Who is the Potter and Who is the Clay?

In 1979, the woman millions knew as “Mother Teresa” received the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to relieve sickness and need among the world’s poorest and most distressed people. After receiving the award reporters asked her if such acclaim and recognition might not go to her head. In reply, she asked them if they remembered the story of Christ entering Jerusalem on a donkey and the road being strewn with garments and palm branches by the adoring crowd. When they said they did, she asked, “And do you think the donkey thought it was in his honor?” Teresa was a Roman Catholic nun, so I am certain there is much about her belief system I could not and would not accept as Biblically true. But I get the point she made with those reporters, and respect her greatly for it. She was stating the same truth contained in the words of the saying, “There is a God, and I am not Him.”

Have you learned that lesson? The apostle Paul sought to remind Christians of this truth in Romans chapter 9 (and 10, and 11!). In those chapters he sought to explain how the large scale Jewish rejection of Christ and the gospel did not mean God’s word had failed. In the blunt words of Romans 9:6, “But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect” (or “failed”). In the paragraphs that follow he makes an elaborate argument to prove that. As he anticipates potential questions and objections about God’s dealings with Jews and Gentiles, Paul challenges readers with these words in Romans 9:20-21” But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?” These words were written by Paul as part of a complex passage we simply don’t have space to address. Still, Paul’s three questions stand on their own as a great challenge to us. Paul knew the Old Testament references to God as a potter and His people as clay (cf., Jeremiah 18).

Few today are “potters,” but almost all of us have some knowledge of and experience with clay – even if that experience was with “Play-Doh” as a child or as a grandparent! The value of clay is its property of being malleable, that is, capable of being easily molded or shaped. Potters use clay to make vessels that range from the breathtakingly beautiful and expensive (used only to decorate) to common vessels to be used for average, everyday purposes. So, who decides what the clay is used for – the potter or the clay? Silly to even ask, isn’t it?

Now the take-home-point. Our usefulness to God depends on how willing we are to really allow Him to be God in our lives. In the beautiful words of Adelaide A. Pollard’s song, “Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way! Thou art the Potter, I am the clay! Mold me and make After Thy will, While I am waiting, Yielded and still” (verse 1 “Have Thine Own Way, Lord”).

A humorous story sends a sobering challenge about who will be God in our lives. A woman divorced her husband. When a friend asked why, the woman gave this reply – “It was on the grounds of religious differences. He thought he was God and I didn’t.” Have you learned that there is a God, and that you are not Him? Who is the potter in your life, and who is the clay? Think about it.

    By: Dan Gulley, Smithville, TN

“Greased Poles”

Entertainment was harder to find in “the old days”.  I remember being at the city park for a July 4th celebration when I was young.  One of the highlights of the day was watching men trying to climb a telephone pole to retrieve a $10 bill on top (a lot of money back then!).  To make the task harder, someone had greased the pole in advance.  Talk about a slippery task!

Recently the city of Philadelphia greased the utility poles in certain areas.  With the NFC Championship Game approaching, officials feared the extreme actions many Eagles fans might take, including climbing utility poles.  The grease, they reasoned, would make such shenanigans less likely.

Dottie’s Donuts, a sweet shop in Philadelphia, decided to honor the bizarre public work by producing “Greased Poles”, pastries that vaguely resemble utility poles slathered with grease – except the pastries were covered with icing.  We’re told these treats were an immediate hit with Eagles fans.

Neither utility poles nor donuts are mentioned in Scripture, but slippery places are.  One example is Psalm 73:18.  After seething over how evil people never seem to suffer bad things, Asaph was shown the truth by God: “Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction.”  The downfall of the wicked may not always happen in this life, but the writer was assured that such a day was coming.

The thought appeals to anyone who has suffered wrongdoing at the hands of the wicked.  Even David felt this desire to see God’s vengeance against those “who seek after my life … who plot my hurt. … Let their way be dark and slippery, and let the angel of the Lord pursue them” (Psalm 35:4,6).  Such men sought to bring harm to many, and David wanted to see their paths thwarted.

