The Christian church in Philippians knew how to provide for others who were in need. Although they were not rich, they were:. We are all entering into great financial challenges and all our savings can be wiped out overnight. Or it can happen due to unpredictable weather, or someone can rob our saving from the bank in the touch of the computer button. Or we can lose our jobs and be forced to spend our savings and then sell our home at a loss, all within 6 or 8 months of losing our job.
Remember God is our only source of supplying our needs and He gives to us, but not to be rich or to build up treasure on earth Luke Rather, God gives to us so that we can help others and use it for His glory. God will hold us accountable for what He has been giving us. Does that mean we should all be poor? It means our spiritual gifts should not be hidden, but that we need to put them in use. It means showing our gratitude and love to God by giving the best of what we have.
It means our offering should be pleasing to God, not by giving out of guilt and fear. It means believing that everything we own belongs to God. It means to be available to support others with prayers and financially. And it means to trust that God will provide for our needs.
God promised time and time again that He shall supply all our needs and He will honor His promise whenever we honor Him. And if we trust and believe in our heart that our God can do the impossible, we will never lack or worry. But that is not going to happen unless we have an intimate relationship with Him, and we believe in our heart that He is the only one who can provide our needs and fill our baskets.
And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him " Luke Our lord Jesus Christ gave us a wonderful illustration of human kindness through the parable of the Good Samaritan, and He taught us that fulfilling the spirit of the law is as important as fulfilling the letter of the law.
To add to his misfortunes a mighty famine arose in that land and he began to be in want; and feeling the pinchings of hunger, and looking at his tattered clothes, and having nothing in his pockets, he was driven, as the best way he could then think of adopting for a support, to join himself to a citizen of that country and work for bread. His employer sent him into the fields to feed swine, rather a low calling, one would think for a proud young man who had recently quite an estate in his hands, and whose father was well to do in the world.
He had no thought when he started out with full pockets and well dressed from his father's well-stored house and barns, and his well-fed servants, that he should ever see the day he should have to feed swine for the mere sustenance of his mortal existence; and his sense of pride and independence, with a recollection of an affronted father and friends, forbid the thought of returning home at this time. How could he endure the thought of going home in his rags, penury and disgrace?
Without clothes, credit, money or health - a mere wreck of the noble youth he once was! So he went to feeding swine, and associating with the unclean in their filth in order to get bread; but the famine so increased that no man had any to give him, and his hunger became so great that he would have eaten husks, but they had no sustenance in them for a hungry man. Under these circumstances he "came to himself," and was fully convinced that there was but one alternative to prevent the certain pangs of starvation and death: that was to return to his father's house without delay, while he yet had strength to go.
He resolves now to arise and go to his father, but a consciousness of his guilt and disobedience, against both his earthly father and his Father in heaven, forbids all hope of being received at home with any degree of joy, or even allowed to enter the threshold of his father's mansion; so he makes up his mind to confess all his guilt to his father on sight, and beg no more liberty or honor than a hired servant enjoyed - a place in the kitchen; for even these have "bread enough and to spare, and I perish here with hunger.
But as he approaches the precincts of his former home, he thus soliloquizes: "Will not my father, when he sees my rags and learns the history of my shame and dissipation, forbid me to come inside of his enclosures or to enter his door? Will he not be so shocked and disgusted at the appearance of his once respectable son, and so angry against me that he will disown me forever? I cannot expect and surely deserve nothing better. So his father ran and met, embraced and kissed his truant but repentant son, who, from the sincerity of his heart cried out, "Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
Not just yet. He is too ragged and filthy. Don't let the family see the wretchedness and shame of our noble boy. Don't mortify his sense of decency by ushering him into the parlor thus in his rags. He may have a mother and sisters in there. Nay, go, my servants, and bring the best robe, and put it on him, first divesting him of his filthy rags; and put shoes on his feet and a ring on his hand, and let us kill the fatted calf and feast and rejoice over this our lost son who is now found.
Brother Bodenhamer, and brethren, can you bear with me till I make a brief application of this subject? The parables of the lost sheep, the lost piece of silver, and the prodigal son, were all spoken just after the Pharisees and Scribes had murmured at Jesus for having compassion on "publicans and sinners;" who were the lower classes of the community and hated by the self-righteous. Among these sinners were many Samaritans, whom Jesus blessed, and against whom the Jews held a constant hate. See John 4: 9; II. Kings ; Luke Kings 19, 20 but were very mixed with foreign blood, and had at this date become very idolatrous, and had spent all their substance, and had lost all their privileges under the law.
Many of these were now returning, and were more ready to show compassion on a fellow creature in distress than priests or Levites. Luke The Prodigal Son represents these revolted tribes, or lost sheep of the house of Israel. As they were now returning to their father's house, and when Jesus shows them any respect the older brother is envious and jealous, and is not willing that the rebellious should be forgiven nor blessed.
Why twelve baskets?
