATOR who can legitimately and effectively come “between” God and man –Jesus Christ, who was deity and man! He gave himself a ransom for all men everywhere, to “be testified in due time.” (1 Tim. 2:3-6)
In face of the facts just stated, Paul claims that he was “ordained a preacher, and an apostle,” also a “teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.” As he preaches the truth in Christ, he speaks of the need for men to pray, with “holy hands, without wrath and doubting.” In similar fashion, he wants women to “adorn themselves properly in “modest apparel,” and that is with shamefacedness and sobriety. The attention is not to be given by the hair, jewelry of gold, pearls and expensive clothing. Their conduct is to manifest itself in professed godliness accompanied with good works (1 Tim. 2:7-10).
He points to the subjection of women –they should learn in respectable submission. Women are limited in their realm of teaching. She is NOT to “usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” The basis for this goes back to the early behavior of the woman, Eve. She was deceived by the serpent and persuaded her husband to be involved in “transgression,”: although he was not deceived. Yet we need to understand, woman can still be saved. One of her functions is “childbearing.” She needs to “continue in faith,” as well as in charity/love, holiness/being set aside for God’s service, and doing this with “sobriety.” (1 Tim. 2:11-15).
- In light of what does he “therefore,” exhort be done “first” (1 Tim. 2:1)?
- Name differ kinds of speaking to God are called for and for whom (1 Tim. 2:1-2)?
- What is the aim of prayers in man’s benefit (1 Tim. 2:2)
- What is “good and acceptable” to God and His desire concerning “all men” (1 Tim. 2:3-4)?
- What is the function of a “mediator” and who meets that requirement (1 Tim. 2:5-6)?
- What is Paul “ordained’ to and his “will” for men (1 Tim. 2:7-8)?
- “In like manner” what is his will that women will “adorn” themselves (1 Tim. 2:9-10)?
- How are women to be in and manifest their “subjection” (1 Tim. 2:11-12)?
10.What basis is given for this subjective position and how is she to “continue” (1 Tim. 2:13-15)
A Christians’ Voice
802 Adeline Lane
Van Buren, AR 72956-3530