The Arrow

June 12, 2016

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Scripture

He made Me like an arrow, sharp and ready for use.

~Isaiah 49:2, CEV

Quote

I wish to be useful, and every kind of service necessary to the public good becomes honorable by being necessary.

~Nathan Hale

There are four servant songs or poems in Isaiah: [1] Isaiah 42:1-4 [2] Isaiah 49:1-6 [3] Isaiah 50:4-9 and [4] Isaiah 53 which everyone is familiar with. Over the ages, scholars have debated whether the servant is Israel the nation of Jesus the Messiah. There is no question that Isaiah 53 is about Jesus. This is the passage the Ethiopian eunuch was reading and Philip took this same scripture and preached Jesus. I think the answer is both and, not either or. Israel is God’s servant and so is Christ. The difference is: Jesus is God’s perfect servant.

  • God choose Christ, anointed Him [Isaiah 49:1]
  • God not only anointed Christ, He pointed Him, made Him sharp. [49:2]
  • God appointed Christ to bring His people back [49:5]
  • God made Christ a light to the nations [49:6]
  • God made Christ the SAVIOR of the world [49:6]
  • God made Christ despised and rejected [49:7]
  • God made Christ the KING of kings and kings and queens will bow before HIM [49:7]
  • God anointed Christ to set the captives free. [49:9]
  • God used Christ to bring comfort to His people. [49:13]
  • God made Christ a tangible expression of His love [49:14-16]

My favorite metaphor describing Christ in Isaiah 49 is the ‘Arrow’. God made Jesus an arrow. An arrow is directed or aimed. An arrow is sharp, to the point. An arrow is sent. In many cases, it goes where the archer cannot go. An arrow can protect and it can also conquer. Not only is Jesus an Arrow, you and I are arrows in His quiver. Our lives should be focused and to the point. We are to be driven by God’s energy. Remember, an arrow is of no use as long as it stays in the quiver: arrows are made to be used. We are God’s arrows created to serve His purpose.

Useful people are busy doing useful things; they don’t have time to be offended by those who treat them as useless. On the other hand, a useless person usually thinks him or herself as being important and is easily offended if not coddled and applauded.

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  • Well folks it is VBS eve 2016. May the Ruach be with us.
  • Ruth is at Vickie’s and very content.
  • Today’s schedule: Deacon’s meeting at 8;15, LCBS at 9:15, Worship at 10:15 and tonight we go to the TABERNACLE in Hartselle to hear Junior Hill.
  • Today’s Mission offering goes to a house in Guatemala in memory of Tom Bennich and then to bibles for the Gideons in memory of Tom. I would like to do 1,000 bibles in Tom’s memory. By the way, Tom was an arrow.

Tom Bennich

 

Fresh Mercy

June 1, 2016

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Scripture

The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.

~Lamentations 3:22-23, NLT

Quote

Old ways seldom open new doors.

~Image Quotes

As I was praying yesterday about Tom’s COLS, my mind flashed back to May 22, a Marathon Sunday at DBC. For the last 21 years, I have had the privilege of speaking at our WEE Care graduation. This year, the house was packed and not one of them came to hear me. Tammy wants me to fill in the time between their program and the graduation which is hard to do. So you are speaking to an audience that doesn’t want to hear you and you are watching to see when the kids are ready so you can hush. I am not that good of a speaker so this year, I told her what I was going to do. 

To be honest with you, I came up with the idea on the way to the service. My plan was to tell a Max Lucado story out of his book “Gentle Thunder.” I had Catfish to wire me up [I’ve done this gig solo for years and it was good to have help] and I walk out on stage talking to the children as they exit. Somehow, my conversation with the children relaxed me and I begin to forget myself. I begin the story and something wonderful happens, the metaphors and adjectives are rolling off my tongue and I feel the Spirit of God, the mighty Ruach coursing through my veins. I knew what was happening but I understood that the audience did not. Did the audience get quiet? Were they really listening? I don’t know, I because so engrossed in the story that I was oblivious to what was going on around me. 

Now, back to my prayer and preparation for Tom’s COLS, “I thought LORD, do for me today what you did on May 22nd,” but before I could enter that thought in my prayer journal, I had another thought, “I don’t need to asked for this do I LORD because you have something fresh and new for me today, right?” Whatever grace you are celebrating about yesterday, it is a good chance that you will never see that exact grace or mercy again. Don’t get upset, God is not running out of mercies or grace: He has something new and fresh for you each day. His mercies are new every morning.

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  • Praise the LORD for a good day. Tom’s service went well. I knew I would leave some things out if I did go by my notes but the notes get in my way. Sure enough I thought of three things I should have said on the way to the car. Tom was a great man, not because he did great things but because he did little things well. God loves to use small things: He gets more glory. To bring down the blaspheming Goliath, God used a little boy, a little sling and a little stone.
  • Its hard to believe that today is Wednesday; it will be like Monday to me. It is also hard to believe that it could get so dry so fast: we need rain. Pray for rain. Drought oppresses me and depresses me.

Thanks For The Memories

Worship

May 29, 2016

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Scripture

The one thing I ask of the LORD — the thing I seek most— is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD ’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.

~Psalms 27:4, NLT

Quote

Enter His presences thanksgiving and praise and He will enter your circumstances with his power and grace.

~Image Quotes

Everyone needs a sanctuary; we all need a place to go to get away from the condemnation and critical eye of the world. David loved to go to the Tabernacle, the tent of meeting and spend time with the LORD. David went to the tabernacle to delight, to meditate on the Lord’s perfection. Worship is not about us. It is not about our sin or shortcomings. We don’t go to worship to focus on our sin, we go to focus on our sinless Savior. If Jesus was not sinless, we would have no one to worship. When we congregate, the primary objective is not to talk about what is wrong with us but what is right with Jesus.

Obviously, we will not worship unless we confess our sinfulness but that is not the focus of our worship. Psalm 27 addresses our problem of fear and we all have it. The good news is that Jesus didn’t: He was not afraid, not ever and by grace He becomes our courage. I love to meditate on Jesus courage. I try to imagine being there the day He made the whip and drove out the merchants and bankers. The Jewish Religious Establishment, made up of elite and wealthy Jews, hated Jesus with a passion and they still do. Jesus was not afraid, He marched right into their stronghold and He never flinched. Wow! What a magnificent Savior.

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  • Spent the day on the road visiting: didn’t get a lot done but did have some quality visits. Kathleen Anders is in DGH. She has COPD and she believes she is in the last stages. Most of you don’t know Kathleen, she is Hugh’s first cousin and a female version of the same. She’s feeling rather low. She was in the room beside Tom and we didn’t know it.
  • Tom’s Celebration of Life Service will be Tuesday, First Baptist Hartselle at 2:00 and visitation will be Monday night 5:00-8:00 at Pecks. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, brother Joe Bennich, daughter Debra Anne Bennich and a son Darrell Brian Bennich. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Edith Smithson Bennich, Two SonsDewayne Bennich (Carol) of Falkville, Dan Bennich (Christy) of Hartselle, one daughter Donna Bennich Rushen (Jim) of Summerville, SC and two brothers Larry Bennich (Linda) of Decatur and Rex Bennich (Karen) of Hartselle. Pallbearers are: Barry Pearson, Mike Childers, Steve McKee, Stacy Adams, Joe David Bailey, Charles Sanford, Charles Quinn and Joe Howell.

    Members of the Morgan Baptist Disaster Relief Team, First Baptist Ramp Builders and members of the Morgan South Gideons Camp will serve as Honorary Pallbearers.

Tom Bennich