A WILL TO DO RIGHT – some commitments to the heavenly Father

King David was a man after God’s own heart (I Samuel 13:14). Even with his many sins, God continued to see David as a man that loved and trusted in Him as the one he should serve.

In Psalms 119, David wrote some compelling words about his commitment to God. The words of David show how he felt about obeying his Creator. Remember that he had been on the side of disobedience more than once; but with each act of disobedience, he displayed heart-felt repentance and determination to do better.

In this beautiful Psalm, David makes some commitments to his heavenly Father. He said:

“I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules” (verse 7).
“I will keep your statutes” (verse 8).
“I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways” (verse 15).
“I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word” (verse 16).
“I will meditate on your wondrous works” (verse 27).
“I will run in the way of your commandments” (verse 32).
“I will keep your law continually, forever and ever” (verse 44).
“I promise to keep your words” (verse 57).

We could go on through the chapter with other promises David made, but I want us to focus on verses 105-112. In these verses, David explained what God’s word could do for us. These verses are why I love the Bible.

First, the Bible gives us direction for our lives. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” The Word of God is like a lamp that lays out a path for our lives and shows us where we are going, making our path safe. It can keep us from stumbling and helps us avoid the potholes of life.

Life is hard enough without having to go it alone. God’s commands cover every aspect of our lives. His son experienced everything we experience, yet without sin. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

Second, God’s word revives me and restores my spirit. David said, “I am severely afflicted; give me life, O LORD, according to your word!”

David knew that God’s word would revive and restore him because he had been afflicted. Psalm 119:17 says, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statues”. Those afflictions caused David to learn from doing wrong and made him more determined to be an obedient servant of God.

Third, the commandments of God help us with our struggles with our enemies. Matthew 5:43-45 says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

Lastly, the commandments of God are our heritage. “Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart.”

Something that is a heritage is something of value. It is a treasured possession, one to be protected, cared for, cherished. So are the commandments of God to be treasured, protected, cared for, and cherished.

So many people find delight in wickedness and disobedience of God’s laws. Here we see that the only true pleasure comes from complete obedience. That’s where true joy is.

Years ago I was part of a conversation about worldliness. The group was discussing drinking and the right or wrong of it. One of the women in the group made this statement, “Well, I always wondered how far back I would be in the line going into hell.”

This woman did not pretend to be living a Christian life. She does not expect to enter eternity and hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:21). She expects to spend eternity with the devil and his angels.

This is one of the saddest statements I have ever heard. I have to wonder if she really believes her soul is lost. My guess is she thinks somehow she will escape the fires of hell, but her attitude certainly doesn’t show it.

Unlike this woman, David knew he had sinned, but he knew his constant efforts, his continuous striving to obey God’s commandments, and his prayers for forgiveness would keep him from losing his soul.

He ends this chapter with these words, “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.” David truly had the will to do right.

Sandra Oliver

THE WORK OF GOD—Part 9. Notice how precisely David followed the Lord’s commands in each case.

After the death of King Saul, David went to Hebron where he was anointed king by the tribe of Judah (2 Samuel 2:1-4, 2 Samuel 2:11, 2 Samuel 5:5, 1 Kings 2:11, 1 Chronicles 3:4, 1 Chronicles 11:1-3).  He was thirty years old at that time and fully understood who his master was and whom he served.

The Philistines made war with David and were defeated (2 Sam. 5:17, 2 Sam. 5:25).  Both times, King David made inquiry of the Lord and both times the Lord told him what He wanted him to do. The second time readers get a glimpse of what happened, but nobody was able to see what the Lord actually did.

2 Sam. 5:23-25—And when David inquired of the Lord, he said, Thou shalt not go up; but fetch a compass behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees. 24 And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the Lord go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines. 25 And David did so, as the Lord had commanded him; and smote the Philistines from Geba until thou come to Gazer.

The sound in the mulberry trees was a sign to David that God’s angels were on the way into the battle.  God’s hand was hidden concerning what his angels did a little later, as they fought for Israel in the actual battle.

