Archive for the ‘Sunday Morning Sermons’ Category

Compelled to SING!

Saturday, February 13th, 2021

Compelled to Sing

Pastor Don Carpenter

Sing! / 2 Corinthians 5:14–15

Human beings are interesting creatures. We respond with emotion, sound, laughing, crying, singing, shouting to stimuli around us. We naturally react viably and audibly to what we find out… we react to revelation. Kristyn Getty explains:

 We don’t have to be in a church building to understand we are wired this way. When Ireland beats England in rugby (always a beautiful occasion), Keith and his dad cheer till they’re hoarse. When we stand on the precipice of the Grand Canyon or at the jazz festival of Montreux at the foot of the French Alps, our eyes and hearts feast upon it. When we hear that a couple whom we love has become engaged, we exclaim our joy out loud. Praise is prompted by—compelled by—the revelation of something glorious.  

The Apostle Paul tells us that revelation motivates us, constrains us.

2 Corinthians 5:14–15 KJV

For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 

And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

Constraineth (???????). See on taken, Luke 4:38; Acts 18:5. It is the word rendered I am in a strait, Philip. 1:23. Compare Luke 12:50. The idea is not urging or driving, but shutting up to one line and purpose, as in a narrow, walled road.

1 Marvin Richardson Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, vol. 3 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1887), 320. 

Compelled to Sing In Response To Revelation

Let Freedom Sing!

John 8:32 KJV

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

John 8:36 KJV

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Romans 5:8–9 KJV

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 

Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

When Satan tempts me to despair And tells me of the guilt within Upward I look and see Him there Who made an end of all my sin,Because the sinless Savior died,My sinful soul is counted free,For God the just is satisfied To look on Him and pardon me.(Charitie L. Bancroft, “Before the Throne of God Above,” 1863)

 • Free from something free for something 

 • Free to run from what tore me apart and to that which makes me whole. 

“I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.” – C.S. Lewis

Can’t Keep It Secret

Psalm 40:10 KJV

I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.

 • Social Media – Like and Share

 • Not only do we know we should praise Him, but we can’t help it.

Steven Curtis Chapman Writes a Powerful song- Live Out Loud:

Imagine this I get a phone call from Regis

He says, “Do you want to be a millionaire?”

They put me on the show and I win with two lifelines to spare

Now picture this I act like nothing ever happened

And bury all the money in a coffee can

Well, I’ve been given more than Regis ever gave away

I was a dead man who was called to come out of my grave

And I think it’s time for makin’ some noise

Wake the neighbors, get the word out

Come on crank up the music, climb a mountain and shout

This is life we’ve been given, made to be lived out

So la la la la live out loud

Got to live out loud, now now now now

Think about this, try to keep a bird from singing

After it’s soared up in the sky

Give the sun a cloudless day and tell it not to shine

Think about this if we really have been given

The gift of life that will never end

And if we have been filled with living hope, we’re gonna overflow

And if God’s love is burning in our hearts well you know we’re gonna blow

There’s just no way to keep it in

Every corner of creation is a living declaration

Come join the song we were made to sing

Everybody sing

Every corner of creation is a living declaration

Come join the song we were made to sing

Every come on

Wake the neighbors, get the word out

So come on crank up the music, climb a mountain and shout

This is life we’ve been given, made to be lived out

Revelation and Response Throughout Scriptures:

A Song Of Deliverance

Exodus 15:1–2 KJV

Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: The horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. 

The LORD is my strength and song, And he is become my salvation: He is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; My father’s God, and I will exalt him.

 • First Song recorded in Scriptures

 • A Natural response to God’s mighty act

 • Song by 2 million voices!

A Song of Strength In Battle

 • Deborah

Judges 5:1–4 KJV

Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day, saying, 

Praise ye the LORD for the avenging of Israel, When the people willingly offered themselves. 

Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the LORD; I will sing praise to the LORD God of Israel. 

LORD, When thou wentest out of Seir, When thou marchedst out of the field of Edom, The earth trembled, and the heavens dropped, The clouds also dropped water.

 • Celebrating the Ark’s Return From the enemy

1 Chronicles 15:27–29 KJV

And David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites that bare the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah the master of the song with the singers: David also had upon him an ephod of linen. 

Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps. 

And it came to pass, as the ark of the covenant of the LORD came to the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looking out at a window saw king David dancing and playing: and she despised him in her heart.

 • Song of faith as they entered battle… songs are armour for battle in this life – celebrating the sure victories in Christ.

2 Chronicles 20:21–22 KJV

And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever. 

And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.

A Song of Assurance

Psalm 40:1–4 KJV

I waited patiently for the LORD; And he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. 

He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. 

And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: Many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. 

Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, And respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

Psalm 31:19–21 KJV

Oh how great is thy 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! 

Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: Thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. 

Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.

Psalm 117:1 KJV

O praise the LORD, all ye nations: Praise him, all ye people.

Psalm 96:2 KJV

Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; Shew forth his salvation from day to day.

Psalm 105:2 KJV

Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: Talk ye of all his wondrous works.

Meditating on who God is and all He has done triggers an authentic response of praise to God from our hearts and from our singing.

1 Keith Getty and Kristyn Getty, Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church (Nashville, TN: B&H Books, 2017). 

A Song of Hope – Sung By The Prophets

Ezra 3:10–13 KJV

And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David king of Israel. 

And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. 

But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: 

So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.

Nehemiah 12:27–29 KJV

And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings, and with singing, with cymbals, psalteries, and with harps. 

And the sons of the singers gathered themselves together, both out of the plain country round about Jerusalem, and from the villages of Netophathi; 

Also from the house of Gilgal, and out of the fields of Geba and Azmaveth: for the singers had builded them villages round about Jerusalem.

The Israelites sang during Ezra’s day when the foundation of the new temple was completed by the returning exiles (Ezra 3:10–13)—just as they sang when the walls were thoroughly rebuilt around Jerusalem under the leadership of Nehemiah (Neh. 12:27–29). They knew that it was God who had brought them back from exile, who had restored their hope and promised them future blessing. So they sang. Singing together marked both the rhythms of their daily life and the special occasions.1 

1 Keith Getty and Kristyn Getty, Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church (Nashville, TN: B&H Books, 2017). 

A Song That Sustains

Romans 8:38–39 KJV

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Acts 16:25 KJV

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

Compelled to Sing In Response to Salvation

Revelation 15:2–3 KJV

And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. 

And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

Kieth Getty Tells this story:

 We both grew up listening to the sounds of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. There was a period in Kristyn’s life when her dad would play a short film of the testimony of one of the choir members, Calvin Hunt, every morning before they headed out for the day. Calvin’s life had been destroyed by crack cocaine and he had been living on the streets, estranged from his family, when he stumbled into Brooklyn Tabernacle Church one day, heard the gospel, and committed his life to Christ. The key moment in the interview was the one that showed him singing with the choir, his face shining and voice bursting with the lyrics: 

 There is a blood, a cleansing blood, that flows from Calvary And in this blood there’s a saving power For it washes white and makes me clean I’m clean, I’m clean, I’ve been washed in His blood. 

  Calvin didn’t need to be told to sing. Singing gives voice to a heart that deeply knows the gospel of grace. It is the overflow of a heart captivated by the gospel. In as many voices that join together to sing there are as many hearts that are called to know Christ as Lord and Savior. From that place there is a genuine and rich overflow of praise. This should reassure us. No matter how you are feeling, nor how good or bad a week you’ve had, you can lift your eyes to Jesus with relief, for He has washed you clean, and so you can sing wherever your life is at and whatever you are facing .

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:45 AM February 13, 2021.

Commanded To Sing

Friday, February 5th, 2021

Commanded to Sing

Pastor Don Carpenter

Sing! / Psalm 149:1; Colossians 3:16; Matthew 26:30

As we digest the Word set in song and respond with thankfulness in our hearts to God, we are guided into His path of peace. That peace is Him. Singing, as with all these outward expressions of our worship, will never save us. But singing will help lead us to the One who will. The command to sing leads us to Christ with joy to praise and follow Him. How kind of God to command us to do something so wonderful!

 Kristyn Getty remembers being in the kitchen with her mum as a teenager having a conversation with her about prayer. Growing up in a Christian home, she had been taught about, shown, and helped with praying. But on this day, she was dragging her feet over the idea of praying and was somewhat over complicating the process (something that, in future years, her husband would not find hard to believe!). After a little while, her mum, with her kind, strong eyes, very simply said, “At the end of the day, we are commanded by God to pray—so we must do it!” 

 The same is equally true of singing. We are commanded by God to sing—so we must do it. Not to sing is to disobey

Keith Getty and Kristyn Getty, Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church (Nashville, TN: B&H Books, 2017).

Psalm 149:1 KJV

Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, And his praise in the congregation of saints.

There are 400 references to singing in the Bible and at least 50 direct commands. 

Obedience to God’s gracious commandments help unlock the key to our own liberty!

James 1:25 KJV

But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

John Newton once wrote, 

Our pleasure and our duty, Though opposite before;Since we have seen his beauty, Are joined to part no more .

We Are Given Instructions to Follow

Where We Are To Sing

 • In our hearts

Ephesians 5:19 KJV

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

 • In the assembly of the saints – part of sacred worship just like preaching or praying. 

Psalm 22:22 KJV

I will declare thy name unto my brethren: In the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.

