Saturday, December 2, 2017

" O  How . . . "

Jack Davis

These two little words seem to point our attention toward some impressive thoughts worth remembering, and some important facts worthy of receptive consideration. It seems to me as we read the Scripture, that there are times when the inspired writer just falls prostrate on his face overwhelmed, gasping and grasping for words to express the vastness of things Divine, which he senses in his enlarged heart.

“O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! Who hast set thy glory above the heavens” – Ps. 8:1. Do we not get a sense of excitement here? He is speaking of our Father’s name. In Scripture, one’s name is given to define their personality or character. The names given of our Father not only tell who He is, but also what He wants to be to us. “HOW EXCELLENT” – considering synonyms to help us appreciate what is being said, we think of majestic, glorious, awe-in-spiring, to be admired,” as the majesty and glory of our God and Father fills all the earth. In Malachi 3:16, we realize that the Lord takes note of those that think upon His name.

Oh how great is the goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!” – Ps. 31:19. Who is able to measure the greatness of His goodness? How could we express it? “LAID UP” – shall we not understand that there is kept in store for us an inexhaustible supply of our God’s great goodness? “WROUGHT” – Oh yes, not only in store, but also operative, active on our behalf. In Philippians, we read that God has begun a good work in us – 1:16. Then in 2:13, we see that He is working in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure. In 3:20, we understand that when He has completed the work of His goodness, we will have a body fashioned like unto His glorious body

Jesus said, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” He said this when the Jews had persecuted Him and tried to kill Him, because He had healed a man on the sabbath day saying, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk” – Jn. 5:8,16-17. Earlier Jesus said, “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work” – Jn. 4:34. Jesus is indeed the Lord of the sabbath – Mk. 2:28. He came to bring both God and man together in eternal rest. We many clearly understand that the triune God is involved in the working of all things for the highest benefit of trusting humanity.

We are often amazed at the materials that God has chosen to work in and on (I Cor. 1:27; 25-31). He can and does make something for His glory out of nothing. He has CALLED unto Himself needy beneficiaries of His work (Rom. 8:28). In the working of His goodness, He CLEANSES (I Cor. 6:11); CHASTENS (Heb. 12:6); COUNSELS (Rev.3:18); COMFORTS  (II Cor. 1:4) and CROWNS (Ps. 103:4). This is for His people, “them that fear thee.”

“BEFORE THE SONS OF MEN” – God’s great goodness is at work on behalf of them whose trust is not a secret thing, hidden, active only when no one is watching. Some tend to trust the Lord when no one else can see, or tell that we are such weaklings, or such a needy person that we cannot depend upon ourselves. It seems that we naturally want everyone to think we are independent, self-sufficient. Why are we prone to look around when we trip to see who has seen us fall? When we walk in pride and put on such an air, we seem to miss some of the enjoyment of God’s great goodness. May we ever be mindful.

“How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light” – Ps. 36:7-9.

Happy are all who come to know the value of our God’s loving kindness. Thus known, a wonderful place is afforded under the shadow of His wings. Oh, to know the abundant satisfaction in the fatness (prosperity) of His house, for it is so richly supplied. His lovingkindness allows us to enjoy endless refreshing. I thank Him for bringing us unto the waters, and causing us to drink of the river of His pleasures. Do you enjoy the Lord? If not, it is certainly not His fault. In His lovingkindness, we are made to see and realize that He is the only true source of light and life. Having come to know Him, and appreciating the shadow of His wings, His abundant satisfaction, endless refreshing, eternal life, and absolute light, we want more and more of Him! We thus cry “O continue thy loving kindness” – V. 10.

“How amiable (dear, enjoyable, pleasant) are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even faineth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God” – Ps. 84:1-2. Only His lovingkindness could make His “courts and tabernacles” amiable unto us, without which we would wisely be afraid to approach Him.

“How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” – Ps. 119:103. His words telling of the afore-mentioned facts constrain us, calling to the heights, giving courage, and caresses those that will taste and see that the Lord is good and gracious. Job said, “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” – Job 23:12. Jeremiah said, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD GOD of hosts” – Jer. 15:16. These men knew some things by experience; they had tasted.

“How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!” Ps. 139:17. Oh, who can evaluate accurately the Word God has spoken unto us? What esteem are we giving to His Word? It should be important to us, what God thinks, and how He thinks (Isa. 55:8-11). What lovingkindness God has made available to all. He has done this not just so we could hear, ponder and forget. He has not done this just so we could know why He thinks like He does, but especially that His thoughts, attitude, mind or purpose may become ours. God delights to write by His Spirit, His will and Word on our hearts and minds – I Cor. 2:9-10; II Cor. 2:2-3; Heb. 89:10; 10:16.


Anita Clark – Pastor – Carbondale, Kansas

“Let his mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; Who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant [slave] and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” Philippians 2:5-8.

Because this was the will of God the Father, Jesus subjected Himself to obey exactly what His Father had designed for His life on earth. It meant He would give up His glory and equality with God for all time. He will always be a glorified human being. In the plan of God He was “...the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” Revelation 13:8. In Hebrews 2:9-18 we learn that He willingly was made lower than the angels (V.9). Through this humbling He brought many sons to glory (Vs.10). Through this process He destroyed him that had the power of death, that is, the devil (V.14). He did all this that he might become our “merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people V.17.

In Luke 22:41-42 & 46, We see Jesus choosing to follow the will of His Father God. While praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, He cried out, “Saying Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but Thine be done.” He willingly chose to follow His Father’s plan to become the sacrifice for our sin, and not for ours only, but for all the world’s also. In Hebrews 10:5,7,9, the Lord speaks of how a body was prepared for Him and how he willingly came to do His Father’s will. How precious this is!

Galatians 1:3-4 Apostle Paul says, “Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” In John 4:34, Jesus said, “My meat (my nourishment) is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work.” In John 5:30, Jesus said, “...I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” In John 6:38-67, He repeatedly speaks of doing His Father’s will.

One of the phrase in what is called “The Lord’s Prayer,” which we prefer to call “The Pattern Prayer,” reads, “Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.” Do we ask the Lord for His will to be done in our lives? The word “will” in the Greek means “determination, choice, purpose, decree, desire, or pleasure.” This is exactly what the Lord wants in our lives - a person who seeks His will, not their own.

Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 5:14-17, “Wherefore He saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” The word “circumspectly” in the Greek means “ exactly, diligently, or accurately.” We need to be doing the will of God! We need to be careful to follow His leading every day. The word “redeeming” means buying up the opportunity or making the most of our time.” Not wasting our time. Why? “Because the days are evil.” This world is growing more evil every day. Can you see it and feel it?

Paul says, “Be ye not unwise...” The word “unwise” means “stupid, ignorant or unbelieving.” He continues, “...understanding what the will of the Lord is.” God wants us to seek His will in our lives. We can understand what it is that God wants for us. The Scripture is plain as to what His will is for us as a believer.

The will of God for all Christians is very clear - complete yieldedness, obedience, watching for the Lord’s soon coming again. As far as the individual plan of God for our lives, He is faithful to reveal that to us as we seek Him. Ephesians 6:6 says, “...doing the will of God from the heart.” Colossians 4:12 speaks of “...being complete in all the will of God.” Hebrews 10:35 says, “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For you have need of patience that after ye have done the will of God ye might receive the promise.”

One Day At A Time

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day [is] the evil thereof. Matthew 6:34

We are reminded in the Bible that we cannot change anything about tomorrow by worrying about it. We need this reminder every single day. We have an enemy (Satan) that will continually keep us occupied with things that we cannot control, to keep us from placing our attention on the things that really do matter.

I’m very convinced that God does not give us knowledge about our tomorrow because we would not know what to do about that, and it would keep us from trusting Him for each day, one day at a time. We would always attempt, as we do even now many times, to change our path for tomorrow. Only God knows what path we need to take each day to change us into what He wants us to be.

There is a song that says, “Fear not tomorrow, God is already there.” We do not have to worry or be afraid of tomorrow, because we know that our heavenly Father is already there. He already has taken care of all that we have need of.

Farther up in Matthew 6, Jesus teaches His disciples to pray, and one part of that is, “Give us this day our daily bread.” When Israel came out of Egypt, God gave them manna for each day. They could only gather what they needed for each day. Any more than that would rot before the next day. This was a good lesson for God’s people to learn to trust Him for each day.

All of this is not to say that we should never plan anything for tomorrow, or buy food for more than one day, but our attitude should never be to trust in our ability to provide for tomorrow. God will sometimes bring us to trials that make our tomorrow seem uncertain so that  we can learn to trust Him.

Paul speaks to those that would trust in their riches in 1 Timothy 6:17. His point is not that Christians should never have riches. What matters is our attitude towards the riches of this world, and our attitude towards God. Do we really trust Him, or do we trust in our own ability to provide for ourselves.

God’s people should be diligent in their work, and always do their best, but we should always recognize that God is the one that supplies our needs. I can testify for myself that I have seen God’s hand supplying in my life all these years. I highly recommend putting all your trust in Him alone.

Gordon Crook


Pastor Debra Isenbletter
Christian Assembly, Springfield, Missouri

Ruth 4:15 – “And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him.”