1 Chr. 14:14-17—Therefore David inquired again of God; and God said unto him, Go not up after them; turn away from them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees. 15 And it shall be, when thou shalt hear a sound of going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt go out to battle: for God is gone forth before thee to smite the host of the Philistines. 16 David therefore did as God commanded him: and they smote the host of the Philistines from Gibeon even to Gazer. 17 And the fame of David went out into all lands; and the Lord brought the fear of him upon all nations.

Notice how precisely David followed the Lord’s commands in each case. Notice also just how the Lord kept his promise to fight David’s battles for him.

Another example of how God hid his hand is in David’s bringing the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem after the Philistines had returned it to Israel.

King David assembled thirty-thousand men to escort the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem with music and thanksgiving, but this did not go as planned (2 Sam. 6:1-5). When God struck Uzzah dead for touching the ark, David knew the priests had failed to follow God’s direction, but he didn’t know what directions the Priests had not followed (2 Sam. 6:6-11; 1 Sam. 6:19; 1 Chro. 13:1-14). David was afraid of the Lord and left the ark at the house of Obed-edom (2 Sam. 6:9-11).

For more information, Numbers 4:5-6 directed how the Ark should be prepared for conveyance. The Kohathites were in charge of carrying the ark and were directed on how was it to be carried (Num. 4:4; Num. 3:30-31; Num. 4:4; Num. 4:15; Deu. 10:8; 1 Chr. 15:2; 1 Chr. 15:15). Priests were to carry it on special occasions such as crossing the Jordan River (Joshua 3:6; Joshua 3:14).

Only after three months, was David able to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem with dancing and great joy (2 Sam. 6:12-16). David must have searched the scriptures to find what they had done wrong and reminded them that God made a breach on them because they did not seek God ‘after the due order’ (1 Chr. 15:13).

The second time he and the others went to bring the ark back to Jerusalem, they followed the Lord’s direction on how to carry it.

–Beth Johnson

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The three laws of sowing and reaping are: we reap what we sow; we reap later than we sow; and we reap more than we sow

We reap what we sow.  It is an immutable law of God.  He gives us His Word, and for every action there is a consequence.  There are also consequences for inaction.  If we are silent when wrong has been committed, by our very silence we consent to the wrong.

“Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavors:  give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert.  Because they regard not the work of the Lord, nor the operation of His hand, He shall destroy them, and not build them up.”   Psalms 28:4-5

“Everything we do, everything you say, every choice we make, sooner or later comes back around.”
~ Lessons Learned in Life

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked:  for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit reap life everlasting.”   Galatians 6:7-8

“They have set up kings, but not by Me:  they have made princes, and I knew it not:  of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off. Thy calf, O Samaria hath cast thee off; mine anger is kindled against them:  how long will it be ere they attain to innocency?  For from Israel was it also:  the workman made it; therefore it is not God:  but the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces.  For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind:  it hath no stalk:  the bud shall yield no meal:  if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.  Israel is swallowed up:  now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein is no pleasure.”      Hosea 8:4-7

In all of life there are consequences in all that we do.  If we don’t pay our bills, they take things away or cut things off.  If we fail to get homework, there are zeroes in the grade book, if we fail to turn in term papers, you can be assured of the consequences.  It is the same with our lives.  We have the Guide Book and it is up to us to read the instructions, but it is of our choosing whether we will obey or not.

Conversely, if we sow bountifully, we will reap bountifully.

“But this I say, He that soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which shall soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.”       II Corinthians 9:6

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”    Malachi 3:10

“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.  For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”     Luke 6:38

The question is:  What are we sowing?

“The concept of justice in all civilization is that men must account for their deeds. Responsibility requires it.  Fairness says this is the way to play the game.  If we could sow idleness and reap plenty, or scatter gossip and harvest goodwill, or disseminate hate and gather love, it would be extremely unfair.  It is an equitable and just law of nature and of human behavior that everything and everybody be rewarded in kind.  The three laws of sowing and reaping are:  we reap what we sow; we reap later than we sow; and we reap more than we sow”       ~Leroy Brownlow

Eileen Light

DISBELIEF

Yesterday while in Bible study, I heard the teacher ask a question which I don’t believe I have ever given much thought.  The question was this:  Can you name one atheist hospital or any other service to man that has man’s utmost good in mind?  I couldn’t think of one.  When it comes to hospitals, universities etc.  I cannot think of one which has an atheists name on the face of its building.  Not even one.  But I can think of many with religious names.  “Mother Frances, Presbyterian, Methodist, St. Luke’s, Mt. Sinai, Beth Israel, Good Samaritan, St. John’s, St. Joseph’s, St. Michael’s and many more too numerous to mention, but suffice it to say, I found not one hospital with an atheist’s name on it.