Psalm 22:25 KJV

My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.

Psalm 68:26 KJV

Bless ye God in the congregations, Even the Lord, from the fountain of Israel.

Psalm 89:5 KJV

And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O LORD: Thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints.

Psalm 111:1 KJV

Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, In the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.

Hebrews 2:12 KJV

Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.

 • In the assembly we individuals are not the majority some music may not be your chosen style or accompaniment or your favorite song. 

 • Practice Christianity 101

Philippians 2:3–4 KJV

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

What to Sing

Colossians 3:16 KJV

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

 • The Word of Christ – Bible Verses

 There was an elderly woman who was a true saint of God in her long life of devotion. She knew much of the Bible by heart and would repeat long passages from memory. But as the years went by, the strength went and with it the memory gradually went too. Finally, there came the time when she was able only to quote one passage: “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able, to keep that which I have committed, unto him against that day.” But by and by that also seemed to slip. So there came a time when all she could say was “…that which I have committed to him…” But toward the last, as she hovered between this world and the next, her memory failed even more. Her loved ones would see her lips moving and, thinking that she might need something, they would bend down and listen for her request. Time and again they found her repeating only one word from this song over and over and over. It was the same word: “HIM! HIM! HIM!” She had lost the whole song — she had lost the entire Bible — with the single exception of this one word. And what a word it is! She had encapsulated the entire Bible in this one word! The Bible is “HIM.” This “HIM” is Jesus. 

-Submitted by J.D. Brown+ 

 • Bible Truths 

 • New Song

Psalm 33:3 KJV

Sing unto him a new song; Play skilfully with a loud noise.

Psalm 40:3 KJV

And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: Many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

Psalm 96:1 KJV

O sing unto the LORD a new song: Sing unto the LORD, all the earth.

Psalm 98:1 KJV

O sing unto the LORD a new song; For he hath done marvellous things: His right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.

Psalm 144:9 KJV

I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: Upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee.

 • Be picky with congregational Hymns make a good use of the time we have. 

 • Not surface 

 • Not phrases out of context 

 • Not focused on ourselves 

 • Not describing Jesus in a way His Word does not.

 • Every lyric should link together to bring thoughtful deep expression of scripture.

 • Don’t just sing… THINK

 If you are singing the songs as a member of the assembly of the saints, then don’t just sing, but think. What are you singing? How does it point you to Jesus as He reveals Himself in His Word? What truths are being laid on your heart, and how is your singing being used to lay them on the hearts of those around you? Which lines in the lyrics flood you with joy because they move you to consider Christ afresh, and how will you sing them to others and back to yourself this week?  

1 Keith Getty and Kristyn Getty, Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church (Nashville, TN: B&H Books, 2017). 

How We Are To Sing

Colossians 3:16 KJV

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

 • With grace in your hearts… a thankful response to the grace of God bestowed upon you. Gratitude.

 • Not just out of duty.

 • It is not Christlike if you are only singing with your lips and not also your heart.

Isaiah 29:13 KJV

Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, And with their lips do honour me, But have removed their heart far from me, And their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

Matthew 15:8 KJV

This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

  It is hard—impossible, in fact—to sing what you are excited about in your spirit and grateful for in your heart in a way that is tepid, tentative, and withdrawn. Deeply felt thankfulness produces a sound from our voices that is robust and enthusiastic. What is happening when we sing is about so much more than the audible sound we create, but not less. How we sing does reveal how we think and feel about something.1 

1 Keith Getty and Kristyn Getty, Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church (Nashville, TN: B&H Books, 2017). 

 So as we obey the command to sing, we are (or should be) unleashing a congregational sound of conviction—whether there are a dozen of us or thousands of us. If we aren’t, our children or visitors looking on have every right to wonder if what we are singing is truly important to us. In this sense, Our singing betrays the truth about us, for better and for worse. 

1 Keith Getty and Kristyn Getty, Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church (Nashville, TN: B&H Books, 2017). 

We Are Given Examples to Follow

Our Singing Savior

Matthew 26:30 KJV

And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

 • As He headed toward arrest, He sang.

 • Before the Hour of agony, He sang

 • He led His men in singing

 • On the Cross he quoted from a Psalm, a song!

Psalm 22:1–3 KJV

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? 

O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; And in the night season, and am not silent. 

But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

The Singing Missionaries

Acts 16:25 KJV

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

 • In the darkness of literal and figurative midnight.

 • After praying and settling their hearts, they prayed .

 • They sang praises to God out loud.

 • The hopeless hears a song of hope.

 • The power of God was unleashed.

 A tradition that Evelyn Knowles has chosen for posterity is to sing to her babies. The very first time she held each of her newborn grandchildren cheek to cheek and heart to heart, they heard their grandmother softly sing– Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Why? Because she wanted to be certain that they would never remember a time when they hadn’t known Jesus. 

 Growing up in church, Evelyn learned all the songs in the book. In her family of 10, singing church songs was second nature. Sitting on the front porch, riding in the car, or doing dishes “assembly line” style, would more often than not find them bursting into song. Hymns meant little more than an excuse to sing as a child, but how they instructed in adulthood. 

 Soon Ok Lee grew up in North Korea and devoted herself to its communist party, only to be “rewarded” with 6 years of brutal, inhumane prison life. When she was released and escaped to South Korea, she was aided by a kind, Christian gentleman. She heard him sing songs that were somehow familiar to her, and was puzzled that she knew these songs well enough to sing along. One of those songs was “Amazing Grace.” These hymns were certainly not sung in godless North Korea! 

 Ah, but a faint and long forgotten memory was triggered—a memory of her own mother singing these very songs when she was a tiny child. So tiny, in fact, that she hadn’t realized they were hymns. But gospel seed had been planted in her wee heart—her mother’s secret way of teaching little Soon Ok Lee of God’s love. Secret, because under their North Korean government, children were taken away from parents who taught them the Bible. Yet after years of trying to live up to Communist ideology, the message of her mother’s songs comforted her and brought her to Christ. 

 Sound doctrine tucked away in our old hymns can be ingrained in a child’s heart. It might not be understood at the time, but it may very well instruct them at a crucial point later in life. 

Source: Evelyn Knowles, Peace on Earth Ministries, Joplin, MO. Citation: Ok-Lee, Soon (Sun Ok Yi). Eyes of the Tailless Animals: Prison Memoirs of a North Korean Women. Living Sacrifice Book Company, 1999. 

How could we ever think we can be passive about singing? 

As we digest the Word set in song and respond with thankfulness in our hearts to God, we are guided into His path of peace. That peace is Him. Singing, as with all these outward expressions of our worship, will never save us. But singing will help lead us to the One who will. The command to sing leads us to Christ with joy to praise and follow Him. How kind of God to command us to do something so wonderful! 

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 10:56 AM February 5, 2021.

Created To Sing!

Thursday, January 28th, 2021

Created to Sing!

Pastor Don Carpenter

Sing! / Psalm 139:13–14; Revelation 4:11; 2 Peter 1:3

 A number of years ago Orel Hirscheiser was pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers. They had just won the World Series, & Orel had been named “The most valuable player of the series.”

One of the TV shows about the series showed him in the dugout just before the 9th inning started. He was leaning against the wall & his lips were moving. It was obvious that he was saying something to himself.

So when he was a guest on the Tonight Show, Johnny Carson asked him what he had been saying. “I wasn’t saying anything,” Orel responded. “Well, then, tell us what you were doing.” Finally Orel replied, “I was singing.”

“You were singing?” Johnny said. “I didn’t know you were a singer.” “Aw,” Orel said, “I’m not.” Johnny persisted, “What were you singing? Sing it for us now.” “Nah, I don’t want to sing.” But by that time the audience was chiming in with “C’mon, sing it, sing it to us!”

Finally, Orel Hirschheiser started to sing, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below.” And Johnny Carson was speechless. The whole audience was dead silent. Then one person started clapping, & soon the whole audience joined in applause.

This morning we are going to launch a series that focuses on singing and why believers should take this seriously. The Bible has much to say on this subject. I want to start by tying a couple of verses together and driving home a point.

 • We were created by God to do His pleasure

Revelation 4:11 KJV

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.

 • We are commanded to sing.

Psalm 30:4 KJV

Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, And give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

Psalm 33:2–3 KJV

Praise the LORD with harp: Sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. 

Sing unto him a new song; Play skilfully with a loud noise.

Psalm 68:4 KJV

Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: Extol him that rideth upon the heavens By his name JAH, and rejoice before him.

Psalm 96:2 KJV

Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; Shew forth his salvation from day to day.

Ephesians 5:19 KJV

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

 • We have been given all we need to obey Him

2 Peter 1:3 KJV

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

 • Therefore God has created us to sing. Scriptures lead us to conclude then that we have been designed to sing. We have been given unique voices to use. We have been made to sing in God’s image. When we sing praises to God we are joining all of creation in a chorus of praise. Brothers and Sisters we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and we have been made to Sing!

We Are Designed To Sing

Psalm 139:13–14 KJV

For thou hast possessed my reins: Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. 

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Marvellous are thy works; And that my soul knoweth right well.

A Desire To Sing

Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church

We have three young daughters, and it has surprised us with each of them how early they could sing. Simple melodies with mumbled words grew into phrases like “O sing happylujah,” or a bizarre mixture of “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty” and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” To sing is written into our human DNA; it is part of God’s design.

