Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Sanctuary of God

Bill Rice Ranch - First Light Devotionals 

Ezekiel 11:16 "Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come."
There is something about Christmas in December that draws one's heart toward home. I love to travel, but there is just something about December that makes me think of home! I suppose the captives in Babylon felt that way about Jerusalem every day. They were far from home and far from the place of worship. It may have been tempting to think that being away from Jerusalem was equal to being out of God's jurisdiction, but you are never outside God's jurisdiction!
In contrast, the people in Jerusalem thought that being in Jerusalem meant they were spiritually fine. Verse 15 shows us their scornful attitude toward those in Babylon: "Get you far from the LORD: unto us is this land given in possession." They thought the captives were as far from God as they were from Jerusalem. Actually, the captives were close to God, despite being far from home.

God is not impressed by where you are; He is impressed by what you are. If we are not careful, we can buy into the same misconception today that the people in Jerusalem had centuries ago. Although there is not a central place of worship like Jerusalem, there are "places of worship"-ministries, churches, and Bible colleges. Being part of a ministry, a good Bible-preaching church, or a Bible college will not make up for being in the right place in your relationship with God.
In Ezekiel's vision, he saw God's glory literally move from the Holy of Holies to the edge of the temple, and from the edge of the temple to the edge of the city (Ezekiel 9:3; 10:18; 11:23). Yet the folks in Jerusalem thought they were right with God because they were in the right place. You are not in the right place if you are not right in your relationship with God. God was not confined to Jerusalem, and He is not confined to any place today!
The wonderful truth found in Ezekiel 11:16 is that God will be a sanctuary to you, wherever you are. To the captives in a far country, God said, "Yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come." Being close to God is not a matter of having a sanctuary made by the hands of men; being close to God is a matter of taking advantage of the sanctuary that God is. This morning, God wants to be such a sanctuary to you. The question is, will you take advantage of God as your sanctuary wherever you are today?
Prayer Requests
1. Protection and provision for staff
2. Salvation of Youth/Junior/Deaf campers this week
Camp Quote: 
"The Pharisee and the publican both prayed and received that for which they asked. The first received nothing; the second received salvation." (Luke 18:9-14) 
 -Evangelist Chris Miller
Visit our website for more information about our summer camp weeks!
Bill Rice Ranch | 627 Bill Rice Ranch Road | Murfreesboro | TN | 37128

Signs of the Times

Days of Praise
Signs of the Times
June 29, 2010
"When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?" (Matthew 16:2-3)
This sharp rebuke by the Lord Jesus was well deserved, for His critics were challenging Him to prove His right to be heard by performing a miracle. But they had already been confronted with a tremendous body of evidence, both in their Scriptures and in the very life and teachings of Jesus (as well as in the miracles already wrought by Him) that He was their Messiah. They paid great attention to weather forecasting and other mundane matters, while ignoring or rejecting the evidence that God Himself, in Christ, was in their midst.
Today we are more occupied with daily weather even than they were, with all sorts of forecasting devices in operation. There is also a growing army of doomsday forecasters, loudly concerned about a predicted nuclear winter, overpopulation, pollution, alien invasions from outer space, and a host of other foreboding secular "signs of the times."

Yet they ignore the overwhelming evidences, both in science and Scripture, that our great Creator/Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, is still in control and is coming again soon to fulfill His great purposes in creation and redemption. A mere listing of the many real signs of God's times would take many pages. One such sign, of course, is this very proliferation of science and technology. At "the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased" (Daniel 12:4). Another is the great following achieved by these false teachers, as multitudes "turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (2 Timothy 4:4). "Hypocrites," Jesus said, are concerned with secular trends, but spiritual discerners can recognize the true signs. HMM

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Institute for Creation Research | 1806 Royal Lane | Dallas | TX | 75229