In light of atheist’s beliefs, it would seem we, that believe there is a God of the universe, should use every avenue available to us in teaching the Gospel to others.  How will the Gospel be spread if we remain silent, for the atheists are never silent but working toward their goals?  May we go and do likewise.

“And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”   (Mark 16:15-16

“The two traveling disciples did not at first recognize the resurrected Jesus who walked with them. Our own experience at times may be very similar.  How often we fail to recognize His presence.  He walks with us in both severe trials and blessed occurrences.

His talking with them and opening the Scriptures for them caused their hearts to burn.  This is understandable, for the Word of God is spoken of as a fire.  It melts the coldness of indifference and worldliness, burns up the dross of selfishness, and manifests itself in warm words and actions.

Devoid of burning hearts, we can assemble to worship without worshiping, can say our prayers without praying, can sing a Him without making melody in the heart, can be exposed to a sermon without hearing it, and can give money without giving ourselves.

We need glowing hearts – burning hearts – to give us power.  Why do we have still hands, silent tongues and leaden feet?  Why should one sermon on the day of Pentecost convert three thousand souls while today it takes almost three thousand sermons to convert one soul?  Certainly one answer is a lack of burning hearts.

Can you imagine how much warmer and better the church and the world would be if every person would read just one Scripture a day?  If just placing your hand on the Bible when taking an oath as some bearing on telling the truth, just think what it will do to put a little of it in the heart every day.”      ~ Leroy Brownlow

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.”  (II Timothy 2:15)

 Eileen Light

 

Sanctification

Sanctification is a state of mind and heart, inducing a will to be holy (John 3:5; 1 Cor. 6:11; Eph. 5:26; 1 Thess. 4:3-7; 1 Pet 3:15). It is a course of life befitting those who have been sanctified (Rom. 6:19, 22; 1 Tim. 2:15; Heb. 12:14).

Sanctification is the relationship with God which is entered into by faith in Christ (Acts 26:18; 1 Cor. 6:11).

Sanctification in the New Testament is when the believer is separated from evil things and ways.

Sanctification is the will of God for us (1 Thess. 4:3) where His purpose is made manifest and learned through the gospel (1 Thess. 4:4, 7). It must be pursued by the believer earnestly and undeviatingly (1 Tim. 2:15; Heb. 12:14).

Holy character is neither vicariously transferred, nor imputed, it is an individual possession, built up little by little as a result of obedience to the word of God and following Christ as the true example (Matt. 11:29; John 13:15; Eph. 4:20; Phil 2:5).

Sanctification is a choice proceeding from the acceptance of the gospel by an individual. Sanctification is not an attainment. It is a state into which God, in his grace, calls sinful mankind wherein they begin their walk as Christians (Col. 3:12; Heb. 3:1).

–Beth Johnson

–Beth Johnson

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SIGNS OF REPENTANCE

The dictionary says that to repent is to “feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one’s wrongdoing or sin.” In today’s society, repentance seems to be more sorrow for being caught doing something wrong.

In the eyes of God, repentance is essential for our salvation. It is not the only thing necessary for salvation, but without it we cannot be saved. In Acts 17:30, Luke records Paul’s statement to the people of Athens. Paul said, “The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.”

Repentance is a command. Acts 2:38 tells us “to repent and be baptized for the remission of our sins” (ESV). Luke 13:3 tells us that if we do not repent, we will perish.

So we have defined repentance, and we have proof from scripture that repentance is necessary for our salvation, but how do we know we have truly repented?

First, there has to be a willingness to accept the consequences of our actions. In Luke 15, we find the story of the Prodigal Son. This young man took his inheritance and left home for the big city life. There “…he squandered his property in reckless living” (Luke 15:13).