How does God feel about such desires to see vengeance?  Let’s hear God speak on the subject in Jeremiah 23:11,12: “’For both prophet and priest are profane; yes, in My house I have found their wickedness,’ says the Lord. ‘Therefore their way shall be to them like slippery ways; in the darkness they shall be driven on and fall in them; for I will bring disaster on them, the year of their punishment,’ says the Lord.”

Many who read this will remember scenes from the movie, “Home Alone”, in which the young boy foils the attempts of robbers by creating icy patches on the sidewalk and steps.  Those scenes brought howls of laughter from audiences; we were happy to see the plans of dishonest men spoiled.

God knows how to make paths slippery for those whose intent is to practice sin.

Come to the light God offers!  Study His word, the Bible.  Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24).  Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Copyright, 2018, Timothy D. Hall

Where have you placed your priorities?

Where Are My Priorities?

It was a 99° September day in San Antonio, when a 10-month-old baby girl was accidentally locked inside a parked car by her aunt. Frantically the mother and the aunt ran around the auto in near hysteria, while a neighbor attempted to unlock the car with a clothes hanger. Soon the infant was turning purple and had foam on her mouth.

It had become a life-or-death situation when Fred Arriola, a wrecker driver, arrived on the scene. He grabbed a hammer and smashed the back window of the car to set her free.  Was he heralded a hero? The lady was mad at me because I broke the window, Arriola reported. “I just thought, what’s more important – the baby or the window?”

This story illustrates one who failed miserably to distinguish between what was truly important and something that was relatively immaterial. As Christians, we must make sure that our priorities are in the right order as well. Do we put the Lord first at all times? Many place Him first some of the time, but not all of the time. If we fail to have our spiritual priorities right, the results will be disastrous; we will lose our souls.

Notice a few of the passages in the Bible that teach us about our priorities.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me” (Matthew 10:37).

“Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:59-62).

“So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs” (John 21:15).

Do we really put the Lord first in our lives? Is He our number one priority? If He is, there will be certain things obvious about the way we live.

Attendance. We will be present at all of the assembles (Heb. 10:25). Sunday night worship and Wednesday night Bible study are very important to those who really love the Lord. When it is time to assemble, those who value their relationship with God are always going to be there.

Studying. If our priorities are right, we will spend several hours each week meditating upon the word of God (Ps. 1:2). It is not hard to see what we value. Do you spend more in studying the Bible or watching TV? Do you read the paper from cover to cover each day, yet fail to spend an adequate amount of time reading the Scriptures? Answer these questions truthfully and you will see what is really important to you.

Giving. I have heard brethren say that we need to give until it hurts. The Bible teaches no such thing. It does tell us to give as we have prospered, not grudgingly nor of necessity but cheerfully (2 Cor. 9:6-7). If under the Old Law the Jews gave 10%, should we not at least give back to the Lord as much as they gave? If our priorities are right, giving as we have prospered will be no problem.

Visiting. All of us are busy each day. We get up each morning and head out to our jobs, returning in the evening tired from working all day. It is so easy to just relax and never call nor visit someone who is sick in the hospital or the weak Christian who has been missing services. Those who are devoted to the cause of Christ will exert the energy and find the time to make that call or visit (Mat. 25:31-46).

Where have you placed your priorities? If you have put the Lord first, notice the promise that He has made. “So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time-houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions-and in the age to come, eternal life” (Mark 10:29-30).

– by Jim Mickells

TRUTH HAS FALLEN ON HARD TIMES

Pilate asked, “What is truth?” Perhaps some of our Senate investigations of the past few years have been tempted to ask the same question. Today’s headline reveals that former F.B.I director Comey is about to be called back to the witness stand because, among other things, his previous testimony simply does not harmonize with the facts. This past Presidential campaign featured two candidates from the leading political parties, both of which said candidates have been caught in numerous exaggerations, half-truths, and out and out lies. Senate investigative committees are kept busy trying to separate fact from fiction and truth from lies. Much of the dishonesty, lying and cover-up that has plagued our nation, especially in politics but not limited thereto, has put a damper on any desire on the part of the populace to know the truth and/or the ability of some to tell the truth. It is a fact, however, that truth is truth, and all the lying and cover-up will not change a lie into truth. Someone observed: “The truth cannot be burned, beheaded, or crucified. A lie on the throne is still a lie, and truth in a dungeon is still truth.” Yes, truth has fallen on hard times.

