Essays 4

1   2   3   4 

What About Me?
If Only
A Testimony
A Prayer for Believers
Jesus Says
An Invitation

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What About Me? 

Of course one should be concerned about the events of ones life.  After all, I am the one who has to live it.  I am the one affected most directly by my circumstances.  What can we do to assure our circumstances are ones we can live with?  Who doesn't want happiness, joy and peace? 

Who hasn't had unpleasant circumstance, beyond personal control?  Who hasn't been caught up into unpleasant situations not of our own making? 

Jesus mentioned a tragedy of his own day.  A tower had fallen on some people, by accident.  It killed and maimed many.  Jesus asked if anyone thought these people deserved this calamity.  He worded the question carefully.  He answered
"Nay," and pointed out the soul not supported by God will die.
      (Luke 13:1-5) 

Jesus also, after healing a man said, ". . . sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee."  He would not have told him to sin no more if the man were not capable of doing it.  There are also many circumstances within our control.  Many of our problems are caused by us.  If we would only listen and follow the directions, we could escape much heartache and personal sorrow.   
(John 5:1-15) 

But how does one avoid life's pitfalls?  Through prayer, wisdom, and understanding. The book of Proverbs gives practical instruction on avoiding many of our self caused injuries.  Common sense and effort can help us avoid so many more.  In the end, it is God who gives wisdom.

"Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee:  love her, and she shall keep thee.  Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.  Exalt her, and she shall promote thee:  she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her."
      (Proverbs 4:5-8; Proverbs 4:1-27)

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, he does not hold back and condemn; and it shall be given him."   
       (James 1:5 paraphrase)

If Only! 

If only I had done

what I knew I should do,

when I should have done it. 

Woe is me! 

How many times have you said, or heard someone else say, "If only . . . . . ." 

If only I had more money.  If only I was smarter.  If only Joe wasn't so difficult.  If only God would give me a clear sign. 

The error of this kind of thinking is obvious to most people.  Yet we are still guilty of blaming our difficulties on outside influence, when things don't go our way. 

Often it is true.  If only things were different, life would be easier.  If only we had the strength to change whatever needs changing.  We would have power to direct our lives. 

If our realization, things should be different, spurs us to do something about it, good.  If our 'onlys' are just wistful thinking, with no effort on our part, what good are they.  Our 'onlys' require us to do something, or grin and bear it.  We cannot allow them to become excuses, thought of too late to profit us. 

A Testimony 

This testimony is not supposed to be a comment or judgment toward my father or uncle or anyone in my family.  This is just a relation of events as they occurred. 

My father was an atheist in his earlier years, and said God was a figment of the imagination, concocted by man to explain things mankind doesn't understand.  In short, there is no God.  As he has mellowed in many ways, now he says he just doesn't know if there is a God, or not, but is inclined to disbelieve it.  My father's brother, my uncle, is a Baptist minister, and has been one most of his adult life. 

When I was about 12 years old, I went with my grandmother, my father and uncle's mother, to my uncle's church for Mother's Day service.  Being a young boy, I didn't pay much attention to what was being said, most of the time.  But what I did hear of the truth, I believed.  Then, from the pulpit, a call was made for anyone who felt the need to give themselves to Jesus to come up front and be saved, as the Baptist denomination is accustomed to doing in their services. 

A small quiet voice came to me and said, "Go Kenneth.  Yes, I want you."  I stood up, to the amazement of my family, and came forward.  I don't remember much of what was said to me after that.  I just remember crying, and pulling the petals off of my flower corsage, and knowing this was true, Jesus loved me, and wanted me. 

When I got home, and Dad learned of this event, he took me aside and told me how silly I was, and how belief in God was belief in myths and fables. 

He told me he didn't appreciate others taking advantage of an impressionable young mind.  I'm sure he may have had words for my uncle also.  I dropped the subject, and didn't mention God to him again for a number of years. 

When I was seventeen, I had opportunity to begin learning much more about God and Jesus.  I accepted what I learned.  I heard, and knew, these things were true. 

On a certain day, a day I will never forget, the Lord came to me and said, "Ken, get yourself baptized, before it rains."  I looked up.  Not a cloud in the sky. 

A telephone call came in.  The family's restaurant had suffered a major equipment breakdown.  My Dad and I went to the restaurant to fix it.  On the way there I noticed dark clouds blowing in from the west.  Again, the still small voice said, "Ken, get yourself baptized, before it rains." 

The equipment was broken.  A part was needed from out of town.  We had to go get the part. 

All the way there, and all the way back this thought would not go away.  All the way there and back I thought, "I have got to do it now."  All the way there, and all the way back, the clouds would come and go. The clouds were like, . . . on hold . . .    waiting. 

We  got the part.  We fixed the equipment.  I was supposed to start work soon.  A friend and fellow employee said he would stay over for me.  I called my Dad, my boss and employer. 

He was not happy. Any other time, no problem on someone covering your shift, for a while.  The clouds were thick, the clouds were dark.  The clouds were like, . . . on hold . . . waiting.  Sorry Dad, I'll be at work about 6. 

