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The Smallest Soil

I Corinthians 16:13 “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.  Let all your things be done with charity.”

I Kings 2:1-3 “Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man; And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself”

I Timothy 6:11-12 “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”

John Adams made the following commitment to Abigail and their children in a letter from December of 1781: “My Children, shall never have, the smallest soil of dishonor or disgrace brought upon them by their father, no not to please Ministers, Kings, or Nations.”

As we celebrate Father’s Day this weekend, let all Christian Dads make the same commitment to our wives and to our children.  Regardless of the temptations that swirl around us, let us resolve to stand strong against anything that would bring dishonor or disgrace on our families.  Let us stand fast in the faith as the men we were designed to be.  Let us live our lives exuding the love of Christ.  Let us walk in the ways of the Lord, while keeping His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies.  Let us flee anything that would lead to the smallest soil upon an upright reputation, and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness.  May we all fight the good fight of faith.

PLEASE PRAY FOR AMERICAN CHRISTIAN MEN TO LIVE UP TO OUR HIGH CALLING IN A SOCIETY DESPERATE FOR PROPER MALE ROLE MODELS.  The smallest soil can hinder the cause of Christ, but a determined Christian husband and father can shew himself a man through a Christlike combination of righteousness, strength, and love.

Reverence and Resignation Becomes Us

Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher that your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

I Corinthians 4:2 “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”

The American Revolutionary War began on April 19, 1775 in the skirmishes of Concord and Lexington in the colony of Massachusetts.  John Adams wrote the following to Abigail about these monumental events shortly thereafter:

“It is Arrogance and Presumption in human Sagacity to pretend to penetrate far into the Designs of Heaven.  The most perfect Reverence and Resignation becomes us.  But, I can’t help depending upon this, that the present dreadful Calamity of that beloved Town is intended to bind the Colonies together in more indissoluble Bands, and to animate their Exertions, at this great Crisis in the Affairs of Mankind.  It has this Effect, in a most remarkable Degree, as far as I have yet seen or heard.  It will plead with all America, with more irresistible Persuasion, than Angels trumpet tongued.”

John Adams illuminates two vital spiritual truths in this short paragraph in the midst of their dreadful calamity.  First, he reminds us that we cannot know the mind of God in the orchestration of human events.  As God’s plans unfold around us, we are to avoid arrogance and presumption in thinking that we understand the workings of an Almighty God.  Instead, we are to remain faithful in perfect reverence and resignation, realizing that His ways and His thoughts are far higher than ours.  Second, we must know with surety and imagine with creativity that God’s workings are magnificent.  He is the Master Composer and Conductor, crafting a perfect symphony though the individual notes at the time are unsure and uncertain.  When we are tempted to fret about the situation around us, we must remember that He is masterfully working all things together for good. 

In the midst of a situation in America in 2021 that seems at times like a dreadful calamity, we must similarly cling to these spiritual truths.  First, as God’s plans unfold around us, we are to avoid arrogance and presumption in thinking that we understand the workings of an Almighty God.  Instead, we are to remain faithful in perfect reverence and resignation, realizing that His ways and His thoughts are far higher than ours.  Second, we must know with surety and imagine with creativity that God’s workings are magnificent.  He is the Master Composer and Conductor, crafting a perfect symphony though the individual notes at this time are unsure and uncertain.  When we are tempted to fret about the situation around us, we must remember that He is masterfully working all things together for good.

PLEASE PRAY FOR AMERICAN CHRISTIANS TO HUMBLY TRUST GOD’S PERFECT PLAN FOR OUR NATION WHILE WE REMAIN FAITHFUL.  Reverence and resignation becomes us!

Please see the following prior posts on the events at Lexington and Concord:

NOTE:  My next PLUS post will not be until June 19th.  Enjoy your next few weeks, and please continue to faithfully and fervently pray for our nation and our leaders.

Under That Roof

James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

I Timothy 2:1-4 “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

John Adams moved into the White House in 1801.  After seeing the nearly completed structure a few months before it was ready for a full-time resident, he wrote the following to Abigail on November 2, 1800:

“Before I end my Letter I pray Heaven to bestow the best of Blessings on this House and all that shall hereafter inhabit it.  May none but honest and wise Men ever rule under this roof.”

President Adams was right about the urgent and continuous need for prayers of blessing to those who would inhabit that house.  We still need those who are honest and wise to be our President, and that individual deserves to be a fundamental part of our daily, fervent prayers.  Their party, their political affiliation, or their policy leanings are irrelevant to this admonition!  We must follow the faithful command of our second earthly Chief Executive in doing so. 

Most importantly, we must follow the command of our permanent and everlasting Heavenly Chief Executive in doing so as well.  We must do so in order to lead quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty.  After all, this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour as it creates the conditions for our fellow citizens to come to the knowledge of the truth and to be saved. 