A Desire to Make Instruments

Genesis 4:21–22 KJV

And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. 

And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-cain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.

The Physical Ability to Sing

 • Vocal cords form at 12 weeks in the womb.

 • We sound different but all have the same vocal apparatus.

 • Lungs. voice, tongues and lips all made to sing, not just speak… and that is by design

The Psyche to Sing

Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church

. When singing praise to God, so much more than just the vocal box is engaged. God has created our minds to judge pitch and lyric; to think through the concepts we sing; to engage the intellect, imagination, and memory; and to remember what is set to a tune (we are confident that, right now, 99 percent of this book’s readers can remember more lyrics set to music than can recite Scripture by rote). God has formed our hearts to be moved with depth of feeling and a whole range of emotion as the melody-carried truths of who God is and whose we are sink in. 

We Are Designed To Sing Uniquely

Ephesians 5:19 KJV

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

2 Peter 1:3 KJV

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

If You Can Speak, You Can Sing

Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church

Sometimes we meet people who say, “I can’t sing”—as in, “The sound that comes out of my mouth when I try to sing is not what I was hoping for.” 

God Cares Whether and What You Sing More Than How Tunefully You Sing.

 • The beauty of the song starts with God making a beautiful heart.

 • When believers unite with heartfelt songs of redemption, the world around them is changed.

Ezekiel 36:26 KJV

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

Psalm 40:3 KJV

And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: Many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

Practice Makes Better

Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church

To learn to walk takes time, and we first must learn to press down on our feet. To learn to speak takes time, and we must first open our mouths and make sounds. To praise God in tuneful song takes time, and we grow better at singing by singing. And once we’ve reached our peak, if it is still some way short of the tuneful heights, a sense of humor is a useful ally. Some people do have a special gift of singing absolutely every note slightly off pitch (which is, ironically, very hard to do). Since we sing to encourage and praise, not to impress and earn praise, we can smile about that and sing anyway. 

We Are Designed To Sing In God’s Image

Genesis 1:26–28 KJV

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Created to Enjoy Beauty and Creativity

Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church

We can tell the difference between an orchestra tuning up and them then playing a coherent piece of music—suddenly, there is a “rightness” in how the notes sit together. We know that sense of throwing back your head or raising your hands to sing a great hymn with every ounce of your being and the feeling of losing interest in a mediocre one. This is why for a songwriter, it’s worth striving day after day for months (or years) to compose that one melodic idea that is fresh, compelling, and might touch another person’s soul.

Created To Benefit From Beauty in Creativity

 • We don’t just recite the lyrics to our national anthem.

 • Kids learn the alphabet to rhyming songs rather than monotone spoken sounds.

 • Our senses and memories are engaged through music.

 • Imagination is another dignity God has given humans above the other animals, part of being in His image.

Created to Communicate To Each Other and To God Through Beauty.

We are not only made, but made in the image and likeness of a Maker. – J.R.R. Tolkien

Psalm 19:1–2 KJV

The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament sheweth his handywork. 

Day unto day uttereth speech, And night unto night sheweth knowledge.

Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church Chapter

We show our God-inspired creative spirit when we make music—not just in the songs themselves, but in the many different creative ways we arrange and express the songs together. Whether it is the rhythmic vibrancy of sung worship led by the African Children’s Choir, or the pristine beauty of a chorale echoing within the ancient walls of a European cathedral, or the blended accents in the increasing number of international churches in cities around the world, we seek to create beauty because that’s how we’re designed. 

And as we create, we communicate—just as God does through His creation: 

Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church Chapter

When His Church sings together, voice upon voice like arms linked across a room, and indeed across all the gathering places of His followers around the globe, across history, we are doing what we were designed to enjoy—using our God-given voices to sing praises together to the One who gave us those voices. It expresses what unites us, and it reminds us of our interdependence. 

We Are Designed To Sing Along With The Rest of Creation.

Psalm 98:4–9 KJV

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: Make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. 

Sing unto the LORD with the harp; With the harp, and the voice of a psalm. 

With trumpets and sound of cornet Make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King. 

Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; The world, and they that dwell therein. 

Let the floods clap their hands: Let the hills be joyful together 

Before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: With righteousness shall he judge the world, And the people with equity.

 In C. S. Lewis’s The Magician’s Nephew, the great lion Aslan creates Narnia by singing it into existence. The character and timbre of the song are seen in the shapes and colors of all that springs up out of the nothingness. Lewis delights to point out that the song could not be separated from the Singer and that when your eyes saw the Singer He eclipsed everything else. 

“God is the ultimate musician. His music transforms your life. The notes of redemption rearrange your heart and restore your life. His songs of forgiveness, grace, reconciliation, truth, hope, sovereignty, and love give you back your humanity and restore your identity.” – Paul Tripp

God’s design is perfect. He tells us to Sing. He has designed us with the ability to sing. He has designed us with unique voices we can use to offer up in song. He has designed us in His image with the ability to create and appreciate beauty in lyric and song. When we gather as believers and join our voices, we join all of the rest of creation in praise to God. Brothers and Sisters we were created to SING!

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 2:43 PM January 28, 2021.

Under The Influence of Submission

Saturday, January 23rd, 2021

Under The Influence of Submission

Pastor Don Carpenter

Under the Influence / Submission; Humility / Ephesians 5:21

   When J. Wilbur Chapman was in London, he had an opportunity to meet General Booth, who at that time was past eighty years of age. Dr. Chapman listened reverently as the old general spoke of the trials and the conflicts and victories. 

  The American evangelist then asked the general if he would disclose his secret for success. “He hesitated a second,” Dr. Chapman said, “and I saw the tears come into his eyes and steal down his cheeks, and then he said, “I will tell you the secret. God has had all there was of me. There have been men with greater brains than I, men with greater opportunities; but from the day I got the poor of London on my heart, and a vision of what Jesus Christ could do with the poor of London, I made up my mind that God would have all of William Booth there was. And if there is anything of power in the Salvation Army today, it is because God has all the adoration of my heart, all the power of my will, and all the influence of my life.” ” 

  Dr. Chapman said he went away from that meeting with General Booth knowing “that the greatness of a man’s power is the measure of his surrender.”

1 Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc., 1996), 1367. 

In the last few weeks we have discovered that our spiritual walk, our use of time, and our spiritual understanding is greatly affected by what we are influenced by or filled with. We saw first of all that we need to avoid being under the influence of substances or lusts that would move us away from God. We saw that we are to seek to be under the influence of the Holy Spirit, yielding to His leading. We say that we are to be under the influence of Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs. We can minister to ourselves, each other, and even to God through the music that is in our mouths and in our hearts. Last week we saw that we are to be under the influence of a thankful heart all the time and about everything. Each of these things feed on the other. If we get rid of the bad influence, we can be filled with the Spirit. If we are filled with the Spirit, we can have a genuine song on our lips and heart. If we have a song on our lips and heart, we can have a spirit of thankfulness. If we have a spirit of thankfulness, filled with all these other influences, we can finally get self will out of the way and with sweet surrender, some under the influence of submission.

___

 People often misunderstand the concept of submitting to another person. It does not mean becoming totally passive. —submitted his will to the Father, and we honor Christ by following his example. When we submit to God, we become more willing to obey his command to submit to others, that is, to subordinate our rights to theirs. In Paul’s day, women, children, and slaves were to submit to the head of the family—slaves would submit until they were freed, male children until they grew up, and women and girls their whole lives. Paul emphasized the equality of all believers in Christ (Galatians 3:28), but he counseled all believers to submit to one another by choice. This kind of mutual submission preserves order and harmony.1 

1 Bruce B. Barton and Philip Wesley Comfort, Ephesians, Life Application Bible Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1996), 111. 

Surrender Self

Ephesians 5:21 KJV

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Philippians 2:3 KJV

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Stop Making Your Needs and Preferences a Priority.

Matthew 20:28 KJV

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Be Willing To Sacrifice For the Cause of The Gospel

1 Corinthians 6:7 KJV

Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?

Be Willing to Yield Your Rights For the Sake of Immature Believers.

Romans 14:19–21 KJV

Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. 

For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. 

It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

 To one who asked him the secret of his service, George Mueller said: “There was a day when I died, utterly died;” and, as he spoke, he bent lower and lower until he almost touched the floor—“died to George Muller, his opinions, preferences, tastes, and will—died to the world, its approval or censure—died to the approval or blame even of my brethren and friends—and since then I have studied only to show myself approved unto God.” 

—British Weekly 

Advocate For Others

Ephesians 5:21 KJV

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Romans 12:10 KJV

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Teach Humbly

2 Corinthians 5:11 KJV

Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

Ephesians 6:4 KJV

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

2 Timothy 2:24–26 KJV

And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 

In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 

And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

Listen With An Open Heart

Galatians 6:2 KJV

Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Promote The Preference of Others

Philippians 2:4 KJV

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

 Driving down a country road, I came to a very narrow bridge. In front of the bridge, a sign was posted: “Yield.” Seeing no oncoming cars, I continued across the bridge and to my destination. 

  On my way back, I came to the same one-lane bridge, now from the other direction. To my surprise, I saw another “Yield” sign posted. 

 Curious, I thought. I’m sure there was one positioned on the other side. 