The older brother, the house of Judah, who stayed at home, had all the privileges that were ever given, and why get angry at the bestowal of blessings upon the repenting brother? But the prodigal also may represent the Gentile church, or the people of God among the Gentiles, forsaking idols and coming to the house of God. But I cannot close without noticing the experimental application and fitness of this parable a few moments. We see the prodigal sinner wandering far away from the paths of rectitude and from God, wasting his substance and spending his time, health, talents and blessings in riotous living; full of self conceit, and opposed to the legal restraints of his Father in heaven.
He is mixing with swine, with the unclean, but their food does not suit his appetite nor relieve his wants; but when he is brought by the Spirit to realize his awful state of just condemnation and absolute helplessness, he then is brought toward his Father's house, saying, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight and am worthy of nothing.
But God sees him afar off, and in everlasting love and divine compassion embraces him in forgiving love, before he is brought into the house of God; strips off his filthy self-righteousness, puts on the spotless robe of Christ, shoes him with the preparation of the gospel, and puts on his hand the ring of eternal love. Thus clad he is brought into the house of the banquet, and there is joy in the presence of the angels. O what compassion is here displayed on the part of the Father, and what unspeakable joy and endless gratitude should fill the heart of the redeemed sinner! This parable also will fit the case of a back-slider in Zion, exactly, but I have been too lengthy already.
The above fragment is submitted. But here I am again with another Fragment, and if you approve it, and any of the Lord's little ones shall receive a crumb of comfort and consolation from it, I shall be gratified. How often does the Lord work out of the sight of mortals in the accomplishment of his purposes? How high are his ways and thoughts above that of blinded human reason?
How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! He destroys the wisdom of the wise, baffles the best laid plots of wicked men, and checkmates the hellish designs of the wicked one when they are opposed to His gracious purposes in behalf of his children. During the great famine in the days of Elijah, while the wicked Ahab was hunting him in order to destroy him, and searching all the surrounding kingdoms for the object of his vengeance, how little did he and his emissaries imagine that Elijah's God was feeding the old prophet within twenty miles of Jerusalem?
And how contrary to the laws of nature, to reason, and out of the sight of mortals that God should send him his daily supplies of bread and flesh in his lonely retreat by the fowls of heaven! But the Lord will provide for the wants of his children, though it may be by a miracle. The prophet may have wondered where these winged messengers got their food, and how they could find him in his hiding place. Will they come again, and again, morning and evening, and supply my daily returning wants?
If not, I must inevitably perish. How often he was reminded on this miraculous provision for his very existence. But he called to mind that the Lord whom he served had declared "I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. Kings 4. But after a while the brook that supplied him with water dried up. What now shall I do? He must have water as well as food. The prospect is gloomy; doubts are ready to rise, and distrust is creeping into his heart. Is his mercy clean gone for ever?
Hath God forgotten to be gracious? There was a Gentile city some two hundred miles north called Zarephath, Sarepta. To it the prophet was directed to go, by the word of the Lord, "Behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. Chapter But the "way of man is not in himself; it is not in him that walketh to direct his steps;" and hence the prophet reached the gate of the city in safety. But, poor old man, how weary, and hungry and thirsty!
Had he been long in finding this widow he might have sunk under his fatigue and want; but, blessed be God, the very woman upon whom his life depended was there. The thirsty man, recognizing her as "the widow" whom God had appointed to sustain him, begged her to bring him a "little water," and as she was going to wait on him he added another request for a "morsel of bread. Had he been sent to and sustained by the opulent, the hand of the Lord had not been seen in it; but as God has ever chosen the poor, the weak and the despised things of this world, through whom to glorify his name, and accomplish his purposes, so in this case a destitute widow is chosen to feed the prophet during the mighty famine.
This widow was not the only one that ever gave a disciple a cup of cold water, or cast a mite into the treasury of the Lord, as many of the Lord's way-worn ministers can testify. At the second request of the prophet, the destitute woman was compelled to divulge the mortifying fact of her poverty, declaring to the hungry man that she had but a "handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in the cruse. But the prophet tells her to fear not, but make him a little cake and then make for herself and son; "For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.
The widow goes daily to her barrel, and finds each day a little still there, just enough for one meal for the family. What will we do for meal tomorrow? Yet it will take all there is to supply the household a respectable repast. How often was she reminded of her dependence on the word of the Lord, and on him to miraculously supply the absolute necessities of their existence? Had He filled her barrel to the brim at any one time, she might have become forgetful of her dependence, and might have become gluttonous, but she must daily see the bottom, and be reminded every morning of her dependence for fresh supplies of meal and oil.
She had drained the cruse the day before, and now she finds just enough again to answer in making the next cake. If she doubts the word of the Lord any morning when she rises, she goes into her pantry and looks into her barrel again, even to the very bottom, and there she sheds tears of joy, and feels to weep over her unbelief in the promise of God. And the meal wasted not, neither the oil till the time of plenty. So it was with Israel in the desert; they had to gather a little manna every day, except on the Sabbath, and was reminded of the Lord's mercies being fresh every morning.