When he had spent all of his money, he found himself alone and without the means to support himself. He took a job feeding pigs, something totally repulsive to a Jew.

The 17th verse says that he came to himself. He realized the error of his ways, and decided to go home to his father. His words to his father were, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before you. I am no more worthy to be called your son” (verse 21).

He went home. He acknowledged his actions. He asked forgiveness, and was ready and willing to accept whatever consequences would follow.

Second, there has to be shame for our sin. Peter had declared at the Passover Feast that he would not even be offended because of Jesus. Jesus predicted that Peter would deny Him three times before morning. In Mark 15:66-71, we find that Peter, true to the Lord’s prediction, vowed that he did not even know the Lord.

The book of Matthew gives us a description of the type of repentance we need to show when we sin. Matthew says, “And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times’. And he went out and wept bitterly” (Matthew 26:75).

Peter was ashamed of his actions. He had deserted the Lord in His time of need, He experienced true sorrow for what he had done.

Third, we need to try to make amends for our actions. The story that comes to my mind is found in the book of Acts. Paul and Silas had been thrown in prison for healing a young woman possessed with an evil spirit. Those responsible for her sad state were upset because their source of income was now gone.

Her masters took Paul and Silas before the rulers of the city, who beat them and threw them in prison. In prison, these Christians prayed and sang. In other words, they worshipped God.

At midnight, there was an earthquake that opened the doors of the prison and loosened the prisoners’ chains. In verse 27, Luke says that the jailer woke up, saw that the prison doors were open, and pulled out his sword ready to take his own life.

Paul stopped the jailer from suicide by telling him that they were all still there, and there was no need to kill himself.

The story continues as Paul teaches this Philippian jailer the gospel. Before the jailer was baptized, the scripture says, “And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their wounds” (Acts 16:33).

Paul and Silas had been abused by soldiers, maybe even this soldier. They then taught him about repentance and obedience to the gospel of Christ. Knowing that he might be put to death for the prisoners being loosed from their chains and the prison doors being opened, he treated their wounds and obeyed the truth.

He was truly sorry for his actions, and he wanted to make amends for his participation in the physical harm that had come to these men.

Paul told the Romans, “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death” (II Corinthians 7:10).

When we experience true sorrow for our sins, repent of those sins, and are obedient to God’s commands, we can experience God’s forgiveness just as each of these men did.

Sandra Oliver

THE WORK OF GOD—Part 8

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge” (Psa. 19:1-2).

If you have not had the opportunity to study these background articles, it might be a good time to do that now.  They are short reads—each one being only one page long.

HAVE MIRACLES CEASED?

WHAT DOES GOD CALL A MIRACLE?

Already our study has brought us to part 8 of this series, and now we need to consider similar examples in the book of Judges.

Judges 2:16-19 and Acts 13:20 speak of a time when the land of Israel was ruled by judges.  It was also a time when every man ignored what the Law of Moses said, and did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6; Judges 21:25). Over and over again the cycle of sin, punishment and deliverance is seen under each man.

WHY DID GOD CHOOSE A WOMAN?

Judges 4:4 says God chose a woman to be judge in Israel. Why? Throughout the period right after the children of Israel entered the land of Canaan, almost all judges were men. Why would God choose a woman to do such a difficult job?

God took action when his people turned away from him (Judges 4:2). He does the same thing in the New Testament church (1 Cor. 11:28-32). Consider the symptom of the disease in Israel; their physical freedom was taken away. The first step should have been to recognize the symptoms and turn back to the Lord (Judges 4:3). Israel was miserable and oppressed physically and knew there was something wrong, but, unfortunately, they did not recognize the reason for the disease (Rev. 3:17).

Notice also that Barak’s faith was in God’s prophetess, not in the words God spoke (Judges 4:8). How many women have been asked to go into battle with the comander of the army?  Barak had been chosen by God to lead Israel, and he should have known God would go with him.  When he did not have faith in the promise of God, he was told the victory would not be for his honor, but God would deliver them from their enemies.