Profit and Loss

Days of Praise
Profit and Loss
June 30, 2010
"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matthew 16:26)
In these materialistic days, many people have become abnormally occupied with investments and returns, capital gains and losses, balance sheets and cash flows. This is nothing new, of course. The prevalence of covetousness is so universal, in one form or another, that God had to place a prohibition on it in the Ten Commandments.
The Lord Jesus made a heart-searching comparison one day, when He posed a surprising question relative to divine bookkeeping. Not even the riches of all the world could purchase one human soul, yet men often seem willing to sacrifice their souls in pursuit of riches. Is such an exchange really a sound investment? Merely to ask the question is to answer it.
Earning wealth is good, if it is acquired honorably and by the will of God, but coveting wealth and hoarding wealth are foolish sins. Here is another of many divine profit-and-loss statements: "There is |he| that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is |he| that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches" (Proverbs 13:7). The true measure of profit and loss is the balance sheet kept in heaven. One must first glean an account there, however, and this means coming to God emptyhanded, on the basis of Christ's free gift of His own riches. "Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich" (2 Corinthians 8:9). He died for us, that we might live through Him.

Then, once our heavenly account is established, here is real investment counseling: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth . . . But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, . . . For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:19-21). HMM

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One Authority

Bill Rice Ranch - First Light Devotionals 
Ezekiel 13:3 "Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!"
What comes to mind when you think of false prophets? A note in my Bible grabbed my attention recently. It said, "There are two kinds of false prophets: prophets that speak for false gods and prophets that speak falsely for the true God." Which of those is the bigger threat to you today?
If you spend time listening to opinion from this world and its philosophy, all you are getting is falsehood, all things being equal.Whether it is the morning program or an afternoon talk show, you will find falsehood promoted, pushed, and honored. I do not hate those folks, but it is fair to say that their philosophy and content is falsehood.
Having said all of that, I believe the greater danger for us today comes from people who claim the name of the true God but are not speaking for Him. God has a very harsh heart towards people who speak when He has not spoken. Verse 6 says that they "follow their own spirit" and "the LORD hath not sent them." Verse 7 calls their vision "vain" and their prophecy a "lying divination." God makes it crystal clear when He says, "Albeit I have not spoken."
Authority comes not only from speaking in God's name; it comes from speaking God's Word in God's name. We need to be careful, even when it comes to preaching. Is the preaching you hear authoritative? Has God said it? More than the "style" of preaching, is what the preacher says what God has said?
We need to continually guard against two kinds of false prophets: those who are speaking for false gods (including the "god of this world" and the world's philosophy, opinion, etc.) and those who speak falsely for the true God. What we heed and what we hear ought to always be Bible-based. Our authority should not be what some person thinks or says; our authority ought to be what God has said.
Prayer Requests
1. Protection and provision for staff
2. Salvation of Youth/Junior/Deaf campers this week
3. Praise-44 day campers saved during last week's outreach!
Camp Quote: 
"The secret of the Christian life is the presence of God." (Psalm 91:1)
-Evangelist Chris Miller
Visit our website for more information about our summer camp weeks!
Bill Rice Ranch | 627 Bill Rice Ranch Road | Murfreesboro | TN | 37128

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Question of the Week: Are we causing global warming?

Answers Weekly | newsletter archives | contact us
June 26, 2010

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top leftIn this issue . . .

Q: Are we causing global warming?

Answers Magazine 5-3 A: Many people today are worried that global warming is threatening life on earth. They often blame pollution from modern industry, which is increasing the amount of certain atmospheric gases, such as carbon dioxide, that trap heat. Some individuals have gone so far as to say that we must take immediate action to halt global warming to prevent catastrophic consequences within the next century. What are we to make of such claims?
First, there is evidence that global warming is indeed happening. Virtually all the glaciers in the world have receded in the last century. Measurements indicate that the earth's global average temperature has gone up 1.2°F (0.7°C) since 1880. This really isn't very much of a change, and there is some reason to believe that even that number may be inflated. In any case, there is good reason to believe that the earth has warmed in the last century, if only slightly.
We must understand that the most important natural factor in determining the earth's temperature is the sun. We take for granted that the sun is stable and warms the earth in a uniform way.
For the most part, it does; it is an unusually stable star. But the sun does have natural cycles and minor changes in intensity that affect climate on the earth. One such cycle is the relatively short-term sunspot cycle. However, much longer variations may also exist. There is evidence that such variations have a substantial effect on earth's climate.

