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Archive for June, 2015

The “Star” and Stripes

 

The blueness of a wound cleanses away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly.   – Proverbs 20:30

As we celebrate our nations freedom this Fourth of July words such as freedom, liberty, independence, and rights are used. Yet, we have a generation who believes that they automatically have natural liberties and no one can take them away. We have a generation who does not acknowledging the sacrifice of those who came before them to purchase their rights and freedom. We have a generation who are quick to remind others of their “rights” and knows nothing about self-sacrifice. What this generation does not understand is that there is no such thing as “free for nothing.” When it comes to our national and religious freedoms, someone – somewhere gave his or her life for our freedoms.

Our national freedom and religious liberty is displayed all across our nation by the flag. The American Flag represents the life giving sacrifice by many from all fifty states and from different generations. As the flag is raised high upon a pole the colors stand out majestically. The white stars, the blue background, along with the red stripes declare the freedom and liberty for a people.

The ole Stars and Stripes upon that flagpole would not be – were it not for another pole where freedom hung two thousand years ago. The “Star” that came out of Jacob (Numbers 24:17) hung upon a wooden pole with His arms stretched out. This “Star” had deep blue wounds upon His face from the Roman beatings. This “Star” had crimson red stripes across His back from the whips He received. This “Star” was pure in the sight of God, and had no personal sin.   The colors of this “Star,” rose high upon a wooden pole and stood out majestically declaring freedom and liberty from the oppression of sin and guilt.

In our verse we see that the “blueness” of a wound cleanses away evil and how “stripes” cleanses the inward parts of a person. The blue wounds and the crimson stripes could not cleanse the “Star” that came out of Jacob, simply because there was no evil, and nothing impure in Him.   Therefore the cleansing power of the blue wounds and the scarlet stripes were for those the “Star” represented.   It is for those who believe and receive this “Star” by faith!

As the ole Stars and Stripes are raised high upon a pole for all to see the freedom and liberty purchased by the self-sacrifice of others. So it is, that the wooden pole that hung Jesus Christ, the “Star,” was for all to see the purchase of freedom from sin by His self-sacrifice. The “Star” stretched out His arms upon that pole displaying His blue wounds and scarlet stripes for all who want freedom from sin and guilt.

May we never look at the American Flag the same again!

(Published in the Marshall County Tribune)

David C. Hale, pastor

New Life Community Church

1001 Easy Street

Lewisburg, TN 37091

Summer Time?

Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter.  Psalm 74:17

Summer time is a period during the year where barbeques, bike rides, baseball games, lightning bugs, home made ice cream, watermelon, fishing poles, and swimming pools capture much of our time.

Summer time is a season during the year where we are surrounded by green grass, and abundant tree leaves. Naturally decorative flowers are in full bloom. Grazing cattle and prancing horses accompany the countryside. Row after row of big leafy corn stalks dominate the background. Neighboring fields are carpeted with red clover majestically reaching toward the sun, while hay bales rule over the rolling hills. Truly, the naturally quilted patchwork of the landscape is beautiful to behold.

Summer time! Have you ever wondered why we call summer – summer? Is it something that just evolved from society? If so, then why does the earth rotate around the sun? Why is the earth’s axis tilted approximately 23.5 degrees? Why does the earth spin at approximately 1000 miles per hour to produce the different seasons of the year?   Why is summer so hot but yet we are not burned up as some other planets? Even though we may have an oddity of cooler days during the summer or warmer day during the winter the proclivity or natural tendency is the season by which it is called.   Why is this? Did summer just develop accidentally by a random process of chance, or is there evidence of a Prime Mover in sovereign control?

Summer time has the apparent logical evidence of a Designer or Creator. The only one who would have this kind of power to design and create must be God. Man has a hard time forecasting the weather a day ahead with true accuracy so how could he control the seasons? Therefore it must be a power far beyond man. It must be God who is in control.

God our Creator has set all the borders and limitation of each season. God sovereignly conducts the climate change of each appointed season so that it naturally orchestrates the beauty and power of His glory by sustaining all His creatures. By His mighty hand one season cannot overtake another season until its appointed time. That is why it does not snow in the middle of August. Only God by His own power and will, could have sovereign dominion to control and sustain every season in its appointed time throughout all the earth.