  When I reached the other side of the bridge, I looked back. Sure enough, yield signs had been placed at both ends of the bridge. Drivers from both directions were requested to give the other the right of way. It was a reasonable and gracious way of preventing a head-on collision. 

  When the Bible commands Christians to “be subject to one another” (Eph. 5:21), it is simply a reasonable and gracious command to let the other have the right of way and avoid interpersonal head-on collisions.

1 Craig Brian Larson, 750 Engaging Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers & Writers (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2002), 554. 

Imitate The Savior

Ephesians 5:21 KJV

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Philippians 2:5–8 KJV

Let this 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, 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.

 As the Philippian believers are told, they should be humble enough to count others better than themselves and put the interests of others before their own, following the example of Christ, who “emptied himself,” “humbled himself,” and “became obedient,” even when the path of obedience led to death on the cross (Phil. 2:3–8). Out of reverence for their Lord, who set such a precedent, his followers should place themselves at one another’s disposal, living so that their forbearance is a matter of public knowledge (Phil. 4:7), even when others are encouraged on this account to take advantage of them (1 Cor. 6:7).1 

1 F. F. Bruce, The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1984), 382. 

Be A Minister to Others

Mark 10:45 KJV

For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Be An Example to Others

1 Peter 5:2–3 KJV

Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 

Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

Be A Servant of Others

  “So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:12–14, KJV)  

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, our Christian walk depends upon our influence. Let us be under the influence of the Holy Spirit by yielding to Him. Let us be moved by Godly music and lyrics both in our song and meditation. Let our inner being be under the influence of a thankful heart no matter the circumstances. And finally, let us put that fleshly self away. Let us submit to each other in sweet love and surrender.  

Make me a captive, Lord, 

And then I shall be free;

Force me to render up my sword,

And I shall conqueror be!

I sink in life’s alarms,

When by myself I stand;

Imprison me within Thine Arms,

And strong shall be my hand.

1 Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc., 1996), 1366–1367. 

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 2:52 PM January 23, 2021.

Under The Influence of Gratitude

Saturday, January 16th, 2021

Under The Influence of Gratitude

Pastor Don Carpenter

Under The Influence / Ephesians 5:20

 There is an imaginative story told of a day when the sun did not rise. Six o’clock came and there was no sign of dawn. At seven o’clock, there was still no ray of light. At noon, it was as black as midnight. No birds sang and only the hoot of an owl broke the silence. Then came the long black hours of the afternoon. Finally evening arrived but no one slept that night. Some wept, some wrung their hands in anguish. Every church was thronged with people on their knees. Thus they remained the whole night through. After that long night of terror and agony, millions of eager, tear-streaked faces were turned toward the east. When the sky began to grow red and the sun rose, there was a loud shout of joy. Millions of lips said, “Bless the Lord, O my soul!” because the sun had risen after one day of darkness.

  The very consistency of God’s blessings sometimes seems to dull our gratitude. The wonderful thing about the mercies of God is that they are fresh every morning and new every evening. Let us remember to be constantly thankful to our gracious God.

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 376.

_____

As we continue our study “Under The Influence” we are reminded that we are to avoid the negative things that would control us, but rather seek to be controlled by certain things on purpose. When believers become yielded to the Holy Spirit’s influence with a song on their lips for others to hear, and in their hearts for God to hear, a constant anthem of thanksgiving is the next logical thing to add to the sweet spirit of a believer. Each element builds upon the other to direct a believer’s steps, use of time, and depth of understanding. By listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, the encouragements of Psalms Hymns and Spiritual Songs, and humbly yielding to the will of God, we can find ourselves under the influence of gratitude.

ALWAYS Give Thanks.

Ephesians 5:20 KJV

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

33.349 ??????????a; ??????????, ?? f: to express gratitude for benefits or blessings—‘to thank, thanksgiving, thankfulness.’

??????????a: ?? ???????????? ???? ?? ??? ?????????; ‘why should anyone revile me about that for which I thank God?’ 1 Cor 10:30.

??????????: ???? ??????????? ?? ???????? ???? ?????????? ???? ??? ???? ‘let your requests be made known to God with thanksgiving’ Php 4:6.

Thanks is often expressed in highly idiomatic ways. For example, in some languages one says thank you by saying ‘may God pay you.’ Such a phrase may be so standardized as to even be used in expressing thankfulness to God himself. In other instances, thankfulness may be expressed as ‘you have made my heart warm1

1 Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 427–428.

__

The obligation of thankfulness to God for “mercies countless as the sands” holds the premier place. That we exist depends on the Creator’s fiat, and that our days are passed in comparative tranquillity or within the verge of divine illumination we owe to His lovingkindness. All our positive blessings are of His bestowal. Our very deprivations and trials, frowning providences, as we deem them, if we are His by grace as well as nature, come to us as benedictions in disguise. Were we in full accord with His will we should receive them as such, like Job at the high-water mark of his faith. The Lord’s sovereign dispensations are matter for gratitude, not for murmuring.

Trials must and will befall;

But with humble faith to see

Love inscribed upon them all,

That is happiness to me.

The mixed yarn of life, woven in the loom of heaven by the Father of mercies, traces a perfect design for those “in Christ,” and their thanksgivings should reascend to Him through their mediatorial All-in-all.1

1 E. K. Simpson and F. F. Bruce, The Epistles to the Ephesians and the Colossians, The New International Commentary on the Old and New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1957), 126.

Jonah 2:9 KJV

But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.

Colossians 3:17 KJV

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Hebrews 13:15 KJV

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.

**Eph 5:20 a slide**

An evergreen is always green despite the changes in weather around it. It is green in the heat of summer as well as the cold of winter. So also our lives are to be characterized by an enduring thankfulness that is unaffected by the changes around us. When the heat of a pressured week or the deadly cold of pain strikes us, we should stand “ever green,” always thankful, regardless of that which surrounds us1

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 375.

Give Thanks for EVERYTHING

Ephesians 5:20 KJV

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

 And now, the Spirit-filled believer will be a thankful believer. “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” “Oh, but,” you say, “there are some things I cannot give thanks for, there are some things so hard, so difficult to bear, there are some things that lacerate my very soul.” Wait a moment. Have you ever undergone a serious physical operation as a result of which you have been delivered from something that was just wearing out your very life? When you had to undergo it, it seemed very hard, but as you look back upon it, can you not give thanks for the surgeon’s knife, can you not give thanks for the very sufferings you had to endure because of the blessed after-result? Very well, Christian, some day.

“When we stand with Christ in glory,

Looking o’er life’s finished story,”

We shall see as we cannot now just why all the hard things were permitted, and how God our Father was seeking to set us free from hindrances and from encumbrances, by pruning the branches from which He wished to get fruit for Himself. In that day we will thank Him for all the sorrow as well as for all the joy. In faith let us do it now.

Nothing can come to me but what His love allows. “All things work together for good,” and so a Spirit-filled believer will be loyal and submissive, not the kind who tosses his head and says, “I am not going to have anybody dominate me; I will do what I think and what I like.” That is the old walk of our unconverted days, that is the old nature, not the new.1

1 H. A. Ironside, In the Heavenlies : Practical Expository Addresses on the Epistle to the Ephesians. (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1937), 273–274.

___

The early Church was a thankful church. The instinct was to give thanks for all things and in all places and at all times. John Chrysostom, the great preacher of the Church of a later day, had the curious thought that Christians could give thanks even for hell, because hell was a warning to keep them in the right way. The early Church was a thankful church because its members were still dazzled with the wonder that God’s love had stooped to save them; and it was a church that gave thanks because its members had an awareness of being in the hands of God.1

1 William Barclay, The Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians, The New Daily Study Bible (Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002), 192.

For The BLESSINGS

Salvation

2 Corinthians 9:15 KJV

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

Answers to prayer

Philippians 4:6 KJV

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

God’s Providence

Romans 8:28 KJV

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

For TRIALS

Acts 5:41 KJV

And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

Job 2:10 KJV

But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.

** Eph 5 20 b slide**

A little boy was asked by his father to say grace at the table. While the rest of the family waited, the little guy eyed every dish of food his mother had prepared. After the examination, he bowed his head and honestly prayed, “Lord, I don’t like the looks of it, but I thank you for it, and I’ll eat it anyway. Amen.”

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 375–376.

Give Thanks Directly to God The Father

Ephesians 5:20 KJV

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Isaiah 63:7 KJV

I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, According to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, And the great goodness toward the house of Israel, Which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, And according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses.

Jesus Has Given Us Direct Access

1 Timothy 2:5 KJV

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

We Can Both Pray and Praise Boldly

Hebrews 4:16 KJV

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

 When believers become yielded to the Holy Spirit’s influence with a song on their lips for others to hear, and in their hearts for God to hear, a constant anthem of thanksgiving is the next logical thing to add to the sweet spirit of a believer. Each element builds upon the other to direct a believer’s steps, use of time, and depth of understanding.  

Since Thankfulness/ Gratitude are based on God’s constant unchanging character. We are to always be thankful. Since God is at work and in control, we should give thanks for all things. Since Jesus paid the price for sin through His Blood, removing the veil of separation between us and God we can bring our thanks directly to God the Father.

By listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, the encouragements of Psalms Hymns and Spiritual Songs, and humbly yielding to the will of God, we can find ourselves under the influence of gratitude.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:36 PM January 16, 2021.