In this verse we have a wonderful double blessing that these women see that will come through the kinsman-redeemer and by the Spirit they prophecy and assure Naomi. That double blessing is Restoration (He gives life) and Nourishment (He sustains life). What a wonderful picture of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Restoration (He Gives Life): “And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life.” The word “restorer” comes from “to turn (back or away) – he will turn back her sorrow. It means “to reward” – he will reward her faith. It means “reverse” – he will reverse her loss. It means “to bring back” – he will bring back and build her family line. The words “thee” and “thy” show that this is personal, this blessing is for Naomi. But also, in the phrase “thy life” the word “thy” is in italics, so it was added. If we remove it, it reads “a restorer of life” – that is all life, every life, not just Naomi’s life. This is more than natural life, this is spiritual life. Our Great Kinsman-Redeemer, Christ, is a restorer of all life! He is our Life! We who were “dead in trespasses and sins” have now been “quickened” or made alive (Eph 2:1).

Nourishment (He Sustains Life): “and a nourisher of thine old age.” The word “nourisher” comes from “to measure, to maintain;” it means “to feed, guide, nourish;” “to sustain” and “to provide for.” The foundation meaning of “measuring” and “maintaining” shows his careful and constant care. The other meanings show the ways in which he measures and maintains. The “feeding” and “nourishing” speak of food for strength and growth. The “guiding” speaks of direction and guidance. The “sustaining” and “providing” speaks of security and satisfaction. Naomi will be provided for all the days of her life. He will provide exactly what is needed in the exact amount needed because he knows each need and will meet each need. How this provision of nourishment can be seen in our lives and can speak of more than just physical nourishment, it speaks of a spiritual nourishment and provision that comes from our Kinsman Redeemer!

After these words concerning her kinsman redeemer, we see their words concerning her daughter-in-law and they are wonderful. They speak of her love: “which (who) loveth thee.” They speak of her worth: “which is better to thee than seven sons.” They speak of her fruit: “hath born him.” What a wonderful testimony Ruth has! Bible Encyclopedia: “The seven sons symbolized the supreme blessing that could come to a Hebrew family (1 Samuel 2:5; Job 1:2).”

In these words of blessing and prophecy we see the responsibilities of the kinsman redeemer fulfilled! It is Naomi’s kinsman redeemer that will do this, who will meet her needs in every way. I can see the fulfillment of these words to Naomi in Boaz. Boaz is “a restorer of thy life.” He does this when he gives Ruth a son. Naomi’s life is no longer bitter and barren for through Boaz and Ruth she also is fruitful. Boaz is “a nourisher of thine old age.” He does this when he takes Naomi into his household and as he cares for and provides for her. I can also see a continuation of the fulfillment of these words to Naomi in Obed. Obed is “a restorer of thy life” for he restores her son’s lineage and he gives her life purpose, she will become his “nurse.” Obed is also “a nourisher of thine old age” because after Boaz dies, he carries on this responsibility, he will continue to care for and provide for her. Both Boaz and Obed have restored to Naomi her life or her reason for living and both will care for her.
These two blessings, to Restore and to Nourish are God’s promise to His people. This is what God promised Abraham as Almighty God or El Shaddai. (Gen 17:1). In the meaning of that name “Almighty God” or “El Shaddai” we see all the ways God restores and nourishes. He is the “all sufficient one;” He is the “strength-giver;” He is the “satisfier;” and He “enriches and makes fruitful.” God promised this to Abraham and did this. Later we see that this is what Joseph promised to do for his family (Gen 45:11). He saw their need and told them he would meet there need. They had to trust in him and believe he could and would do this. Later Joseph fulfilled that promise made when he “nourished his father and his brethren…” (Gen 47:12). He measured food according to each need and nourished and provided for them. This is what God promised His people and what He asked them to believe. He asked them to let Him care for and carry them (Isa 46:3-4). He asked them to let Him be their God and sustain them (Psa 55:22).

Just as God took care of His people in so many ways, we see the ultimate fulfillment of this promise to Restore and Nourish in the Lord Jesus Christ. This is what He did at Calvary, He fulfilled these two great blessing. He gave us life, He is our life – He is the “restorer of thy life” and this is eternal life (John 10:28), this is the new creation life (2 Cor 5:17). He sustains that life that He gives – He is the “nourisher of thine old age.” This old age can refer to natural age, for Caleb experienced this when he said “As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now …” (Joshua 14:11). This old age can also refer to spiritual age. John shows that we grow from little children to young men to fathers and in each stage of growth he is the “nourisher” (1 John 2:12-14).

Jesus is the Greater Restorer! At Calvary He restored everything that Adam lost because of his sin (Ro 5:12). The Psalmist says: “I restored that which I took not away.” Jesus did so much more, He gives us so much more: He restored five times more as Paul tells us in Romans 5:9-20. He justified us (Ro 5:9); He reconciled us (Ro 5:10); He gives the gift of salvation by grace (Ro 5:15) and the gift of righteousness (Ro 5:17) and He satisfies the requirements of the law and sin is judged (Ro 5:20). There is a Full Restitution – A Final Restitution – A Greater Restitution. Jesus is also the Great Nourisher! He not only gives us life, He sustains that life and He enriches that life. He is that “Bread of Life” (John 6;35,48). It is through His nourishment that we grown and are “enriched by Him” ( (1 Cor 1:5) and grow up into Him in all things” (Eph 4:15). There is an endless supply of nourishment, for those that are babes and those that are full grown, His provision and purpose is to meet our needs!


Verta Giddings

Chapter 14
The work in Iconium, Derbe & Lystra

The Work in Iconium – Vs. 1-5: Even though Paul and Barnabas had been badly treated in Antioch, they went on to Iconium to preach there about Jesus. There they found a synagogue of the Jews. It says a great multitude of Jews and Greeks believed when they heard the message. You know that would make the devil mad, so he had the unbelieving Jews to rise up against them. Still they were able to continue there a long time. Notice their boldness, and how the Lord gave them signs and wonders to go with their teaching of the Lord and of His grace. Verses. 4-5, things got worse, the people there were divided about the message, and it turned out that both the Gentiles and the Jews were involved. They were about to stone Paul and Barnabas.

The Work in Lystra – Vs. 6-20: The Lord had to give these missionaries knowledge about when to stay if their lives were in danger, and when to flee to another place. Paul and Barnabas knew it was time to go, so they went on southwest, still in Asia Minor, and preached there. It doesn’t say anything about a synagogue there, so perhaps there was none. Probably they preached in the street. We don’t hear right away about many people believing, but we do hear of one man who was eager to listen to their message. It doesn’t even give his name, but it does say he was a cripple and had never walked. This man really heard the message Paul gave. Paul knew He had faith to be healed, so he spoke to the man in a loud voice saying, “Stand up-right on thy feet.” He not only stood, but he leaped and he walked.

The people there were very superstitious. They believed in false gods. They thought, since witnessing this miracle, that the gods had come down to them. They had a legend that Jupiter, king of the gods, and his son Mercury, had once been in that very area. Since Paul was the chief speaker, they figured he was Jupiter and Barnabas was Mercury. Soon they had the priests of the near-by heathen temple bring oxen and garlands to sacrifice to them. When the apostles heard of this they were extremely upset, they tore their clothes and ran in among them crying out, and telling them not to do this. They explained that they were just men like they were. They didn’t’ want sacrifices made to them. Instead they pointed them to turn to the real God, the God of heaven, the Creator. Rather than using Old Testament Scriptures like they did in Antioch, to preach to the people, they spoke of the Living God who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. They spoke of the witness God had left – the rain, seasons, food and gladness. Still these people wanted to sacrifice to them.

V. 19: This didn’t last long, however, for some Jews from Antioch and Iconium (where they were before) came and talked against the apostles. This resulted in stoning Paul. They dragged him out of the city, figuring he was dead. But if he had died, the Lord raised him up. We aren’t sure about this. Anyway he rose up and the next day he and Barabas went on to near-by Derbe.

We will learn in chapter 16 about a certain young man named Timothy who lived in this very area. We can even suppose that he witnessed this miracle of Paul’s being raised up. If he didn’t see it, he certainly did hear about it. It must be that Timothy’s mother and grandmother were saved at this time – on the first missionary journey.

The Work in Derbe and again in Lystra, Iconium and Antioch – Vs. 20-22: Nothing could stop these apostles, not even the threat of death. They preached in Derbe and taught many. They didn’t hesitate to go back to Lystra, to Iconium and to Antioch, to help these new believers. They advised them to continue in their faith in Jesus. They did warn that they would have tribulation. Certainly they were encouraged when they saw how the apostles endured the sufferings.

The Ordination of Elders in the Churches – V. 23: The apostles Paul and Barnabas could tell by the Holy Spirit which believers were able to take the lead in the different meetings, and so they appointed them to do so.

Back Home to Antioch in Syria – Vs. 24-28: They went back to the city from which they were sent forth. They heard the report of this first missionary trip. They stayed there quite some time.

