Little Things Matter

The Emperor of China, it is said, fell so in love with a new game called chess he offered the inventor anything he wanted as a reward.

“Just give me one grain of rice, “ was the request.

“Just one grain?” 

“Well, one grain for the first square of the chessboard, doubling to two for the second, four for the third, and so on.”

The Emperor readily agreed before realizing until too late that doubling the grains of rice for each square ultimately required him to give 18 million trillion grains to the inventor. This would have been equal to all the rice in the world, times approximately ten.

Jesus told the parable of the mustard seed. This is a different mustard than grown in America. Its seeds are small round seeds that are usually about 1 to 2 millimeters (0.039 to 0.079 in) in diameter. Yet, they grow to become mid-sized trees.

Pay attention to little things in your life. They are important to God, and they should be important to you.

Jesus taught, “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a little thing is unrighteous also in much.” 

Remember, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” Galatians 6:7-8

Note, “whatsoever things,” no matter how small, they matter. That applies to good things as well as bad, so go out there and sow some good little seed. Enjoy doing good.

Jesus Christ Human and Divine Nature

“…God was manifest in the flesh…” I Timothy 3:16 


Females have two copies of the X chromosome, while males have one X and one Y chromosome.

The mother (female) has two copies of the X chromosome and the father (male) has one X and one Y chromosome. 

The mother (female) provides the substance (body), and the father (male) the animator, (the one who gives life). Thomas Aquinas observed, “The female provides the matter, while the male is the active principle of generation.”

Jesus having a human mother, Mary, and a divine father, the Holy Spirit, thus combined the two natures forming the God man/man God, Jesus Christ.

This gives a 21st Century reading to a 1st Century writing (Matthew 1:18-25, & Luke 1:26-30).

Jesus is God’s mono genesis, the only one of a kind Son.

On a flight my seat mate was one of the President’s main labor negotiators. I ask what constituted a mediator. He said a mediator must be equal to both parties. The Bible says, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5

Jesus is equal to both making Him the God-man/man-God. Jesus is the one mediator between God and man. Is He such in your life? Has he made peace between you and God?

He is open for business. 

The Laws Of Nature And Nature’s God

Our Founders “…pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

 “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence…” Embedded in that vital document were several references to that divine Providence. One such reference is to  “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” 

Controversy now rages over the meaning of that statement. Secularists attribute to Thomas Jefferson a secular meaning. The best way to understand it is to consider Jefferson’s source. Jefferson was a student of Henry St John Lord Bolingbroke of England.  He first began studying Lord Bolingbroke’s writings at the age of fourteen. Jefferson quoted him more than any source.

Lord Bolingbroke provided a very specific definition for this phrase.   

In a letter to Alexander Pope, Lord Bolingbroke wrote the following words which were to become the basis for Jefferson’s opening paragraph of the Declaration of Independence: “You will find that it is the modest, not the presumptuous enquirer, who makes a real, and safe progress in the discovery of divine truths. One follows nature, and nature’s God; that is, he follows God in his works, and in his word.”

According to Lord Bolingbroke, the law of nature’s God is the Law which is found in God’s Word.  This was the definition which was intended by Jefferson, and this was the manner in which his words were understood by our forefathers.  The law of nature’s God upon which our nation was founded is nothing less than the Bible itself.

Our Declaration of Independence was at once a declaration of independence from England, and a declaration of dependence upon God.

We have drifted a dramatic distance from the well understood eighteenth century meaning of dependence upon God. We have so hotly pursued happiness we have neglected quality of life and an understanding of true liberty. We have sold our birthright for a “mess of pottage,” and are now beginning to taste the bitter menu afforded by such neglect. 

There is yet hope for renewal if we will respond as George Washington admonished the people of his day: “If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear them from heaven, and will forgive their sins and heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7:14)

The Final Exam 2/20/00

Revelation 20:11-15

Jesus Christ is spoken of as the One who will judge the world: “because He [God] has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).

This verse attests to the fact every person will someday be involved in a great time of judgement. It reveals:





A Date Is Determined when God will judge the world. That means each of us will be involved. There are no exemptions. None!

Does it ever seem the wicked prosper and seem to get away with it? Centuries ago the prophet Jeremiah was puzzled by this and wrote:

“Righteous are You, O LORD, when I plead with You; Yet let me talk with You about Your judgments. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why are those happy who deal so treacherously?” (Jeremiah 12:1).