Continue reading to learn more about the causes of climate change and what we can do about it in this sneak peak from the summer 2010 edition of Answers magazine.

News to Note Quick Look

The big man of human evolution: He's the new "big man" of human evolution: Kadanuumuu, a purported relative of famous ape-woman Lucy. Read more.

A catastrophe for old-earthers?: With a headline worded as if written by a young-earther, the press release for a new study of Texas's Canyon Lake Gorge reveals that an increasing number of scientists are coming to grips with catastrophic geology. Read more.


Prayer Requests

View the current prayer requests to keep track of and pray for current ministry needs. Thank you!

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Friday, June 25, 2010


A sinning man will stop praying and a praying man will stop sinning. - Unknown

Sometimes we cannot stand prosperity because it leads us astray. - Russell Larramore [Gideon]

The guide for success in the Christian life is always the Bible; the decision necessary for success is always obedience. - Evangelist Troy Carlson

Life in Jesus is not wrapped up in what we do, it's wrapped up in what He did. - Larramore

Spiritual decisions plus spiritual discipline equals spiritual growth. - Pastor Jim Schettler

The point (to consider) is not WHEN you meet God but the fact that you WILL meet God. - Evangelist Bill Rice III

...a wife should submit (to her own husband) in everything, which means all the time. There’s no submitting on the little things and fighting it out on the big things. A wife acquiesces every time there is disagreement. So wives, how are we doing? Are we submitting graciously, just as the church submits to Christ’s headship? Are we submitting in everything so our homes will have the unity God intends? Start now. On the next issue of disagreement, voluntarily defer to your husband’s wishes (you won’t feel like giving in, but do it anyway). There’s a certain freedom in such biblical submission: if a mistake of judgment is made, the responsibility for the error becomes the husband’s; it is the wife’s job simply to defer, and that’s all God expects of her. As I once heard a pastor say (quoting another speaker, without giving credit, unfortunately): “Submission is simply ducking low enough for God to smack your husband.” This, dear women, is freedom. - Kathy Green

You evangelists had better take small meetings and have good meetings than to get big meetings by compromising … You servants of Christ ought to stay true even if you have to go hungry ... Remember, the devil will compromise. God won’t ... Some of our Bible-believing preachers have had their character bankrupted by the pressure of the ecclesiastical machine and without stopping to realize just what they were doing, they have been a party to an influence and dictatorship that chokes the spiritual life out of the churches and suppresses the evangelistic impulses of men who have been called of God to do the job. - Bob Jones, Sr.

[Charles]Spurgeon, on an occasion when he was being criticized for a “sameness” in his sermons, confessed, “Per­haps they are right. It is true that no matter where I take my text, whether it be in the Old Testament or the New, I immediately head across country to Jesus Christ, and preach Him and His saving grace.” What a beautiful ex­ample for aspiring preachers in the twenty-first century to follow! - Evangelist R.L. Sumner

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Days of Praise
June 24, 2010
"Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him." (Isaiah 43:7)
There are three main verbs used to describe God's work of creation in Genesis. These are "create" (Hebrew, bara), "make" (asah), and "form" (yatsar). The three words are similar in meaning, but each with a slightly different emphasis. None of them, of course, can mean anything at all like "evolve," or "change," on their own accord.
All three are used in Genesis with reference to man. "And God said, Let us make man in our image. . . . So God created man in his own image. . . . And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground" (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:7).
Although the subject of creation is commonly associated with Genesis, it is mentioned even more frequently by the great prophet Isaiah. The words bara and yatsar are used twice as often in Isaiah as in any other Old Testament book and are applied uniquely to works of God. All three verbs are used together in Isaiah 45:18 in order to describe, adequately, God's purposeful work in preparing the earth for man: "For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else."
God created, formed, made, and established the earth, that it might be the home of men and women. But what was God's purpose for the people who would inhabit it? Our text answers this most fundamental of questions, and once again, all three key verbs are used: "I have created him . . . I have formed him, . . . I have made him . . . for my glory."
This biblical perspective alone provides the greatest of all possible incentives to live a godly and useful life. The reason we were created is to glorify God! HMM
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Wednesday, June 23, 2010



Pastor Rick Jackson

I. THE DAY COMETH [v. 1-3]

1. THE DAY OF FIRE [v. 1, II Thess. 2:18]

2. THE DAY OF FEAR [v. 2, 3:16, II Pet. 1:19, Rev. 22:16]

3. THE DAY OF FEET [v. 3, Ez. 39]

II. THE TIME TO REMEMBER [V. 4-6, Ecclesiastes 12:1]

Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;

1. THE PROOF OF SIN [v. 4]


3. THE POWER OF FAITH [v. 6, Mt. 10:34-36 in reverse]


1. GOD IS HOLY [v. 1-4]



The final word in the Old Testament is "curse", the New testament opens with the story of the One who will remove the curse.

Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Truth

Days of Praise
The Truth
June 22, 2010
"And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." (2 Timothy 4:4)
This is the last of eleven occurrences of "the truth" in Paul's two letters to Timothy. He was not writing about the importance of being truthful in general, but about a specific body of factual information concerning Jesus Christ and its vital importance. Thus "the truth" was a very important theme in both of Paul's letters to this young pastor--and, by implication, to all Godcalled pastors.
Paul first speaks of "the knowledge of the truth" as required for salvation (1 Timothy 2:4), then of his own teaching as "the truth in Christ" (1 Timothy 2:7), then of "the church of the living God" as "the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:15), and of Christians as those who "believe and know the truth" (1 Timothy 4:3). He stresses the importance of studying the Bible as "the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15), and also that true repentance requires "the acknowledging of the truth" (2 Timothy 2:25).
Paul also warns of false and covetous teachers who are "destitute of the truth" (1 Timothy 6:5) and who therefore "concerning the truth have erred" (2 Timothy 2:18). There will even be false prophets who "resist the truth" and are "reprobate concerning the faith" (2 Timothy 3:8).
As a result of the teachings of these false teachers, there will be many so-called seekers of truth who are "ever learning" yet who seem "never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (2 Timothy 3:7). The reason they never find the truth is because they "turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (2 Timothy 4:4).
The fact is that Jesus said: "I am . . . the truth" and also that "thy word is truth" (John 14:6; 17:17). For any who would say with Pilate, "What is truth?" (John 18:38), there is the definitive answer! HMM
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Institute for Creation Research | 1806 Royal Lane | Dallas | TX | 75229


It seems that almost anything that the prophet says, becomes the object of contention on the part of the people. I think about that, and it also has a personal application. You've heard of course, that at many a Christian dinner table, they have the standard fare plus roast preacher. What he says gets taken apart six ways to Sunday, and becomes the object of animated discussion, maybe contention. - Dave Breese

Sufficient unto the day is one baby. As long as you are in your right mind don't you ever pray for twins. Twins amount to a permanent riot. And there ain't any real difference between triplets and an insurrection. - Mark Twain, 1879

Like Paul (Rom. 1:13-15; I Cor. 15:1-2), we should also rehearse the Gospel to other believers. It brings encouragement, refreshes and strenghthens other believers to daily consider anew what God has done (and is doing) for us through Jesus Christ. - Stephen Jones

Living in light of the Gospel is not a slogan or a three-step program. It is daily growth in the marvel of what Jesus Christ has accomplished and is accomplishing in believers. - Jones

Man was lost by hearing Satan. He can only be saved by hearing God. - J. Wilbur Chapman

Monday, June 21, 2010

Humble Pie

Bill Rice Ranch - First Light Devotionals 

Lamentations 2:11 "Mine eyes do fail with tears, my bowels are troubled, my liver is poured upon the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my people; because the children and the sucklings swoon in the streets of the city."
Few things in life are more delicious than being able to say, "I told you so!" Humble pie doesn't taste good to the person eating eat, but it sure does smell tasty when you are cooking it up for someone else! Aren't those statements true if you are honest? If anyone ever had a right to say "I told you so," it was Jeremiah.
Jeremiah gave God's warning to a rebellious people, yet they did not hear a word he said. In fact, Jeremiah got more sympathy and support from Babylon than he did from his own people! (See Jeremiah 39:11-12; 40:1-4.) Jeremiah put himself on the line and spoke for God, even when other prophets were not saying what obviously needed to be said. I cannot think of anybody in the Bible that could relish saying the words "I told you so" more than Jeremiah could. Yet in Lamentations 2:11-13, his heart was grieved for their situation. You will find the same theme throughout the entire book of Lamentations-after all, it is a book of lamenting.
I must admit that if I were Jeremiah, I would have loved to bake up a large helping of "humble pie" for God's people! They were getting what they deserved, but you will not find Jeremiah's heart or lips ever crying "I told you so!" Suppose you and I were at the Grand Canyon, and after ignoring my repeated warnings of not getting too close to the edge, you drop several hundred feet to your death. Once they are able to send your carcass back home, I have the privilege of speaking at your funeral. Imagine in my eulogy if I leaned over your casket, pointed my finger, and exclaimed, "I told you so!" Now, you may have that coming, but that would be out of place at your own funeral! The same was true for Jeremiah and God's people in Lamentations.
If we are compelled by God and motivated by our concern for people, then the same thing that motivates warning will motivate comfort later on. When someone is wrong, and I want to make that right, it often becomes personal to me. In other words, if you are doing what's wrong, I want you to get clobbered for it! But if you have a clobbering coming, God will take care of that, not me.
If my desire is to help people do right, then I have the freedom to not say "I told you so!" when they do wrong. Galatians 6:1 says, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness. . . ." It may be delicious to serve "humble pie," but the Bible gives us a great example of meekness in Jeremiah. It takes a different kind of courage to comfort than it does to warn. Both are important. If I am motivated on one side of calamity to warn people, then I should be motivated just as easily on the other side to comfort those in need of help.

Prayer Requests
1. Day Camp Outreach this week
2. Protection and provision for staff
Camp Quote: 
"When God promises, it always happens."
-Evangelist Bill Rice III
Visit our website for more information about our summer camp weeks!
Bill Rice Ranch | 627 Bill Rice Ranch Road | Murfreesboro | TN | 37128

The Rapture


Rapture! How in the world is it going to happen?


Surprise! Swiftly. Shockingly.

"In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye" 1 Cor. 15:52.

"The second coming of Christ is mentioned in both the Old Testament and Matthew 24-25 but the Rapture was not revealed until the night before the Crucifixion in John 14:1-3" Dr. John F. Walvoord pointed this out in his book, "Prophecy in the New Millennium." That is quite amazing. There is a multitude of Christians today who do not know about the Rapture or have not had it emphasized enough to be consciously looking for His coming for Believers.

How in the world is it going to happen?

SUDDENLY! The Rapture, the gathering and assent ion of who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, will take place just before the beginning of the Day of the Lord. More on this later. Paul tells us, "Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape" 1 Thess. 5:1-3.

SWIFTLY! "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound" vs.52. No man knows the day nor the hour. "But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief" vs. 4. "So then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober" (be serious about it) vs. 6. The blowing of the trumpet was for the gathering of the people of God Num. 10:2 ff. So it will be at the rapture.

Systematically! "The dead in Christ will rise first" 1 Thes. 4:16. This is all the believers from the day of Pentecost. "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body" 1 Cor. 12:13. Christ only has one body Eph. 4:4. This takes place at the moment of salvation even as we are "born of the Spirit" at that moment. "If any man be in Christ he is a new creation" 2 Cor. 5:17. Every believer has been baptized by the Holy Spirit or he is not "in Christ."

"Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord." 1 Thes. 4:17. "What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see" and "we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is" 1 John 3:2. What a grand homecoming that will be. Please don't miss it, get in on it right now. Look up all the verses listed on the chart under "Rapture."

Prayer:  Father, help your children to be keenly aware that Jesus is coming so we will be ready and waiting with our eyes on You and things above. In Jesus name

And I love you, all because the Lord Jesus suffered and died for our sins, paid our debt in full and rose again so we can be forgiven and go to heaven, sumner.

Do you believe in that alone for your salvation? Believe and pray to receive Him as your Savior right now. "He that has the Son, has life" 1 John 5:12.

Please let us hear from you


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Ecclesiastes 5:1-7

Pastor Rick Jackson

I. WATCH YOUR STEP! [v. 1, II Tm. 4:1-4]

2 Timothy 4:1-4 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

“Going to some churches is not only a waste of time; it is wrong. It is wrong to give your approval to a liberal pulpit. It is wrong when you do not give your support to a fundamental pastor who is giving out the Word of God.” - J. Vernon McGee

II. WATCH YOUR MOUTH [v. 2-3, James 1:19]

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
Matthew 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.


Psalm 66:13-14 I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows, Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Psalm 50:7-12

Pastor Rick Jackson

In 1883 Peter P. Bilhorn was engaged in evangelistic work among the western cowboys. “We had started up the Missouri River for Bismarck, and on Sunday we stopped at a new town, named Blunt, to unload some freight. A crowd of men and boys came down to the wharf. I took my little organ, went on the wharf boat, and sang a few songs—among others the glorious hymn, ‘I’m a child of a King.’ I thought nothing more of the occasion until long afterward, when I sang the same song in Mr. Moody’s church in Chicago. Then a man in the back part of the house arose, and said in a trembling voice: ’Two years ago I heard that song at Blunt, Dakota; I was then an unsaved man, but that song set me to thinking, and I decided to accept Christ, and I am now studying for the ministry.’”

We are told in Col. 3:16, “Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” This is both a Hymn- because it speaks of HIM and a spiritual song because it is a song of testimony. This great old song declares Bible truth for us in a powerful form that is both pleasing to the ear and cutting to the heart. It describes for us the richness of the Father by describing His riches in 5 or 6 categories.

I. THE RICHNESS OF HIS FOOTSTOOL [Ps. 50:10-12, Isaiah 66:1]

Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
Matthew 5:34-35 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool : neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

My Father is rich in houses and lands,
He holdeth the wealth of the world in His hands!
Of rubies and diamonds, of silver and gold,
His coffers are full, He has riches untold.

II. THE RICHNESS OF HIS LOVE [2 Corinthians 8:9]

For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
Ephesians 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
Ephesians 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

My Father’s own Son, the Savior of men,
Once wandered on earth as the poorest of them;
But now He is pleading our pardon on high,
That we may be His when He comes by and by.


Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

I once was an outcast stranger on earth,
A sinner by choice, an alien by birth,
But I’ve been adopted, my name’s written down,
An heir to a mansion, a robe and a crown.


O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
Romans 9:22-24 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
Ephesians 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
Ephesians 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

A tent or a cottage, why should I care?
They’re building a palace for me over there;
Though exiled from home, yet still may I sing:
All glory to God, I’m a child of the King.