The Giving forth of the gospel often includes suffering. We don’t suppose any of you will be stoned for telling someone about Jesus. Paul was willing to suffer and even to die if need be to be able to share this good news. None of us should back down just because there will be those who don’t understand or even want to hear about it. Let us be bold to testify about Jesus. He loved us enough to die for us, and we should be willing to go through some things if necessary to let others know how to be saved. 
Continued in the January issue


We will mine some gold nuggets from the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament. Isaiah was an outstanding Hebrew prophet. He gives by inspiration of the Holy Spirit the most perfect picture of the coming Messiah of any of the great Jewish prophets. There is so much material that it would be impossible to cover it in one article, so I will just hit some high marks. Starting with the prophecy of our Lord’s birth.

Ch. 7:14 – This comforting sign was given to Ahaz of the house of David. It extended far beyond the time of Ahaz, relating a promise to the kingly line of David. It is a certain sign from the Lord Himself. “Behold, a virgin (one that has not known a man) shall conceive and bear a son. And shall call His Name Immanuel – meaning ‘God with us.’” The only possible fulfillment is found in Mt. 1 and Lk. 1. Mary a virgin conceived of the Holy Ghost, and gave birth to God’s only begotten Son.

Ch. 9:2 - The fulfillment is recorded in Mt. 4:14-17, “the people which sat in darkness saw great light…them which sat in the shadow of death light is sprung up.” Also in Jn. 1:4, – “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.” Jesus said of Himself in Jn. 8:12, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

9:6-7 – This is an expansion of the meaning of “Immanuel” – here He is spoken of as a gift – “for unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.” The child grows into manhood and His nature and character is revealed in these titles. He possesses eternity, and is loving, tender, compassionate an all wise instructor and provider. Did not the heavenly host proclaim at His birth (Lk. 2:14), “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward man.” He will bring peace to Israel and to the nations in the future. But to everyone who receives Him, has the peace that only He can give. In Eph. 2:13-14 we read, “In Christ Jesus we who were far off (from God), are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For He is our peace.

Ch. 11:1 – Jesus is the green shout from the family of Jesse of the house of David. Mt. 1:23 says, He dwelt in the city of Nazareth and was called a Nazarene which means natzer, a branch, a preservative branch. V. 2 – His anointing with the Spirit was when He was baptized for His public ministry by John the Baptist, Mt. 3:13-17. These powers and virtues made Him of quick understanding with spiritual discernment.

 Vs. 3-5 - He will not judge by mere appearance or on hearsay, but with righteousness on behalf of the poor, the meek and the humble. We read over and over in the gospels how He knew their hearts. Before peace is established on earth, He shall smite the earth…and slay the wicked.” The ungodly that have rejected God’s salvation will be judged and II Thess. 2 tells of the man of sin, the Antichrist and the false prophet whose coming is after the working of Satan. It says they shall be consumed with the spirit of His mouth and shall be destroyed with the brightness of the Lord’s coming. Rev. 19:20 tells us, both the beast, Antichrist and false prophet  shall be cast alive into the like of fire.

Ch. 42:1-9 – Here we view Christ as the blesser of Israel and the Savior of Gentiles. It is He whom the Lord calls “My Servant.” He assumed His Servant character to fulfill His Father’s will on earth, which is described in Phil. 2:7-9. There we read though He was equal with God, He made Himself of no reputation and took the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men. He humbled Himself further and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. We learn in Acts 2:23 He was chosen in the eternal counsels of God before the foundation of the world to be our propitiation (our atoning sacrifice). For the nation of Israel all will be made true in a day to come when a remnant receives their Messiah.

Ch. 52:13 – Again we read, “Behold, My Servant,” shall deal prudently, describing His life on earth in all He said and did with its prosperous effects (His resurrection His ascension and position at the Father’s right hand). Phil. 2:9, “Wherefore or because of His obedient death on the cross, God hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name above every name.” V. 14 – Oh the disfigurement inflicted on Him, it is no wonder He said in Ps. 22:6, “I am a worm and no man.” And in V. 17 of that Psalm, “I may tell all My bones; they look and stare upon Me.” V. 15 – In a coming day, He shall “startle” (is the meaning not sprinkle) many nations and kings. They shall tremble and be speechless at the reality of His manifestation.

Ch. 53:1 – As a nation, Israel persistently refused to believe. V. 2 – He grew up before His Father as a tender plant, a sprouting root out of a dry ground (that natzer). The Father voiced His approval when He was baptized, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” As to His natural appearance it was not anything that attracted people to Him. On the contrary – V. 3 – They hid their faces from Him, esteeming Him as nothing. He didn’t look like the Messiah they expected. V. 4 -This records the depths of remorse they will recall when He is revealed to them. The remnant will deeply confess, His sufferings were not as they supposed, for they thought He was smitten of God for His own sins and for blasphemy, saying He was God’s Son. The word “Surely” marks their changed attitude. Surely He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.” A thought they had not considered, He bore in His own Person sufferings which were other than His own. V. 5 – Wounded and bruised describes a violent death. The word “our” is stressed. For the chastisement He suffered by God was that which makes for our peace. Then we read, “And with His strips we are healed” not the Roman scourging, but the stroke of Divine judgment inflicted on Him. V. 6 – In their repentance they admit the tremendous fact, “Jehovah hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” V. 7 – He was treated unsparingly, Yet He opened not His mouth, suffering voluntarily. Meek as a Lamb to the slaughter. Jn. 1:29 - John seeing Jesus said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” He was the Passover Lamb of God. V. 8 – An unrighteous judicial verdict was passed and they led Him to Calvary. Cut off out of the land of the living (stressing the stroke He endured for His people). V. 9 – “he had done no violence” the sinless Lamb dying for sinners. God saw to it, He was not buried in a criminal’s grave, as the Romans’s would have done. Joseph, a rich man laid Jesus in his own new tomb, Mt. 27:60. Vs. 10-12 – This speaks of Jehovah’s dealings with Him judicially concerning His death and His reward. He willingly surrendered His life to meet God’s righteous demands for the sins of man; and He is compensated. “He shall see His seed,” speaking of Christ’s exceeding joy of seeing the countless multitude of His spiritual posterity from among mankind (both Jew and Gentile). “He shall prolong His days” reminds me of Christ’s words in Rev. 1:18, “I was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore.” “The pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand” – points not only to His High Priestly work, but also the exercise of His authority and power in His Kingdom. The Sept. renders V. 12, “I will give Him the mighty for a portion. The thought is not of dividing but of assigning. Those who by reason of faithfulness to His will are sharers in His authority when His Kingdom is established. It is all because of His atoning sacrifice. The establishing of His sovereign power in the earth, rests, upon the finished work. All future glory, all rewards to the faithful are because He poured out His soul unto death and was numbered with the transgressors, baring the sins of many and making intercession for the transgressors even while nailed to the cross. 

61:1-3 – Jesus read this passage in the synagogue and closing the book, announced “To-day hath this Scripture been fulfilled in by our ears” – Lk. 4:16-21. Rom. 8:28,it is He who turns our sorrows into joy. He will bring about this change in Israel in a coming day. They shall be called “trees of righteousness. It will not be their doing, it will be “the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.

63:1-6 – This portrays a dialogue between the redeemed remnant of Israel and the Lord. When Christ intervenes to overthrow the Gentile nations under the Antichrist; the remnant will ask, Who is this that comes in the greatness of His strength? Rev. 19:11-16 we read of His coming as the mighty Conqueror leading His heavenly armies. He comes to put down all rule and authority for He must reign (I Cor. 15:24-25). Then He shall rule, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

32:1-5 – This depicts the Millennial reign of Christ and of those who rule under Him. His full supply & provisions are on display (His protecting power and care as God as well as the sympathy and compassion of humanity). The God-Man will be the testimony of all.

Isaiah takes us from His birth to His millennial reign.
–-  E. J. Davis

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Way of Rejoicing

Jack Davis

“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” Psalm 100:1-5

This Psalm is a precious call to give a thank offering. There are eight acts expressing praise. He says in the fourth verse, “Be thankful unto Him.” We are to be full of thanks, and as we receive of His abundant supply of blessings we are full to overflowing. The keynote to this Psalm is “BE thankful” We cannot do what God requires until we “be thankful.” It is the inner source of all that we are admonished and encouraged to do. An attitude of thankfulness calls into action deeds of thanksgiving. Thanksgiving hymns come out of thankful hearts.

We are admonished to “make a joyful noise.” “Serve the Lord with gladness.” “Come before His Presence with singing.” “Know ye that the Lord He is God” “Enter into His gates.” “Enter … into His courts.” “Bless His Name.” What a privilege we have to bless His Name, which is above every name! This gladness and singing express the thrill of liberated hearts. Praise God, we have been set free. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” – John 8:36. Thanksgiving causes our blessings to increase, and an unthankful attitude makes them diminish. Thank the Lord that we can fall down before Him.

