God Takes the Rap


Number 0022

Source: The Messenger, September, 1998
File Under: Suffering; God

This article from a few years back might be helpful as folks consider and ponder the most recent disaster in Myanmar–DRL.


God Takes the Wrap

by Guy N. Woods

A brokenhearted man, his body torn with uncontrollable grief, weeps before the bier of his beloved wife. Well-meaning, but pitifully misguided, friends gather about him, and in an effort to soften the blow which has brought the world crashing down upon his shoulders inform him that his immeasurable loss is to be ascribed to the will of God. A mother grieves beside the pale and lifeless body of her only child, and the preacher seeks to comfort her with the assurance that her child’s death was the result of the will of God to which will she must now resign herself! Disaster strikes with the suddenness of the lightning’s flash, fortunes are swept away as with a flood, poverty stalks menacingly among the innocent and helpless children, and the whole is attributed to the providence of God.

How Satan must grin with sardonic glee at such accusations leveled against the Judge of all the earth! How he must rejoice to hear the character of the great Jehovah slandered, his motives impeached, and his will thus prostituted by those who affect to be his friends! With what satisfaction must he contemplate the ever-increasing multitudes of infidels to which such reasoning inevitably leads! And how comfortable it is for the casual observer in such instances to blame God for what he cannot or will not explain in any other way.

This disposition to let God bear the blame is a common one to humanity; and it finds expression in many ways. Wars, famine, pestilence, and death are regularly laid at his feet. When the heavens withhold the rain and the earth becomes dust; when crops fail and cattle die, men read in the disaster traces of the will of God. The law of the land solemnly takes cognizance of the fact that some matters are to be attributed to “an act of God.” Among the contingencies thus classified would be tornadoes, storms at sea, earthquakes, and the like. Many contracts provide that in the event of an “act of God” the contract becomes unenforceable.

A recent instance of this disposition characteristic of man to let God take the blame in any matter wherein he either will not or cannot trace out the causes is to be seen in the West Frankfort mine disaster, in which one hundred nineteen miners perished, and for which God has now been officially blamed! In an editorial which appeared earlier this year in an Eastern newspaper these words appeared…

Once again God must take the rap. In the aftermath of the West Frankfort mine disaster a jury has solemnly assembled, meditated, contemplated, and brought in its unanimous verdict. God has been convicted. According to the jury the murder of one hundred nineteen coal miners in West Frankfort must go down in the history books as “an act of God.” As Murray Kempton reported in this newspaper the other day, no one–government, coal operators, mine workers, or union officials–seemed prepared to look for any other culprit. It was so easy to blame God. After all, he couldn’t talk back. More reverent men might have hesitated to reach this verdict. They might have considered the guilt of congressmen who have stubbornly refused to pass a mine safety law. They might have weighed the responsibility of the coal operators who have tenaciously resisted mine safety legislation. They might even have studied the role of UMW officials who have always seemed more concerned with union politics than with human safety. But all that would have involved many complicated problems. It was so much easier to blame God.

SO MUCH EASIER TO BLAME GOD! May we ponder these words most seriously when we next are disposed to excuse our own neglect, and ignore immediate causes, by blandly assigning the responsibility for all such matters to the remote cause, God.

—-by the late Guy N. Woods

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Cheerful Giver


Number 0022

Source: Beacon, June 14, 1998
File Under: GIVING, STEWARDSHIP, 2 Cor 9

The Cheerful Giver

by Charles Box

God gives plain and clear instruction on acceptable giving. He teaches both concerning the manner and the amount to be given. God is a giver and He expects His children to give. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). The cheerful giver opens his life to many blessings from God. “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). Let us learn to be cheerful givers:

THE CHEERFUL GIVER SOWS BOUNTIFULLY…
“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6). Our giving must be a matter of generosity and not grudging obligation (2 Cor 9:5). The result of bountiful giving is the windows of heaven being opened and an abundance of blessings being poured out; so many the cheerful giver could not receive them all (Malachi 3:8-10).

THE CHEERFUL GIVER PLANS OR PURPOSES HIS GIVING…

Scriptural giving does not happen by accident. It is accomplished by thoughts and design. “So let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). Those who make no plans in their giving offer God only the scraps. God expects and deserves more! Let us prayerfully consider our blessings and give accordingly.

THE CHEERFUL GIVER HAS A PART IN GOOD WORKS…
Christians give generously and many good works are accomplished. “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8). Doors are open for benevolence and evangelism. Liberal, cheerful giving makes possible an abundance of good works.

THE CHEERFUL GIVER WILL INCREASE IN RIGHTEOUSNESS…

There is no greater need than the need for righteousness in the lives of God’s people. God increases the fruits of righteousness in the life of the cheerful giver. “(As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness)” (2 Corinthians 9:9-10). In cheerful giving Christians come to see righteousness developed in their lives and the lives of others.

THE CHEERFUL GIVER IS A GAINER, NOT A LOSER…

God, in providence, blesses the cheerful giver. “Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your good, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God” (2 Corinthians 9:10-11). God blesses us with that which will supply the needs of our own family and also bless others through benevolence and evangelism. God will multiply the seed sown. You give cheerfully and God will help you do even more.

THE CHEERFUL GIVER IS A BLESSING TO MANY…

Christians should stand ready to bless saints and all men. “For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for you liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men” (2 Cor 9:12-13). Cheerful giving will lead to God receiving glory. God is glorified when the poor are helped. This glory comes from all who are involved or who know of the things which are done.

