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Vol.  9  No. 8 August 2007  Page 4
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T. Pierce BrownThe Far Side of the Desert

By T. Pierce Brown

    In Exodus 3:1, we find in the ASV, “Now Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the back of the wilderness, and came to the mountain of God, unto Horeb.” Some translations have “to the far side of the desert.” The thought occurred to me that some of us have figuratively been through the desert in one way or another before we came to the holy ground where God gave us direction.

    There have been some that have become Christians with the mistaken notion that God promises you that when you follow him, you will not have any problems. You will not have any problems that you and God cannot handle, but the idea that life is supposed to be all sweet and kind to a Christian is false, and can be very destructive to one’s faith if we allow the Devil to deceive us into thinking that is what God promised. When Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you” he did not promise to remove the burdens of life, but to help us bear them. When Paul said, “There hath no temptation taken you, but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13), he did not say that God would remove the temptation or make life easy, but that he would help us escape or bear it. The promise was to Paul as it is to us, “My grace is sufficient.”

    Life is filled with deserts and desolation. We could not expect to climb up on the mountain with God if we had not gone through the valley. We could not appreciate the riches of God’s presence and grace if we did not experience some of the poverty of life with him absent.

Contemporary, Informal Praise Service?

By Ernest Underwood

Ernest Underwood    If you were to have an audience with the Queen of England or some world leader, would you wear a ball cap, jeans and flip-flops? Some might say, “Yes,” but most would show more dignity than to do so. Not long ago, I was driving by a church building where there was a sign that read, “Contemporary, Informal, Praise Services.” Here were a people who were announcing their lack of respect and reverence to God. Nowhere in the Holy Scriptures does one find anyone being “informal” in his worship to his Sovereign, Creator and Ruler of the universe—The Almighty God! There was always a formal dignity and respect.

    The hymn writers of old recognized this. Read the words of “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” written by Martin Luther and be favorably impressed with the respect and reverence the lyrics express to God.

    Friends, God is not our buddy! He is our Creator, Our Sustainer and our Savior! Habakkuk said, “The Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him.” Those in the Revelation were singing, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” There was no “informal” praise there. How do you worship?

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