In the center of our doing this, He says, “Know ye that the Lord He is God.” This little verse is freighted with precious truth concerning us. He is God. We know Him as Creator. “It is He that hath made us.” We read in Revelation four of some who fall down before the throne of God and cast their crowns before His feet saying. “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.” It is a privilege for us to recognize His creatorship; but, not only that, He has an ownership. “We are His people.” We belong to Him, and how well off we are if we recognize this. The possessive pronoun “His” is used eight times in this short Psalm: “His Presence,” “His people,” “His pasture,” “His gates,” “His courts,” “His Name,” “His mercy,” and “His truth.” Everything and everyone belongs to Him. We can also acknowledge and express appreciation for His caretakership. We are “the sheep of His pasture.”

The foundation of true, solid, spiritual praise is a knowing and understanding heart. This word “know” expresses “to recognize, perceive, understand;” and, if we do, we will gladly acknowledge that “the Lord is good.” When we express that God is good, it seems that this adjective is too mild. But, our God is a good God, and it is good for us to know Him. We wonder how long our God’s goodness to men will last. The Word declares that “His mercy is everlasting.” We realize to some degree how great His mercy is; but we cannot begin to fathom the fullness of God. It must be revealed to our hearts. He is great enough to fulfill all He has promised to all generations. His message is dependable. If God said it, you can count on it coming to pass. I appreciated my heavenly Father more when I realized that His mercy is not upon me because I am good, but because He is good. His mercy is not upon me because I can keep His commandments, but because He can keep His everlasting covenant through the beloved Lamb of God. God can look upon us with favor, because He looks upon His Son. God can see our shortcomings and our needs; yet He can be merciful because He can see the Sacrifice, the Lamb slain.

In Psalm 46:10 we read, “Be still, and know that I am God.” We have just read to “make a joyful noise,” and now we are instructed to “be still.” We are to be still before that God of all the earth. “I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” God is the King of all the earth; sing ye praises with understanding” – Psalm 47:7. How can we learn to do the? The answer – “Be still, and know.” It takes a quietness and listening to Him, and then we will learn how to praise Him with understanding and comprehension. We will know Him who leads His sheep “beside the still waters.”

Sometimes, He allows the waters to be troubled, so that we will really appreciate the waters of quietness. Oh, praise God! We can know when He leads us, and we can know Him who leads us. We will know Him who makes us “to lie down in green pastures.” Sometimes, He must make us lie down, before we really appreciate the green pastures. He may lay us aside for awhile so that we will feed in those green pastures. But, be assured that they are green, they are life-giving. He also makes His sheep to sit down at His banquet table; and as we sit there at His table, He anoints our heads with oil. No wander our little cups run over!

There is a time to rejoice in the Lord with thanksgiving, and there is a time to keep silent and meditate on His Word. We love to listen to the young children singing joyfully of Jesus’ love. We also enjoy singing along with the young people’s enthusiastic hand-clapping singing unto the Lord. But, we also enjoy the deep-settled songs of those who sing from experience and with understanding. A joyful noise is based upon a sound knowledge of Him, a rejoicing no matter what the circumstances. A joyful noise is an acknowledged recognition, and an expression of appreciation of what we know in fact to be true of Him. A jubilant and joyful sound comes from a jubilant and understanding heart. What is your noise?

The Lord had to illustrate this message to me. On a trip to the Ozarks, I left my Bible at home and I began to grumble. The Lord had begun speaking this Psalm to me – “Make a joyful noise.” Many sounds are being made today – grumbling, murmuring, disputing, complaining, criticizing, squawking, squeaking, and even sometimes screaming. What is you noise? We make all kinds of noises when we have been struck, or stuck, or stepped on, or stung. I cannot spell in so many letters the noise I made while driving the bus back from the Ozarks, and a bee came through the window and hit me in the neck. I thought perhaps all I had was a bee sting. Well, it fell down into my jump suit. I do not mind telling you, I jumped. I think everybody else was occupied fellowshipping, so I do not know whether anyone heard me; but I let that bee know that he had a hold of me. The Lord was speaking, “Make a joyful noise.”

Making a joyful noise is not just one sound out of our experience, but the general tone or tenor of our whole lives. When we have been stung, that is the time to make a joyful noise. When the roof caved in, and killed all his children Job said, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the Name of the Lord” – Job 1:21. We think of Joseph, how his brethren came to him to ask forgiveness, He said, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good” – Genesis 50:20. We are able to make a joyful noise unto the Lord when we are in an uncomfortable position, if we realize that it has come from God’s hand. He sent it for a purpose. Glory to God! The early Christians were found rejoicing after being beaten and threatened. They thanked the Lord “That they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His Name” – Acts 5:41.

The joyful sound comes from an anchored heart, knowing that every good and perfect gift comes from God. He is making all things work together for our good. So He says, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” – I Thess. 5:18. A joyful noise is to accompany our service and approach to God. We are to “come before His Presence with singing,” with gladness, “and into His courts with praise.” Praise God that we have access. Before Jesus came, we had no right to come. We can come through His gates into His courts, right up to His throne singing, singing, singing praises unto Him. When we approach Him to serve Him, it is special priestly service, if it is with and attitude of worship. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.” Praise the Lord!


Anita Clark, Pastor, Carbondale, KS

“The woman saith unto Him, Sir, I perceive that You are a Prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain worship, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship; for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in truth; for the Father seeks such to worship Him. God is a Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.” John 4:19-24.

In verse 22 where Jesus told the woman, “Ye worship you know not what,” it shows her ignorance of who should be worshiped. Jesus said the Jews worshiped God Whom they had knowledge of and understood. Many religious people today are claiming to worship, but have no idea whom they are worshiping or what they are worshiping. Jesus said that there would come a time when the “true worshipers” would worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth (reality). There is much false worship in many religious places today. God is seeking true worshipers.

In Exodus 20:3-5, the Lord declares His desire and commands worship that is acceptable to Him, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them.” We are not to worship literal images and false gods, but how about other things we may worship. When we put other things before God in our lives, we are worshiping those things. Think about it.

As John 4:24 says, “God is seeking worshipers who worship Him in Spirit and in truth.” The word “worship” in the Greek means “to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand, to fawn (exhibit attention and affection and attempt to please), crouch to, prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore).” This word “worship” in the English language means “ reverence, to give homage, adoration, honor, celebration, extol, revere, exaltation, glorify, or deify.” In many places the Bible states that no one or nothing else is to receive this reverence except God.

What does it mean to “ worship the Father in Spirit and in truth.” I believe that Jesus was referring to the new life of Christ within us, and the Holy Spirit, not in fleshly, carnal or formal ways. There is much worship (so called) which is false, not Scriptural and so is not true worship, but truly a manifestation of the flesh, the religious carnal nature. This kind brings glory to man and not God. Not all worship is in “Truth.” Some so called worship is only pretense or hypocrisy, pretending to be pius, and spiritual and worship of God. Christ is the “Way the Truth and the Life.” Study of the Word of God brings more enlightenment and Truth.

Psalms 145:1-7 expresses what real worship of God is. “I will extol thee, my God, O King; and I will bless Thy name for ever and ever. Everyday will I bless Thee; and I will praise Thy name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise Thy works to another, and shall declare Thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honor of Thy majesty, and of Thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of the might of Thy terrible acts: and I will declare Thy greatness. They shall abundantly utter the memory of Thy goodness, and shall sing of Thy righteousness.”

Who should praise & worship the Lord? “The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down in silence, But we will bless the Lord from this time forth and for evermore” Ps. 115:17,18. The “we” is referring to those who believe.

Where should we praise and worship? “Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and bless the Lord” Ps. 134:2. In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” I Thess. 5:18. Where ever I am - Whatever I’m doing - or not doing - I can worship - In my car - At home - In the Church meeting.

Why should we praise and worship Him? Because of a peaceful worshipful heart, showing that we are grateful for all the marvelous things that He has provided for us, and because of Who He is. I heard one time, that sometimes it almost seems we can’t praise Him while we are in a terrible trial, but we can worship and praise Him for Who He is and what He has done for us.

When should we worship? We should worship Him - “forever and ever” and “everyday” Ps. 145:1, 2. “ the night seasons” Ps. 16:7.

How should we worship? With all our being, heart, and strength. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all they soul, and with all thy might.”

Remember Mary of Bethany in John 11:3. She bought a “pound of spikenard, very costly, and anointed Jesus feet.” The house was filled with the odor of the sweet smell. Her estimation of Jesus’ worth was very high. Her worship of Him was a great sacrifice. Judas, the one who would betray Jesus, thinking that this was a waste to pour out this costly ointment on Jesus’ feet, said, “Why was not this ointment sold and the money given to the poor?” It says this was because he held the money bag for the expenses of the group and he was a thief.

Posture of Worship -”O come let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our maker” Ps. 95:6. “And so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth” I Cor. 14:25. “I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands...” I Tim. 2:8. “Job arose, and rent his mantle and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshiped” Job. 1:20. “When I remember Thee upon my bed, and meditate on Thee in night watches” Ps. 63:6. All of these Scripture verses show us that God can be worshiped in many different positions and places. He is worthy of our adoration, and we need to learn to voice our praises to Him. “By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name” Heb. 13:15.


The Rolling Stones sang “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction”. This is a true statement; if you are seeking satisfaction in the world.

The meaning of the word “satisfaction” is: “fulfillment of one’s wishes, expectations, or needs, or the pleasure derived from this.” Man continually seeks satisfaction. It is an on-going search that leads to many disappointments.

