The Music Man

This is a update of a older post. But sometimes we need to stop and be thankful for all the people God puts in our life and honor them. Romans 13:7 “Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.”

Church history tells us that the first Congregational sung hymns in Baptist worship services were, in fact, the Psalms put to music. Of course, the original music ascribed to the “song lyrics” in that book have been long lost, there were those who were able to segment various portions of the Psalms with musical accompaniments that matched the mood of the text and did so very effectively. If you were able to visit a church during the 1600s, you would hear the congregations singing from this Biblical book and doing so in an attitude of worshipful praise.

One of the reasons many people choose a church is for the music. Victory has been blessed with good music for many years. I love the old hymns and special singing. Brother Kenneth Denney did a great job keeping the music at Victory in line with Bible doctrine. Just because a song is a popular song does not mean that it is Scriptural correct. Thanks to Brother Kenneth for helping watch the flock as Minister of Music at Victory for may years You are truly missed.

VISITORS

A old repost from Wayne Jenkins WBA

WHY PEOPLE DON’T COME BACK

If you attend a church regularly, you’ve probably noticed the phenomenon. A guest shows up for a worship service, but he or she never returns. It is, unfortunately, a common issue in many churches.

I did a Twitter poll to ask these first-time guests why they chose not to return to a particular church. While some of the responses were anticipated, I admit being a bit surprised with some of them.

Though my poll is not scientific, it is nevertheless fascinating. Here are the top ten responses in order of frequency.

  1. Having a stand up and greet one another time in the worship service. This response was my greatest surprise for two reasons. First, I was surprised how much guests are really uncomfortable during this time. Second, I was really surprised that it was the most frequent response.
  2. Unfriendly church members. This response was anticipated. But the surprise was the number of respondents who included non-genuine friendliness in their answers. In other words, the guests perceived some of the church members were faking it.
  3. Unsafe and unclean children’s area. This response generated the greatest emotional reactions. If your church does not give a high priority to children, don’t expect young families to attend.
  4. No place to get information. If your church does not have a clear and obvious place to get information, you probably have lowered the chances of a return visit by half. There should also be someone to greet and assist guests at that information center as well.
  5. Bad church website. Most of the church guests went to the church website before they attended a worship service. Even if they attended the service after visiting a bad website, they attended with a prejudicial perspective. The two indispensable items guests want on a website are address and times of service. It’s just that basic.
  6. Poor signage. If you have been attending a church for a few weeks, you forget all about the signage. You don’t need it any more. But guests do. And they are frustrated when it’s not there.
  7. Insider church language. Most of the respondents were not referring to theological language as much as language that only the members know. My favorite example was: “The WMU will meet in the CLC in the room where the GAs usually meet.”
  8. Boring or bad service. My surprise was not the presence of this item. The surprise was that it was not ranked higher.
  9. Members telling guests that they were in their seat or pew. Yes, this obviously still takes place in some churches.
  10. Dirty facilities. Some of the comments: “Didn’t look like it had been cleaned in a week.” “No trash cans anywhere.” Restrooms were worse than a bad truck stop.” “Pews had more stains than a Tide commercial.”

There you have it. The top ten reasons first-time guests said they did not return to a church. I can’t wait to hear from you readers. You always have such good additions and insights.

Friday Funnies

SPEED STOP

A police officer in a small town stopped a motorist who was speeding down Main Street.

“But officer.” the man began, “I can explain!”

“Just be quiet,” snapped the officer. “I’m going to let you cool your heels in jail until the chief gets back…”

“But officer, I just wanted to say….”

“And I said to keep quiet! You’re going to jail!”

A few hours later the officer looked in on his prisoner and said, “Lucky for you that the chief is at his daughter’s wedding. He’ll be in a good mood when he gets back.”

“Don’t count on it,” answered the fellow in the cell. “I’m the groom.”

OLD TRUCK?

A Texas rancher comes upon a farmer from Maine. The Texan asks, “Say, how much land you think you got there?”

Mainer: “About 10 acres I’d say.”

Texan (boasting): “Well, on my lot, it takes me all day to drive completely around my property!”

Mainer: “Yep, I got one of them trucks, too.”

Bible Study

The Cities Of Refuge – Kedesh Joshua 20:1-9

The cities of refuge were part of the distribution of the Promised Land among the twelve tribes of Israel. Only one tribe, the Levites, was not given land to develop. Instead, they were to be the priests of the Lord and the overseers of the tabernacle and all its rites and furnishings. Only the Levites could carry and set up the tabernacle (Numbers 2:5-13). As the Levites were to have no territorial domain allocated to them like the other tribes in the conquest of Canaan, they were to be distributed throughout the land in certain cities appropriated to their use. Part of their inheritance consisted of forty-eight cities spread throughout the land (Numbers 35:6-7). Of these forty-eight cities, six were designated as cities of refuge. The cities were Kedesh, Shechem, Hebron, Bezer, Ramoth, and Golan (Joshua 20:7-8).

The Mosaic Law stated that anyone who committed a murder was to be put to death (Exodus 21:14). But for unintentional deaths, God set aside these cities to which the murderer could flee for refuge (Exodus 21:13). He would be safe from the avenger—the family member charged with avenging the victim’s death (Numbers 35:19)—until the case could go to trial. The congregation would judge to find if the attacker acted unintentionally. If he did, he would return to the city of refuge and live there safely until the death of the high priest who was in office at the time of the trial, at which point he could return to his property. If the attacker left the city of refuge before the death of the high priest, however, the avenger would have the right to kill him (Numbers 35:24-28).

The establishment of those privileged sanctuaries among the cities of the Levites is probably traceable to the idea that the Levites would be the most suitable and impartial judges, that their presence and counsels might calm or restrain the stormy passions of the blood avenger. By their consecration as priests, the Levites were mediators between the Israelites and God. As such, they would have been gifted to calmly mediate between the attacker and the victim’s family, ensuring that no further bloodshed would occur.

The cities of refuge can be seen as types of Christ, in whom sinners find a refuge from the destroyer of our souls. Just as a person could seek refuge in the cities set up for that purpose, we flee to Christ for refuge (Hebrews 6:18). We run to Christ to escape the danger we are in from the curse and condemnation of the law, from the wrath of God, and from an eternity in hell. Only Christ provides refuge from these things, and it is to Him alone that we must run. Just as the cities were open to all who fled to them for safety, it is Christ who provides safety to all who come to Him for refuge from sin and its punishment.

A. The Reason For The Cities Of Refuge

  1. The Institution Of The Cities Of Refuge – God’s Sovereign Grace
  2. The Interpretation Of The Cities Of Refuge – Man’s Physical Safety
  3. The Importance Of The Cities Of Refuge – Saint’s Salvation In Type
  4. The Implications Of The Cities Of Refuge – A Type Of Christ And Their Names Have Great Significance

B. Kadesh comes from the word “sanctum” which means to be clean or holy; to be consecrated or dedicated; to be morally pure (Christ Is Our Holiness)

  1. When a man enters Christ Jesus, he then takes on the imputed righteousness of Christ.
  2. This righteousness is not the goodness of man; it is the perfect, faultless righteousness of God Himself.
  3. This righteousness is not a mixture of darkness and light; as God dwelleth in a light that man cannot approach unto, we—as God’s chidren—dwell in perfect light in Christ.
  4. This righteousness is not a mixture of dead works and faith; it is imputed through faith alone.
  5. This righteousness is certainly not a mixture of self-praise and boasting; our praise and boasting is in Christ alone.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (Imputed righteousness of faith)
2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

C. In today’s spiritual economy, most religions and denominations try to do right in order to be right with the Lord. Romans 9-10 spells out the spiritual blindness of Israel in light of Paul’s pray to God for their salvation. Romans 9:27-10:10 will point out a few things. These verses explain:

MAN’S RIGHTEOUSNESS VS. GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS
Romans 10:1-4 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. (2) For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. (3) For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. (4) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

  1. We See The Desire of the Redeemed: vs 1 “heart’s desire and prayer..saved” (hopes no man to die without Christ!)
  2. We See The Dedication of the Religionist – vs 2 “zeal of God” (It is a shame we don’t have the same zeal!)
  3. We See The Deception of the Religionist – vs 3 “ignorant of God’s righteousness”
  4. We See The Dilemma of the Religionist – vs 3 “going about to establish their own righteousness”
  5. We See The Damnation of the Religionist – vs 3 “have not submitted themselves”
  6. We See The Deliverance of the Religionist – vs 4 “everyone that believeth”

Let Us Examine God’s Righteousness
Exodus 15:11 Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?
1 Timothy 6:15-16 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
Revelation 15:4a Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy

Let Us Examine Man’s Righteousness
Job Said – Job 40:4 Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.
David Said – Psalms 51:3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
Solomon Said – Ecclesiastes 7:20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.
Isaiah Said – Isaiah 6:5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Peter Said – Luke 5:8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
Paul Said – Romans 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

  1. In Christ, We Have Perfect Holiness (There is no fault in us!)
    1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
    Jude 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
    Colossians 1:20-22 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
  2. In Christ, We Have Positional Holiness (Salvation is by faith!)
    Romans 3:21-22 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
    Romans 4:5-6 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
    Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
    Ephesians 1:3-7 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 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: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
  3. In Christ, We Have Practical Holiness (We could not keep it!)

