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    • By 1Timothy115 in Devotionals
         11
      Psalms 119:1-8                                         Sep. 5 - Oct. 2, 2019
      1 ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
      2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
      3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
      4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
      7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
      8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
      The following verse stood out to me...
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      At first glance it seemed to me this person’s soul is poured out with intense desire to have God’s direction in keeping His Word.
      I made a small wood fire in our backyard for my granddaughter, Julia, since she would be staying overnight with us. My wife and Julia stayed outside at the fire for about half an hour. Then, I found myself alone to watch the fire die out on a particularly lovely evening. So I took my verse from above and began to repeat it for memorization. As I repeated the verse, I tried to contemplate the words and apply them to what I was seeing around me. 
      The moon and stars were out now peering through the scattered clouds above.
      [Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. Genesis 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, Genesis 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.]
      Thought 1         
      The moon has stayed his course since the day God created him, also the stars, obeying the statutes directed by God from the first day they were created. Can you imagine God’s direction to the Moon and stars, “moon you will have a path through the sky above the earth, stars you will occupy the firmament above the moon and be clearly visible in the cloudless night sky.”
      Then, the trees, grass, even the air we breathe obey the statues God gave them from the beginning. None of these creations have souls, none have hearts, none have intelligence, but they all observe God’s statutes, His instructions for their limited time on earth.
      Thought 2
      What if we were like the moon, stars, trees, grass, or the other creations which have no soul? We would be directed to keep God’s statutes without choosing to keep them. This is not the image of God, there would be no dominion over other creatures, or over the earth. We would not be capable of experiencing the joy and peace of learning the love of God
      Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
      Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
      Thought 3 (October 2, 2019)
      Is the psalmist pleading God to force God’s statutes to become the man’s ways? No, he is speaking of his own failure in keeping God’s statutes and his desire to keep them, very much like Paul in Romans 7:14-25.
      God doesn’t work through force to turn men from their ways that they would desire His statutes or desire God Himself. Men must reject (repent) put aside his own ways and voluntarily seek God and His statutes.

John R. Rice

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futurehope
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This week I bring up John R. Rice for your comments on his ministry and thoughts concerning his teachings and writings. Most of you know prOBably more about him than I do, so I will simply mention his founding of The Sword of the Lord and he wrote numerous books and booklets throughout his life. He is hailed by many fundamentalists as "one of the greats", yet many have ridiculed him as closed minded and judgemental towards other christians. His staff once reported that during his ministry they received 22,923 letters from individuals who had accepted Christ as a result of reading John R. Rice's books, booklets, or Sermons published in the Sword of the Lord. He went home to be with the Lord in 1980.

What are your thoughts concerning the ministry of John R. Rice? Was he one of the most sound biblical scholars and fundamentalists, as hailed by some? Or maybe he was the judgemental and closed minded individual as some have accused? I look forward to your thoughts and comments.

God Bless,

Futurehope

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  • Lady Administrators

I loved John R. Rice. Never met him personally, but I wrote him a letter about something that was really bothering me spiritually - and he wrote back. With his busy schedule, I was impressed. At the time, there were no churches we could attend, so I was thankful for his spiritual words, which really helped me greatly at the time.

He is actually a very readable writer. Very down to earth and biblical. We have several of his books, and they are books that we re-read from time to time.

My hubby has some of the original SOTL papers, with both Rice brothers. They are really neat.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I had heard good things about him all my life but when I got older I read several of his books. It has been several years but I recall wondering why he was so highly recommended since I was distinctly unimpressed and highly doubtful about some of the doctrinal content and some statements made in passing. His writings didn't seem to be anywhere near the caliber I had been led to expect. :twocents:

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