So why is summer time called summer? Our answer is not in what we see, not in what we enjoy, not in what we experience, nor what society has adopted. Summer is called summer simply because the Sovereign God who made summer, called it summer. That is what our scripture says, “…thou has made summer…”

(Published in the Marshall County Tribune)

David C. Hale, pastor

New Life Community Church

1001 Easy Street

Lewisburg, TN

Categories: Uncategorized

The Father’s Honor

“Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me.” –   John 8:49

 

On July 19, 1910 the governor of Washington proclaimed the nations first “Father’s Day.” During the 1920’s and 30’s there was a movement to scrap all Mother’s and Father’s Day celebration in favor of a single holiday called, “Parents Day.”   This did not get much traction especially once World War II began. When the war began, celebrating Father’s Day became a way to honor the American troops since many were fathers. Even though it was not a federal holiday, Father’s Day was observed everywhere by the end of the war. It was not until 1972 that President Richard Nixon signed a proclamation making Father’s Day a federal holiday.

To honor your Father is a good thing. It demonstrates a loving and an obedient heart, and that is what our Lord Jesus did. The Lord Jesus lived in such a way that He demonstrated His special relationship with God as His Father. This set Him apart from all other religious leaders. All other religions do not have their god as a father. This led the religious leaders of His day to be envious, and resentful. They could not explain His miracles and His special relationship to God so in turn they falsely accused Jesus of being demon possessed. If Jesus had an evil spirit in Him, He would not have declared His love and honor to God as His Father.

Referring to God as Father was not in the mind of Jews. Therefore they accused Jesus of being demon possessed which also led them to kill Him according to John 5:18. There are a few times in the Old Testament where God is referred to as father. David, in Psalm 89:26 wrote, “Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.”   In Psalm 68:5 God is called a “father of the fatherless.” Even though God has been, and always will be our Father, this relational concept of God being our Father was revealed in its fullness once Jesus, the Son of God, came.   The Lord Jesus came on a mission to fulfill the Old Covenant Jewish law-system, and to establish the New Covenant relationship of grace.

Jesus taught what His Father taught. Jesus did the works that He saw His Father do. Jesus was revealing the Father’s love, and this intimate Fatherly relationship with God in heaven is heavily emphasized in the New Covenant.

As a believer, thank your Heavenly Father for your earthly father and reflect on their wisdom. It is never too late to put into practice their wisdom and experience. “Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old” Proverbs 23:22. In so doing you will be honoring your father on earth and in heaven.   Happy Father’s Day!

(Published in the Marshall County Tribune)

David C. Hale, pastor

New Life Community Church

1001 Easy Street

Lewisburg, TN 37091

Categories: Uncategorized

Empty Flour Sacks

He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent away empty.  Luke 1:53

 

God has great generosity to feed multitudes from His storehouses. The poor and rich are equally dependent upon Him for daily provisions. The poor man comes through a sense of his need, and God feeds him.   When the rich man comes in the lust of gain, to add more to his abundance, God sends him away empty.

Jack hitched up his horse and wagon and was sent off to the granary mill to buy a sack full of flour for his mother. His mother gave him the right amount of money for a full sack of white flour, but before Jack got to the mill he was caught up into a game of chance with some of the schoolboys. Jack lost almost every thing. With what money he had left he went to the granary and asked the mill-owner to fill up his flour sack and promised that he would pay him when he could. The mill-owner said that he couldn’t do business that way. So Jack got as much flour as he could. The flour barely covered the bottom of the sack. When Jack arrived home he tried to set the empty sack upright in the bin.   His mother walked in and said, “It’s hard to make an empty sack stand upright.” Jack then confessed what happened and promised to do right the next time. The only problem was that his promises to the mill-owner and to his mother didn’t fill the flour sack.

A person full of promises and good intentions will come to their wits end trying to make their empty flour sack stand upright. Most make themselves promises, or promise others of doing better in order to fill their sack. In all of their sincerity their promises barely cover the bottom of their sack.

When we do right the God of Righteousness fills our flour sacks.   This is not only teaching about our daily needs and provision, it is also for those who hunger “after righteousness” (Matthew 5:6). For those with spiritual hunger God fills their spiritual flour sacks with “good things” as well.

God’s “good things” of salvation is what should be in our spiritual sacks. All hope of salvation by our own good works or good intensions are foolish attempts to make empty sacks stand upright. Those who come full of themselves with an abundance of works God sends away empty.   Empty flour sacks can’t even stand upright in a church any better than in a granary bin. We all at our best are empty flour sacks unless the pure white merits of Christ’s flour are poured into us to fill us up so that we may stand upright before God. Oh what good news – there is a full Christ for empty sinners!

(Published in the Marshall County Tribune)

David C. Hale, pastor

New Life Community Church

1001 Easy Street

Lewisburg, TN 37091

Categories: Uncategorized

Energized Prayer!!!