They will not in the day of the ultimate judgement. They will face a final judgement. The date is already determined.

A Standard Is Decided and it is the person Jesus Christ. The criterion will not be to find someone you are better than and gain a passing grade by comparison. The standard is Jesus Christ.

There will be no oversight or error in His judgement. “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25).

The prophet Daniel describes the judge as “the Ancient of Days,” before whom “a river of fire was flowing.” Then Daniel adds: “Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated and the books were opened” (Daniel 7:9, 10).

Christ sets the standard and is the standard.

“The Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgement to the Son …. And has given Him the authority to judge because He is the Son of Man” (John 5:23, 27).

Before British law required warning signals along railways bridge keepers were required to flag down approaching trains and warn them the bridge was out.

One passenger train plunged into the river because of it not being properly warned. At the trial the bridge keeper was asked by the judge if he waved his warning lantern. He responded that he had.

Later the bridge keeper confided to a friend he was glad the judge didn’t ask if his lantern was lit.

The whole truth wasn’t known when the judgement was made. Our Lord will know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

A Scope Is Stated and it is the whole world. All persons of all ages will be involved in a final judgement.

“For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14).

Epicurus, the ancient Greek philosopher, said, “What men fear, is not that death is annihilation, but that it is not.”

At the end of World War II Richard Niebuhr reminded readers that the fear of death was chiefly the fear of judgement.

Daniel Webster declared the most significant thought to cross his mind was that of his personal accountability. You too are personally accountable.

A Proof is Presented and it is the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. In light of this the Easter celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ might well be the most dreaded holiday of the year.

Having achieved the unachievable, the resurrection, God the Father has demonstrated His ability to fulfill His promises. He has promised there will be a final judgement.

It is wishful thinking to say there was and will be no resurrection. In modern excavations a sealed vase was found in an Egyptian tomb. In it were seed known to be more than three thousand years old. They were hard as stone and shriveled. They were carefully planted and within thirty days sprang to life after having lain dormant in a dusty tomb for centuries.

This is a faint illustration of the fact the mortal body shall put on immortality.

Acts 17 notes the three predictable responses:

* Some mock: “And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked…” (Acts 17:32).

* Some delayed: “We will hear you again on this matter” (Acts 17: 32c). The Bible wisely warns: “Boast not yourself of tomorrow” (Proverbs 27:1). This is not an encouragement to take wise forethought. Much progress has been enjoyed as a result of people who wisely planned for tomorrow. Much of the fruit picked today is a result of persons who yesterday planned for it.

The warning is against counting on tomorrow as a given.

Planning for tomorrow is practical. Depending upon it is impractical. The way to plan for tomorrow is to do today what equips you for tomorrow.

Spiritually, the way to plan for tomorrow is to prepare today by aligning your life with Christ. In that way you have prepared for tomorrow and have no cause for anxiety about it.

* Some believed: “However, some men joined him and believed” (Acts 17: 34).

In which category do you belong?

In the Book of the Revelation reference is made to two future resurrections. The first will occur at the next coming of our Lord. It is a resurrection to life. It will happen at a time called the Rapture when Christ shall come in the air for His saints.

However, there is another resurrection spoken of.

It is the resurrection unto judgement and occurs at the end of the period known as the Millennium. After Christ shall have ruled on earth for 1000 years Satan will be released for a short period on earth. Only believers will be on earth at the beginning of the Millennium. All who are born during the Millennium will live in a perfect environment and have believing parents. Even with Christ physically present and ruling on earth the evil hearts of some of those born during the Millennium will covertly be in rebellion against Christ. To expose these Satan is allowed to be released and they overtly follow him. This proves it is an evil heart not heredity of the environment that is responsible for evil acts.

After Satan shall have been released for a short time on earth he is finally cast out into the lake of fire and brimstone, hell. Beginning with Revelation 20: 11 the final exam is noted.

This is called “the great white throne” judgement. The throne of judgement is “great” because of its POWER. It is “white” because of its PURITY.

Those who stand before the great white throne will have rejected “so great salvation” (Hebrews 2;3).

They are those who were not involved in the first resurrection, believers.

