Archive for May 26, 2013

Jesus, the Faithful Friend   2 comments

Christ Pantocrator

Above:  Christ Pantocrator


Prov. 18, 24

1.  Man a social being.  God’s own statement is that he needs the presence & help of a friend.  Genesis 2, 18

2.  One should prize a true good friend, who is sympathetic & helpful.  “The friends thou has and their adoption tried , grapple them by the soul with hooks of steel.”

No one has a friend to lose, though many do it for sake of a whim or careless speech.  Yet they must be bought.

3.  But human friends necessarily disappoint us sometimes.  Perchance one must go alone into his Gethsemane a stone’s throw beyond human sympathy.  They can’t always appreciate our need.

4.  But there is a Divine Friend.

(1)  He understands us fully and sympathizes with us perfectly.

(2)  He is competent to supply all our need.  His grace is sufficient.

(3)  He is faithful.  His motive is pure, hence He is true.  Not a promise but that He will gladly fulfill.  Multiplied thousands testify in life and in death that He is true.

5.  Is He yours?  Have you opened the door and invited Him in?  You need Him to save and keep you.  Let Him in today.


The Heart, the Fountain of Life   1 comment


Above:  Fountain, Circa 1842

Image Creator = John C. Sinclair

Image Source = Library of Congress


Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsca-24836


Prov. 4, 23


Out of the heart issues character.

(1)  The various ends of life.  These come as result of endeavor for what one’s heart desires.

(2)  What is one in principle or feeling?

(3)  God’s estimate of one is as the heart.

Purify, elevate, and keep the heart from sin.


The sense of the original is:  Man’s happiness here depends upon the heart.

Like fountain, like stream.  Not environment, but the heart is the fountain.  The frendly have friends.  The happy dispositioned awakes a happy response.  “With what measure ye mete it shall be measured to you again,” here elsewhere.


Eternal issues are from the heart.  Character determines destiny.  The sinful here and sinful there.  From the sinful heart flow all kinds of evil deeds, which issue in eternal death.

How necessary that the heart be right in God’s sight?  It may be so.  Is it?


Rejecting God’s Overtures   5 comments


Above:  Two Yoked Oxen Between 1860 and 1900

Image Source = Library of Congress


Reproduction Number = LC-USZ62-136943


Prov. 29, 1

1.  God reproves men in sin many times as by His providences the gospel conviction of the Holy Spirit, warnings of friend, etc.  He is in earnest about it all.  It is not mere advice but is a command.

2.  But men do not always heed him; they often “refuse and rebel,” reject the easy yoke He gives.  “Ye would not,” said Christ to Jerusalem.  “Ye would not come to me.”  “Ye do always resist the Holy Spirit.”  All who are in sin do just this.  They reject the messenger and his message; hence [they] reject Him who sent it.

3.  But man must “repent or perish.”  “Saul, it is hard for thee to kick against the goads.”  “He that hardeneth his neck shall suddenly be destroyed,” broken as a potter’s vessel that cannot He mend.  Jer. 19, 11; Isa. 30, 14.  Who rejects Christ rejects his only hope–thus the Jews destroyed their own nation.

4.  “Without remedy.”  What more can be done for those who reject the gospel?  There is nothing left for God to do but to let them suffer from their own folly.  Prov. 1, 31; Amos 4, 12; 1 Cor. 16, 1.

Then heed His warnings, yield to His overtures ere it be too late, and be saved eternally.


“Give Me Thine Heart”   3 comments


Above:  Father and Son, Detroit, Michigan, July 1942

Image Creator = Farm Security Administration

Image Source = Library of Congress


Reproduction Number = LC-USF34-110085-E


Page 194 of the Sermon Outlines Book:

Prov. 23, 26

1.  God is the supreme need of the heart.  He alone is the source of spiritual life.  Separated from Him the soul dies.

2.  Hence he calls to all as a father:  “My son, give me thine heart.”  This is his speech to every human soul; give thy affections to God, as to love Him with all thy heart.

(1)  For our good He calls.  Would cleanse our heart for his own indwelling that we may rejoice in Him.  Would cast out Satan and reign there in love.

(2)  He is a jealous God.  It displeases God that man should dare love another.  Our hearts are His of right and He simply asks for his own.  He only can make us happy.

3.  This exhortation is a call to believe, love, and obey Him which is the sum of his exhortation and counsels to every child of man.  (Mark 12:30 & 33)

4.  When we do this, to serve Him is a delight.  We give up sinful and baser pleasures for higher, holier, even heavenly joys.

