Monday, July 13, 2015

       A Psalm of Grace

G. S. Jones  1/14/15
Lord, I see and I thank You
That all things good have come from Your hand.
All things true, lovely, and everlasting,
All things simple and all things grand.

By Your hand I am fed and held,
By Your hand the Book of Life is written.
But as I rebel my sins are nails
And it is Your hand the nails have bitten.

The awful ingratitude that I would transgress,
And ignore your blessings in flood,
When I crossed Your line
I lined Your cross with blood.

With glorious grace You have forgiven,
From Your infinite reserve,
With marvelous mercy You have withheld
The judgment I deserve.

I have bitten my Master’s hand, a thousand times?
Yet only five scars are left to show,
For me You have only love,
In spite of what You know.

To this mercy I must respond
With the thanks I had misplaced.
How could I or anyone do less
When the Truth is faced?

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Way
G.S. Jones

In pain and loss it cost us dear,
But it was His way, and it brought us here.

The road was steep and rough and bent,
But it brought us here, it had an end.

The trail was broken, now so are we,
But it brought us here, where we need to be.

Our trek is not over, we’ve not arrived,
It brought us here to look back, and be revived.  

It can lead us home, though it is steeper still,
Since it brought us here, it certainly will.

This is our way, follow it we must.
He brought us here, and has earned our trust.

After a glance behind, we’re ready to look ahead.
It brought us this far, so on we tread.

Sure, it will rise and fall, and cost us dear,
But it is His way, and it brought us here.

Monday, March 2, 2015

A Psalm

G.S. Jones 1/13/15

O Lord, my Holy God,
You Who are all in all,
   Without Your say none may rise,
And not a one will fall.
Grant that Your servants would see,
Wonderful works that You have planned.
   That the mighty and proud will fade,
And the simple and humble will stand.
Though man thinks himself wise,
So often his vision is clouded,
   He claims to know the future,
But You have kept it shrouded.

Reveal Your power and faithfulness we pray,
From Your all-wise pen, a seamless story,
   Held in Your almighty hand
All for Your eternal glory.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Are You Running from Your Book?

There is a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation about “fundamentalists” these days. For one thing, Islamic Fundamentalists are frequently being called “extremists” by authorities and in the news, because they have returned to a literal interpretation or practice of their holy book, the Quran. I have done a little study on that book, and while it is often self-contradictory, it does seem that the terrorists are practicing their book fairly accurately. This would make them very much “Muslim” even if they are being left behind by some of the modern moderates who use the name.

Webster’s definition of “fundamentalism” is what I have in mind, which is, “a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles.” For Muslims those principles are found in the Quran even though their imams are given wide latitude in interpretation. For Orthodox Jews their basic principles are found in the Talmud and the Torah, and for Biblical Fundamentalists, the first ones to get the name, it is the 66 books of the Bible.

Those of us who are still willing to be identified as “Biblical Fundamentalists” are doing our best to practice the Bible carefully. By the way, the Bible says that we are to love our enemies, do good to them, and pray for them. The sixth commandment forbids us from murder, and Jesus said that harboring hatred in our hearts is just the same. If in this matter, or in any other, we stray from the practice of God’s Word, we are failing fundamentalists! Sadly the failures are the ones who get the most press and taint popular impressions of those believers who are still committed to God’s authority over man’s.

Once in a while it seems that it is necessary for all of us to be reminded of where we find our best and most basic guidance. That is true especially (but not only) in matters of faith. Many of us come from a background where we, our parents, or grandparents, were guided by a particular book, and for many Americans that book was the Bible. Today, though, there are fewer people all the time who believe that there is any book which has authority over them personally.

Some mainline churches openly place church tradition equal to or above the Bible. Those traditions are often based on rulings or findings of church leaders at some point in time, but they amount to the authority of men. Our church is “traditional” in many ways, but we do not believe that any tradition should be kept or begun if it is not in keeping with Scripture. That belief comes from the Bible itself. We recognize that churches will have different ways of doing things, but all of us will answer to God measured by the absolute standard which is His Word.

Cults are known for following books written by their leaders, or just a particular contemporary personality. Sometimes they include the Bible but re-interpret it or add other books to “explain” it authoritatively. Followers of any faith make a choice, and it should be a conscious and well-informed choice to place their hope and trust in a certain authority. For myself, I cannot imagine placing my trust in anything less which would be anything other than the Bible. Neither can I imagine giving my children or other Christians counsel and direction from any other, inferior, source. This is not just the way my parents lived, the Bible has given me every reason to trust it and no reason to doubt it.