Under The Influence of Music

Thursday, January 7th, 2021

Under The Influence of The Music

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Under the Influence / Gospel Music / Ephesians 5:19

 Back in 1998, researchers found that music stimulates the auditory nerves and creates brain messages that ripple through the body, influencing muscle tone equilibrium and joint flexibility.

 The human heartbeat is especially attuned to sound. As music changes in tempo and volume, it acts as a natural pacemaker. Our breathing slows down or speeds up along with the music.

 A study at Michigan State University found that just 15 minutes of listening to music increases levels of immune chemicals that are vital to protect us against disease.

 The release of cortisol (the “stress hormone”) dropped by up to 25%.

 (Don Campbell, founder of Institute for Music, Health and Education “Bottom Line –Tomorrow” Sept 1998 p. 9)

 ILLUS: Then in 2001, scientists were amazed to find that music is able to help heal the body.

 • Burn victims, encouraged to sing while having their dressing changed, experienced less pain.

 • Cancer patients who listened to – and practiced with – musical instruments, saw their levels of stress hormones drop and their immune systems get stronger.

 Professor Richard Fratianne observed: “By helping patients relax, music eases pain and may even speed recovery,” (Peter Jaret Reader’s Digest 9/01)

 From a sermon by Jeff Strite, B Joyful, 11/15/2009

Last week we discovered that the quality and use of our walk, our time, and our wisdom will be determined upon what influence we are under. We saw that it is possible to be filled with or under the influence of alcohol or other things that would control us.. and that influence would lead to an outcome that would be displeasing to God. On the other hand, we discovered that if we are under the influence, or filled with the Holy Spirit, we will not be fulfilling the lusts of the flesh and we will be pleasing to God.

This week as we continue our series “Under The Influence”, we will discover that we are to speak to ourselves, to others, and to God through both melody and lyrics. We are to be under the influence of music.

Speak To Yourselves Through Music

King James Version Eph 5:19a

19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs…

 Psalms -Psalms are religious songs, especially those sung to a musical accompaniment, and par excellence an o.t. psalm;

Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English reader (Eph 5:18). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

  Psalms—psalmos—a pulling or twitching, or twanging with the fingers.

  The sound of the cithara; a harp. A song sung to a stringed instrument. Same with Col. 3:16.1

1 W. A. Haynes, The Beautiful Word Pictures of the Epistle to the Ephesians: Or, the Busy Man’s Commentary upon the Bible (Caney, KS: Busy Man’s Bible Company, 1911), 176.

James 5:13 KJV

Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

In Jas. 5:13 it is psallo—to sing songs of praise, whether accompanied with instrumental music or not, but especially with instruments.1

1 W. A. Haynes, The Beautiful Word Pictures of the Epistle to the Ephesians: Or, the Busy Man’s Commentary upon the Bible (Caney, KS: Busy Man’s Bible Company, 1911), 176.

Hymns -hymns are properly speaking songs of praise;

Spiritual songs” probably refers to Spirit-inspired songs (cf. 1 Chron 25:1–6), possibly spontaneous, which would clearly distinguish Christian worship from nearly all worship in antiquity (cf. 1 Cor 14:15).

1 Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), Eph 5:19.

The Music Is Supposed To Move You

John 4:23 KJV

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

Worship in spirit = worship with passion and emotion. This emotion will be naturally expressed with certain physical expressions. See what natural expressions occur in Biblical praise and worship:

Ezekiel 25:6–7 KJV

For thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast clapped thine hands, and stamped with the feet, and rejoiced in heart with all thy despite against the land of Israel; 

Behold, therefore I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and will deliver thee for a spoil to the heathen; and I will cut thee off from the people, and I will cause thee to perish out of the countries: I will destroy thee; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.

Psalm 47:1 KJV

O clap your hands, all ye people; Shout unto God with the voice of triumph.

Psalm 47:5–6 KJV

God is gone up with a shout, The LORD with the sound of a trumpet. 

Sing praises to God, sing praises: Sing praises unto our King, sing praises.

Psalm 33:2–3 KJV

Praise the LORD with harp: Sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. 

Sing unto him a new song; Play skilfully with a loud noise.

Psalm 51:14 KJV

Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: And my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.

Psalm 5:11 KJV

But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: Let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: Let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

Psalm 35:27 KJV

Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: Yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, Which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.

Psalm 65:13 KJV

The pastures are clothed with flocks; The valleys also are covered over with corn; They shout for joy, they also sing.

Psalm 30:11 KJV

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: Thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;

Psalm 149:3 KJV

Let them praise his name in the dance: Let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.

Psalm 150:4 KJV

Praise him with the timbrel and dance: Praise him with stringed instruments and organs.

Speak To Each Other Through Music

Colossians 3:16 KJV

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Psalm 40:3 KJV

And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: Many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

That is one way to edify each other in the assembly.

Hebrews 10:24–25 KJV

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

So music then in church is not just about you, it is about your brother and sister. Your singing may move you… but it may also may move those around you. Do not cheat your brethren by not singing with all your heart. Do not throw a wet blanket on the flames fanned by the Holy Spirit because your particular musical taste is not being catered to at the moment.

 People complain about the new music. Remember, hymns used to be the new music!

 What is wrong with the inspiring hymns we grew up with? When I go to church, it is to worship God, not to be distracted with learning a new song. Last Sunday’s was particularly unnerving. The song was un-singable and the harmonies were quite distorting. (Letter in 1890 about the hymn “What A Friend We Have In Jesus.”

Speak To God Through Your Music

King James Version Eph 5:19b

… singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord

 • God listens to what no one else can hear, the sounds of your heart.

 • God hears the song stuck in your head.

 • Does God enjoy listening to your heart’s playlist?

 • Your heart will put the songs you listen to most often on repeat… will God be honored?

 • We reach each other with the songs and lyrics coming out of our mouth.

 • We honor God with the songs and melodies playing in our hearts.

Psalm 86:12 KJV

I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: And I will glorify thy name for evermore.

Psalm 105:3 KJV

Glory ye in his holy name: Let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.

 A man named Jack Hinton was on a short-term mission’s trip to the island of Tobago. He was leading worship at the leper colony there and there was time for one more song, so he asked if anyone had a request.

 A woman who had been facing away from the pulpit turned around.

 “It was the most hideous face I had ever seen,” Hinton said. “The woman’s nose and ears were entirely gone. The disease had destroyed her lips as well. She lifted a fingerless hand in the air and asked, ‘Can we sing Count Your Many Blessings?’”

 Overcome with emotion, Hinton left the service.

 He was followed by another team member who said, “Jack, I guess you’ll never be able to sing that song again.”

 “Yes I will,” he replied, “but I’ll never sing the same way.”

From a sermon by Jeff Strite, B Joyful, 11/15/2009

The quality and use of our walk, our time, and our wisdom will be determined upon what influence we are under. Be under the influence of the right music. Be under the influence of godly lyrics backed up with skillful accompaniment – Psalms. Be under the influence of songs of praise – Hymns. Be under the influence of songs fueled by the power of the Holy Spirit – Spiritual Songs. Sing to yourselves. Sing among yourselves. Do it so often that your heart picks up the play list and then God gets to listen to the music only the both of you can enjoy together as it rings in your heart. This is what it is to be under the influence of Music.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:13 PM January 7, 2021.

Under The Influence of the Holy Spirit

Saturday, January 2nd, 2021


Under The Influence of the Holy Spirit

Pastor Don Carpenter

Under the Influence / Ephesians 5:15–18

D. L. Moody said,

“I believe firmly that the moment our hearts are emptied of pride and selfishness and ambition and everything that is contrary to God’s law, the Holy Spirit will fill every corner of our hearts.

But if we are full of pride and conceit and ambition and the world, there is no room for the Spirit of God. We must be emptied before we can be filled.”

We start 2021 with a fairly clean path. There has not been much time lapsed this year to mess things up too badly. Each new year brings us to resolutions where we try to do better.  

The Bible teaches that it is impossible to do enough good to merit heaven. We are hopelessly lost in sin and cannot pull ourselves out of the hole we are in. No amount of our sincere religious efforts will atone for sin. This is why Jesus Christ the Righteous had to live a perfect life and die in our place. Once we trust in His finished work on the cross, we are Justified, or declared to be Righteous.

Once we are saved, we are to live for the Lord, not out of fear of Hell, because that debt has been cared for on the cross. We are to live for the Lord out of love and gratitude for what He has done for us. But let’s face it… our flesh is strong and it is hard to fight it sometimes. So here we are, at the dawn of a new year with a genuine desire to walk right and do better… but how? The answer is simple yet profound… and it is the subject of our discussions for the next few Sunday mornings. Believers will walk according to the influence that they choose to be in their lives.

Galatians 5:16–18 KJV

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 

For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 

But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

Your Choice of Influence Affects:

Your Walk

Ephesians 5:15 KJV

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words Accurately

akribos (????????, 199) is correctly translated in the RV of Luke 1:3, “having traced the course of all things accurately” (KJV, “having had perfect understanding”). It is used in Matt. 2:8, of Herod’s command to the wise men as to searching for the young Child (RV, “carefully”; KJV, “diligently”); in Acts 18:25, of Apollos’ teaching of “the things concerning Jesus” (RV, “carefully”; KJV, “diligently”); in Eph. 5:15, of the way in which believers are to walk (RV, “carefully”; KJV, “circumspectly”); in 1 Thess. 5:2, of the knowledge gained by the saints through the apostle’s teaching concerning the Day of the Lord (RV and KJV, “perfectly”). The word expresses that “accuracy” which is the outcome of carefulness. It is connected with akros, “pointed.”