I wish I could say that the lies, half truths, and false testimony was limited to politicians. However, such is not the case. Not far removed from the politicians are those religious shysters who dupe and delude the innocent by their fair and smooth speech, contributing to the misconception that truth is vague and unattainable. One so-called theological “scholar” will tell you one thing, and across the street or down the block another “pastor,” “priest,” or “potentate” will tell you exactly the opposite, with all of them claiming they have discovered some previously unknown “truth” (though they seldom call it that). Is it any wonder that some prominent theologians are declaring that truth is unattainable, and that even if attained, it is constantly changing? Such self proclaimed “wisdom” is really nothing more than “sophisticated silliness.” It would be bad enough if the religious leaders of our nation’s thousands of denominations were the only ones spewing out such nonsense. Unfortunately some of our own once faithful brethren are parroting the denominational leaders of a corrupt and bankrupt religious system that has captured the minds of the unbelieving. This generation has been fed the notion that there is no truth for so long that they actually believe it to be the truth. Dear reader, can you not see the foolishness in such reasoning? Oh yes—truth has fallen on hard times. If there is no truth, then any affirmation that there is no truth cannot itself be true – seeing there is no truth. The American people, due in part to their gullibility and in large measure to their ignorance, have bought this notion that truth is some mystic, far away, unreachable ideology, and consequently they have long since abandoned any serious search for truth. We have left it up to the “preachers” to do the searching for us, and we act shocked when these “religious racketeers” take us to the cleaners.

Some years ago I had the opportunity to play a round of golf with a brother in Christ who lived in South Africa and who was an avid golfer; I’m talking pro-golf quality. After we teed off of the first green, I felt intimidated. That feeling persisted until we had golfed another seventeen holes and my “bragging rights” had been properly put in their place. I repeatedly told my fellow golfer that he had me at a distinct disadvantage. Were he and I to play before an audience, to whom do you think the audience would pay the closest attention? To ask is to answer.

Now ask yourself this question. In a world where truth has fallen on hard times, and where men and women are, without doubt, looking for something—anything—better, if we present the truth in its beauty and simplicity it will so far outshine the error that permeates our society that the difference would stand out like the bright noonday sun held up to a small candle. Our Lord affirmed, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Within our Lord’s affirmation are two inherent facts: (1) Truth is absolute. It is interesting that our Lord did not say, “Ye shall know what you THINK to be the truth, and what you THINK shall make you free.” Nor did He say that “you shall honestly follow your opinion, and your opinion shall make you free.” Truth is truth. If I am ignorant of truth, or if I reject the truth, it does not make it any less the truth. (2) Our Lord’s statement also implies that truth is attainable. “Ye shall know” is a clear affirmation that it is possible to know! Words cannot be any clearer. It may require hard study on my part, but truth is attainable. If it is not possible to come to a knowledge of truth then our Lord’s statement is of no value whatsoever.

Seeing, therefore, that the truth is available, attainable, and advantageous, why don’t we quit being discouraged over the title wave of the lies that have become so much a part of our corrupt culture, get on with searching out the truth for ourselves, and then start shouting it from the rooftops? Therein is freedom. Therein is life.

