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 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

 

 

 

October 25, 2005:

I bought a CD recording at the Dollar Store yesterday.  It consists of the reading of the Book of Second Corinthians!

I, having forgotten my regular music this week, have been playing that here in the motel room.

One phrase keeps echoing in my mind.

Paul was talking to the Corinthians and mentioned the fact that he planned to visit them again soon.

Here's what he said.  "And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second benefit."  2nd Corinthians 1:15

Notice with me those words "second benefit."

Paul is literally saying that his coming to the Corinthian Church would bestow upon them definite spiritual "benefit!"

Who does Paul think he is?

I'll answer that.

He was God's Man!

He was an Apostle of Jesus Christ!

He was a divinely inspired writer of Scripture ... 14 Epistles to be exact!

He was one of the greatest Christians who ever lived!

He was a Spirit-filled Believer!

He even died for the Faith!

When a man like that comes around ... get as close to him as you can! 

He WILL convey to you spiritual benefit!

Those words in Greek are spelled deuteros (second) charis (benefit).

Listen again to Paul:  "I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second benefit."

You see, he had been to Corinth before.  At that time he apparently shared a first benefit!

I think it could be said this way:  One only can really get saved once!  But you can receive many many benefits ("blessings") from the Lord!

Psalm 103:2 --- "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits."

Psalm 116:12 --- "What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?"

And Psalm 68:19 --- "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah."

The word Paul used for "benefits" is "charis," the usual New Testament word for GRACE!

Paul's just being around these Christians, his very presence, seemed to influence them for good!

And here he was writing not his own personal opinions, but the very inspired words of God Himself!

God said that Paul the Preacher, by visiting Corinth, would give the folks there great "benefit," great grace!

Earlier in another of his Epistles Paul said about the same thing.  This time it was to the Romans!  "For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established."  Romans 1:11

That spiritual "gift" (here the related word "charisma," kin to "charis" obviously) came from Paul's very life and ministry!

Now ... we all know Paul is dead and in Heaven.

So why these verses today?

Because ... each of us knows some godly man, some Preacher, some giant in the Faith!

We know somebody around whom we could derive great spiritual blessing and joy and grace!

How about your very Pastor?

He loves the Lord!

He is serious minded, "sober" says the New Testament!

He has wisdom and power ... due to years of walking with God!

Have you ever thought of being around him more ... and from that gaining help spiritually?

Paul was godly ... but not perfect!

Same with your Preacher too!

He's human!

But he knows Jesus!

He's been washed in the Blood of the Lamb!

And he can pray!

And he can impact you for Jesus' sake ... if you'll just be around him all you can!

I'll tell you this.

Although I'm nearly sixty years old now ... I still dearly love to be around God's Men!

I love to hear them talk ... watch how they act ... see what thrills them ... be near when they pray ... learn their little godly habits ... and observe their very lifestyles!

Through that alone, I have receive many a spiritual benefit!

A second and third and fourth and fifth and sixth and seventh and ....

Surely I've said enough!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

September 8, 2005:

I could hardly believe what I had just heard!

The scientist was talking about the first ever "cloned" sheep!

She made "news" back in 1996.

It seems that Dolly didn't fare so well.

Geneticists now admit that working with living "genes" may be a bit more "tricky" than first thought!

That little sheep, man-made in a sense, soon developed lung disease ... among other maladies.

Sheep normally live to be 11 or 12 years of age.

Dolly lived for only 6 years ... then had to be put to death (excuse me ... put to sleep) due to her condition!

THEN ... this statement was made ...

Of course ... "Dolly the newborn had six year old cells!"

Yes!

Being cloned from existing cell material (the "utter" cell of another sheep ... a six year old sheep) ... Dolly was age 6 at birth!

Now isn't that interesting!

Dolly's birth certificate (if she had one) would have read age:  1 day!

But a biologist studying her on her day of birth could have scientifically determined that in reality she was an adult!  A six year old lamb!