Referring to Christ, the Bible says, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” Acts 4:12. “His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue:” II Peter 1:3. It seems that the Bible is not a “good book” if it is lying to us (or deceiving people who take it naturally and literally) on this or any matter. I believe that there is one true God, and that the Bible is truly God’s Word.

Perhaps this article will spark some good discussion, and I hope it is discussion related to the most important issues of life today and eternal. Our church is a group of people who love to help others find the truth about God’s way of salvation and abundant life, please contact us if you need a Bible or have questions about it, is a good place to start, or “southport baptist church” on FB. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” John 14:6.

If you know of someone in particular need of solid spiritual footing, or if you believe as I do that there are many people who would benefit from a return to basic understanding and practice of faith, please share this message with them. There is a temptation for Biblical Fundamentalists to duck and cover while under fire in this day, but it is our responsibility to spread the good Word!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

"It Is Finished"

“It Is Finished
G.S. Jones
Clearly Jesus is done with His mission of salvation, you might say that the gift is wrapped and sitting under the tree...  Even though, as our High Priest, He now is sitting down on His throne in Heaven, He still has more that He wants to do with us.  Let me encourage you today to determine not to be a half-way, Sunday morning, good enough, Christian!  Let your life and service reflect what Jesus did for you on the cross, because, “It is finished!”  Someday soon, years or minutes from now, He will take our lives into His hands and say “It is finished” to us!
The apostle Paul was not a perfect man by any means, but the Lord allowed him to testify in Scripture that when he came to the end of his life he had done what the Lord asked him to do.  II Timothy 4:6-8 “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.   I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:  Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”  How will we know we are finished?  When the Lord crowns our service for Him!

Created to glorify
Saved to sanctify
Molded to identify
Elect but not elite
We will only be complete
On the day we lay our crowns at His feet.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

No Mark

No Mark

G. S. Jones  6/19/14

Lord, let me be seen to fail,
     Before the world to flounder, and need,
Let me lose at everything,
     So long as in Your eyes I succeed.
Lord, I’ll do without respect,
     A name, station, or reputation,
Without fame, without demand,
     Popularity, or the world’s admiration.
Lord, if it be Your will
     I shall serve alone,
By men unloved, unsought,
     Unheard, unknown.
Lord, let every word of mine
     Die without a quote,
Fade and be forgotten,
     Like the dust in which You wrote.
Lord, I need no mark of my time,
            When I finished or begun,
No recognition in this life,
            Only, Your “Well done.”

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Forsaking Forgetfulness
Why is it that people are so prone to forget what others have done for them?  Perhaps you have not thought of it that way, but you must acknowledge that there is a sad lack of gratefulness in our world.  It may be a modern problem, but as I look at Scripture I see that it was an ancient one as well.  Here are a few suggestions for the causes of our sinful forgetfulness:
Pride is a common root of sin, we need to be wary of how it crops up and causes trouble in many different ways.  Gratitude is an admission that what we have was or at least helped along by someone else.  If think about it we realize that we are not at all self-sufficient.  That is especially true in the most important things like our country, our freedoms and our salvation.  We ought to remember and never forget that these are precious gifts.  God is to be praised for them and some men also ought to be remembered and thanked.
a gift, a sacrifice
Busyness may be an excuse for a lot of things (which means that it is usually a lie) but it is a real reason for our lack of thoughtfulness.  We endeavor to fill every moment with some kind of activity, entertainment, or noise, and the world has a constant stream of things to keep us from having a quiet moment.  Have you noticed that our society thinks it is a high tribute to have a minute of silence for someone?  That may be the right idea, but it is hardly enough time for a true memorial.  We need to schedule quiet times into every day and make them a priority or we will never be thoughtful people!

Inadequacy is a complicated way of describing our simplicity.  Some of us may not know how to express our gratitude well, so we fail to do it at all!  I have enjoyed visiting memorials to Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln and being reminded of their gratefulness for their God and country.  The best examples, though, are found in the Psalms.  Read and study them, or even pray them back to God if you are at a loss for words.  Forsake forgetfulness and be grateful!