In Proverbs we read these words “so the eyes of man are never satisfied”. We also find this theme throughout Ecclesiastes. Man is not satisfied because he is seeking satisfaction in the wrong place and the wrong things.

Even God’s people sometimes seek satisfaction in the things of this world, but find it lacking. God is always waiting for us to come to Him. Isa. 55:2 “Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.”

The Psalms on the other hand give us a different picture of satisfaction. Psalm 22:26 says, “The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.” Psalm 36:7-8, “How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.” We are seeing the real solution to satisfaction. Seeking God and putting our trust in Him. Who would know better how to bring satisfaction to our soul than the one that made us?

In Psalm 65:4 we find satisfaction in God’s presence. “Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.”

The word used in these verses means to “fill to the fullest”. Just a reminder that God does not do anything half way. Lack of satisfaction is an emptiness seeking to be filled. Only God can fill man’s emptiness. The world and all of its offerings leave emptiness. God’s presence over fills our souls.

While we certainly can and do find satisfaction in our Lord while here on this earth, it is only a small taste of what awaits us. Our seeking for satisfaction truly culminates in being in God’s presence in the fulness of His glory. Psalm 17:15 “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.”

God is filling us with His fullness here, so that we might be able to enjoy His fullness for eternity. What a shame to miss out on God’s fullness because we are trying to fill our lives with temporary things of this world. Let the things of this world be emptied from you, and seek full satisfaction in your glorious Lord.
Gordon Crook


Pastor Debra Isenbletter
Christian Assembly, Springfield, Missouri

Ruth 4:14 – “And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the Lord, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel.” After Ruth bore a son, we find in the next verses words addressed to Naomi, blessings given to Naomi, words of comfort and assurance for Naomi.

What is it that the women do? They rejoice and they praise the Lord. Notice that it is the women that speak to Naomi – “And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the Lord.” These are those that saw her return and heard her bitter cry of sorrow and grieved with her in her loss. Their hearts were moved by her cry that “the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me;” that she had “went out full” and had come home “empty” (Ruth 1:20-21). Just as they grieved with her in her loss of husband and children, now they rejoice with her in the birth of Ruth’s son. These women say, “Blessed be the Lord,” this is worship, this is praise, this is thanksgiving! They know the One that is responsible and glorify Him. To “bless” means “to praise” and “to give thanks,” it comes from “to kneel (as an act of adoration).” This is praise for the provision and promises and for the fulfillment of fruitfulness. I believe that their words are expressing what is in Naomi’s heart. We can be overwhelmed by the blessings and be left speechless. Naomi was speechless but not thankless. Like the Psalmist they give thanks because He has heard the cry of a heart in grief: “Blessed be the Lord because he hath heard the voice of my supplication” (Psa 28:6) and because He had daily carried the one who was grieving and lifted that burden and provided a blessing: “Blessed be the Lord who daily loadeth us with benefits (bears our burdens)…” (Psa 68:19). The Lord is acknowledged and glorified and their united praise shows that the blessing of Naomi becomes the blessing of all! We see this same attitude of shared joy after shared sorrow. At the birth of Elizabeth’s son, all of her family and neighbors “rejoiced with her” (Luke 1:58). We are to share both one another’s sorrows and joys. We “rejoice with them that do rejoice and weep with them that weep” (Rom 12:15), for if “one member suffer, all members suffer with it, or one member be honored, all members rejoice with it” (1Co 12:26).

What has the Lord done? He has provided a kinsman: “which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman.” Notice the kinsman is just as important to Naomi as he is to Ruth. He is a kinsman to both these women, for his obedience meets the need of both. God has not “left” or “failed” or “forsaken” Naomi. Naomi had said this to Ruth in faith: “Blessed be the Lord who hath not left off his kindness or favor … The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen” (Ruth 2:20). Now these women witness to this. That the Lord had provided a kinsman for her as well as Ruth! Their words show the great provision of God for Naomi’s need – a Kinsman! God did not disappoint her, He provided for her. The provision was always there but she needed to see it and believe it and receive it and once she did, then she was able to instruct Ruth in what to do. In this we see the Faith and Faithfulness of both Naomi and Ruth. God rewarded their faith, their willingness to lay hold of His Word. All of these women saw the fulfillment of the promises in the Word of God. A kinsman had been provided by God, and through that kinsman a son had been provided for Naomi and Ruth. The blessing flowed from God to the Kinsman and then to Naomi and Ruth. God was the Giver, the Kinsman was the Gift and these women were blessed. What a picture of God’s Love and Christ’s Work, of the Great Giver and the Glorious Gift and the Wonderful Blessing that results!

The last part of this verse is a three-fold prophecy concerning this Kinsman. The first part concerns his Name (v14); and the second and third part his Work (v15). We see the words of these women concerning Boaz; “that his name may be famous in Israel.” The name of Boaz was already famous, for he was known as “a mighty man of wealth” but it is through his actions as Kinsman-Redeemer that his name will become even more famous! It is when his “might” and “wealth” is exercised on behalf of Ruth that we see the full potential of what God intended for this man. The word “famous” means “that the name is recognized and remembered! It means “to call (upon), to cry (unto);” it means “to proclaim, publish and preach.” Boaz provides the first fulfillment of this prophecy; for his name is recognized, and his work is remembered, it is the work of a “kinsman-redeemer” for a woman by the name of Ruth. But it is Jesus Who provides the final fulfillment of this prophecy. It is His Name and His Work that is “famous.” It is His Name we “call (upon);” it is His Name we “cry (unto);” it is His Name we “proclaim, publish and preach.” He is the “Kinsman-Redeemer” for all mankind, for the nation of Israel (Jews) and for the nations (Gentiles). All will one day recognize His Name and call upon His Name; for the Apostle Paul tells us that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow … and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!” (Phil 2:10-11).


Verta Giddings

Chapter 13:14-52 – The Work In Antioch

Paul and Barnabas must have felt badly when John Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem – Acts 13:13. This did not keep them from continuing the work for which they had been called to do. They still had the burning desire to take the message of the Lord Jesus to places where they had never heard about Him. They went then to the mainland and came to Antioch. This is a different Antioch and is called Antioch in Pisidia. They went right into the Jewish synagogue and sat down. They knew there would be people there to whom they could preach.  They heard the Scriptures read. It was the custom in those days that if strangers came into the synagogue, they were asked if they had anything to say. Paul took the opportunity and stood up and began to preach to them. Don’t you like the way Paul takes every opportunity to tell people about the Lord Jesus? He was speaking to those who knew the Old Testament Scriptures. They also knew about the promise of the Messiah. We will give his sermon in four parts.

Vs. 17-26 – What God had done for Israel. He told how the people of Israel had been in the land of Egypt, and that God had brought them out. Remember God used Moses to lead them. They crossed the Red Sea and came out into the wilderness. They lived in the wilderness for 40 years before getting into the promised land of Canaan. Paul went on to tell them how they came to possess that land God had promised them. God destroyed 7 great nations which already were there so His people could live in their land. He told them how Israel had judges for about 450 years. Then they wanted a king, so God gave them what they wanted. Their first king was Saul and he failed the Lord. Then they were given the wonderful king David. Paul went on to let them know that the Savior, Jesus, was a descendant of David. He even spoke of John the Baptist who announced the Lord Jesus as the “Savior – the Lamb of God. Then Paul said that this word of salvation was unto them.

Vs. 27-29 – Paul told them what Israel did to this Savior Jesus. That the ones who were in Jerusalem and their rulers didn’t know Him. Remember Jn. 1:13 – “He came unto His own and His own received Him not.” They would have known Him if they had believed the scriptures they read every week. That these rulers did not find any cause of death in Him – Jesus. Still they had Pilate condemn Him to be slain – crucified. When all the scripture was fulfilled that was necessary at that time, they took Him down from the cross and buried Him.

Vs. 30-37 – God used all this for the good of all. Verse 30 is a wonderful verse, “But God raised Him from the dead!” The Lord used their meanness, cruelty, and unbelief, and turned these things into blessing. Many people knew He was raised from the dead. They believed on Him. Remember another verse – Rom. 10:9-10. In order to be saved we must confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, and we will  be saved! The enemies of Jesus, including the devil, thought they had gotten rid of Jesus when they crucified Him. Aren’t you glad no one can defeat the Lord? He made even the horrible death of the Lord Jesus to work for good.

Vs. 38-41 – The ones hearing the message had to decide. Paul told them that they could have forgiveness of sins, and be justified from all things. They couldn’t get this by the Law. He gave the warning that they had to make the choice to believe. It is the same today. When we hear the message that Jesus loves us and died for us, and that He wants to come into our hearts, it is up to us to make this great decision to accept Him as our own Savior. Even if others turn away, we must turn to Him. Jesus loves you and wants to come  into your heart and life. Ask him in. Turn your life over to Him.