By Tom Wacaster

 

“Not coming to worship today because I was beaten”

“Are Circumstantial Excuses Viable?” (Acts 16:22-30)

Here is the setting:  Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown into a maximum security prison. Beaten, bruised, and bleeding, with their feet in stocks, they were praying and singing praises to God.  How could they do that?!  If anyone had an excuse for being depressed, discouraged, and frustrated, it would’ve been these two preachers.  I’m confident that they did not enjoy their situation or the accompanying pain and suffering, so how could they “praise God?”  Jesus did not enjoy the pain, suffering, or humiliation of the Cross (Matthew 26:39; Hebrews 12:2), but He allowed Himself to be nailed to it anyway, even to the point of death (John 10:18; Philippians 2:8).

As we read of these accounts, and others, e.g. Acts 5:40-42, a certain picture begins to develop. And that picture is this:  our worship and praise to God is not dependent on our circumstances in life, but rather being “filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5: 18-19; Galatians 5:22-23).

In my 35 years of preaching, I could not begin to count the excuses I’ve heard for not worshiping and praising God.  If someone would have told me that they couldn’t worship because they had been beaten and injured for teaching the Gospel, and had been put in prison with their feet in stocks, I would have to respond: “That’s not an excuse.”

Praising and worshiping God is not dependent on circumstances in our life, it is dependent on our heart-felt love and commitment to God who has provided a “narrow way” of salvation (cf. Matthew 7:13-14).  It is dependent on believing that “all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).  This was the faith of Paul and Silas.  This is how they could pray and worship God even in the midst of their suffering.

Toby Miller

-88.6 degrees

“What Are Our Limits?”

The region in which I live, like many others around the U.S., has been experiencing unusual cold in recent days.  This morning the temperature was 5 degrees above zero.  Most of the schools are closed because of icy roads in some of the mountainous areas.  You can be sure that many conversations are centered on the weather.

We sometimes speak of not being able to endure the cold weather much longer, but is that true?  I remember one night here in the early 1980s when readings dropped to -21!  We did a lot of shivering, but we managed to get through it.  We can endure much more extreme conditions than we think we can.

In the Yakutia region of Russia there’s a cold snap going on right now.  There the thermometer has dropped as low as -88.6!  According to the Associated Press article of January 16, 2018, schools routinely are in session even during -40 degree weather.  But when conditions are so cold that eyelashes freeze, even there schools will close.

Christians nearly 2,000 years ago received this exhortation: “For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise” (Hebrews 10:36).  These Christians had already been through much, the writer reminded them: “… you endured a great struggle with sufferings … for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods” (Hebrews 10:32,34).

That’s pretty astonishing, if you ask me.  People often see their goods plundered, but how can anyone accept such an event “joyfully”?!  The writer went on to explain: “… knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven” (Hebrews 10:34).  With a hope for heaven burning strongly in their hearts, the limits of what they could endure rose dramatically.

A bit later the writer gave the strongest motivation possible for enduring such hardships: “For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls” (Hebrews 12:3).  Jesus endured so much because of His love for us.  Will that not help us to endure whatever we must?

Focusing on Jesus’ sacrifice will help stretch the limits of what we can endure for Him.  Don’t you think that’s one reason why Christians are called to partake of the Lord’s Supper each Sunday?  “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).

Is my love strong enough that I will endure hardships?  “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).  He gave His all for me; may I give my best for Him!

Come to the light God offers!  Study His word, the Bible.  Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24).  Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Copyright, 2018, Timothy D. Hall

THE GRANDPARENT NAME GAME

About 1.7 million Americans become grandparents each year. As more and more of my fellow Baby Boomers join me in this new phase of life, they are rewriting the grandparent name game.

According to an article by Clare Ansberry in the Wall Street Journal on May 24, 2016, fewer and fewer are calling themselves “Grandma” or “Grandpa.” Instead, newly minted grandparents are becoming much more creative in the appellations they ask their grandchildren to use. Grandfathers are now “Skipper,” “PopPop,” “Chief,” or even “Punky.”  Grandmothers can be “Tootsie,” “Mimsy,” “Honey,” or “LaLa.”

The website www.Grandparents.com even offers an online name generator:  you simply plug in your gender and given name and presto!  The generator will “grandparentize” it and spit out a creative grandparent name.  For example, “Steve” becomes “Bebop Stavamo”; “Charles” is changed to “Bogie Charlesee”; and “George” turns into “Dadoo Gergedee.”

