The apostle Peter referred to “a more sure word of prophecy,” and spoke of “a light that shineth in a dark place” (II Peter 1:16-19, KJV). In his church bulletin, “The East Main Messenger,” of April 19, 2020, Wayne Lankford, my friend of almost 50 years and longtime minister of the East Main Church of Christ in Murfreesboro, TN, wrote: “What was a ‘more sure word of prophecy?’ And, what did ‘a light that shineth in a dark place’ have reference to? The Lord was aware of adversities and trials they (Peter’s original readers, hf) faced. The same is true with us. Yet, during those times, their character and faith were being tested, but not without hope in Christ. Prophecies of old were inspired (see 2 Peter 1:20-21). They also foretold of Jesus’ coming. Their words (writings) were as a light shining in a dark place (Psa. 119:105). Yet, their light was not as bright as the ‘day star’ that would bring light into hearts.”
Wayne went on to say, “Peter, James and John witnessed the miraculous event of Jesus’ transfiguration. They saw Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus. They also saw a bright cloud that overshadowed and the voice that said, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him’ (see Matt. 17:1-5). This event made prophecies foretold by the prophets concerning Jesus ‘a more sure word of prophecy.’ The ‘day star’ that shined in brightness began with the events of Pentecost (Acts 2). It continues for those who obey the gospel, and continue to walk in its light (I John 1:7).”
From that same issue of The East Main Messenger came the following: A Christian is a mind through which Christ thinks, a heart through which Christ loves, a voice through which Christ speaks, a hand through which Christ helps.
- Count your blessings – not your crosses.
- Count your gains – not your losses.
- Count your joys – not your woes.
- Count your friends – not your foes.
- Count your courage – not your fears.
- Count your laughter – not your tears.
- Count your health – not your wealth.
- Count on God – not yourself.
“Regardless, the day for the common assembly of the church was still the first day of the week. The Lord’s supper was not celebrated on Saturday in earliest times, and only later did liturgical practice reach back to Saturday with special preparatory services. The references are numerous, unanimous, and unambiguous… / The Lord’s supper was celebrated only on Sunday as far as our second-century sources go… / The Lord’s supper was a constant feature of the Sunday services. There is no second-century evidence for the celebration of a daily eucharist” (Early Christians Speak: Faith and Life in the First Three Centuries, 3rd Edition, Everett Ferguson, Ph.D., A. C. U. Press, Abilene, TX , pp. 69, 84, 94).
A few weeks ago I sent out a “News & Views” on “Where Do We Go When We Die?” Keeping in mind that we do not go directly into the eternal state when we die, I thought some of my readers might enjoy the following story taken from the April 19, 2020 edition of the New Providence Church of Christ in Clarksville, TN.
A 95 year old woman at the nursing home received a visit from one of her fellow church members. “How are you feeling, Mary?” the visitor asked. “Oh,” said Mary, “I’m just worried sick!”
“What are you worried about, dear?” her friend asked. “You look like you’re in good health. They are taking good care of you, aren’t they?”
“Yes, they are taking good care of me.” “Are you in any pain?” the friend asked. “No, I have never had a pain in my life” Mary replied.
“Well, what then are you worried about?” the friend asked.
Leaning back in her rocking chair, Mary said: “Every close friend I ever had has already died and gone on to heaven. I’m afraid they’re all wondering where I went!”
Somewhere I read that “wisdom is knowing what to do; skill is knowing how to do it; virtue is doing it well.”
A Real Optimist: A man sentenced to death obtained a reprieve by assuring the king that he would teach his majesty’s horse to fly within the year—on the condition that if he did not succeed, he would be put to death at the end of the year. “Within a year,” the man explained, “the king may die, or I may die, or the horse may die. Furthermore, in a year, who knows? Maybe the horse will learn to fly.” (Attributed to Bernard M. Baruch, and taken from House to House—Heart to Heart).
From the trenchant pen of F. B. Srygley [1859-1940] (as cited by Earl Kimbrough in his excellent book, My Way of Thinking: Wit and Wisdom of F. B. Srygley)come the following bits of wisdom. The original source is cited after each quotation.
“The opposition to all religious controversy under the guise of extreme goodness and great piety will do more to foster and keep alive error on religious subjects than any other one thing which the Wicked One could suggest” (Gospel Advocate, March 6, 1924).
“The truth can be smothered by the swan song that ‘the day of controversy is over.’ The day of controversy will never be over till all men come to the knowledge of the truth” (Gospel Advocate, June 5, 1930).
“If someone before us had not fought for the truth, most of us . . . might yet be in the fog of denominational teaching or in the Catholic Church that the Pope of Rome rules today” (Gospel Advocate, January 19, 1939).
“I cannot believe that the doctrine of God would make an Episcopalian of one man and a Baptist of another, or a Catholic of one and a Christian of another. It will make the same of all men” (Gospel Advocate, August 29, 1929).
Wise words indeed.
Have a wonderful week!
June 2, 2020
June 7: Rockliff Church of Christ, McMinnville, TN (10 a.m.)