This word and its other grammatical forms, akribeia, akribes, akribesteron and akriboo, are used especially by Luke, who employs them eight times out of the thirteen in the NT; Matthew uses them three times, Paul twice. See CAREFUL, DILIGENT, EXACTLY, PERFECT.¶

Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament based on Semantic Domains 72.19 ???????; ???????, ??

72.19 ???????; ???????, ??: pertaining to strict conformity to a norm or standard, involving both detail and completeness—‘accurate, accurately, strict, strictly.’

Matthew 10:16 KJV

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Take care for what influences your walk… you need to navigate danger carefully and accurately.

That is, see to it that your conduct is accurate with respect to the demands of the Word of God. It is like a motorist accurately following on the right side of the center line dividing traffic. – Wuest

Colossians 4:5 KJV

Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

Your Use of Time

Ephesians 5:16 KJV

Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Redeeming” is exagoraz? (?????????), “to buy up.” In the middle voice as it is used here, it means, “to buy up for one’s self or one’s advantage.” Metaphorically, it means, “to make a wise and sacred use of every opportunity for doing good,” so that zeal and well-doing are as it were the purchase-money by which we make the time our own” (Thayer). “Time” is not chronos (??????), “time as such,” but kairos (??????), “time as regarded in its strategic, epoch-making, seasonable, opportune seasons.” The idea is not to make best use of time as such, which is what we should do in the sense of not wasting it, but of taking advantage of the opportunities that present themselves. “Evil” is not kakos (?????), “evil in the abstract,” but pon?ros (???????), “evil in active opposition to the good, pernicious.”

Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English reader (Eph 5:15). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

Romans 13:11 KJV

And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

Galatians 6:10 KJV

As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Your Understanding

Ephesians 5:17 KJV

Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

 “Unwise” is aphr?n (?????), “without reason, senseless, foolish, stupid, without reflection or intelligence, acting rashly.” “Understanding” is suni?mi (???????), “to set or bring together, to put the perception with the thing perceived, to set or join together in the mind,” thus, “to understand.” The word speaks of reflective thinking. The verb is present imperative in a prohibition, forbidding the continuance of an action already going on. Ginomai (???????) is the verb, meaning “to become.”

?Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English reader (Eph 5:17). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

 ?When you walk into a place of business, you will find the salesman in there on his toes: he is dynamic. If a man is a child of God, how does he act when he is not in his place of business trying to make a dollar? Is he on his toes? Is he dynamic? Is he living for God? The believer is to walk in this world as though he belonged to Christ.

McGee, J. V. (1997). Thru the Bible commentary (electronic ed.) (Eph 5:17). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Romans 12:2 KJV

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, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Avoid Negative Influence

Ephesians 5:18 KJV

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

D.U. I. is a crime. Driving under the influence… of alcohol or drugs. You see, when you are under that influence, your reaction time is slower, your thinking and reasoning is different.

Drunkenness is sin because of the influence.

Genesis 9:21 KJV

And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.

Proverbs 20:1 KJV

Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: And whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

Proverbs 23:29–35 KJV

Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? Who hath contentions? who hath babbling? Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness of eyes? 

They that tarry long at the wine; They that go to seek mixed wine. 

Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, When it giveth his colour in the cup, When it moveth itself aright. 

At the last it biteth like a serpent, And stingeth like an adder. 

Thine eyes shall behold strange women, And thine heart shall utter perverse things. 

Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, Or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. 

They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; They have beaten me, and I felt it not: When shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.

Romans 13:13 KJV

Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

Excess = no saving quality – destructive.

The word as it is generally used expresses the idea of an abandoned, debauched, profligate life.

There are other things that can enslave, control and influence you.

1 Corinthians 6:12 KJV

All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

 • Drugs

 • Pornography

 • Food

 • Sleep

 • Video Games

 • Relationships

 • Anything you cannot control, but controls you is a bad influence.

Be Under The Holy Spirit’s Influence

Ephesians 5:18 KJV

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

All these give the idea of profligate or licentious living that is wasteful. In this verse the literal sense of incorrigibility seems best, for a drunken man acts abnormally. Rather than controlling himself, the wine controls him. Conversely, the positive command is, Be filled with the Spirit. Thus a believer, rather than controlling himself, is controlled by the Holy Spirit.

Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1985). The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Eph 5:18). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Believers Are Already Indwelled By The Spirit

Romans 8:9 KJV

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

To Be Filled is to the Under the Influence of the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 5:18 KJV

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

Wuest’s Word Studies in the Greek New Testament Chapter Five

The Holy Spirit filled Stephen in the sense that He controlled him. Therefore, the fullness of the Spirit has reference to His control over the believer yielded to Him. The verb is in the present imperative; “Be constantly being filled with the Spirit.” The interpretation is, “Be constantly, moment by moment, being controlled by the Spirit.”

This is a COMMANDMENT, not a suggestion.

Romans 6:10–12 KJV

For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 

Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

Galatians 5:16–18 KJV

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 

For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 

But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

 A. J. Gordon, one of the founders of Gordon Conwell Divinity School, told of being out walking and looking across a field at a house. There beside the house was what looked like a man pumping furiously at one of those hand pumps. As Gordon watched, the man continued to pump at a tremendous rate; he seemed absolutely tireless, pumping on and on, up and down, without ever slowing in the slightest, much less stopping.

Truly it was a remarkable sight, so Gordon started to walk toward it. As he got closer, he could see it was not a man at the pump, but a wooden figure painted to look like a man. The arm that was pumping so rapidly was hinged at the elbow and the hand was wired to the pump handle. The water was pouring forth, but not because the figure was pumping it. You see, it was an artesian well, and the water was pumping the man!

When you see a man who is at work for God and producing results, recognize that it is the Holy Spirit working through him, not the man’s efforts that are giving results. All he has to do—and all you have to do—is keep your hand on the handle.

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 190.

Do you want to live more for God in 2021 than you ever have before? Do you want to walk in the right direction, make good use of your time, and continue to grow in your spiritual understanding? If so, then you need to evaluate and choose the right influences. You need to avoid those negative things that control you. You need to strive to be under the Holy Spirit’s influence. In the next few weeks we will also discover that you can be influenced by good music, gratitude and humility. May God be with us all as we go under the right influence.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 9:08 PM January 2, 2021.

Revival By The Book

Saturday, December 26th, 2020

Revival By The Book

Pastor Don Carpenter

Revival Stronger Than Ever / 2 Chronicles 34–35; 2 Chronicles 34:1–8; 2 Chronicles 34:14–19

Revival — If?

If all the sleeping folk will wake up,

If all the lukewarm folk will fire up,

If all the dishonest folk will confess up,

If all the disgruntled folk will cheer up,

If all the depressed folk will cheer up,

If all the estranged folk will make up,

If all the gossipers will shut up,

If all true soldiers will stand up,

If all the dry bones will shake up,

If all the church members will pray up…

Then we can have a revival!

— R.G. Lee

The book of 2 Chronicles has been called The book of Revivals. Because from chapter 15 to chapter 35, Ezra records five revivals that each transformed the people and brought them back to God.

We’ve already walked through a couple of them together but here is a full list before we get to today’s teaching. 

REVIEW

The first revival took place under King Asa. God let Asa know that the eyes of the Lord roam throughout the earth to strongly support those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. 

Revival requires commitment.

The second revival took place under Jehoshaphat, who humbly admitted, “We do not know what to do, but we look to you.” 

Revival requires prayer.

The third revival took place under King Joash who reinstituted passionate giving and rebuilt the Temple with it. 

Revival requires a place.

The fourth revival took place under Hezekiah, who when he discovered that God required the Jews to hold a feast called Passover every April.

So, the people gathered for the Feast and revival broke out.

Revival requires God’s people to gather for worship. 

As the people gathered, they realized they hadn’t been serving the Lord faithfully. So they confessed and repented.

Revival requires repentance.

REVIEW

– Commitment

– Prayer

– A place

– Corporate worship

– And Repentance.

CONTEXT

People sometimes ask why God was so harsh in the Old Testament. Why did He punish people by allowing foreign armies to overtake them?

Let me read you a little bit about Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah from 2 Chronicles 33:2-6 says…

2 Chronicles 33:2–6 KJV

But did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, like unto the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. 

For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down, and he reared up altars for Baalim, and made groves, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them. 

Also he built altars in the house of the LORD, whereof the LORD had said, In Jerusalem shall my name be for ever. 

And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD. 

And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

Passing your children through the fire was a way of worshiping the god of the underworld. The child was passed through the fire as a sacrifice to the god Molech. If the child died, it meant your sacrifice was accepted. No wonder God was angry with them.

King Manasseh reigned for 55 years. His son Amon succeeded him for 2 years. Amon was so wicked, the people assassinated him.

Amon was succeeded by his son Josiah. 

I told you that Israel experienced 5 revivals. The 5th revival comes during Josiah’s reign. It’s his story we want to learn from today.

At the time Josiah comes to power, the kingdom is at an all-time low. 

– God is forsaken. 

– Baal is worshiped. 