What is causing this proliferation of grandparent monikers?  Ansberry cites a couple of reasons.  First, Baby Boomers feel that the names “Grandpa” and “Grandma” sound old, and the last thing my generation wants is to seem old.

Second, with people living longer, some children now have grandparents, great-grandparents, and even great-great-grandparents.  Multiple generations of “Grandfathers” and “Grandmothers” can be confusing for young minds.

A third reason, however, is that my generation was raised on the ethos of self-expression. Becoming a grandparent offers us, perhaps for the first time in our life, the opportunity to pick a name that suits us and feels right.  It provides us with a rare chance to remake ourselves, to choose a new identity.

There are some constraints to this burst of creativity.  For example, if the other grandmother already has other grandchildren and is already called “Memaw,” then that name is taken.  Another factor, of course, is a small child’s linguistic limitations:  if you coach your grandson to say “Dadoo Gergedee” and all that comes out of his mouth is “Dag,” then Dag you will be.

I like this new trend of choosing your own grandparent name, not because I have anything against the terms “Grandfather” and “Grandmother,” but rather because the process reminds us that the arrival of the next generationdoes give us a new identity.  Often in the Bible, when a person’s spiritual status changed, their name changed as well.  Thus “Sarai” becomes “Sarah” (Genesis 17:15); “Jacob” is changed to “Israel” (Genesis 32:28); and “Simon” is transformed into “Peter” (John 1:42, Matthew 16:17-18).

When we become grandparents, we really do become new people.  Yes, the arrival of grandchildren can make us more aware that we are growing older, but it also gives us a greater investment in the future. Adding another generation increases our opportunity to exercise spiritual influence and makes us more conscious of the legacy we will be leaving (Deuteronomy 4:9, Proverbs 13:22).  And it can promote a deeper relationship with our grown children, as together we share a common interest in the welfare of their children.

Just between us, hearing the names “Pops” and “Curls” on the lips of our granddaughters is one of the sweetest sounds Gina and I will ever hear!

Dan Williams

Giving God the best requires that we love him with a love that knows no bounds, no limits and has no reservations attached to it.

Thought for the Week

“And this they did, not as we hoped, but first they gave their own selves to the Lord….”–2 Corinthians 8:5.

These words were spoken about the Macedonians tremendous gift to support the relief effort of the brethren living in Judea (Acts 11:29). The Macedonians had given themselves over to the Lord when they first obeyed him. In that obedience they were determined to place themselves entirely into his hands, committing everything they had to him. They kept back nothing as they must have felt that everything was his to begin with. Truly, these are a people who serve as a great example to us that when people (individuals) truly devote themselves willingly and completely to God, they will have no problem giving to him their best.

Giving God the best requires that we love him with a love that knows no bounds, no limits and has no reservations attached to it. This is a love best described in Mark 12:30: “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment”. If we love the Lord in all four of these ways, we too. like those Macedonians will hold back nothing, giving him the best of everything we have.

Giving God our best will require the best of our labors. Paul tells us to be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Cor. 15:58). In Titus 3:1, he urges us to “be ready unto every good work”. Jesus in Matthew 5:16 tells us to let our shine before men that they may see our good works and glorify God. James says tell me about your faith and I will show you my faith by my works (James 2:18). James also tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:20, 26). I wonder, as the all seeing eye of God looks down on us, what does he see? Does he see a worker or does he see a shirker? We need make sure that we put all of God’s commands into practice in such a way that others will be led to obey and give him their best.

Be like those Macedonians, give yourself first to God and do so with a commitment that knows no bounds or limits. I like the words of Prov.23:26: “My son, Give me thine heart..”. Giving him our hearts, we turn over to him our thoughts, understanding, faith, desires, love, trust, intents, purposes and our obedience in all things. If we do this, the best we have will be his.

Charles Hicks

Can you answer all 10 of these questions without help?