There were Gentiles there (those who were not Jews). They wanted to hear more the next Sabbath. Some of the Jews also believed (vs. 42-43). The next Sabbath day the whole city turned out to hear the message (vs. 44-45). Wouldn’t we like it if all the city came to hear the word? Some of the Jews became very jealous and spoke against Paul and Barnabas. Vs. 46-49, since their message was not received by the Jews, the missionaries turned to the Gentiles. The Gentiles were glad! Aren’t you happy that you were able to hear about Jesus? There are still those in the world that have never heard. We must pray for them. Vs. 50-52, those jealous Jews stirred up both men and women to get these men out of their city. So they went on to the nest city. Instead of getting angry at the ones mistreating them, they must have turned it all over to the Lord, for it says the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Ghost. They were not defeated. We can learn this, too, and give it all over to the Lord. While others are all upset and angry, we can be filled with joy. They knew they had done what the Lord wanted them to do, so it was all right.

Continued in the December issue

Seven Sayings of Christ
on The Cross

Jesus spoke seven time while He was on the cross suffering. We know the Jews were present to satisfy their craving His death. The Roman soldiers were there performing their duty. But the Spirit notices a small group drawn there by their devotion to Jesus  – John 19:25. A pitiably small company, four women and also John the beloved is mentioned in verse 26. Five is the number of grace. They “stood by the cross.” No doubt in anguish of spirit as they beheld the dying Lamb.

We must compare the four gospel accounts to give us the order of the seven saying. One may wonder why some things are recorded in one gospel and may not be in the others. But the Holy Spirit moved the writers of the four gospels to write as they did. Matthew wrote of Him as King, Mark tells of Him as the perfect servant, Luke of Him as man, and John tells of Him as the heavenly One.

His first saying in found in Luke 23:32-34. Jesus intercedes for mankind’s spiritual ignorance. “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” What love! “He was in the world and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not” - Jn. 1:10-1.

Luke 23:32,37-43, two thief were crucified at the same time. One railed on Him, but the other confessed his sin and believed on Him, calling Jesus his “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” The outcast is received, Jesus speaks the second saying, “Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

John 19:26-27 records His third saying, Jesus care of His mother. “When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.” There is no hysterical demonstration of sorrow from Mary, in fact, not a word is recorded from her lips by any of the four gospels. She suffered in silence, yet bound by love. She may have remembered the prophetic words spoken by Simeon 30 years before: “Yet, a sword shall pierce through thine own soul also” – Luke 2:35. Mary’s name means bitterness. The world has cast out the child of her womb, she is paralyzed at His sufferings. His disciples all but John had deserted Him. The nation despise Him and the insults of the crowd surround her. All the while the soldiers were callously occupied with His garment and the Savior was bleeding; yet she stood by the cross. At such a time, He showed Himself both the perfect Son of God and perfect Son of man. Leaving this world, He provides a home for His widowed mother. Here is where our Lord lays aside His human affections, for His death ended all natural ties. From then on, the believers would be linked to Christ by a closer bond, by a spiritual relationship.

These first three hours on the cross, Jesus had conscious communion and fellowship with His Father. That changes, Matthew 27:45-46, “Now from the sixth hour (noon) there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour (3:00). And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (the fourth saying). Even nature reacts to such a sight, the creator of all things hanging between heaven and earth, rejected by both. The world cast Him out and God the Father had to turn away from His Son being made sin. Jesus had never experienced broken fellowship with His Father. In John 8:29, He testified of Himself, saying, “He that sent me is with me; the Father hath not left Me alone, for I do always those things that please Him.”

He suffers separation from His Father that all who believe may be joined to God. II Cor. 5:21, “He was made sin, that knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” Those who reject God’s love gift of His Son to the world will know outer darkness forever. We know by scripture that our Lord answered His own cry, “Why hath thou forsaken Me?” Psalm 22 tells the thoughts of His heart while on the cross. Verse 3, “But Thou art holy, Thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.”

When the darkness disappears He declares, “I thirst,” (the fifth saying, John 19:28), evidence of His humanity. He was the God-man, forever God and now forever man by His own choice. When the eternal Word became flesh and blood, He did not cease to be God. Here in the depths of His humiliation, His body drained of moisture – He said, “I thirst.” He had endured the fierceness of the outpoured wrath of the holy God, His cry, tells of the intensity of what He had suffered and the awful severity of the conflict He had just passed. Lamentations 1:13, “He hath made Me desolate and faint.” He makes known His need, that the Scriptures might be fulfilled. Psalm 32:4, “My moisture is turned into the drought of summer.” Psalm 69:21, “In my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.” He thirsted on the cross, that we might drink the water of life and thirst no more forever.

All things now accomplished, He had hung on the cross for 6 hours and had passed through unparallel suffering. John 19:30, He said, “It is finished” (the sixth saying). It will take all eternity to manifest all it contains. This is not a despairing cry of helplessness, but an expression of satisfaction. For all which He came from heaven was now done. The glorious character of God had been accomplished and everything necessary for the putting away of the sins of His people, providing a perfect standing before God and securing for them an eternal inheritance.

In Luke 23:46 we read the seventh saying – “when Jesus had cried with a loud voice (no doubt, It is finish), He said, Father into thy hands, I commend My spirit: and having said thus, He dismissed His spirit. His work was done, He had conquered. God salvation has been provided for all by His death. The veil in the temple (into the holy of holies) rent in twain from top to bottom (Mk. 15:38). Heaven now opened to man, that he may approach God as His heavenly Father.
E. J. Davis


“Rejoice Evermore”
“Pray without ceasing”
“In everything give thanks:
in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
“Quench not the Spirit.”
I Thess. 5:16-19.
It is well to realize that these attitudes toward our God are not self genderated, but are enjoyed as we are receptive and responsive to the Holy Spirit.
Thank God for the Holy Spirit, and the way He excites our hearts to continue in glad hearted expressions of joy, with ceaseless prayer, and boundless praise. He inspired the writing of the Scripture and warms our hearts to the will of God our Father. He reminds us and causes us to realize that for which we have to be thankful. He will just thrill our hearts with overwhelming appreciation.
When we come to believe more and more of our Father’s glorious purposes for us, our joy is less and less dampened by difficulty. Conditions can be bad and evermore sad, and seemingly getting worse all the time. When we consider it all from God’s viewpoint, and realize He does make all things work together for our good, we want to praise Him, now and for ever.
Thank God, we can often read in Scripture, and of testimonies today of trying circumstances producing a triumphant attitude. Consider Rom. 5:3-5; Jas. 1:2; II Cor. 8:1-5; I Thess. 5:6-10.

By Jack Davis

Jesus Loves Me

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; – to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” Eph. 3:17-19

Anna and Susan Warner lived in a lovely townhouse in New York City where their father, Henry Whiting Warner, was a successful lawyer. But the “Panic of 1837” wrecked the family’s finances, forcing them to move into a ramshackle Revolutionary War-era home on Constitution Island on the Hudson, right across from the Military Academy at West Point.

Needing to contribute to the family income, Anna and Susan began writing poems and stories for publication. Anna wrote “Robinson Crusoe’s Farmyard.” And Susan wrote, “The Wide, Wide World.” The girls thus launched parallel literary careers which resulted in 106 publications, eighteen of them co-authored.

One of their most successful joint projects was a novel titled “Say and Seal” in which a little boy named Johnny Fox is dying. His Sunday School teacher, John Linden, comforts him by taking him in his arms, rocking him, and making up a little song: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so . . .”

The novel became a best-seller, second only to “Uncle Tom’s Cabin;” and when hymn writer William Bradbury read the words of John Linden’s little sing (written by Anna), he composed a childlike musical score to go along with them. “Jesus Loves Me,” soon became the best-known children’s hymn on earth.

Despite their success, the Warner sisters never seemed able to recover from the staggering financial reverses of 1836. Years later a friend wrote, “One day when sitting with Miss Anna in the old living room she took from one of the cases a shell so delicate that it looked like lace work and holding it in her hand, with eyes dimmed with tears, she said, ‘There was a time when I was very perplexed, bills were unpaid, necessities must be had, and someone sent me this exquisite thing. As I beheld it I realized that if God could make this beautiful home for a little creature. He would take care of me.’”

For forty years, Susan and Anna conducted Bible classes for cadets at West Point, and both were buried with full military honors. They are the only civilians buried in the military cemetery at West Point. To this day, their home on constitution Island is maintained by West Point as a museum to their memory.

Sunday, October 1, 2017


Jack Davis

Abigail made such a marvelous prophetic statement, that began to speak to my heart a message on life in I Samuel 25:28-30. “I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the LORD will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the LORD, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days. Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the LORD thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling. And it shall come to pass, when the LORD shall have done to my lord according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee…”.

Abigail said this after hearing of the ill-treatment her husband Nabal (fool) had given to David and his men. David and his men had been a wall of protection to Nabal’s shepherds and his sheep out in the wilds. They deserved some provisions in appreciation of their valuable service. Well, it seems that David had decided to go take his payment out of Nabal’s hide so to speak, when Abigail met them as a peacemaker and intercessor. She knew that David had been anointed to reign. She, no doubt, had heard that a lion and a bear and Goliath could not kill him. She evidently knew that he often escaped the attempts of  Saul to take his life.

