Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 23 Number 12 December 2021
Page 11

And Then Some

T. Pierce Brown

T. Pierce BrownWhen I was growing up on a little farm in Walling, Tennessee, I accidentally learned something from my father that has been of value to me ever since, and which I have tried to teach my children, grandchildren and students. Until I was about 6 years old, we were sharecroppers. We did not get much of the share, but we did a lot of “cropping.” When we would load a wagon load of corn to take to the owner’s barn, my father would always raise up the sideboard on the wagon bed by sticking an ear of corn under it so the landowner would always get what was due him and then some. When we would throw shocks of hay on the wagon to take to his barn, I would notice that we always threw an extra shock or two on the wagon that went to the barn of the landowner. I never asked my father why, but I knew he always gave the owner all that was due him and then some.

When I was about 7 years old, I began to read the New Testament through and found that Jesus had said in Matthew 5:40-41, “If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two” (NKJV). I do not know that my father was deliberately practicing that principle, but I began to deliberately practice it.

When I finished the eighth grade, since the cost was $5 per month to ride the bus to Sparta to high school, I did not have that much money, so I went back to the 8th grade. My report card usually only showed “B” or “C” grade. Then, I began to use the principle of “and then some” in my schoolwork. If we had ten words to learn how to spell, I would learn 20. Guess who won every spelling “bee”? It worked so well, I began to do it when I got to high school. If my math teacher assigned 10 problems, I would do 15 – not for him but for me. I did not make the honor roll because I was smart. As they said in those days, “I didn’t know from nothing.” I made it because I practiced the principle I had learned from Jesus and from my father.

When I got in the Air Force, I knew that I was mentally and physically inferior to many that were trying to be officers. So, I would arise an hour before they did, run around the track 5 miles before the rest of them got out of bed. I do not know that it ever made any difference in how far or how fast I advanced in rank, but it made a difference in me.

This principle was what made the Macedonians praiseworthy as indicated in 2 Corinthians 8:3, “For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing.” They gave what they might have been expected to give and then some.

Any Christian who truly follows Christ in His example and teaching will never be satisfied to do only what all Christians are normally expected to do but will find himself doing all that may be expected and then some. One reason is found in Luke 17:10, which reads, “So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’”

When we look at any truly great men, in or out of the Bible, we will find that they practiced that principle. If we can teach our children those three little words, and get them to practice them, they will always excel in whatever they do. Though they may not have brilliant minds, they will be classed among those who do have. So always strive to do what you can, where you are with what you have – and then some. If you do that, you will discover another fantastic truth. God will enable you to do what you cannot do, as he enabled Peter to walk on the water. Further, He will enable you to do it with what you do not have, for God will provide what you need but do not have, as he did with the little lad with 5 loaves and 2 fishes with which 5,000 were fed.

Symptoms of Larger Problems

Cecil May, Jr.

Cecil May, Jr.“I don’t have any problem with instrumental music,” a brother or sister affirms. Such statements are heard more frequently from people with long standing connections to the church. Since I believe there are good biblical reasons for rejecting instrumental music, I am distressed at hearing such declarations. Often, I believe, they are symptoms of larger problems.

The quest for a “new hermeneutic” that received so much attention a few years ago was, in my opinion, a search for a way of reading the Bible that would enable “us” to be accepted by Evangelicals, to be no longer considered outsiders.

The “new hermeneutic” leads to acceptance of instruments in worship, allows for wider use of women in worship leadership and enables preachers to say baptism is essential for salvation while still accepting unimmersed people as Christians. Becoming an accepted denomination among denominations seems to be the reason for it, and complete loss of every distinctive element of the restoration plea is the fruit of it.

[Editor’s Note: For the same reason as the foregoing, I started writing a book, the title and thesis of which is, “Converting the Church to Christ.” There is an apparent disconnect by many Christians and several congregations from biblical authority and the distinctive characteristics of the church for which Jesus Christ died and over which He is the Head, as well as the children of God for whom He will come back to retrieve. There is an obvious need for a brotherhood wide demonstration of conviction and conversion in the practice of all aspects of Christianity. ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]

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