This judgement is not to determine the destiny of those involved. That has already been determined by their rejection of Christ while alive. This passage teaches there will be degrees of punishment. This judgement is to determine the severity of persons punishment. This is an often overlooked or actually unknown Bible fact.

Believers have been judged.

^ They were judged at the cross as SINNERS. “There is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

^ They are presently being judged as SIBLINGS of the Father. As His children He leads us in the paths of righteousness for His name sake. His reputation in part rest on our faithfulness.

^ They will be judged as STEWARDS. Grow not weary in well doing for one “Well done” from Him will make it all worth while. In the first part of verse 12 reference is made to “books,” plural. In the last part of verse 12 reference is made to “the book,” singular. The book is further identified in verses 12 and 15 as “the Book of Life.”

Found revealed in this passage is insight regarding salvation. There are only two schools of thought on how to be saved. One is that you must work for your salvation. A person must earn, merit, or deserve God’s good favor. This is done according to this school of thought by good works.

The other concept of salvation is that it is only by grace, that is, God’s favor. Ephesians 2: 8, 9 make this clear: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

Those who are depending upon their good works to save them need to give careful attention to the basis of their judgement revealed in verse 12: “The dead were judged according to their works, by the things written in the books.”

The very works depended upon for salvation become the basis of condemnation. This is true because these person have relied upon their own good works rather than the good work of Christ on the cross.

Works are an unmistakable evidence of the loyalty of the heart. Works will reveal a persons loyalty is not to Christ.

This passage reveals God to be a good bookkeeper. He has a record of our deeds. Whoever you are your biography is kept by God.

Those whose names are not in the Book of Life join the devil in the lake of fire.

Earlier reference was made to the varied response to the news an inevitable judgement awaits every one.

A historical event illustrates types of responses. Years ago the Robert E. Lee was the most palatial boat that plied up and down the Mississippi River between Vicksburg and New Orleans. There were other beautiful boats but this was the favorite of the people of Vicksburg. Every Wednesday afternoon hundreds would gather along the river to watch as the Robert E. Lee cast off and turned her prow down river and headed to New Orleans.

One beautiful Wednesday thousands gathered on the wharf to wave goodby and shout “bon voyage” to friends and family. Passengers hung over the gunwales and shouted such things as, “We will write when we get to our destination.”

The Robert E. Lee backed out, rang its bells as its whistles blew and smoke rolled out its funnels. The river hands sang those wild weird river songs that make the blood tingle and tears roll down cheeks. About a mile down river the Lee turned a bend in the river and disappeared from view.

It was about 2:00 AM when the first telegrams began to arrive in Vicksburg. The vaunted paddle wheeler had caught fire and rapidly burned on the river. About midnight the captain had discovered the boat was on fire. He summonsed the clerk and said, “This boat is on fire and I want you to run down in the saloon and down every corridor and rap on each state-room door and cry, ‘Get up; the boat is on fire!’ He ran around knocking at the doors and screaming, ‘The boats on fire!”

He had no time for an explanation if he was to warn everyone; there was no time to argue. Those few who heard the warning and responded saving their lives tell of the various responses of others who perished.

Upon hearing the knocking some swore and cursed and vowed to respond to a person who would be so alarming. Others laughed at such an idea as this great vessel being on fire saying, “There is no fire.” Some thought it was a joke and rolled over to an eternal sleep. A few were frightened and hid under their beds. Some heard the warning and responded. Those same responses are offered to the idea of a great day of judgement coming. Some curse the messenger. Some laugh at the very idea. Some think it is a prank. Some are frightened and withdraw.

Others believe and respond thereby getting prepared for that inevitable event. What is your response?

The Book of the Revelation contains this urgent warning: “Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of his judgement has come” (Revelation 14:6, 7). The Lord God does not desire for persons to be in the Great White Throne Judgement.

* God is not a ghoulish God looking for an opportunity to punish us. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (II Corinthians 5:19).

* Christ has gone to extremes to help persons avoid judgement. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life” (John 5:24).

A Model Mother

I Samuel 1:27, 28

JESUS CHRIST honored His earthly mother and appealed by example and exhortation for you to do the same. The need abides for mothers to be honored as well as for them to be honorable.

Former President Theodore Roosevelt framed the role with this beautiful depiction.