 

 

Into All the World – Acts 1

 

 

  1. Between Abraham and Christ there is a period of about _____ years.

 

___A    3,000

 

___B    2,000

 

___C    1,000

 

 

  1. Luke was a _____ by profession.

 

___A    doctor

 

___B    lawyer

 

___C    teacher

 

 

  1. The book of Acts was probably written about _____ A.D.

 

___A    90

 

___B    63

 

___C    58

 

 

  1. The foundation stone of our faith is

 

___A    the Bible

 

___B    righteousness.

 

___C    the resurrection of Christ.

 

 

  1. Pentecost was _____ days after Passover.

 

 

___A    7

 

___B    14

 

___C    50

 

 

 

  1. The word _____ is often used in connection with the coming of the Spirit.

 

___A    cleansing

 

___B    reformation

 

___C    promise

 

 

  1. God’s promise to David about his kingdom was ultimately fulfilled in

 

___A    Christ’s enthronement at God’s right hand after his ascension.

 

___B    the transfiguration of Christ.

 

___C    the atoning death of Christ on the cross.

 

 

  1. The Mount of Olives is located _____ of Jerusalem.

 

___A    south

 

___B    east

 

___C    west

 

 

  1. _____, one of Jesus’ brothers, became the most important leader in the Jerusalem church.

 

___A    James

 

___B    Judas

 

___C    Simon

 

 

  1. To be chosen as an apostle, one had to be

 

___A    born an Israelite.

 

___B    a descendant of the priestly tribe of Levi.

 

___C    an eyewitness of the resurrected Christ.

NEW LIFE RESOLUTIONS

Always a lot of talk this time of the year about New Year Resolutions.  They are made for the New Year.  Some of them are good, and “if” followed would improve one’s life.  Most of them will be physical, and pertain to this life only.  Check any of the lists of “most frequent made new year’s resolutions”.

Have you ever noticed how many times and in how many ways God’s Word speaks of A New Life?  We would like to look at some of these and those who made New Life Resolutions.

     A NEW BIRTH:  In John chapter three Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, came to Jesus with questions about the “Kingdom of God”.  He was surprised by the answer Jesus gave.     “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except one be born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  (v. 3).  Nicodemus responded with the question, “How can a man be born when he is old?”  Jesus’ answer:  “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except one be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God!”  Paul spoke of this in his letter to Titus.  “Not by works done in righteousness which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.  (v.5). Regeneration is renewal or restoration.  The Spiritual renewal or revival.  To begin a new life.  Thus we are “born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the word of God, which liveth and abideth.”  (I Peter 1:23)

When one is born again:  New Birth,  he begins A New Life.  “Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death:  that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.”  (Romans 6:3-4).

When one is  Born Again, and begins to live A  New Life, he is A New Creation.  “Wherefore if any man is in Christ,  ‘he is’  a new creature:  the old things are passed away; behold they are become new.”  (II Cor. 5:17).  When one becomes a Christian, he is NEW, something that has never been before.

Paul refers to this as becoming A New Man.  “…. That ye put away, as concerning your former manner of life, the old man, that waxeth  corrupt after the lusts of deceit; and that ye be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new man, that after God hath been created in righteousness and holiness of truth.”  (Eph.  4:22-23).  Again in Col. 3:9-10:  “….seeing that ye have put off the old man with his doings, and have put on the new man, that is being renewed   unto knowledge after the image of him that created him.”

     Having put on the new man  let us:  “forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, I Press On toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”  (Phil. 3:12-14).

We make the choice of experiencing A New Birth, in order that we might begin to live A New Life.  Thus we become A New Creature, and are A New  Man in Christ Jesus.  All of this we do in order that we may receive that which is promised in Revelation 2:17.  “To him that overcometh, to him will I give the hidden    manna, and I will give him a white stone, and upon the stone a new name written, which no one knoweth but he that receiveth it.”

     May we all Resolve to live so as to RECEIVE THIS NEW NAME!

–Frank Briscoe