The prophet Isaiah understood that God hides his work from the eyes of men. “Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour” (Isaiah 45:15).  God had promised to draw Sisera to the river Kishon (Judges 4:7) and to deliver the armies into the Israelites hand.  The Lord is the one who discomfited Sisera and slew his army (Judges 4:15).  It is true he used Israel’s sword, and blessed them greatly in the battle.  In Judges, chapter 5, Deborah and Barak praise the Lord for going before them to the battle (Judges 5:1-5), and the Lord takes the credit for the victory over their enemies (Judges 4:23).

Who saw God working that day?  Men imagine that during the Old Testament period, there were miracles happening all around Israel all of the time.  A chart in the Dickson Bible lists the miracles in the Old Testament period, and there were only forty-six throughout the entire 4,000 years. The translation of Enoch was included, which likely nobody saw and therefore would not truly be a miracle (Heb. 2:3-4).  The Dickson calculation turns out to be only one miracle every eighty-seven years. The majority of ways God worked were not listed because no one could see what happened (Judges 7:22).  God caused many things to happen “naturally” that gave a decisive victory (Exo. 23:27, 28).

Why did the Lord choose Deborah? She believed that God would reward her if she sought him (Heb. 11:6).  Barak’s faith was that God would reward Deborah but not him. Deborah did not have confidence in herself; she believed God, when he said that Israel would win the victory (Judges 4:9). Even though she was a woman, she was not afraid to go with the army. Deborah also believed that God would deliver the captain of the enemy into the hand of a woman (Judges 4:9). Deborah believed that the Lord had gone out before Barak to fight his battles (Judges 4:14).  This was when Sisera’s nine hundred chariots of iron were still intact (Judges 4:13). For 20 years Sisera had won every battle with Israel, but Deborah had faith in God’s promise that Israel would prevail (Judges 4:3).

The Lord caused Sisera to leave his chariot and run away on his feet (Judges 4:15).  Seldom was there a battle that killed literally every single soldier in an army (Judges 4:16). God gave the victory to a woman who was not even an Israelitess (Judges 4:17) but a descendent of Moses’ father-in-law (Judges 4:11). Jael invited Sisera into her tent and killed him (Judges 4:18-21). We don’t need to think that it was a simple action (Judges 5:24-27), but after Jael killed him, she then cut off his head (Judges 5:26).

God took full credit for the victory that day (Judges 4:23). The Lord also blessed the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali for offering themselves willingly (Judges 5:2, 9). God expected every man to take his part of the responsibility (Judges 5:23).

God blessed Deborah, not a man, because of her faith in him (Judges 5:31).  Deborah herself did not lift a sword. Deborah did not kill Sisera with the tent peg and hammer, but Deborah was faithful to stand up for the promises and commands of God (Matt. 5:19). No matter our gender, our Lord ordains that all who teach and do the commands of God are great in his sight.

–Beth Johnson

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Confidence in My Lord

In my mind’s eye, I picture David watching over his father’s flock, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide his thoughts as he wrote songs and sang to the lambs. Psalm twenty six has such powerful words. At the beginning he reflected on his spiritual life, …vindicate me…examine me…prove me…try my heart. It takes courage to ask God to test one’s heart.

David was able to ask God to examine him because he had confidence in his obedience, I have walked in my integrity…I also trusted in the Lord…walked in Your truth…have not sat with idolatrous mortals…have hated the assembly of evildoers…have loved the habitation of Your house and the place where Your glory dwells.

The young shepherd was confident about God’s daily provision, Your lovingkindness is before my eyes…My foot stands in an even place.

David was confident in God’s protection, Do not gather my soul with sinners, nor my life life with bloodthirsty men, in whose hands is a sinister scheme, and whose right hand is full
of bribes.

Finally, the singer expressed confidence about his spiritual future, I shall not slip…I will not go in with hypocrites…will not sit with the wicked…I will wash my hands in the temple…will tell of all Your wondrous works…will go about your altar…proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving…will walk in my integrity…I will bless the Lord.

David was reflective about his spiritual life, confident in his past obedience, confident in God’s present provisions and protection, and confident about his future walk with the Lord.

My prayer for you and me is that we would be able to write a song or speak to God with the same great assurance about our daily walk with the Lord!