– Witchcraft is practiced. 

– Mediums are consulted. 

All that is right is forsaken, and all that is wrong is exalted. 

Today we also face a culture that is at war with God. We also desperately need to see God raise up a revival to sweep through our churches, our towns, our states and our nation. Ezra wrote about this revival to encourage folks who have reaped the bitter fruit of consequences and judgement. He wrote to folks who needed to see that God can turn things around when we quit trying to follow our own formula for success. We can see the mighty Hand of God when we like Josiah seek Revival By the Book.

Do Right

2 Chronicles 34:1–2 KJV

Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem one and thirty years. 

And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined neither to the right hand, nor to the left.

 • Start be getting right – righteous or justified

Romans 5:1 KJV

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

 • Once you are justified by faith, follow righteousness.

1 Timothy 6:10–11 KJV

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 

But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

 • Stick with God’s word, don’t deviate into legalism or license.

Proverbs 4:27 KJV

Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: Remove thy foot from evil.

Seek After God

2 Chronicles 34:3 KJV

For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images.

 • Josiah was 16 when he started his passionate pursuit.

 • Seek His presence in prayer

 • Seek His wisdom in Counsel

 • Seek His power and protection in fellowship

2 Corinthians 6:17–18 KJV

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 

And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Clean Your Household

2 Chronicles 34:4–7 KJV

And they brake down the altars of Baalim in his presence; and the images, that were on high above them, he cut down; and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and strowed it upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them. 

And he burnt the bones of the priests upon their altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem. 

And so did he in the cities of Manasseh, and Ephraim, and Simeon, even unto Naphtali, with their mattocks round about. 

And when he had broken down the altars and the groves, and had beaten the graven images into powder, and cut down all the idols throughout all the land of Israel, he returned to Jerusalem.

Matthew 6:24 KJV

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

 • Do a fearless moral inventory.

 • Confess sinful actions or attitudes 

 • Confess idolatry

 • Get rid of anything that would help you hang on to these sinful habits and choices.

 • Make your commitment public.

Acts 19:18–20 KJV

And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. 

Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. 

So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.

Care For God’s House

2 Chronicles 34:8 KJV

Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land, and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of the LORD his God.

1 Timothy 3:15 KJV

But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Hebrews 10:24–25 KJV

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Get Back to the Book

 • Sometimes the Bible can get lost in the rubble of sin and idolatry

2 Chronicles 34:14–15 KJV

And when they brought out the money that was brought into the house of the LORD, Hilkiah the priest found a book of the law of the LORD given by Moses. 

And Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan.

 • Read it and weep

2 Chronicles 34:18–19 KJV

Then Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath given me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. 

And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he rent his clothes.

2 Chronicles 34:27 KJV

Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the LORD.

1 John 1:9 KJV

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Make a Public Commitment to God.

2 Chronicles 34:30–31 KJV

And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests, and the Levites, and all the people, great and small: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of the LORD. 

And the king stood in his place, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book.

 • Make the commitment to the Book

 • Make the commitment public

 • Take the lead.

2 Chronicles 34:32–33 KJV

And he caused all that were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. 

And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all that were present in Israel to serve, even to serve the LORD their God. And all his days they departed not from following the LORD, the God of their fathers.

As we finish a very turbulent year remember, God has designed every event to draw us closer to Him. He wants to lead us to and through personal and church wide revival. This will not happen by following our own clever formula. The steps are the same for us as they were for Josiah.

 • Get right and stay right

 • Seek after God

 • Clean your household.

 • Care for and get back to God’s House

 • Get Back to reading and living the Book

 • Make your commitment public

This is the final Sunday morning message of 2020. It is your chance to start the move toward revival. It is your chance, with God’s help to see personal restoration and to enter into 2021 Stronger Than Ever!

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:12 AM December 26, 2020.

In Your Darkest Moment

Saturday, December 5th, 2020

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Revival: Stronger Than Ever / Deliverance / 2 Chronicles 20:1–12

A preacher tells his personal story: One of my most vivid childhood memories is of an afternoon in sixth grade, when a friend and I decided to swing on a newly-installed bar hanging over the walkway on our way out of school. The bar was about 8 feet off the ground, just low enough for the two of us to reach if we jumped. 

So on the count of three we jumped. And a second later discovered that this bar wasn’t just a bar, it was actually a sprinkler pipe, under tremendous pressure. The pipe burst, we fell to the ground, and water began gushing everywhere… and it was unstoppable.

We did not know what to do, so we both ran home as fast as we could.

Today I want to introduce you to a man who did not know what to do, but his situation was a lot more serious than ours. 

He’s a man I’d like to meet some day.

He’s the son of Asa. His name is Jehoshaphat and he was the 6th king in the line of David. 

Ezra, our teacher, introduces him to us this way:

2 Chronicles 17:3–6 KJV

And the LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim; 

But sought to the LORD God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel. 

Therefore the LORD stablished the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought to Jehoshaphat presents; and he had riches and honour in abundance. 

And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the LORD: moreover he took away the high places and groves out of Judah.

If you’ve ever been in a tight spot, if you’ve ever been in a place where you didn’t know what to do, if you’ve ever felt like you’re facing an enemy who is bigger than you and could destroy you and all you hold dear, Jehoshaphat will be your hero. Because Jehoshaphat faced all of that and humbly confessed, “I don’t know what to do.” In front of God and everybody. 

And yet, he did exactly the right thing, eight times in a row. 

Let me show you his story. It’s in 2 Chronicles 20.

Jehoshaphat was 35 years old when he became king. And he reigned over Judah, the southern kingdom of Israel, for 25 years. Jehoshaphat’s story spans two wars and a bad marriage. I’ll tell you about the bad marriage next week. It almost wrecked the kingdom, and almost scuttled God’s plans to send a Messiah through the line of David. – Don’t miss next week!

2 Chronicles 20:1–2 KJV

It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle. 

Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazon-tamar, which is En-gedi.

The Ammonites, Moabites and Edomites all lived on the east side of the Dead Sea. Their nations had been conquered under King David, and now were rebelling. 

How would you feel if you got word that a huge army, much bigger than your own, was coming to get you? What would you do? Well…

2 Chronicles 20:3–4 KJV

And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 

And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.

Set Yourself To Seek The Lord

 p?n?h (??????, 6437), “to turn towards, turn back, turn around, attach to, pass away, make clear.” This verb also appears in Syriac and post-biblical Hebrew and post-biblical Aramaic. Related verbs which have the same radicals with a somewhat different meaning occur in Arabic and Ethiopic. The Bible attests p?n?h about 155 times and in all periods.

W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 271.

The King’s dad was taught this lesson:

2 Chronicles 16:9 KJV

For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.

Fast

Matthew 17:19–21 KJV

Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 

And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 

Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

Come Together With God’s People

2 Chronicles 20:4 KJV

And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.

  • Look To God As Your Only Hope 
  • Declare His Power

2 Chronicles 20:5–6 KJV

And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court, 

And said, O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?

  • Declare His Relationship With His People

2 Chronicles 20:7–8 KJV

Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever? 

And they dwelt therein, and have built thee a sanctuary therein for thy name, saying,

  • Declare His Past Deliverance

2 Chronicles 20:9 KJV

If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help.

  • Declare The Present Need

2 Chronicles 20:10–11 KJV

And now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and mount Seir, whom thou wouldest not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them, and destroyed them not; 

Behold, I say, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of thy possession, which thou hast given us to inherit.

  • Declare Total Dependence Upon God.

2 Chronicles 20:12 KJV

O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.

  • God’s Answer – When You Look To God, God Looks Back To You!

2 Chronicles 20:13–15 KJV

And all Judah stood before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives, and their children. 

Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the LORD in the midst of the congregation; 

And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

APPLICATION

How many times have you faced something terrible and felt like you were all alone in it?

Friend, if you are committed to the Lord, if you are wholeheartedly devoted to Him, 

if you have said, “Lord, live your life through me, and I will live for you for the rest of my life,” then the eyes of the Lord are on you, to strengthen you. The battle you are facing is not yours, but God’s.”

2 Chronicles 20:16 KJV

To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel.

Join In Congregational Worship

Tekoa is about 12 miles south of Jerusalem. It’s a fairly easy hike, since it’s all downhill. Just before they started the hike, the text says…

2 Chronicles 20:19–20 KJV

And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with a loud voice on high. 

And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.

Sing!

2 Chronicles 20:21 KJV

And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.

Who would have thought that a major move to defeat an enemy would involve music and voices?

Now, bear in mind, Jehoshaphat and all the people don’t know what’s happened on the battlefield. They haven’t arrived yet. They’re just marching along singing. 

2 Chronicles 20:24 KJV

And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped.

RECAP

Here’s the story. And it’s a true story: once upon a time, there was a big bad army coming against the people of God. The people did not know what to do, but they resolved to seek the Lord. They gathered together; they fasted; they prayed; they heard a word from God from one of His spokesmen; and they worshiped. They began to sing, and God performed a miracle: He ambushed their enemies… and the people lived happily ever after!

But wait! There’s more:

2 Chronicles 20:25 KJV

And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much.

“Beracah” means, “blessing.” The place became the Valley of Blessing.

Jehoshaphat’s seventh strategic move was…

Bless The Lord

2 Chronicles 20:27–29 KJV

Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for the LORD had made them to rejoice over their enemies. 