PLEASE PRAY FOR HEAVENLY BLESSINGS ON THE WHITE HOUSE AND FOR ALL WHO SHALL INHABIT IT.  PRAY FOR HONESTY AND WISDOM FOR OUR CURRENT PRESIDENT AND FOR EVERY PRESIDENT TO FOLLOW.  May God bestow His blessings on President Biden and on all those who will ever reside under that roof!

An Understanding Heart II

I Kings 3:5, 9-13 “In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee … Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?  And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.  And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.  And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.”

On February 8, 1797, upon hearing that her husband would become the next President of the United States, Abigail Adams wrote the following prayer:

“And now O Lord my God thou hast made thy servant Ruler over the people, give unto him an understanding Heart, that he may know how to go out, and come in before this great people, that he may discern between good and bad, for who is able to judge this, thy so great people?”

She went on to follow that written prayer with these additional thoughts to her husband:

“My Thoughts, and my meditations are with you, though personally absent, and my petitions to Heaven are that the things which make for Peace, may not be hidden from your Eyes … My feelings are not those of Pride, or ostentation upon the occasion.  They are solemnized by a sense of the obligations, the important Trusts and Numerous Duties connected with it, that you may be enabled to discharge them with Honour to yourself, with justice and impartiality to your Country, and with satisfaction to this Great People.”

These words of prayer and encouragement from more than two centuries ago are a textbook reminder of how we are to pray for our nation’s leaders.  God, give our leaders understanding hearts!  Allow them the ability to discern between good and bad.  May the things which make for peace be visible to them!  May they be humbled by a sense of their solemn obligations, important trusts, and numerous duties.  May our leaders be enabled and empowered to discharge their duties with honor to themselves, with justice and impartiality to their country, and with satisfaction to the governed. 

PLEASE PRAY FOR WISDOM, DISCERNMENT, AND UNDERSTANDING FOR OUR NATION’S LEADERS.  “Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that [they] may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?”

Please see the following for a previous thought from 2014 on the need for prayers for understanding hearts in the leaders of our nation:

ADMIN NOTE: With this blog I celebrate my 600th PLUS post; praise God!

Woke

Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

Malachi 2:10 “Have we not all one father?  hath not one God created us?  why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?”

John 3:16 “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.”

Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

James, a young black man, was a friend of John and Abigail Adams.  He was a paid worker for this family, and was loved, cared for, and educated by them.  In a letter from February 13, 1797, Abigail described a confrontation that resulted from her decision to send James to school upon his request:

“James desired that he might go.  I told him to go with my compliments to Master Heath and ask him if he would take him.  He did and Master Heath returned for answer that he would.  Accordingly James went.  After about a week, Neighbour Faxon came in one Evening and requested to speak to me.  His errand was to inform me that if James went to School, it would break up the School for the other Lads refused to go.”

As a result, Abigail railed against this obvious injustice:

“This Mr. Faxon is attacking the principle of Liberty and equality upon the only Ground upon which it ought to be supported, an equality of Rights.  The Boy is a Freeman as much as any of the young Men, and merely because his Face is Black, is he to be denied instruction?  How is he to be qualified to procure a livelihood?  Is this the Christian Principle of doing to others, as we would have others do to us?”

In a stunning punctuation of her argument that reminded others of their Christian obligations, Abigail went on to sternly remind Mr. Faxon and the young men he represented that “I hope we shall all go to Heaven together.”

Mr. Faxon, swayed by her passionate, Bible-based arguments left to carry the message to the Lads whose perspectives were skewed by discrimination.  The result from Abigail’s perspective: James has since attended school for some time and “I have not heard any more upon the subject.” 

“Woke” is a modern term-of-art for being alert to injustice and racism.  Frankly, an honest and respectful discussion about lingering racial inequality in our society would be healthy and productive.  Yet, it is important to realize that these discussions are not new as a part of our American experiment, and our current Christian perspective should be modeled on the words of this Founding Mother and her Biblical worldview. 

“Love thy neighbor as thyself,” “God created man in his own image,” “Have we not all one Father,” “For God so loved the world,” “ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”  These thoughts were undoubtedly flooding through the mind of Abigail Adams as she rebuked racism in her day.  These same thoughts should dominate our thinking today as we strive to mend and heal a society filled with strife and adversity.  They also provide an historical example of justice that should make us proud of our founders, and that discounts the current narrative about the ubiquitous, inherent evils of America’s origin. 

PLEASE PRAY FOR THE HEALING OF AMERICA WHILE EMBRACING A BIBLE-BASED VIEW OF EQUALITY AND JUSTICE.  In 1797, Abigail Adams made a bold stand for equality and justice.  May her example provide a model of true wokeness in Christian America today that elevates healing and justice instead of strife as we mold our society to ensure an Equality of Rights for all people.

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