Macomb, Illinois, Brother Bodenhamer: - The above text, though not found in the Bible, is often repeated, and appears to be extensively incorporated into the system of religion as held by all who contend for a conditional salvation; i. I shall in this fragment try to refute this theory, and shall oppose it by another text not found in the Bible, viz. If I succeed in overthrowing the first theory, I shall establish the second; for if man by nature is destitute of any goodness or grace, he is, necessarily, in a state of total or entire depravity.
To the law, then, and to the testimony. We shall draw from the language of inspiration a description of man in his fallen state, and try to learn his pedigree from the pens of men moved by the Holy Ghost. The nation of Israel were blessed above any other people on earth with moral advantages, and yet it was said of them as a body, "The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores.
With this positive and sweeping testimony we might rest the case of the descendants of Abraham. They have no moral soundness in the head, nor in the heart, and the whole man is a mass of moral putrefaction. Where then does there reside any spark of grace, or germ of holiness? The head says, It is not in me, and the heart answers, It is not in me, and the whole man responds to the query, Look not for it in me, for I am corrupt. At an earlier age of the world, before the flood, God, in his infinite scrutiny examined the race of man, and he "saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
The above is a dark picture of our race as seen by the all-searching eyes of the Creator before the deluge swept them away, and no goodness was found in their hearts, but all flesh had corrupted his way. But at a later period of the history of our fallen race, not only Isaiah, as has been already quoted, but another inspired writer, contemplating our corrupt and depraved nature, declares that "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it? The heart, then, was no better in his day than it was previous to the flood - no improvement - no goodness found, but on the contrary, They will revolt more and more, is the voice of inspiration.
But if there remains any doubts about the matter, and any one still questions the corruption and depravity of the entire race, both Jews and Gentiles, his attention is invited to the language of David, as quoted by the apostle, to wit: "We have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin.
Let inspiration answer: "There is none righteous, no, not one. There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood. Destruction and misery are in their ways, and the way of peace have they not known.
There is no fear of God before their eyes. The above catalogue of crime and corruption presents man in a deplorable state, and examines him in detail, and no good is found in the throat, or tongue, or lips, or mouth, or eyes, or feet; hence every mouth is stopped, and all the world becomes guilty before God.
Where is any inherent goodness in such a polluted creature? Where can any spark of grace exist in such a mass of sin and corruption? In a heart full of iniquity there is no room for any goodness. But as some contend that the foregoing quotations allude more to the corporeal than the mental man, a mere subterfuge, however, we shall examine more particularly the mental man in the light of revelation. We have already found that the heart, the seat of the affections, is desperately wicked and deceitful; and Christ says, "Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, false witness, blasphemies.
Such a fountain of corruption cannot contain any thing good, while thus corrupt, nor can it send forth any other than a corrupt stream. Paul says, "The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. And again, "The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not.
So there is no spark of grace in the mind of the unregenerate. The apostle says, "Having the undertanding darkened being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart. Again, "There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. The understanding then is destitute of a spark of grace or goodness.
The conscience is seared with a hot iron, and the mind and conscience are defiled.
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But what about the affections of the natural man? He loves darkness rather than light, because his deeds are evil. He hates the light, and will not come to it lest his deeds should be reproved. John 3: 19, But what about the free will and the desires of the poor fallen creature? The case is a deplorable one to contemplate: "Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life.
How destitute then of grace, and of goodness are fallen men! How utterly helpless are sinners, who are dead in trespasses and sins! Where now is free will? That in me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing? Oh, deplorable and wretched state! Oh, what height and depth, and length of love must be found in the bosom of the eternal mind, that led Him to provide mercy for such helpless sinners!
Unless He loves with an everlasting love, and draws sinners with lovingkindness, they are undone forever. Brother Bodenhamer: - The good old Book lies before me, opened at the 17th chapter of I. Samuel, and it strikes me that the youthful David, meeting and slaying the champion of the enemy's army, sets forth, typically, in many respects, Jesus, the son of David, meeting and overthrowing the enemy and accuser of his brethren.
Fly-Maggots Feeding on Caterpillars
I shall, by your permission, very briefly notice a few of the particulars in the character and life of David, wherein he appears to be a type of Christ. In the first place, David, when he was anointed by Samuel to be King over the national Israel of God, was but a youth in humble life, that of a shepherd boy, who would have been overlooked by the world, by his own countrymen, and was about to be overlooked by the prophet; but God, who looketh on the heart, rather than on the outward appearance, pointed him out to the prophet as the future King over His people.
So Jesus, our spiritual David, was rejected by his countrymen and brethren, as of too humble a birth and condition of life, born in a manger, and reputed to be the son of a carpenter, yet he was anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows.