August 20, 2018

Reflections From the Ozarks

By Ronny E. Hinds

How Beautiful!

"The Ozarks are beautiful in the fall." I have heard that statement all my life and now that I am living in the Ozarks I can fully appreciate why so many feel that way.

It is a wondrous pleasure we humans have, to have our very souls stirred by the glorious beauty of God's creation. But let us make sure our sight does not end at the golden leaf as it flutters, to the ground. Let us make sure it leads us to the One who created it as we bow our lives in worship before him.

"Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward; they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered" (Psa. 40:5).

Something We Should Buy And Not Sell

The Old Testament book of Proverbs is filled with many, useful, helpful and practical digests of biblical truths. And none is more truthful and necessary than the one found at 23:23 - "Buy the truth, and do not sell it" (NKJ).

We understand the ideas of buying and selling. They are a part of life's everyday affairs. But to apply them to the idea of "truth" may seem inappropriate until we realize the Bible often uses familiar everyday things as a vehicle to teach us spiritual values.

Truth should be to us like some item we have purchased and will not sell at any price. It is a treasure greater than all others we possess. Jesus said, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (Jn. 8:32). Is it that precious to you?

The Idolatry We Do Not Recognize

When we think of idolatry we think of pagans bowing before their golden idols formed and shaped by the thoughts and hands of man. We often snicker at such foolishness. We congratulate ourselves on, as Paul says, knowing "that an idol is nothing" and that "for us there is only one God" (1 Cor. 8:4,6).

Before we snicker too loudly there is another text we must consider. Colossians 3:5 says, "Therefore put to death . . . covetousness, which is idolatry." The worship of money is idolatry. But who is guilty of this? Maybe it is me. Maybe it is you. Just who is it? It has to be someone, for the Bible warns continuously about it. It would be good for all of us to do some honest thinking about our attitude toward our money and how we use it. Maybe it would be helpful if we asked ourselves whether we more readily use it freely and liberally (2 Cor. 9:13) for spiritual causes or on ourselves and our desires? Think about it.

It All Started With Jubal

Genesis 4:20 says, "His brother's name was Jubal. He was the father of all those who play the harp and flute." So the next time your teenager or pre-teenager attempts to blow the walls and roof off the house with his tape player, blame Jubal.

Now I will not take a back seat to anyone when it comes to the enjoyment of music. It can be a pleasurable, enjoyable experience. But what concerns me about much of today's music is not its loudness, but its content. It reeks with suggestive and explicit sex and immorality. And, many who would criticize rock music for such immorality will listen to equally corrupt, if not worse, country, music.

Christians, think! "Let it not even. be named among you, as is fitting for saints . . . do not be partakers with them" (Eph. 5:3-17).

Thoughts About Fathers

Since I am one, who better to give some thoughts. Fathers are nice, but not filled with sugar and spice. Fathers are often taken for granted - did you ever notice how much big-, ger fuss is made over Mother's Day? Fathers are a soft touch for daughters - and enjoy every minute of it. Fathers are married to marvelous mothers - me, especially.

I said that to get you to read God's thoughts. "Fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4). "Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged" (Col. 3:21). Why are fathers so instructed? Because "they" need it! Fathers tend to find fault, giving little praise. Fathers often relinquish discipline/instructional duties to morn, ignoring what God says. Fathers, God challenges us with these commands. So fathers, be fathers!

Guardian of Truth XXXIII: 6, p. 170
March 16, 1989

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