“When all is said, it is the mother, and the mother only, who is a better citizen than the soldier who fights for his country. The successful mother, the mother who does her part in rearing and training aright the boys and girls who are to be the men and women of the next generation, is of greater use to her community, and occupies, if she only would realize it, a more honorable as well as a more important position than any man in it. The mother is the one supreme asset of national life; she is more important far than the successful statesman, or business man, or artist, or scientist.”

Mothering is an all-consuming, exhausting process that requires energy, concentration, perseverance, patience, time, and a lot of other elusive attributes. Moms deserve praise and accolades. Additionally, I would like to throw in some helpful hints on being a mom.

1. Keep your marriage a priority. Don’t use your child as an escape from the reality of your marriage and what it needs.

2. Don’t neglect your personal spiritual life even for your child. There will be times you will need divine wisdom and supernatural strength to be an effective mom. Hannah, the mother we are going to consider momentarily could never have survived her emotional stress and disgrace if she had not had a viable personal faith.

3. Be glad, right now, that your children want to be with you. Those moments will fade fast and there is no way to return to the thrill of being needed that those early years afford. Enjoy the fact you are your child’s best music and art critic. The music often comes from clanging pots and pans serving as symbols. Kazoos, toy xylophones, drums, and wind-up record players often provide the music in the early years. All too soon they give way to boom-boxes.

Moms are often called upon to appraise artwork scrawled on bedroom walls, the best table cloth, and sidewalks.

Young moms are expected to be authorities on the care and feeding of snails, butterflies, worms, dogs, parakeets, grasshoppers, guppies, and gerbils.

4. Buy stock in companies that manufacture diapers and bandages. You will feel personally responsible for our nation’s sound economy while providing for your future.

5. For girls, this is important, never buy a dress without considering the “twirl” factor.

6. For boys, don’t worry if the only word he knows by age six is “vroom.”

7. Keep your sense of humor. What may tend to upset you today will be cause for laughter in the future.

8. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You will make mistakes. Forgive yourself and move on.

Moms and dads as well, here is a part of childhood I didn’t know until I learned it by experience. One day the door will open, and in will walk a young adult, your child, your best friend. It happens all too rapidly and is worth any effort to achieve it.

Children here is a verse to memorize: “Let your father and your mother be glad, And let her who bore you rejoice” (Proverbs 23:25).

We can learn much from Bible moms. Can you imagine comments coming from these little Bible sons:

“Abraham, stop wandering around the countryside and get home in time for dinner.”

“Cain, get up off your brother. You are going to kill him if you keep that up.”

“David, I told you not to play with that sling in the house. Now put it down and practice your harp. We pay good money for those lessons.”

“Samson, get your hand out of that lion’s mouth. You don’t know where it has been.”

“Noah, no you can’t keep them. I told you I don’t want you to bring home any more stray animals.”

“James and John, stop that burping contest at the table. If you keep that up people will call you the sons of thunder.”

“Judas, have you been in my purse again?”

The Old Testament contains the story of a young wife and her ambition to serve the Lord as a mother. She is the model of a good mother. Women, let me ask you a vital question. If you had lived in the Bible era, would you have been a good example for inclusion in Scripture of a good and Godly mother? If not, I appeal that you start molding your life today after such an example — Hannah.

The story develops in a time of great national trouble for Israel. They were in need of a Godly leader. At that same time a young woman entered the story. Her name was Hannah.


Before she was a wife, she was a true believer and an ardent worshiper. Before she was a mother, she was a Godly woman. She regularly engaged in worship and prayer (1:10). She sought God’s will: “If thou will” (1:11). To show the sincerity of her prayer, she linked herself to God by a difficult vow. Hannah called herself “the handmade of the Lord.” When a child sees its mother’s commitment to the Lord and observes her consistency in Christ the child is drawn to her and Christ. When the parent is seen to be willing to be under the authority of the Lord the child is more willing to be under the authority of the parent.

Even when the Priest, Levi, misunderstood her, she remained calm and gracious. He saw her praying and thought she was drunk (1:14). The old priest’s ill-founded conclusion added gall to the sorrow of her heart. She was courteous but persistent. Seeing her sincerity, Levi said, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition” (1:17). She went home content because she believed.

From Hannah we can all learn how to calmly and graciously defend our rights.