Thank God for the bundle of life. The great king of Egypt could not slay the baby Moses. Neither could Herod take the life of baby Jesus, nor the Jews or Pilate get rid of Him as a young man. He laid His life down for us. Praise God for the record of the two witnesses of Rev. 11. The beast of the bottomless pit shall not be able to kill them until they have finished their testimony. Are we not kept by the power of God? “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name … Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies … O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard: which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved” Ps. 103:1,4; 66:8,9.

Oh yes, He powerfully holds those He has redeemed -Jn. 10:28-29. Those that have been reconciled by His death are saved by His life – Rom. 5:9-10. We, who were by nature children of wrath and appointed unto death and judgment, are alive forevermore, because Jesus came and gave His life a ransom. He, tasting death for every man, has met for us our appointment with wrath, death and judgment – Heb. 8:26-28. I enjoy considering the way Paul expressed the bundle of life into which we have been brought. “For God hath not appointed us unto wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him” – I Thess. 5:9-10.

Abigail successfully entreated David to not take revenge, even though Nabal had rudely refused David’s reasonable request. It was good for Abigail that David took advice from this woman. He accepted it with the attitude that only divine wisdom can give. James 3:17, “The wisdom from above is easy to be intreated.” David even acknowledged that God had sent her. Abigail had brought provisions to David and his men to sustain them. Shortly thereafter Nabal died. Later we read that David sent and communed with Abigail and she became his wife. We, like Abigail, have heard of Jesus and believed the true report. We know that He is destined to reign. We also know of His rejection and ill-treatment. We are drawn to Him by love’s strong cord and gladly bow to Him, He has also sent and communed with us. Praise God we have the joyous privilege of being bound with Him in the bundle of life.

Abigail’s name has been given to mean “Father of joy; source or cause of joy.” As in the Hebrew things seem to be worded backward, may we not read it “joy of the Father?” When we think of Jesus being the Father’s delight even before the foundation of the world, we realize what gives the Father the greatest joy. As we let Him be our source of joy, we become a cause of joy to the Father. How wonderfully blessed we are when we find in him, who is the resurrection and the life, our joy of life and living. He, who for the “joy set before him endured the cross” – Heb. 12:2. Since He has risen again for our justification, we joy in God through Him – Rom. 5:11. We are blessed to realize “joy unspeakable and full of glory,” out of faith in and love for Jesus – I Pet. 1:8. The apostle Paul spoke of some of the Lord’s precious jewels as “his joy and crown of rejoicing” – I Thess. 2:19-20; Phil. 4:1.

The bundle of life considered in New Testament terms answer for us questions about life. What is you  life? With this question I think of life’s substance. James suggests that our earthly existence is as “a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” – James 4:14. Paul preaching at Athens, “Jesus and the resurrection,” spoke of God that made the world, giving “to all life, and breath, and all things.” He also said, “For in him we live, and move, and have our being,” but we, by faith, find Jesus Christ to be our source of real life – Gal. 2:20. He is the one that gives to our lives a better and an enduring substance.  There is the saying that “life is what you make it,” but for us the best life is what we let Him make it.

Where is your life? Here I think of life’s security. Jesus said, “because I live, ye shall live also.” What promise can give us a greater sense of security than to know that Our “life is hid with Christ in God.”

Who is your life? I think here of life’s sustenance. Rejoicing with joy we read in Col. 3, that “when Christ who is our life, shall appear,” we shall appear with Him in glory, but what keeps us going spiritually in the meantime? Is it not His living in us? Oh, yes, He is indeed the bread of life, and we have the privilege and need to feed on Him daily  – Jn. 6:35. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins … Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ …” – Eph. 2:1,5. What a mighty work God has wrought, in providing that all who trust in Him be brought into this bundle of life. What a marvelous change God has made and we enjoy by faith in Him. We who were spiritually dead, are now alive forevermore. Verses two and three of Ephesians two describe the condition and conduct of those spiritually dead. How could a dead man earn any favour from God? We could not contact, communicate, or claim any relationship in acceptance with God. We were like Nabal; our foolish heart was darkened. What a change! We may now walk in newness of LIFE. In God’s purpose, Jesus is to be our object of living – II Cor. 5:14-15; Rom. 14:7-9. He is, when we find life’s satisfaction and security in Him – Heb. 13:5-6.

SUBMISSION of life: “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” – Phill. 1:20-21. We seem to have expressed here, the life of one completely submitted, totally committed hence entirely consumed of the Lord. What higher standard for victorious living could there be? He who said, “follow me as I follow Christ,” wrote, “For me to live is Christ.” This is descriptive of the life of a real winner. This can only be said of one who truly lets Christ do the living.

SUMMIT OF LIFE: The highest attainments and greatest achievements of life are everlasting. He has purposed to bring those bound with Him in the bundle of life to an everlasting throne. “They which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ” – Rom. 5:17. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him” – James 1:12. “…be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” – Rev. 2:10. Glory to  God, Hallelujah!


Anita Clark – Pastor, Carbondale, Kansas

God’s word in Old Testament times had much to say about “sacrificing.” The word “sacrifice” in the Hebrew language means “to kill, to offer or slay- a sacrificial present, something brought near the altar, or to bestow a donation, gift, or present.” Bible characters such as Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob all brought blood sacrifices to the Lord to express their gratitude or to simply worship Him or invoke Him to forgive sin.

To Moses God gave the order of the sacrifices which Israel was to observe beginning with the Passover Lamb in Exodus 12:5. The children of Israel had been held in bondage as slaves in Egypt for over 400 years. On the night of their deliverance by God, who appointed Moses to lead them out, God instructed them to sacrifice a lamb for each household. The explicit instructions given in Exodus 12:1-13 are summarized in this: On the 10th day of Abib (April) of the Jewish calendar, each family was to take a lamb of the first year, without blemish according to the number of souls in each household. This lamb was to be kept up in a pen and scrutinized for any flaw for four days, as the sacrifice had to be perfect before God. On the night God would pour out His wrath on the Egyptians, Israel would roast the lamb and sprinkle the blood upon the doorposts of their houses and on the tops of the door frames, and this would secure them when God passed over Egypt to judge and kill each firstborn child, Israel would be kept safe because of the blood. In verse 13, God says to them, “...when I see the blood, I will pass over you.”

In Leviticus after Israel was delivered from bondage into the wilderness God spoke to them and told them of His order of sacrifice for their sins. All these offerings are wondrous pictures of the Lord Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for our sins. There are five offerings: the burnt offering, which was the highest type of offering, was a voluntary offering, and is the greatest example of Christ’s offering. Being a voluntary offering, speaks of Christ’s willingness to do His Father’s will, regardless of the suffering it entailed. The bullock was the greatest type of voluntary offering any of the people could bring. This animal meant so much to a family: their beast of burden, plowing and pulling and many other tasks that only this great beast could do. Christ was the faithful ox of God. He was always willingly doing the Father’s will.

The other offerings announced by God for Israel in the book of Leviticus were the Meal offering, Peace offering, Trespass offering, and Sin offering. These all portray Christ’s death for us in some particular way. For example Christ gave up all He had with the Father to become the Sin offering to atone for our sin. The word “sacrifice” means - The act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else more important. The Hebrew word used for sacrifice means, “A forfeiture, giving up, relinquishment, surrender or loss.” In Philippians 2:5-8, we read of the seven steps downward Christ willingly took to become our Saviour. Read these steps there, and see what Christ gave up for our salvation. He gave up all this glory to save us and was perfectly obedient to His Father’s will. Hebrews 10:7 says, “Then said I (Christ Jesus), Lo I come to do thy will, O God.” In verses 10,12, &14 “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Christ once for all. But this man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God. For by one offering He hath perfected (completed, consecrated, finished) forever them that are sanctified (set apart to God, to make holy).” II Corinthians 5:21 says, “For He hath made him, Who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”

God does not ask us to bring blood sacrifices now, but there are other sacrifices that He is well pleased with. Christ Jesus is truly our example of what sacrifice really means. Sacrifice is spelled “LOVE.” The Lord does not ask us to sacrifice anything to gain or keep our salvation, but He does ask us to sacrifice because of our love for Him and others. Romans 12:1-2 is one of the greatest texts that shows this, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, acceptable and perfect will of God.”

One of the greatest examples of “sacrifice” besides Jesus Christ is Apostle Paul. He sacrificed his life to spread the gospel all over the known world. Philippians 2:17 says, “Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith; I joy and rejoice with you all.” In II Cor. 11:23-33,+ Paul innumerated some of the sufferings he endured to sacrifice his life to preach the Gospel. In Philippians 2:25-30, Paul speaks about Epaphroditus who sacrificed so much for the Gospel’s sake. It says that he was burdened that the people of God in Philippi were so concerned, when they heard that he was ill. Verse 30 states, “Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his own life..,” Many today are called of the Lord to do the will of God even when it brings suffering and sorrow.

Other sacrifices the Lord is pleased with and asks of us are found in Hebrews 13:15, where it says, “By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. Psalms 141:1-2 says, “LORD, I cry unto thee; make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee. Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.” Psalms 107:21,22 says, “Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! And let them sacrifice the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing.” Note that this is a sacrifice. Often times we don’t feel like praising the Lord, but if we begin to praise Him, often victory will come into our hearts. If you can’t praise Him because you are in pain, or things are bad - Praise Him for Who He is and His faithfulness! Oh, let us praise the Lord continually for all His wondrous works He has done for us.

In Hebrews 13:16, Paul says, “But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” The word “communicate” means in the Greek - “partnership or distribution.” The Amplified Version says, “Do not forget or neglect to do kindness and good, to be generous and distribute and contribute to the needy [of the church as embodiment and proof of fellowship], for such sacrifices are well-pleasing to God.” This is such a blessing in an assembly of believers - to share whatever we have to bless others. Right at this present time our people in the church who have vegetable gardens are sharing their produce with all the rest of us. This is just one example of what communicating means. In the early church Christians were suffering hunger and confiscation of their property by Rome, and persecution unto death. In many places of the world these very things are happening right now. When yielding to the Holy Spirit’s direction we may feel led to help those who are needy. Let us be willing to sacrifice in what ever way God leads us. But to do good and communicate forget not; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

Go For It

“Go for it”, they say. “Grab everything you can.” That is the way of this world. There is nothing inherently wrong with success in this world, but it is not lasting. There is however something worth ‘going for.’

“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14

Paul lets us know what he is going for. To ‘apprehend’ means to take eagerly, to seize. Jesus has taken hold of your life for a purpose, and He wants you to seize on that same purpose. He wants us to lay hold of everything that He has made available to us. Earlier in the same chapter, Paul let’s us know that he counts all the things that the world considers important, as useless. These things were unimportant to Paul, because they would get in the way of getting all the Jesus had for him.

This message is not at all popular in the society we live in today. Even many Christians are not willing to give up any of their dreams for Jesus. There is a great fallacy that we can just put Jesus on the back burner, and still receive the best He has. The truth is that some of the things we wanted in our lives will have to be put aside if we are to go for God’s best.

I am not intending to discourage anyone from go after the things that they want in this life, but it is important to keep everything in it’s proper priority. If something in this life begins to distract us from seeking the Lord’s best, then that something should be considered to be worthless.

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

If we want to win the prize, we need to ‘go for it.’ The prize is worth giving our all for. It is worth giving up what ever gets in the way. Sometimes it is hard to see exactly what the benefit will be. We have to walk by faith. The worth is found in God’s Word. Attaining to some great thing in this world may have it’s moment, but it will pass. Satisfaction may be found in the riches and fame of this world, but it will pass. In eternity nothing of this world will exist, much less have any value.

If we are going to spend our time and energy going for something, let’s make it something lasting. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Gordon Crook


Pastor Debra Isenbletter
Christian Assembly, Springfield, Missouri

Ruth 4:13 – “So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bare a son.”

I have divided this verse into five wonderful portions: The Redemption; The Marriage; The Union; The Conception; The Fruit. There is an order and progression seen for each leads to the next event. Each of these reveals the Lord’s Provision and Purpose, here in this chapter it is seen in connection with Ruth but these same things are a picture of the Lord’s Purpose for our lives also. Jesus is our Boaz and we are His Ruth.

The Redemption: “So Boaz took Ruth,” The word “took” has several wonderful meanings!
The first meaning is “to buy” – This is her redemption. This is the beginning, it is the foundation, it is the basis for each wonderful blessing that follows. Boaz fulfilled his obligation as her “kinsman-redeemer,” and when we see this in connection with ourselves we see that we have been redeemed, and bought with a price (I Co 6:20; 7:23) and are no longer the servants of men. Jesus has fulfilled his obligation and satisfied God’s Law and God’s Justice fully and completely.

The second meaning for “took” is “to accept.” This is her espousal. Boaz can “accept” her into his household, she is his now. The espousal is made public and this “virtuous woman” (3:11) has been accepted by Boaz as the woman he will marry. This is a public declaration based upon his redemption and her acceptance of that redemption. The Apostle Paul has set before all who have been redeemed this next step that draws us closer in our relationship with our Lord. It is our espousal to Christ and Paul’s gospel will prepare us and present us as that “chaste virgin” (II Co 11:2), that “virtuous woman” (Ruth 3:11; Prov 31). By faith we know and believe that we are now “accepted in the beloved” (Eph 1:6). That word “accepted” comes from “charis” which is grace and it can mean “made for the pleasure of.” Brother A. S.  Copley translates this as “made lovely” in the beloved. What a wonderful testimony to the full provision of grace in our lives!

The third meaning for “took” is “to take away; to take up or to seize.” This is Resurrection and Translation! This meaning points to something that occurs quickly, to a moment, to a trumpet, to a change, to a resurrection. Paul describes this as a mystery, saying that not all die but all will be changed, this “mortal must put on immortality.” (I Co 15:51-53). Later Paul describes this great hope for believes, a hope for those who have died and are waiting for resurrection and to those that are waiting for translation. He describes the force and power of that moment, the descent of Christ, the shout, the voice, the trumpet, the resurrection of the dead and those that are caught up (I Th 4:16-17). The word “took” which means to be “taken away; or “seized,” describes this event and the power of the Lord as he catches up His saints. This must take place before the wedding. Boaz “took” Ruth and he did so beginning with her redemption, going on to her acceptance of him and by him and concluding with the last meaning. How wonderfully this pictures the events that will take place in our lives!

The Marriage: “and she was his wife.” This is the Wedding! The bridegroom has taken a bride, Jesus spoke several times of a wedding, of a bride and bridegroom. He said: “He that hath the bride is the bridegroom” (John 3:29). In Matthew 25 Jesus spoke of the ten virgins, five wise and five foolish, and there in the midst of that teaching is a wonderful statement, “Behold the bridegroom cometh” (Mat 25:6). There will be a wedding! John describes the marriage of the Lamb (Rev 19:7-9) and the testimony concerning the one who is the bride, he says “his wife hath made herself ready” (Rev 19:7)! Ruth did this all through the book of Ruth, until the work was finished and Boaz took and made her his wife. We do this, it is the work of grace in our lives that prepares us and helps us prepare our wedding garments. John describes her garments: “And to her was granted (this is grace) that she should be arrayed in fine linen clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints.” (Rev 19:8). I can see in this description two garments, an outer garment that others can see and an inner garment that the Bridegroom sees. The outer garment is her sanctification: seen in the “fine linen clean (she is without spot or wrinkle – Eph 5:27) and white (radiant, magnificent – “changed into the same image from glory to glory” – II Co 3:18). The inner garment is her justification: it is the righteousness of Christ, who is “made unto us righteousness” (I Co 1:30) for we are the “righteousness of God in Him” (II Co 5:21). Her wedding garment is her beautiful testimony, for she though it is an outward garment, it reflects and inward beauty, for she is “all glorious within” (Ps 45:13-14).

The Union: “and when he went in unto her.” In this statement we have the marriage consummated. What this shows is the union of two, they have become one. Jesus spoke of this oneness. “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be perfect in one” (John 17:23) and Paul spoke of this oneness, “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit” (I Co 6:17). Later he uses the marriage union to picture a great mystery, of Christ and His church. (Eph 5:30-32). Paul writes: “We are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones …” – That is one union. Then Paul writes: “they two shall be one flesh.” – That is deeper union. The Marriage of Boaz and Ruth pictures this deeper union, that of Christ and His Bride.

The Conception: “the Lord gave her conception.” In this statement we see the result of that union, and it is only through this union that the Lord can make Ruth fruitful. The conception comes from the Lord and from the union of these two. In Moab Ruth must have been barren; she had no children from her first marriage. It is not until she makes the choices she does and separates herself from Moab and steps out in faith that the possibility of fruitfulness can take place. And it is the Lord who makes her fruitful, it is how He shows His approval. I think that her conception from the Lord can picture the fruitfulness of our lives. There are so many ways that we can “conceive” and bring forth fruit. There is the fruit that Jesus says glorifies the Father, and is proof of discipleship. (John 15:8). Paul says that the provision for our being able to bring forth fruit comes from our relationship with Christ, it is Christ in resurrection and our relationship to him that will bring forth “fruit unto God.” (Rom 7:4) It is this fruit that is holy fruit (Rom 6:22); it is “fruit of the Spirit” (Gal 5:22-23); it is fruit of righteousness (Phil 1:11); it is full fruitfulness, 100-fold fruitfulness (Mark 4:8). The blessing is seen, the fruitfulness is seen and it all comes from “the Lord,” it is based on His grace!

The Fruit: “and she bare a son.” Here is the culmination of that conception, it is a son. It is the continuance of a Promise that began in the Garden of Eden. Down through the years, God has been fulfilling this promise, through the union of two individuals. It is seen in God’s promise to Adam and Eve, His promise to Abraham, His renewal of that promise to Abraham’s descendents. God keeps His promises! Boaz kept the promise he made to Ruth, to “do all that thou requirest” (Ruth 3:11) and to the witnesses present at her redemption: “to raise up the name of the dead” (Ruth 4:10). In a sense this is resurrection fruit, fruit of the new creation. This “son” is the continuance of God’s great promise: It is the promise of a Son, a Seed, a King. From this child will come forth David! From David will come forth Christ, the Great Kinsman-Redeemer!
Continued next issue