Acts 15:7-11 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. (8) And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; (9) And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. (10) Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? (11) But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

  1. In Christ, We Have Permanent Holiness (We cannot lose it!)

Ephesians 1:12-13 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Revelation 22:10-11 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

Victory Baptist Church 27 July 2022 victorypalmetto.com

Wade’s Wednesday

1 Peter 1:6-7 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

In the book of Mark we read about a terrible storm. The disciples were with Jesus on a boat crossing the Sea of Galilee. When a “furious storm came up,” the disciples—among them some seasoned fishermen—were afraid for their lives (4:37-38). Did God not care? Weren’t they handpicked by Jesus and closest to Him? Weren’t they obeying Jesus who told them to “go over to the other side”? (v. 35). Why, then, were they going through such a troubling time?

No one is exempt from the storms of life. But just as the disciples who initially feared the storm later came to revere Christ more, so the storms we face can bring us to a deeper knowledge of God. “Who is this,” the disciples pondered, “even the wind and the waves obey him!” (v. 41). Through our trials we can learn that no storm is big enough to prevent God from accomplishing His will (5:1).

While we may not understand why God allows trials to enter our lives, we thank Him that through them we can come to know who He is. We live to serve Him because He has preserved our lives.

Lord, I know I don’t need to fear the storms of life around me. Help me to be calm because I stand secure in You.

Tuesday With Karen

There’s No Place Like Home

There’s no place like home to the weary soul,
It’s a great peaceful place where you can go;
Within its walls are so much loving care,
Going inside makes you glad you’re there!

There’s no place like home if you need rest,
Behind its doors, you’re so richly blessed;
All the love and care felt on the inside,
Makes you thank God it’s part of your life!

There’s no place like home, a trusted place,
You grow fonder of it in each passing day;
Storms will come as the rainy winds blow,
But home is such a special place to go!

There’s no place like Home, to anyone saved,
Where Christians will go when called away;
On this earth, God doesn’t leave us alone,
One day we’ll shout, There’s no place like Home!

How to Stay Young

1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctor worry about them. That is why you pay him/her.

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.!

3. Keep learning! Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” And the devil’s name is Alzheimer’s.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

Entering Glory

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who served as pastor of London’s Westminster Chapel for almost 30 years, couldn’t speak at the end of his life. Days before dying, he wrote, “Do not pray for my healing. Do not hold me back from the glory.”

The Apostle Paul was torn between staying on earth and going to heaven: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. … I am hard pressed between the two” (Philippians 1:21, 23).

Neither of these men feared death; nor should any Christian. As Haddon Robinson said, “For those who trust Jesus Christ, death is not a sheriff dragging us off to court but a servant ushering us into the presence of a loving Lord.”

How to Listen to God’s Word

By Charles Stanley

Nehemiah 8:1-18 And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel. And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month. And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law. And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam. And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up: And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground. Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place. So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.

How is it that two people can sit in the same pew, hear the same sermon about the same portion of Scripture, and walk away with two different reactions? One is joyful and the other is unaffected. I think the reason is that some people do not know how to listen to the Word of God.

Nehemiah 8 is an amazing scene of God’s people coming together to hear His Word. Remember that they didn’t have individual copies of Scripture to read. For generations, the events of Genesis through Deuteronomy were passed down from parent to child. Moreover, the people had been in captivity for many years. This was the first time most of them heard the Word read. Imagine their excitement as they listened attentively for the Lord to speak to them.

The Israelites were hungry for God’s Word. Are you? Do you listen eagerly and with an expectant mind and heart? The length of a person’s attention span is directly related to the intensity of his hunger for something. If you crave to know more of God, then your mind is going to be fastened on what He’s saying through your pastor or your personal reading. And the reality is that nothing in the world matters as much as what the Lord has to say.

So many things clamor for our focus but few truly deserve it. The Lord is worthy of nothing less than our undivided attention. He has something to say to every person. So whoever listens to God’s Word with an open heart and alert mind will receive from Him.

Friday Funnies

NEWS REPORTER

A photographer for a national magazine was assigned to get photos of a great forest fire. Smoke at the scene was too thick to get any good shots, so he frantically called his home office to hire a plane.

“It will be waiting for you at the airport!” he was assured by his editor. As soon as he got to the small, rural airport, sure enough, a plane was warming up near the runway. He jumped in with his equipment and yelled, “Let’s go! Let’s go!” The pilot swung the plane into the wind and soon they were in the air.

“Fly over the north side of the fire,” said the photographer, “and make three or four low level passes.”
“Why?” asked the pilot.
“Because I’m going to take pictures! I’m a photographer, and photographers take pictures!” said the photographer with great exasperation.
After a long pause the pilot said, “You mean you’re not the instructor?”

NEWS BOY

A newsboy was standing on the corner with a stack of papers, yelling, “Read all about it. Fifty people swindled! Fifty people swindled!”

Curious, a man walked over, bought a paper, and checked the front page. Finding nothing, the man said, “There’s nothing in here about fifty people being swindled.”

The newsboy ignored him and went on, calling out, “Read all about it. Fifty-one people swindled!”