I called my girl.  I went to my preacher's house.  I said I need to get baptized, now.  We went to the lake.  I was baptized. 

On the trip back to my minister friend's house I was joyful, ecstatic, extremely happy.  As we approached his home, the rain pounding the windows of the truck made its presence known to me.  It poured.  I stayed outside for a few minutes, excusing myself to my friends.  I had to thank the Lord. 

Much water has passed under the bridge since then.  My father and I still don't discuss religion much.  Every once in a while the subject comes up. 

I have seen the Lord's hand in my life many times since then.  And seen the Lord working in others.  The Lord is great.  The Lord is grand.  Praise be the name of the Lord. 

A Prayer for Believers 

Our Father, Our Only Heavenly Father, You Only are Holy.  And Holy is Your Name.  Please bring us, Your servants, into Your Kingdom, and quickly.  Please bring us Your Kingdom.  Please bring us your will and purpose, planned from the foundation of Your Kingdom, here on Earth, as we know you rule in Heaven.  Please supply our needs, as You have, and You promise to do.  Let us never murmur against thee or forget thee.  We will remember how much we owe You.  Father, please help us to not be tempted by trinkets placed before us.  Deliver us from evil.  Everything is Yours.  You, only, have all power, and the power of Life.  It is Your Kingdom, And Your Glory.  For Ever, and Ever, Eternal.  Amen.  So be it! 

Dear God, 

We are sorry for our shortcomings.  We are tired of ourselves.  We don't do what we should.  We do what we should not.  You can heal us.  You have our cure.  You do keep us stable now.  You do supply our necessities now.  We do not have contempt for the blessings you bestow.  We thank You for the blessings you give, both those we see and understand, and those blessings we are unaware of.  But Lord, but Father, please give us your promise.  We so desire You to claim Your own.  Please count me, and us, worthy to accept your grace.  Save us your people cry.

Lord be with us daily in our trials of life.  We know they are but an instant, and You will see us through those trials, but they are difficult at this time.  We believe Lord, help our unbelief.  We thank You greatly for Your great salvation.  And we praise You Lord for Your Great Love.  In Jesus Name we pray, Amen. 

Jesus Says

"If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself."    (John 7:17) 

"In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink."     (John 7:37) 

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:  and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."    (Matthew 11:28-30) 

"Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."
      (Mark 8:34) 

"Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousnes to the  plummet:  and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, . . ."       (Isaiah 28:17) 

"And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened:  and another book was opened, which is the book of life:  and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.  This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth:  for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea."      (Revelation 20:11  thru  Revelation 21:1) 

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain:  for the former things are passed away.  And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.  And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.  And he said unto me, It is done.  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.  I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.  He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone:  which is the second death."    (Revelation 21:4-8) 

"And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb."    (Revelation 22:1) 

"And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.  Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.  For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.  I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches.  I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.  And the Spirit and the bride say, Come.  And let him that heareth say, Come.  And let him that is athirst come.  And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.  For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:  And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.  He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly.  Amen.  Even so, come, Lord Jesus.  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.  Amen."    (Revelation 22:12-21) 

"Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.  And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.  . . . For, behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: . . ."        (Malachi 3:16-17, 4:1;   see Malachi 3:1 thru 4:6) 

"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life:  he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:  And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.  Believest thou this?"      (John 11:25-26) 

"The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee."    (Jeremiah 31:3) 

Thank you for reading this book.  I hope it provides you with some service and comfort.  May the Lord bless you and keep you surrounded by good things.  Lord, make us worthy of you. 

Jesus is Coming Soon!

An Invitation 

Jesus said, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations. . . and , lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.  Amen."      (Matthew 28:18-20)

Most Christians have this desire in them:  The desire to tell of Christ's love for them;  The desire to tell others of their love for Him. 

In me this desire has always been great.  But often there was no way for me to express to my friends and loved ones the meaning the gospel message has for me. 

Often, you cannot just go up to your relatives and friends and say "Jesus loves you,"  or talk to them of your faith.  One is usually much less able to talk of religious things with acquaintances, much less still to strangers. 

The Lord has given me the task of publishing this little book.  So I must do it.  I invite you to help me.  I invite any and all readers of this book to help spread the news.   Jesus is coming back soon!

Write me.  I'll send you order forms for this book.  Or copy the order forms in the back of this volume.  Give them away to everyone you can.  Order an extra copy of this book for yourself, and loan it out.  Say to your favorite uncle, aunt, cousin or friend,  "Here, read this, tell me what you think.  Tell me how you feel about this." 

Use the forms in the back of  this book and suggest to someone they should get and read a copy, or write us for copies of our flyer.  You do not have to believe all the statements or conclusions contained here.  God can multiply even the smallest of efforts to His greater glory.

Jesus is coming back soon.  You can believe this.  You can bank on it.  He is coming back in glory, in the glory of God, to claim all that is His.

May the Lord bless you and keep you.  Amen.

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