Today’s Verse: In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge (Proverbs 14:26).

By Teresa Hampton

Audios available at http://christianwomanaudiodevotionals.abiblecommentary.com

PASSING THE BUCK

Harry Truman once said “The buck stops here.”  A famous quotation which teaches us not to blame the other guy when things go wrong which are of our own making.

Another proverbial statement which is very humorous, but still used today is attributed to children, “The dog ate my homework.”

In more recent times General Colin Powell framed the same meaning in a different way.

“When things go wrong in your command, start wading for the reason in increasingly larger concentric circles around your own desk.”

It’s called taking responsibility for our own actions and stop blaming others for our personal failures.

“For every man shall bear his own burden.”     (Galatians 6:5)

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

(II Corinthians 5:10)

“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper:  but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”    (Proverbs 28:13)

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child:  but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”    (I Corinthians 13:11)

“The soul that sinneth, it shall die.  The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son:  the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”      (Ezekiel 18:20)

“The reason Jerusalem was in decay and disarray was because the buck had been passed too long.  Now Nehemiah was willing to accept the buck and rebuild the city.

Will Rogers, one of America’s favorite humorists, stated that there have been three periods in American history:   Passing the Indian, Passing the Buffalo, and Passing of the Buck.

Why the passing of the Buck?

  1. I won’t have to assume the responsibility.
  2. I won’t have to be a target for criticism.
  3. If it fails, I won’t be blamed.
  4. Instead, I can blame the other fellow.
  5. If it fails, I can be a post-mortem expert.

Let’s give the buck-passer his due; he is especially talented and quick in the utterance of two sets of four words: “Let George do it”, and if it fails, “It is George’s fault.”

When the buck is passed to George, of course he sometimes fails.  But George gets the recognition, the honor, the role of leadership, the thrill that comes from challenge, the victory over boredom, and the joy of the struggle.

The greatest reason for any person’s tackling the job that falls his lot to perform is that he is a man, which demands responsibility and performance.  He cannot live like a cow or horse that is content to whisk away the flies and eat the grass around the hoofs.”     ~ Leroy Brownlow

“For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”   (Romans 14:11-12)

Eileen Light

 

 

Sometimes in our rush to make the “big pitch” the smaller opportunities pass us by.

We rush through our days seeking big opportunities to teach the Gospel and miss many small opportunities along the way.  Daily, I come across opportunities to teach, even while I am working.  Many occasions arise during the day that are teachable if we seize the moment and have the heart to listen as we work.

We teach by the words we say and the deeds that we do.  We don’t know what goes on in the hearts of others.  They may have a secular job, but it doesn’t mean their problems, hurts, disappointments don’t travel with them too.  I have had co-workers break down and cry over various problems in their lives.  At times a hug and telling them you understand is all that is needed.  At times a word of encouragement, drying the tear of a child, helping others with their work, a smile, encourages them.  Our Master Teacher taught us the same.  He always had time for people and used those opportunities to teach.  Sometimes in our rush to make the “big pitch” the smaller opportunities pass us by.

“And after the reading of the law and the prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying.  Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.  Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience.”    Acts 13:15-16

A story is told of William Jennings Bryan, one of the greatest orators that ever graced a platform.  It was in this speech Bryan was nominated presidential nominee for the Democratic Party in 1896.

“You shall not not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns.  You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.”

A friend said, “Mr. Bryan, I suppose many times before you had made just as able a speech as that, and it was never heard of.”

“Yes, “he replied, “I suppose so.  But that convention was my opportunity, and I made the most of it.”  Then after a moment of silence he said, “And that’s about all we do in this world – lose or use our opportunity.”

Grabbed opportunity is the key that opens the door of success.  Seized occasion is the ladder by which men and women climb to usefulness and achievement.  The answered call is the victory over slumber.  He who seizes the right moment becomes the man of the hour.

So – “strike while the iron is hot.”  This is what the apostle Paul did when he went into the synagogue.”

“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”      Galatians 6:10

“Don’t say, “There’s still time.”   Or “Maybe next time.”  Because there’s also the concept of “It’s too late.”

“Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones we miss.”     ~ Fitzgerald

Eileen Light