Wow!

I said all that to say this ...

The day God created Adam ... he too was one day old!  Less that 24 hours, mind you!

But ... let a geneticist or a biologist or an evolutionist get around poor old Adam and they would immediately have announced to us, "No!"

This man Adam is not one day old!

Impossible!

He is every bit a man who is 30 (or so) years into development anyway!

See what I mean?

The apparent age of something can be a bit misleading!

God created Adam!

No matter how old man would have said Adam was a week after God put him on this planet!

And God created this earth too!  No matter how old they say it is!

So, scientists have "engineered" a six year old sheep ... at birth!

But that's nothing!

God can ... and has "created" an adult mature man ... adult from that man's very first moment of being!    (A one day old adult human being!)

Amazing!

I have made up my mind!

I'm going with God!

And the Bible!

And ... eventually ... surely ... science will "catch up" with us somewhere on down the road of learning!

It's like Paul said in Romans 3:4.  "Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar!"

Amen!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

September 7, 2005:

I was reading just yesterday the words of a dear Man of God.

He casually remarked that for over 20 years he had been a student of the lives of other preachers.

He had made it a "hobby" to study their biographies.

That brings me to my subject today.

In a recently published book on biography, the author was discussing the difficulty of writing a good "life story."

I briefly quote one sentence:  "People write what they call 'lives' of other people.  That is, they collect a number of events, and leave the person to whom it happened unknown!"

It surely IS hard to capture a real person ... on paper!

In fact, any biography is piecemeal!  The best one ever written is imperfect! You just can't  into that person's "skin" and see what they see or feel what they feel or think what they think!

WITH ONE EXCEPTION!

The Gospel Story!

The Life of Christ Jesus!

The Biography of our Saviour!

In the New Testament account I suggest we have the PERFECT Story of Jesus!

By reading of His Virgin Birth, sinless Life, many miracles, powerful preaching, beautiful parables, cruel crucifixion, three-day burial, literal resurrection, bodily ascension (back to heaven) and present day intercession for His Own ... we get introduced to the greatest Life ever lived and the greatest Biography ever written!

And HOW do we know that?

Because this Biography is written by God the Holy Spirit Himself!  He (The Spirit) Who used Matthew and Mark and Luke and John as merely human instruments best knew the Lord!

In that holy and miraculous sense we really do get into Jesus' "skin" and learn how He felt, what He thought, and even His Life Goals!  He came to "seek and to save that which was lost!"  He also came "to destroy the works of the devil!"

And in reality ... something even greater happens:

The more we learn of Jesus and the more the Spirit of God convicts us of sin ... the closer we get to being "saved" by that Lord of Whom we've read!

You see, He lives yet today ... at the Right Hand of The Father in Heaven!

And, if a sinner will trust Him for eternal life ... Jesus will forgive him and redeem him and begin to live IN him and ultimately take him to Heaven ... for eternity!

Look!

We've come "full circle!"

"Biography," we said.

You can't really know a person.

... Unless you can get into their "skin!"

Which is possible (concerning Jesus) through the Bible's divinely inspired pages!

Then (often) comes ... salvation!

And when the student gets "saved,"  Jesus gets into his skin!

Jesus indwells him ... through the Holy Spirit!

That old ex-sinner becomes the cleansed and born-again "temple" of the Lord Himself!  "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?"  1st Corinthians 6:19

Paul once told the Colossians that the "secret" of the Christian life is ... "Christ in you, the hope of glory."  Colossians 1:27

Thank God for that One Perfect Life Story!

No wonder the church for many many years has been singing, "Tell me the Story of Jesus!"

Aren't you glad you heard?

                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

September 6, 2005:

In the past few weeks the Nation of Israel has been doing some strange things!

They have been GIVING AWAY their hard-earned land!

It looks to me like the people of that little Country are in revolt over the issue!  At least, many of them are!

I wonder to what extent our Nation, the good old United States, has pressured Israel to so sacrifice their land?

And may I remind you they fought for this land, every square inch of it?  Jewish blood had been shed to fly their "Star of David" flag there!

I say they gave their Land away.

But, maybe, they really "sold" it!

The Israeli government says they had to rid themselves of the Land in order to "buy" peace in the region!

To "placate" the terrorists!

Folks, watch carefully and see if that "tactic" works!

Why is Brother Bagwell writing about this today?

I found a verse of Scripture last week that amazes me.

God clearly commanded Israel that they were NOT to sell the Land He gave them!

Here it is.  Remember that the Lord is talking.  It appears that He is saying the Land is not Israel's to give or sell!  It is THE LORD'S LAND!  "The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is Mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with Me."  Leviticus 25:23

And just what Land would that be?

Here is its geography.  "In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: the Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites."  Genesis 15:18-21

And, brothers and sisters in Christ, IF America pressured Israel to do this illogical deed ... "selling" their land for political expediency ... God will likely judge us for it!

Get ready!

Here's another little promise God made to Israel:  "For he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of His eye."  Zechariah 2:8 

If that's not plain enough for you, try:  "Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."  Genesis 12:1-3

Pretty clear, isn't it?

Let me close by giving you a good prayer project:  "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee."  Psalm 122:6

                                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

September 5, 2005:

You have no doubt heard of it.

It's certainly the largest and most comprehensive dictionary of the English Language.

Known as The Oxford English Dictionary, it has about 500,000 entries!  It consists of 20 or more volumes!  And it costs over $1,000.000 to purchase!  In some places ... well over that!  Even when bought on-line, which is now possible, the cost is nearly $300.00 per year!

First planned in 1857, the massive project was not completed until 1928.  And of course ... it is now updated regularly.

This massive work runs for a total of 15,448 pages!

All this information set my mind to thinking ... about words!

Words!

How very important they are to a preacher ... and to a Christian!

You see, we all believe and love and study a Book, the Bible!

And the building block of any book, particularly the Bible, is its words!

In fact, we call the Bible "The Word of God!"

Now there have arisen in today's word men and women who tell us the words of the Bible are just not that important.

Why, the thoughts or the intents or the implications of a book ... that's what matters!

Such thinking has been the basis for many of the so-called modern versions of the Bible.

Those books, instead of slavishly concentrating on the WORDS of Scripture, strive to just express the "dynamic equivalent" or the gist or feeling of Paul or Peter or whomever.

Let me make an announcement:  Brother Bagwell is sticking with the Words of Holy Writ!

I believe in verbal inspiration!

Yes, I have the conviction that God the Holy Spirit gave each writer of the Bible (from Moses in Genesis all the way to John the Apostle in Revelation) the very words to use!

Listen to Peter:  "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."  2nd Peter 1:21

See that verb "spake?"

Now just what do you speak?

Not "ideas!"

Not "emotions!"

Not "intents!"

You speak WORDS!

Yes, those words express ideas or feelings or whatever ... but they are still just words!

I even believe that Scripture's words are inspired to this extent ... the tense and voice and number and mood of every verb and the case of every noun or pronoun ... are God-chosen and God-empowered!

Therefore today I would encourage any young preacher reading here ... or Sunday School teacher ... or student of the Word ... begin a life-long project of mastering the words of the Bible!

You won't have to have the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) with its nearly 16,000 pages to do so.  Use what you have (concordance or commentary or computer software then word study manuals and so forth) ... and build on that. But try to master the words of Scripture ... and you will always have something to feed those hungry "sheep" who sit before you!

God thought so much of words ... that He named His Book after One!

The Written Word of God!

And His Son too!

The Living Word of God!

Speaking of Jesus, John said ... "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."  (John 1:1)

Furthermore ... "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."  (John 1:14) 

And even when Jesus returns to earth again ... "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war.  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His Head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself.  And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His Name is called The Word of God."  (Revelation 19:11-13)

Yes, you can study it in Hebrew (Old Testament)!   

You can study it in Greek (New Testament)!

You can study it in English (the Whole Book)! 

Just study it ... word for word!

The Jews mockingly, sarcastically accused Isaiah of doing just that!  He even preached God's Word "line upon line" they said!  (Isaiah 28:10,13)

Hey, folks, those "lines" of Scripture consist of WORDS!

Thank God for words!

Learn a new Bible word (in its fullness) today!

                                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

September 4, 2005:

An art critic was working to restore an old painting.  Actually it was a mural, covering an entire series of walls!

He noticed something quite unusual.

The masterpiece actually was created with two layers of paint!

The first, obviously the older one, told a historical story in lovely detail.

The second, in much bolder colors and only over certain areas of the whole scene, gave an even more dramatic account of the events the painter needed to emphasize!

And ... between the two layers of many colored paints ... a residue of dust and oil had collected, proving the suggested time lapse!

Now here's the interesting thing: the artist, who had aged several decades between the two applications, had a whole new emphasis to accent ... at least in certain places.  And he did so with brighter, bolder colors too!

I began to think about that.

We have an artist in the New Testament.  I particularly have Paul in mind.  He painted (with words) fourteen Books of Epistles!  (That counts Hebrews.)  His work was under the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit of God, Who inspired all Scripture.

What beautiful word "pictures" the Apostle (Paul the artist) has drawn!

Fourteen rooms of murals one after the other!

Do you see the analogy I'm drawing?

And some of Paul's Epistles are done early in His Christian life ... others later, much later!

The Thessalonian Letters, both of them, were written fairly early.

The Pastorals came later, one (2nd Timothy) at the time of Paul's death by martyrdom.  Caesar Nero was the likely killer.

Here's what I've notice about Paul's beautiful "work."

He has in his overall "mural" of Scripture (remember ... fourteen rooms) also painted (written) early and late in his ministry!

And he too (like the artist mentioned earlier) did so as a young man and as an old man.

And Paul's colors and focuses and intensities are different too!

Here's what I mean.

Early on ... Paul keeps talking about one Event, the Second Coming of Jesus! He preached it with so much clarity and power that some in Thessalonica apparently even quit their jobs and waited for the Lord to appear!  Paul of course had to correct that problem! 

But Jesus did NOT come during Paul's ministry!  The Preacher certainly expected the Lord any day, as should we!  In Paul's classic Passage on the Rapture, he said "then WE which are alive and remain shall be caught up ...!"  See 1st Thessalonians 4:17

But by the time Paul was an old man, Jesus had not come and Paul (while still preaching the Lord's Return) had begun to emphasize another Truth!

Faithfulness!

He himself had fought a good fight and finished the course!

He constantly exhorted his young preacher-boys to be steadfast!

To each Church he increasingly began to encourage more and more determination not to quit!  For example:  "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."  1st Corinthians 15:58

He marked carefully for us those who remained faithful and those who quit! "Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica."  Then ... "Only Luke is with me."  2nd Timothy 4:10-11

I hope you see what I'm trying to say today!

In Paul's last days, though still strongly believing the Jesus' Second Coming, his mind was concentrated on being absolutely FAITHFUL to the end, to death! 

And that bold dramatic color (FAITHFULNESS WITH A TINGE OF STEADFASTNESS AND A DASH OF UNMOVEABLENESS) heavily colored the last rooms Paul ever painted!

You didn't know I was an "art" expert, did you?

However, quickly let me add that in the times in which we live ... much nearer the Rapture than ever ... we need to preach with equal passion both the Coming of our Lord to get His true Church AND staying faithful without compromise in these ever darkening days!

We may be the generation who will see the Lord when He comes in the air!  We may be the ones who will hear the shout!  We may leave here without ever dying!

Yet until then ... we MUST be faithful!

After all, our precious Saviour sure was FAITHFUL!

Hebrews 2:17 reveals one of His great goals:  "That He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God!"

Well indeed ... He was ... and still is such a FAITHFUL HIGH PRIEST!

Glory to God!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

September 3, 2005:

Scientists have done some amazing things.

And the fairly recent development of the study of our human "genes" has nearly overwhelmed us all!

I was studying recently and found a couple of examples I'd like to share with you today.

Geneticists have now isolated and removed the gene that produces "fluorescence" in a certain northwestern jellyfish, the gene that makes the little fellow "glow!"

Then they implanted that gene into a fertilized egg of a white rabbit!

Guess what?

A rabbit that "glows" was born!

I can document what I've just told you, folks!

A glowing rabbit!

Here's another example.

Mankind has long wanted to raise spiders that would produce their "web" material in great quantities.  But it is not possible to do so!  The spiders, when grouped in large communities, eat each other!  What's the value of a spider's web?  In building their "webs," the little creatures produce the strongest natural fiber known to man!

So, here we go again!

Scientists now have taken the spider gene and spliced it into a goat gene!  The result is a normal looking goat that gives milk which, when processed (strained like cheese and spun like silk), produces a fabric that is both lightweight and stronger than steel!  It's also softer than silk!  They have produced a goat ... with spider traits!

They have even found that this "goat milk-spider silk" is so strong that bullets fired at it can't penetrate it ... but only bounce away!  Even at "point-blank" range I am told!

Yes, it's truly amazing!

Now I realize that science may be treading on some holy ground here, maybe even forbidden ground.  It is astounding (and frightening) to read where the experts say this technology is going to lead us!

But ... as I was thinking yesterday ... I realized something anew. 

So ... man can now take the glowing part of a certain jellyfish, put it into a rabbit and change that rabbit's nature forever! 

And man can also take the little spider's ability to spin strong silk-like webs, place it into goats and alter that goat's milk production the rest of its days, perhaps saving human lives along the way!

Then why should I think it strange that God Almighty, the Creator and Redeemer of mankind, could reach down and save an old lost soul ... then place within him or her the indwelling Holy Spirit (far more amazing than any gene splicing we've ever discovered) ... transforming that life forever!

For, you see, an old ex-sinner ... made into a "new creature" via regeneration (being born again) ... has completely changed!

Once lost, he's now found!

Once blind, he now sees!

Once dead, he now lives, really lives!

Instead of bitterness and hatred and filth, he now exudes love, joy, peace, longsuffering and so much more!

He, in a spiritual sense, "glows" with the presence of His Lord!  The light of God's Countenance is now upon him (and within him)!

And his life now produces, instead of moral weakness and fleshly desires, "strong" traits like faithfulness, self-control, holy determination and an awesome ability to endure hardness!

If rabbits can glow and goats can produce silk-milk ... little wonder that the Creator and Saviour we personally know and love can transplant Himself into us, vastly outperforming today's super-scientists!

Yes, when you got saved ... you were spiritually "altered!"

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."  2 Corinthians 5:17

Even today's often godless culture can inadvertently point to the Glory and power of God! 

Have you been so "changed," dear friend?

                                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

September 2, 2005:

Several decades ago somewhere in North America a new electric generating station was built and put into service.

It immediately encountered problems, major ones!

It's mighty generators, dynamos of energy, began failing!

They just quit working!

No power!

Skilled technicians, upon examining each machine, found that they were clogged with thousands and thousands of bugs, the flying kind apparently!

After being carefully cleaned, the generators were re-started ... only to have the same thing happen again!

And again!

Well, an entomologist (an insect scientist, a specialist) was summoned.  Upon close inspection he discovered that all the attracted insects were mosquitoes!

And male mosquitoes at that!

It was discovered that the generators were emitting the exact sound (in pitch and intensity) that the female mosquito does during flight!

The "boys" thought they were going to visit the "girls!"

The electric company changed the speed of the generators ever so slightly ... and the problem was solved!

What's this story all about?

How did it get on our Home Page today?

Note this carefully: the sounds one makes can SURELY have dire consequences!

Be careful what you "noise abroad,"  to use a Bible term!

So ... today I've decided to make some noises!

And I will guarantee you these expressions (sounds) will attract some ... and repel others!

Ready?

I've been "washed in the Blood" of the darling Lamb of God!

Yes, I am "saved" by Grace!

I'll not go to "Hell," but am "Heaven" bound!

I love my old "King James Bible" too!

(I can hear some folks scattering already!)

I also believe in the "Second Coming" of Jesus, including the "Rapture" of the Church!

Neither am I an evolutionist, but I do accept "the Bible account of Creation!"

I personally know and love the "Lord Jesus Christ!"

Oh yes, and I still believe in that thing called "sin!"

By now, some have gathered around ... and are saying "Amen!"  Or maybe "Hallelujah!"   (Which terms frighten away some I've noticed!)

I believe I'll just continue making such "noises" as I live for the Lord!

They just might keep me out of trouble!

What kind of trouble?

Wrong associations!

Sexual misunderstandings!

Needless "down" time!

And the resultant loss of Power!

Folks, let's be sure and give a "certain" sound as we serve the Lord!

Paul teaches us:  "If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?"   1Corinthians 14:8

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

August 31, 2005:

I have heard this for years.  But never seeing it in print, I just thought perhaps someone was exaggerating a little bit.

But now I've read it with my own eyes!

I guess it is part of the Darwinian theory of evolution.

Many of those folks really believe that behind the creation (they would say development) of the universe is ... blind "chance!"

It is a matter of "luck!"

"Fate!"

According to the godless Darwinian theory, everything and everyone you see is in a way an "accident" of evolution!

One scientist recently entitled an article for a professional journal just that ... "Accidental Elegance!"

Oh yes, they still believe in the "survival of the fittest."  But, along with that, the pure randomness of chance must be allowed!

To them ... had the evolutionary process turned a little differently ... we would all have four arms, or maybe eight!  (I saw that in an article by a scientist recently!)

And of course, if it's all an "accident" anyway, there can be no God controlling anything!

WAIT JUST A MINUTE!

You folks can believe that junk if you wish!

Your children or grandchildren in State Universities are likely going to do so too!  That's all they hear down there!

BUT I think I'm just going to stick with the Bible!

Listen to what Paul says in Hebrews 2:10.  There he is describing God the Father.  "For it became Him, for Whom are all things, and by Whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their Salvation perfect through sufferings."

Here God the Father is said to the One "by Whom all things exist!"  In other words, He made them!

Furthermore our great Creator/Lord has made all thing for Himself too!  Did you see that?  "For Whom are all things!"  Everything that is ... will ultimately give God glory!

Eternal God the Father started this thing back in Genesis 1:1 ... "by Him" they are in existence!

And He will end them in Revelation 22:21 ... "for Him" all things will be subdued!

That theology leaves no room for a "random" universe!

No "chance" theory can slip in here either!

For those of you who are having trouble with this ... let me just compound the problem a bit!

Scripture even says that not only is creation a Divine plan ... but so is everything else!

"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."  Romans 8:28

It sounds to me like Someone has it all under control!

Including hurricanes!

Including gas prices!

Including heaven and hell!

                                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

August 30, 2005:

I am told that seasoned commercial fisherman can tell how hard the wind is blowing by just listening to the sound it makes against the wire cables of their ship!

A "screaming" sound means wind force of about 40 to 50 miles per hour!

A "shriek" is even faster!

Then comes a "moan!"

Then, at about a hundred miles per hour, the sound becomes "deep-toned ... much like a church organ playing!"

I got to thinking about that!

Did you know that the Bible compares the Holy Spirit of God to the wind?

Listen to Jesus is John 3:8. "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit."

The Old Testament once likened the Spirit to a soft quiet sound in the tops of some nearby mulberry trees!

Yet again in the New Testament the Spirit once exhibits Himself as the sound of "a mighty rushing wind!"

I believe after hearing the hurricane wind blow all night long this was on my mind!

Now let's apply these physical things to the spiritual world.

There are some seasoned Men of God I know who also can tell a lot by the "sound" of the moving of the Holy Spirit!

By the simple fact of whether He is working like a soft caressing breeze ... or a roaring earth-shaking gale!

Either way, He is God!

Yes, the Holy Spirit is Divine, A Member Of The Trinity!

And any way He chooses to work is good for those of us who are saved!

Do you know Him?

Do you live in communion with Him?

Can you tell by the "sounds" He makes how He is leading in your life?

Blow, Wind of God, blow!

How thankful we should be today of the fact that we've been washed in the Blood of Jesus and saved by the Power and Grace of our Heavenly Father!

Amen!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

August 27, 2005:

I was reading a magazine.

It used the abbreviation (an acronym) GSH.

I kept wondering, "What does this mean?"

Soon I discovered the secret!

Each letter stood for the first words in the expression "Godless Secular Humanists!" Hence, GSH!

The magazine writer seemed rather proud of his self-proclaimed title!

I had encountered a periodical that trumpeted the philosophy of a bunch of atheistic men and women who believed that man needed no Saviour but himself!

Well!

I guess I did not know that such a group existed!

So I thought that today I would take a minute and classify myself ... for those of you who many be new reading these web-pages.

Number one ... I am NOT an atheist!

I believe in the Lord God Almighty!

And in His Son, Jesus Christ!

While I have to be careful here, neither am I godless!  I have been saved by the Blood of Jesus and am trying to live a GODLY life ... with the aid of the dear Holy Spirit!

Number two, I am not secular in my world-view!

I try to see the dear Lord in everything!

Even in the sunset, in the rain, in the problems that daily come my way!

A Christian accepts the fact that "all things work together" ... God is weaving a tapestry of grace in each of our lives!

No, I try not to be secular ... but spiritual in my outlook!

Lastly, I am not a humanist!  That is ... not in the sense of believing that man can be his own Saviour!

Man is a sinner!

He needs Jesus!

And without the Lord ... all will die in their sins and go to hell ... eternally!

That's why Jesus says:  "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."  John 5:24

No!

I am not a GSH!

But ... I am a BAC!

That's a ... Born Again Christian!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

 

August 26, 2005:

I was reading earlier this week in a literary magazine.  In it I learned of a recent reprinting of an old World War II document.

The material was from a handbook the War Department had released back in 1942 teaching our soldiers and airmen and seamen how to adapt to British life! Apparently thousands of our folks were stationed in England.

The book was designed to teach them the peculiarities of "the British, their country, and their ways!"

Now that would be a good book to have if you were a soldier boy headed to a strange and distant land!

Then I began to think.

You know what?

We Christians have also been issued a Book!

One which teaches us about another land; far, far away!

One that helps prepare us for that grand country and its ways!

What country, Preacher Bagwell?

Heaven!

And the Book?

The Bible, of course!

The Scriptures tell us Heaven exists!

And how we can go there!

And what things will be like there!

And what we're going to see there!

And even how long we are going to be there!

Now I will not order a copy of the War Department manual.

I'm likely not going to England anyway.

Although I would like to do so!  To see Spurgeon's Tabernacle and Bunhill Fields (that old Puritan Cemetery) and then up to Manchester to see where Alexander Maclaren preached at the same Church (Union Chapel) for nearly 50 years!

But ... I am going to Heaven!

And I do need to study the Manual that teaches me and prepares me for That Glorious Place!

Anybody going with me?

Jesus Himself said:  "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."  John 14:2-3

Amen!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

 

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