V. THE RICHNESS OF HIS WAY [1 Peter 1:3-5]

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

I’m a child of the King,
A child of the King:
With Jesus my Savior,
I’m a child of the King.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Pleasing God

Days of Praise
Pleasing God
June 19, 2010
"Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him." (2 Corinthians 5:9)
Paul's great ambition was to please his Lord and Savior. In our text, the Greek for "accepted" often also is translated "well-pleasing," and this is the real meaning of the word. Since this also is the great desire of every sincere Christian, let us look at a few of those passages where the Lord tells us specifically how we can please Him.
Consider, for example: "But to do good and to communicate |i.e., to 'share what you have with others'| forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased" (Hebrews 13:16; see also Philippians 4:18).
There is a special admonition to children: "Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord" (Colossians 3:20). For adults: "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please |same root word| him who hath chosen him to be a soldier" (2 Timothy 2:3-4).
The same word appears in Romans 12:1-2, translated twice as "acceptable." Paul urges us to present our bodies as living sacrifices, "holy, acceptable unto God," being "not conformed to this world," but transformed by a renewed mind, thereby to prove "that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

The common thread in these and other such passages is that, in order to be pleasing to the Lord, we must be good stewards of all our possessions and all our days, serving Him totally. "For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable |i.e., 'well-pleasing'| to God" (Romans 14:18). This is our reasonable service, and it will be abundantly repaid if we hear Him say in that day: "Well done, thou good and faithful servant" (Matthew 25:21). HMM

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Ask for Direction!

Bill Rice Ranch - First Light Devotionals 

Jeremiah 42:4 "Then Jeremiah the prophet said unto them, I have heard you; behold, I will pray unto the LORD your God according to our words; and it shall come to pass, that whatsoever thing the LORD shall answer you, I will declare it unto you; I will keep nothing back from you."
A group of people came to Jeremiah and asked him to ask God for direction because they needed to know what to do and where to go. Already quite confident that they should go to Egypt during a chaotic time, they wanted Jeremiah to ask God so that God could "shew us the way wherein we may walk, and the thing that we may do." Their minds were already made up and their asking wasn't square (see verse 20).
Actually, the two things they asked for in verse 3 are two things you need this morning: to know the way to walk and the thing to do. You might need direction for something immediate or something "long-range" down the road, but you need direction for life that only comes from God.

You will not get direction from God unless you are willing to hear "no" and willing to say "yes." As a kid traveling with my parents, I would ask my dad a loaded question like, "How does a car work?" (Do your kids ever ask you such questions?) My dad would always say, "Well, do you really want to know?" He was only interested in telling me if I was interested in listening!
Sometimes we treat God the same way. We know that we should ask, but we either think we already have our answer or we "humor" God by asking. Either way, we are not interested in hearing (kind of like asking about cars). We should come to God with the attitude of Jeremiah: "whatsoever thing the LORD shall answer. . . ." No matter what the Lord answers when we ask, we ought to "keep nothing back" from Him. The only way you are going to have God keep nothing back from you is if you keep nothing back from Him!
If you need wisdom for the day, you should ask God (James 1:5). But when you ask, be willing to hear "no" and say "yes." Don't simply cover your tracks with a token prayer like these folks did in Jeremiah 42. God's perspective is perfect and much broader than ours, and His way is never evil. The only way to get direction for life is to get direction from God. And the only way to get direction from God is to be willing to hear "no" and willing to say "yes."
Prayer Requests
1. Protection and provision for staff
2. Churches traveling home from camp tonight and tomorrow morning
3. Day Camp Outreach next week (June 21-25)
Camp Quote: 
"There is more to life than this life."
-Evangelist Troy Carlson
Visit our website for more information about our summer camp weeks!
Bill Rice Ranch | 627 Bill Rice Ranch Road | Murfreesboro | TN | 37128