THE CHEERFUL GIVER IS MOTIVATED BY GOD’S INDESCRIBABLE GIFT…

The precious gift of Jesus for our salvation motivates our giving. “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19). God’s wonderful gift stirs our heart to sincerity and cheerfulness in our giving and our service to others. God has blessed us by giving His Son. Let us be cheerful givers also.

Nothing blesses the life of a Christian more than cheerful giving. “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:19-21). The grace of God and His great gift to us demands our cheerful and liberal giving. Does your giving please God?

Influence of Media


think Magazine, Volume 3, #5, May 2008

One of the finest things that comes to my mailbox each month is think Magazine. I generally read every word of it before I stop. It is published by Focus Press, which you can check out by clicking H-E-R-E. I am posting here the contents of this issue, primarily for my own use, as I may now SEARCH this blog when looking for some topic and come across a HIT among the words below which might help me in dealing with some particular topic or passage. I can then find it among the issues of the magazine on my shelves. You might wish to do the same thing some time, so perhaps it will be a help to you, as well.

  • Page 4… FROM THE EDITORS, Brad Harrub and Jim Palmer. “In this issue we want to challenge Christian families: turn off the garbage and hold yourself to a higher standard!
  • Page 7… ON THE LIGHTER SIDE, “Singing, Songleading, and Eye-phobia,” by Jimmy Davy.
  • Page 8… FAITH AND FINANCE, “Faith and Finance: Understanding the Inseparable Link,” by Jim Palmer.
  • Page 11… “Recommendations and Resources form Focus Press.” Include: ClearPlay DVD; TVGuardian; and Bsafeonline.
  • Page 12… LIFE IN AMERICA, “Listening to God,” by Phil Sanders. “When men fail to teach the Truth and speak out against sin, society becomes like Cretans.”
  • Page 14… “Sex Sells,” by Jim Palmer. Statistics say yes.
  • Page 16… “When Pythons Become Vipers,” by Jason Jackson.
  • Page 17… “Entertaining?,” by Eddie Parrish. “How dare we be entertained by the things that sent Jesus to the cross!” Genesis 9:22; 1 Corinthians 13:6; Proverbs 14:9.
  • Page 18… “Consensus, Creation, and Climate Change,” by Tyler Young. “No study to date has positively attributed all or part [of the climate change observed to date] to anthropogenic [man-made] causes.” “It is unlikely the average American comprehends the degree to which the mainstream media shapes popular thinking on the crucial issues of our time.”
  • Page 20… “A Covenant with My Eyes,” by Brad Harrub. Job 31:1; Psalm 119:37; Matthew 22:37-38; Colossians 3:2.
  • Page 22… A SPECIAL INTERVIEW: David Kupelian, Managing Editor of World Net Daily, and author of Marketing Evil: How Radicals, Elitists, and Pseudo-Experts Sell Us Corruption Disguised as Freedom.
  • Page 24… “What’s a Nice Kid Like You Doing in a Place Like This?,” by Jason R. Roberts. RE: MySpace.
  • Page 27… “Rush,” by Adam Faughn. Here are four steps we can each take to stop the rush that is our lives.
  • Page 28… PASS THE FAITH, “More than a Chocolate Pie,” by Sandra Palmer. Ecclesiastes 14:9.
  • Page 29… HEART OF THE MATTER, “Tolerate This!,” by Brad Harrub. “Here’s what I intend on teaching my children about tolerance.” Deuteronomy 4:24; Acts 5:29; John 14:6.
  • Page 31… TEEN THINK, “Our Goal is to Own You,” by Joe Wells. “When you download a song, does it even occur to you to consider the lyrics and the life of the artist you are supporting?” Matthew 22:37; Philippians 4:8.
  • Page 32… LIGHT FROM THE PAST, “Too Good to be True,” by Dewayne Bryant. “Telling the difference between the scholar and the scam artist can be difficult for the average person in the pew. … Despite Ron Wyatt’s claims to the contrary, Noah’s Ark and the Ark of the Covenant will almost certainly never be found.”
  • Page 34… MAN TO MAN, “Check! 30! Check! 30!,” by Bubba Ingram. 1 Corinthians 5:11; 6:17; 6:19-20; Matthew 5:27-30.
  • Page 36… A WOMAN’S PERSPECTIVE, “Virtues. Gone With the Wind?,” by Sharon Archibald. Matthew 5:16. Key words: honesty, generosity, kindness, integrity.
  • Page 38… TRAIN AND NURTURE, “No IPODS, No Texting, No Problem!,” by Saundra Thornton. “The only way for us to know our children is to spend time with them.”
  • Page 39… DAILY WALK, “Anna’s Time,” by Paul Chapman. “Thank God for Anna’s example.” Luke 2:26-38.


The Watcher


Source: The Contender, Walnut Grove, Benton, KY, May 11, 2008

The Watcher

She always learned to watch for us
Anxious if we were late
In winter by the window
In summer by the gate.

And though we mocked her tenderly
Who had such foolish care
The long way home would seem more safe
Because she waited there.

Her thoughts were all so full of us
She never could forget
And so I think that where she is
She must be watching yet.

Waiting till we come home to her
Anxious if we are late
Watching from heaven’s window
Leaning from heavens’ gate.

(selected, submitted by Donna Starks)