James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
As we stand at the hardware store counter, the cashier offers the little boy by our side a candy fish. We watch to see if he remembers what he should say. A smiling boy saying a soft “thank you” is a welcome sight. It is encouraging to Dad when he remembers. And when he doesn’t, it’s a reminder to keep working at it.
As Christians, we are like the little boy. We are standing by God’s counter. God keeps handing us things. Some things we’ve asked for and others we have not.
The title for this article is taken from Second Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Part 1 of 2
Regardless of our age, we are all journeying to the place of which the Lord said, “I will give it to you.” each of us is at a different stage of life. We do not understand why the flow of time is so relentless, and we grow older in days, months, and years.
“Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God” (Psa 68:1,2).
These verses are a vivid description by the psalmist of how the holiness and sovereignty of God affect His enemies. When mixed with faith in the believer’s heart, these words become a promise to which we must cling.
This psalm is both a prayer and a prediction.
School is out and we are coming to the time of year that many Americans know as “summer vacation.” Summer vacation means several things. To the school children, it is approximately three months away from school. Most of us recall the anticipation of letting the books and school schedule go to absorb the delights of summer.
For many, summer vacation also means a trip, some travel plans, or a vacation to the beach, the mountains, or a resort. Those down south travel up north. Those in the hills head to the waterfront.
“Now also we beseech you, brethren, get to know those who labor among you [recognize them for what they are, acknowledge and appreciate and respect them all]— your leaders who are over you in the Lord and those who warn and kindly reprove and exhort you. And hold them in very high and most affectionate esteem in [intelligent and sympathetic] appreciation of their work. Be at peace among yourselves” (1Th 5:12-13 Amplified).
As students of the Word, we know the Bible abounds with references to the great power of prayer. But do we know it also teaches that there is an even greater power in collective prayer? Jesus said, “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matt 18:19-20).
George R. Brunk, in Sword and Trumpet article, “Regulate or Relegate?” January 1931: “The radio is a live issue at the present time; many honest souls are wondering and questioning about it. “If Conference forbids their use the matter should be enforced or else the least conscientious will have them and the ones most likely to make best use of them are the only ones restrained.
“if they are to be allowed in Mennonite homes, certainly a definite campaign should be in progress to regulate them.”