And they came to Jerusalem with psalteries and harps and trumpets unto the house of the LORD. 

And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel.

This is the revival under King Jehoshaphat: A terrible disaster looks like it’s going to ruin the nation. Nobody knows what to do. But one man, the king, stands up and says, “I’m going to seek the Lord.”

He asks the nation to join him, in fasting, in gathering together to pray and ask God to deliver them. God answers through Jahaziel. “I’ve got this.” He says. “The battle is mine. I invite you to come and watch.”

The people believe. They bow down to thank God in faith for what He’s going to do, and they rise up and praise Him with singing. Early the next morning, they sing their way to the battlefield, where, instead of having to engage the enemy, they find out that the enemy has engaged themselves.

So the people help themselves to the spoils, return home and hold another worship service, and then they enjoy the eighth and final strategic move which is…

Rest!

2 Chronicles 20:30 KJV

So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet: for his God gave him rest round about.

So, when we are facing our darkest moment, what should we do?

 • Seek the Lord

 • Fast

 • Fellowship

 • Pray Boldly – look God in the eyes

 • Worship with the Congregation

 • Sing!

 • Praise God

 • Rest

We learned last week that God is waiting to show Himself strong on behalf of the heart who is perfect toward Him… this is the path to having that perfect, focused heart. This is what to do in your darkest moment.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 4:03 PM December 5, 2020.

Salt of the Earth

Friday, November 6th, 2020

Salt of the Earth

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Influence; A Witness / Matthew 5:13

In 1871 the New York Herald sent Henry Stanley to Africa in search of the missionary, David Livingstone, who was long overdue. After unbelievable hardships, the journalist found the explorer in central Africa, where he spent four months with him. Stanley went to Africa a conceited and confirmed atheist, but Livingstone’s influence, gentleness, genuineness, goodness, and zeal won Stanley. Stanley became a Christian, saying, “I was converted by him, although he had not tried to do it.”

David Livingston made a difference everywhere he went, not because he was an effective Jesus salesman, but because he knew what it was like to be salt and light. 2020 has been a year like no other. In America, we face division, deception, and depression both as a society and as individuals. We cannot trust the election process, the information and recommendations about COVID, or even the ability to transmit uncensored truth to our friends and family on social media. Tensions are running high, there is talk of violence and patriots rising up to shed the blood of tyrants. What is a believer to do?

Today we are going to look at a two part message on how Jesus wants us to respond to a lost world around us. With talk of distrust and unrest, we do not need to add to the agitation, we need to heed the words of our Savior. This morning we are going to discover that we, as born again believers, can make a difference in a corrupt and tasteless society by being the Salt of the Earth.

Believers are the Salt of the Earth.

Matthew 5:13 KJV

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

 Salt is one of the most common substances on the earth and cannot be destroyed by fire or time. Also known as “white gold,” it is one of the most significant substances in history, along with iron, gold, and wheat. In ancient societies it was a valuable social and economic commodity… In ancient Egypt it was a symbol of luxury, and Egyptians used it in the mummification of their dead and to preserve olives and fish. At one point in the history of the early Roman Empire, salt from the sea was brought inland and sold for slaves.

  Salt has also served as a significant figurative symbol. Sharing salt was a symbol of friendship and hospitality, and ancient conflicts concluded with a meal consisting of bread and salt as a symbol of friendship (Aristotle, Eudemian Ethics 7.2.46; Cicero, Treatise of Friendship 19.67). One who violated the eating of salt was a traitor (Demosthenes, On the Embassy 191). Salt was also viewed as a divine gift (Plutarch, Symposium 5.10.2; Homer, Iliad 9.214).1

1 Robert G. Rayburn II, “Salt,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).

Salt as a Symbol of Life

 In the biblical world, salt was associated with life due to its uses as a preservative, a purifying agent, and a seasoning. Many of the symbols attached to salt reflect its practical uses. For example, because salt can delay the rotting or decaying process when rubbed into meat, it is a symbol of incorruptibility. Salt was also a symbol of provision, and eating someone’s “bread and salt” left the eater obligated to the giver (Ezra 4:14). Other practical uses of salt attested in the ancient world include:1

1 Robert G. Rayburn II, “Salt,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).

Years ago when William Burt, a Methodist bishop, retired, he received a bound book of autographed tributes from those who had served with him on a certain board of the denomination. The following letter is a tribute concerning his Christian influence:

Dear Bishop Burt:

Your years have passed like sunlight. They were beautiful, and filled with service in the old world and in the new. God has been with you, and you have been with God.

Would you might live a hundred years to bless mankind, but wherever you are, in earth or heaven, you will like the place. You make it good to live where you are around.

You have blessed my life, and I want to live with you forever in the skies.

Your brother everywhere,

William A. Quayle

1 G. Curtis Jones, 1000 Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1986), 182.

Stay Salty My Friend

Matt 5:13

…Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted?

Prevent Rot

Leviticus 2:13 KJV

And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.

Purify What is Corrupted

2 Kings 2:19–22 KJV

And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water is naught, and the ground barren. 

And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him. 

And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the LORD, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land. 

So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake.

Protect Newborns

Ezekiel 16:4 KJV

And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all.

However, the Bible doesn’t say that salt protects an infant from spiritual harm or that God requires babies to be dedicated to Him through salt ceremonies.

Historians cite some traditionally accepted beliefs for washing babies in salted water, or rubbing them with salt powder, or massaging them with salted oil. The earliest documentation they mention is a treatise written in 100 AD by Soranus of Ephesus, a Greek obstetrician, pediatrician and gynecologist who practiced medicine in first century Alexandria and Rome. Soranus’ work set the standards for medical treatment of women and children for 1500 years.[1] In his document, “On Midwifery and the Diseases of Women,” Soranus recommends sprinkling babies with powdery salt to cut through any placental remains and birth residue on the infant’s skin. He believed salt mixed with honey, olive oil, barley juice, fenugreek or mallow should be massaged into a baby’s skin then washed away with warm water.[2] The only other old reference I found was a comment attributed to Rabbi Isaac ben Judah Arabanel that salting the infant strengthened its skin.[3]

The few commentators (Clarke, Gill) who expound the salt element of Ezekiel 16:4 state that it was believed by some to be healthful, as it purportedly:

 • promoted greater firmness to the skin by constricting the pores

 • cleansed from blood

 • prevented putrefaction,hardened the flesh,

 • dried up moisture,purged the skin,

 • softened the skin,

 • disinfected,

 • strengthened immunity,

 • improved wound healing,

 • prevented rashes, and

 • created an environment inhospitable to bacteria.

Make Spiritual Food Taste Better.

Job 6:6–7 KJV

Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? Or is there any taste in the white of an egg? 

The things that my soul refused to touch Are as my sorrowful meat.

Colossians 4:6 KJV

Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Make People Thirsty for Living Water

Matthew 5:6 KJV

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

John 4:13–14 KJV

Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 

But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Don’t Become Tasteless and Useless Salt

Matthew 5:13 KJV

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

 Unsalty salt is a contradiction in terms (“like water losing its wetness,” Betz); if it is not salty, it is not salt. But salt as used in the ancient world was seldom pure sodium chloride. The “salt” collected around the Dead Sea contained a mixture of other minerals,14 and it is possible to imagine the true salt content being washed out, leaving a useless residue. In any case, Jesus is not teaching chemistry, and the ludicrous imagery of trying to “salt” that which should itself be the source of saltiness is a powerful indictment of disciples who have lost their distinctiveness and so no longer have anything to contribute to society. The verb which I have translated “becomes tasteless” more literally means “becomes foolish.” The apparently inappropriate verb points to the metaphorical role of the salt here, to symbolize the wholesome flavor of wisdom which disciples are to contribute. We use “taste” to speak of an aesthetic rather than an intellectual quality, but “tasteless” perhaps goes some way towards catching what may have been a more obvious double-entendre in Hebrew and Aramaic, where the verb t?p?l can mean both to be tasteless and to be foolish. The trampling of the tasteless “salt” does not have to imply that it then finds a useful role as surfacing for a path; it is simply thrown out into the street as refuse.171

1 R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publication Co., 2007), 174–175.

It is understandable to be upset about the things happening in our nation. The hard sad truth is that we can’t do anything about that stuff, nor should we. The election is over. There are checks and balances in place if something funky is happening.  And if those folks miss it, God will not. We need to trust Him.

We can and must however, make a difference in our own circles of influence. As believers we have made to be salt. We need to stay salty. We need to:

 • Prevent Rot

 • Purify what has been corrupted

 • Protect Newborn Believers

 • Help Spiritual Truth Taste Better when seasoning it with our lives and personalities

 • And create a thirst for Jesus Christ, the Living water who is the only one that will ultimately make a difference.

When Robert Burns, the eighteenth-century Scottish poet, was at the height of his literary popularity, he observed the admiration of a small boy who followed him around. One day he turned and said to the lad, “Walter, what do you want?” The boy answered that some day he, too, wanted to be a writer. Whereupon Burns laid His hand on the lad’s head and said, “You can be a great writer some day, Walter, and you will be.” The boy became the enviable and prolific novelist, Sir Walter Scott.1

1 G. Curtis Jones, 1000 Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1986), 182.

Do not become apathetic and complacent. You are the Salt of the Earth.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:20 PM November 6, 2020.