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  • Writer's pictureFrank Paul

April 2024 Newsletter


The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is Arlington National Cemetery’s most iconic memorial.

The neoclassical, white marble sarcophagus stands atop a hill overlooking Washington, D.C. Since 1921, it has provided a final resting place for one of America’s unidentified World War I service members, and Unknowns from later wars were added in 1958 and 1984. The Tomb has also served as a place of mourning and a site for reflection on military service.


Quotes of the month


The Spartans do not ask how many are the enemy, but where are they.

 

Plutarch


Every command of Christ bears today’s date.

 

 Charles Spurgeon

  

No one has ever become poor by giving.

 

Anne Frank

 

Be proof that good people with no hidden agenda still exist.

 

Augustina Ekwunife

 

And Jesus said to James, “If you consider how long the world has existed before you and how long it will exist after you, you will see that your life is but a day and your suffering but an hour.

 

The Secret Book of James,

Nag Hammadi Scriptures

 

You should no more allow sinful imaginations to accumulate in your mind and soul than you would let garbage collect in your living room.

 

Billy Graham

 

O, Lord, save me from sin, and guide me with thy Spirit, and keep me in faithful obedience to Thee, through Jesus Christ Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.

 

Thomas Arnold

  

Bible Emergency Numbers:

 

Upset – John 14

Weak – Psalm 18:1-29

Lonely – Psalm 23

Sinned – Psalm 51

Worried – Matthew 8:19-31

Anxious – Philippians 4:6-7

Unhappy – Colossians 3:12-17

In Danger – Psalm 91

Depressed – Psalm 27

Lack of Faith – Exodus 14

Need Courage – Joshua 1

Need Direction – Psalm 73:21-26

Seeking Peace – Matthew 11:25-30

Leaving on a Trip – Psalm 121

Struggling with Loss – Luke 15

Struggling Financially – Psalm 37

Discouraged with Work - Psalm 126

 

Poems

 

More about Jesus would I know, More of His grace to others show; More of His saving fullness see, More of His love, who died for me. More about Jesus let me learn, More of His Holy Will discern; Spirit of God, my teacher be, Showing the things of Christ to me.

 

Eliza E. Hewitt, “More about Jesus”  1887

 

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,

What a glory He sheds on our way!

While we do His good will,

 He abides with us still,

And with all who will trust and obey.

 

John H. Sammis, “Trust and Obey” 1887

 

The Price of Freedom

 

By Pastor James Merritt

 

And all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus

 

Romans 3:24

 

When something is free, it doesn’t cost us anything. Often we hear salvation described as “God’s free gift.” And that is true. Salvation is free to the one receiving the gift. But the reason it costs us nothing is because it cost Jesus everything.

The Apostle Paul describes mankind as “slaves to sin” before salvation. Long before governments offered poverty assistance programs, if a person fell into debt they could lose their land, become completely destitute and totally impoverished. The only possible means of avoiding prison or starvation was to sell yourself into slavery in exchange for the debt being repaid. Or, you could be born or forced into slavery. Regardless of how you became a slave, the only way to get your freedom was to be redeemed. Someone either had to pay off your debt or purchase your freedom. The term for that became “redemption.”

The truth is every single one of us was born into slavery. Our master is sin. We are born into spiritual slavery under the domination of sin. Just like any other slave, we have no means and no ability to free ourselves. Jesus Christ redeemed us. He bought us out of captivity with His blood.

Father, thank You for the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Because of Your gift of grace, I am no longer a slave to sin. Thank You for buying my freedom. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Church

 

by Alistair Begg

 

Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about 3,000 were added to their number that day.

 

Acts 2:41

 

What do you think of when you hear the word “church”? Some people associate this word with religion, and that is why more and more people will tell you they are “spiritual,” but don’t have any use for “organized religion,” or “church.” Some people associate the word “church” with a specific denomination, so when you mention church they think Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, or Lutheran. Then, many associate “church” with a location. They think about a church building or what is traditionally called a “sanctuary.”

The surprising truth is that the word “church” occurs more than 100 times in the New Testament, but it is never used in any of these ways. This word, “church,” literally means “a gathering of people.” A religious bureaucracy, denominational branding, or a specific building is not needed. All you need to have a church is people.

This definition reflects the purpose of the Body of Christ, doesn’t it? The purpose of the Church is to reach people with the Gospel so that the Holy Spirit can draw them into a relationship with Jesus Christ. Two thousand years ago the earliest Church had a magnetic draw that was to this day unparalleled.

This Church formed right after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ and started with 120 people. After a brief but powerful sermon preached by Peter at a festival called Pentecost, the Church grew from 120 to 3,000! Throughout the Book of Acts, we read about the Church’s continued growth.

The reason for the explosive growth of the early Church was this: People were drawn by the Spirit of God to the Word of God. You see the only thing the believers had to attract people and to draw people was their witness. The Apostles knew they must continue to faithfully preach God’s Word or the Church would not grow. They knew that it was God doing the work of salvation.

The same is true today. When we get right down to it, our witness is all we have to draw people to Christ. The Spirit of God still draws people to the Word of God. When we let our light shine, God can use our witness to do this incredible work of drawing lost souls to Himself. How are you being used?

 

Dear Lord, I want to be used by You to draw the lost into the Church. Please show me how to live in a way that shows others Your goodness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Questions about The Sermon on the Mount

   

     by Frank Paul

 

The Sermon on the Mount is a section of the Bible that even casual Christians tend to be

familiar with; and most of us are even more familiar with what has been labeled as “The Beatitudes.”  You know what I’m referring to; those eight verses that Jesus opens The Sermon on the Mount with in Matthew, Chapter 5. For example, blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are they that mourn, blesses are the meek, to name just a couple.

Well, admittedly, for quite some time I didn’t understand them. I was using my current understanding of the words to try and figure out what in the world Jesus was alluding to. It wasn’t until I read Emmet Fox’s book entitled “The Sermon on the Mount,” that Jesus’ words became clear to me. I have mentioned this book before, and will do so again. It is one of the best modern Christian books I have come across. Fox’s explanation on the Beatitudes, his breakdown on the Lord’s Prayer, are just illuminating to the reader. I strongly suggest picking up a copy for yourself. Your journey through the Bible will become that much clearer.

One of the most confusing and concerning verses to me for years that Jesus said was that “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”  Seriously? The meek? Come on, Jesus, what are you talking about? That is until I read Fox’s book. I will extrapolate some of the verses of the Beatitudes from Fox’s Sermon on the Mount over the next couple of

newsletters to hopefully allow our readers to better understand what Jesus was meaning as He spoke these words 2,000 years ago.   

The first one we will explore with Fox’s help is the one I just mentioned, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

The following are extracts from Fox’s book, pages 27 to 32, and they are his words. I will jump in again at the end.

On the surface, this Beatitude seems to have very little meaning, and what there is seems to be obviously contradicted by the plain facts of everyday life. No sensible person on looking about the world or studying history could sincerely accept this saying at its face value, and most honest Christians have passed it by in practice with a regretful feeling that no doubt that is how things ought to be, but that they certainly are not so in fact.

But this attitude will not do. Sooner or later the soul reaches a point where evasions and sophistries have to be discarded once and for all, and the fact of life faced squarely at whatever cost.

Now, either Jesus meant what he said, or he did not; and either he knew what he was talking about, or he did not. And so, if this saying is not to be taken seriously, we are driven to the

position which no Christian will care to accept – either that Jesus was saying what he did not really believe, as unscrupulous people do, or that he was talking nonsense. We have to face up to this situation at the very beginning of our study of this Sermon on the Mount. Either Jesus is to be taken seriously, or he is not to be taken seriously, in which case his teaching should be dropped altogether and people should cease to call themselves Christians. To pay lip service to his name, to say that Christianity is the divinely inspired Truth, to boast of being Christians, and then quietly to evade in practice all the definite implications of his teaching, is hypocrisy and weakness of the most utterly fatal kind.

We notice that there are two polar words in the text – “meek” and “earth.” First of all, the word “earth” in the Bible does not mean merely this terrestrial globe. It really means manifestation. In other words, your “earth” means the whole of your outer experience, and to “inherit the earth” means to have dominion over that outer experience; that is to say, to have power to bring your conditions of life into harmony and true success. It is referring to the conditions of our lives from our bodily health outwards to the farthest point in our affairs.

 So this text undertakes to tell us how we may possess, or govern, to be masters of our own lives and destinies.

Now let us see how it is to be done. The Beatitude says that dominion, that is, power over the conditions of our lives, is to be obtained in a certain way, and in the most unexpected of all ways – by nothing less than meekness. The fact is, however, that this word “meekness” also is used in a special and technical sense. Its true significance has nothing in common with the meaning it now bears in modern English. Actually, there are few more unpleasant qualities in human nature than the one that is nowadays denoted by the word “meekness.” To a modern reader, the “meek” suggests a person devoid of courage and self-respect, of no use to himself or anyone else, crawling over the face of the earth like a worm. The modern reader, with these connotations of the word in mind, comes to the Sermon on the Mount and rejects the teaching that it gives because, here on the threshold, he is told that dominion is for the meek; and this doctrine he cannot accept.

The true significance of the word “meek” in the Bible is a mental attitude for which there is no other single word available, and it is this mental attitude which is the secret of “prosperity” or success in prayer. It is a combination of open-mindedness, faith in God, and the realization that the Will of God for us is always something joyous and interesting and vital, and much better than anything we could think of for ourselves.

This state of mind also includes a perfect willingness to allow this Will of God to come about in whatever way Divine Wisdom considers to be best, rather than in some particular way that we have chosen for ourselves. This mental attitude, complex in analysis but simple in itself, is the key to dominion, or success in demonstration. There is no one word for it in common speech, because the thing does not exist except for those who are upon the spiritual basis of the Jesus Christ teaching; but if we desire to inherit the earth, we must absolutely acquire this “meekness.” There is a marvelous Oriental saying that “Meekness compels God Himself.”

 

Okay, so I didn’t say it would be an easy read. Fox is pretty deep; however, his explanation of “meek” has helped me understand Jesus’ words better and has allowed me to apply them to today’s living. Meekness in 1st Century Galilean terms is not the meekness we define it as in 2024. It is not a sniveling coward, or overly shy person, but a man or woman who is willing to let the Will of God rule in his or her life and not try to do everything on their own. I hope this helped you understand this one passage of Beatitudes better. We will explore another one next month.

 

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.

 

Colossians 1:10

 

Prayers

 

O, Lord, the Lord whose ways are right, keep us in they mercy from lip-service and empty forms; from having a name that we live, but being dead. Help us to worship Thee by righteous deeds and lives of holiness; that our prayer also may be set forth in Thy sight as the incense, and the lifting up of our hands be as an evening sacrifice. Amen.

 

Christina Rossetti, 1842

 

Kindle in us the fire of Thy love; help Thou our weakness, that, strengthened in Thee and by Thee, we may take heed by good works to make our calling sure. Whatsoever our hand findeth to do, may we straightway do it, with desire to please Thee only, and then be

Thou our exceeding great reward. Amen.

 

Jacob Merlo Horstius, 1877

 

 

God doesn’t require us to succeed, He only requires that you try.

 

Mother Teresa

 

 

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North Olmsted, Ohio 44070

 

 

 

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copyright@TheSeedSower2024

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