“…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”  –  James 5:16

 

There are many passages in the bible about prayer but this passage of scripture in James is so important because it highlights or accentuates prayer. Pray should not be an exercise that we do out of duty. It should not be cold, routine, or indifferent, but according to our verse it should be “effectual” and “fervent.”

An “effectual fervent” prayer means an “inner energetic working” prayer. This kind of energized prayer comes from God’s Spirit working deep within us so that we can pray supernaturally according to His will (1 John 5:14). This “inner energetic” prayer is something that you cannot see, you cannot conceive, you cannot contrive, and you cannot conjure up. “For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” Philippians 2:13.

When we pray we are getting God’s attention, but when we enter into that Spirit led “effectual fervent” prayer – that grabs a hold of God’s heart, and our prayers become effective and “avails much.” We see this to be true because the first century early Church grew mightily because they were mighty in that “effectual fervent” prayer. This empowered them to spread the good news of Jesus Christ, the Savior for sinners. If the first century Christians advanced on their knees with their heads bowed toward heaven should not the twenty-first century Christians do the same?

Take a step back and look at modern Christianity and compare it to the early Church. The early Church did not have puppet shows, bowling alleys, and costume parties – but they had God’s special attention through their “effectual fervent” prayers. In the book of Acts hundreds and even thousands were being saved by prayer bathed evangelism. They had such an energetic prayer for the glory of God to save the lost that God heard their prayers and answered them.

God can sovereignly do all things without us, but He has sovereignly determined to involve us by “effectual fervent” prayers. Whether it’s a long or short prayer it does not matter. What matters is that there is a deep inner energetic work in our very spirit and soul reaching out to touch the heart of God.

This kind of “effectual fervent” prayer is not for “super-spiritual-Christians” – whatever that is? This “effectual fervent” prayer is available for every Christian if they want it. Our Lord Jesus instructed us in Luke 11:13 that our heavenly Father will “give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him.” So whatever needs that we have to overcome our weakness in prayer and enter into that “effectual fervent” prayer is only an “asking” away. God has given us the Holy Spirit to help us in our prayers – so simply ask! Ask for the Spirit’s help for that “effectual fervent” or “inner energized” prayer that “avails much.”

 (Published in the Marshall County Tribune)

David C. Hale, pastor

email: reasons4believing@gmail.com

Categories: Uncategorized

The Gospel according to Bunny!

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast. – Ephesians 2:8,9

 

There are truly many ideas in our religious world about how a person is “saved.”  Yet, all agree that there is a need for salvation. All the world religions agree on the way a person is saved, except for Christianity.  All the religions of the world believe that they must “do” some kind of “work” to merit their way into the better life to come, except Christianity.  Christianity holds to the biblical teaching that salvation is by “grace” through “faith” alone, and that salvation is “the gift of God” apart from human efforts called “works.”  Mankind is so ingrained with a works mentality of “do right”-“live right” in order to receive eternal life that when the freedom of “grace” is shared they don’t know how to act.  This reminds me of Bunny the Elephant.

There was an animal trainer who was in charge of the elephant exhibit and one day while the school children were visiting the zoo they stopped by to see Bunny the Elephant.  They watched as Bunny performed her tricks.  The children were amazed because the trainer led Bunny the Elephant with a very slim and tiny rope.  The school children asked the trainer how he could control that huge animal with such a small rope?  Bunny was so enormous that there was no way that that small rope could restrain her 7000 pounds of strength.  The trainer said that when Bunny was born they immediately put a rope around her and at that time, being a newborn elephant, the rope could control and restrain her.  As she grew they did not have to change the size of the rope, because it was ingrained into her thinking and into her mind set that that rope controls her, restrains her, and she could go nowhere without it.  Nevertheless in reality she could break the rope like a piece of thread.  Then one of the children asked the trainer, “What would happen if you took the rope off to set her free?”  Well, years later, Bunny retired to an elephant sanctuary where they took off the rope and set her free.  At first she slowly roamed around not knowing what to do, but then she made a loud elephant noise of joy and enjoyed her newfound freedom away from concrete floors and dry bails of hay.

When we first heard of the good news of salvation by grace, we were like Bunny the Elephant – we didn’t know what to do!  Yet, once we received the truth that we are made free by God’s grace through His Son Jesus Christ, we quickly adapted to our new spiritual environment and made a joyful noise to the LORD – as did Bunny!

 (Published in the Marshall County Tribune) 

David C. Hale, pastor

email:   reasons4believeing@gmail.com

Categories: Uncategorized