Hannah made the right choice of a husband. That for some persons is their biggest mistake. “David Frost’s Book of World’s Worst Decisions” lists some major mistakes. One big one is thought to be Coca- Cola changing its formula. For ninety-five years after Dr. John Pemberton cooked up the first batch in his back yard in 1886, the formula was good enough. Then in 1985 it changed. That, however, wasn’t Coke’s biggest mistake. Earlier in this century Coke passed up the opportunity to buy out a young, twice-bankrupted competitor called Pepsi-Cola.

All of us, like Coke, make mistakes; but Hannah made few.

She had the right husband. Being unable to have children made her the object of derision by Peninnah. Hannah’s husband Elkanah offered her encouragement at every opportunity. The Scripture says he was better to her than ten sons.

What we are not told is Hannah was beautiful. Her sweet spirit must have shown itself on a sensitive face in which her moods were reflected like sunshine and shadows on a quiet lake.

Before she was a mother, she was a loving and loyal wife. She lived in a day when it wasn’t uncommon to have more than one wife.

For a man not to have children was considered a disgrace. To insure against this men often had more than one wife. Though this principle was common in the Old Testament era, God never sanctioned it. It has never had God’s approval. It should be remembered this happened at a time when “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”

Elkanah had another wife, Peninnah. She was Hannah’s “thorn in the flesh.” Difficulty arose in that her husband’s other wife had children and she didn’t. This was a time in history when childbearing was thought of as a blessing of God. Not to have children implied sin in the life resulting in the punishment of God. (1:2).

Her husband’s other wife criticized and teased her to the point she became very sad. Hannah is a beautiful example of how the most unpleasant of circumstances can produce a character that is a blessing to all. The other wife, Peninnah, tantalized her for not having children. Jealousy, the green-eyed monster that mocks the meat it feeds on, had taken possession of Peninnah. Peninnah is spoken of as “her adversary who provoked her severely, to make her miserable” (1:6).

She refused to cause trouble even when her husband asked why she was sad. She did not tell of the derision caused by her competitor, her husband’s other wife. (1:8). Instead she devoted herself to unselfish love for her husband and a forgiving spirit toward the other wife. When her child was born she devoted herself to his welfare. Every child wants and needs parents who want him or her. A child has a built in radar that can detect whether or not it is wanted. Every child needs a mother whose commitment level is far above her comfort level.

I have been serving on the Georgia Child Protective Services Task Force. Hours of study have been devoted to the welfare of children in our state. One grief that has become increasingly apparent to me is that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of children a year are born unwanted. Hannah loved her child, Samuel. She not only told him of her love for him but professed it to others. Parents say it and show it. Let your children know they are wanted and loved.

Instead of pouring out her bitterness on others, she poured out her grief before God. That is always best. Her serenity of spirit was a veritable lily among thorns.


Hannah, though barren, yet believed. She was childless but not prayer less. In her pain she found consolation in prayer. Her faith was a ripe flower in an almost sterile field. Her first child was born in answer to prayer.

He came late in life. Because of this she might well have been expected to cling to him. She promised him to God before his birth. She was resolute in keeping that commitment.

Samuel, meaning “offering of God,” was the name given him. Samuel was the first of the prophets after Moses and the last of the judges in Israel.

By his very name she acknowledged she had asked the Lord for him.

The Japanese have developed a centuries old art of growing dwarfed trees. They take a small seedling that might well grow into a ninety foot tree and sever the taproot with scissors. The tree is forced to live off the shallow surface roots. Thus, it grows only a few inches tall. Without the taproot to go deep into the earth, the tree, even though fifty years of age, remains a dwarf. Some parents have mastered the art of growing spiritually dwarfed children by cutting off their spiritual taproot.

Hannah resolved to train Samuel until formal weaning. In their culture this was until about the age of seven. Weaning was not just physical but emotional.

She made a special, spiritual sacrifice by bringing him to the house of the Lord while he was very young (1:24).

Joyfully she relinquished him to the Lord and sang a beautiful prayer of praise expressive of her faith (2: 1 – 10). Her prayer/song was very similar to that of Mary when she rejoiced over the miraculous conception of Jesus.

God honored and blessed her with five more children.

Though she gave Samuel to the Lord and left him in the temple to be trained by the priest, she continued to keep in touch and love him. Each year she carried him a new garment as assurance of her love and commitment.

In addition to this physical show of love, she prayed regularly for him.

Samuel grew to become a great prayer intercessor for Israel. Thus, he mirrored his Godly mother.