“Tongue can never express the sweetest comfort and peace,” one finds.

Then hear his call, give him your heart, and let heaven come into your heart.  Will you receive Him?



Page 269 of the Sermon Outlines Book:

Prov. 23, 26

1.  God is the supreme need of the heart.  No one can afford to try to get along without his blessing.  He is the source of all and we need him every day.

2.  Hence He called us to give Him, to love Him and live for Him every day.  It displeases Him if we love the wrong instead of Him.

3.  We can love Him–our hearts were made to love.  We can decide now to live for Him henceforth.  He loves us & so we can love Him.

4.  While we are children is the time to decide for Him.

(1)  It is easier to do it now.  See Ecc. 12, 1.  Habits of wrongdoing are  not formed.

(2)  It is the only safe thing–there is danger in delay.  By delaying one gets farther away.  Now is the best time you will ever have.

5.  Don’t you want to live right, to love God and serve Him, and get home to heaven?  Don’t you want Him to bless you now?


Righteousness Exalteth a Nation   1 comment


Above:  United States Flag, 1896-1908



This sermon outline comes from a book with the year “1905” written in the front.  This is the same book which contains the following note:

Book filled Jan. 13, 1913.

Acworth, Ga.

So I selected the image with those facts and the post’s contents in mind.

I, as a student of civil rights history, know that my great-grandfather ministered when Jim Crow was an active system in Georgia.  There was a White Primary, for example, and voter suppression based on race was overt and rampant.  Our republic remains imperfect, for we are flawed, but it does better than it did in my great-grandfather’s lifetime.

I, unlike my grandfather, have a subtler way of thinking of the matters of which he wrote in his notes, the basis of this post.  For example, the overly general way of speaking or writing of “the colonists,” as if they were a monolithic group of people, irritates me when students do it.  It does likewise when I read a document in which my great-grandfather did it.  Puritan New England, for example, was not a bastion of religious freedom (just ask Roger Williams, Anne Hutchinson, and any of the Quakers whom certain Puritans executed or exiled for being Quakers), but that fact helped to explain the founding of Rhode Island.

As for “French infidelity,” to quote my great-grandfather, I interpret that as perhaps a condemnation of Roman Catholicism, perhaps prior to 1763.  (It is a vague reference.)  I take this opportunity to repeat my repudiation of anti-Roman Catholicism.  And I adore most matters French.  Allons enfants de la patrie….Or perhaps the French tradition of the separation of church and state offended my great-grandfather.



Prov. 14, 34

1.  The standard for measuring men and nations is the same since a nation is an aggregation of individuals.

(1)  Great men are those great in goodness and service.

(2)  A nation’s greatness is its moral force.

2.  America is noted for her religious and political liberty.  Other republics have failed; religion has saved ours.

(1)  It was born of a revival of religion.  The colonists sought a home of religious freedom.

(2)  Religion gave us strength–a high sense of honor, a pure patriotism, preserved the home from impurity, and has exalted the Bible–itself the guardian of all that is good.

3.  It has preserved our liberty.  Liberty must have

(1)  A conscience to shelter it,

(2)  A God to avenge it, and

(3)  A people to defend it from Atheism.

Religion saved us from French infidelity, to which we were exposed.

4.  Our perils are not external, but internal–moral, e. g. graft, political corruption, degeneracy of the home and the different forms of unbelief.  Religion can and will save us from them all; it alone can.

So long as our people reverence and obey the great God of nations He will deliver us from evil and enlarge our powers and usefulness.


Trust in the Lord   3 comments


Above:  Father’s Pride, Circa 1859

Currier & Ives : a catalogue raisonné / compiled by Gale Research. Detroit, MI : Gale Research, c1983, no. 2083

Image Source = Library of Congress


Reproduction Number =  LC-USZC2-2322


Prov. 3, 5

1.  God is the fountain of all good–Ps. 36.  He created &  preserves all things–is the fountain of all life.  “Every good and perfect gift” is from him.

2.  He has made his intelligent creatures dependent upon himself.  “Grace & truth came by Jesus Christ.”

3.  He has promised to communicate what they need.  “My God shall supply all your need.”–Phils. 4, 19.  Need grace to nourish the soul.  “Ask, seek, knock” and thus find.

4.  He commands them to believe his promise and look for the fulfillment.  He has obligated himself to respond to faith; this his nature to do it.  He would not arouse expectation just to disappoint it.

5.  But we are to do this without fear, or distrust–“with all the heart.”  We sinned by disbelieving him, now we return to him by believing.  He encourages us to do it.  Why should we not?