Echoes From the Campfire

The facts were plain enough and always had been; you fought your whole life long if you wanted to live.”
              –Luke Short (Savage Range)

    “Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.”
              –1 Corinthians 9:26 (NKJV)
I have heard it many times, especially in recent years–Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship.  If that is true, and I believe it is for the most part, then there must be fellowship.  I turn to 1 John for the main portion of this study, How to Live in a Pagan, Apostate, and Foolish World.  1 John is a book on fellowship, how to have fellowship, and how to maintain one’s position as a Christian in the world.
    Before going on I want you to key in on the central, focal verse of the study:  

        “We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”
        –1 John 5:19 (NASB)

        “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.”
                   –1 John 5:19 (NKJV)

Remember, we are in an evil world.  There is no getting around it, no denying it, no ignoring it.  The whole world, its mind and outlook is opposed to God.  This world is under the dominion of Satan and is in his grip,  and the world will do anything it can to drag down the believer.  Don’t scoff at these words,   read 1 John 5:19,  “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”  It will attempt to fill the mind with things of the world, to satisfy them making it easy to quit the Christian walk and to accept the ways of the world.  D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, “It is a world in which Christians have to fight for their souls; it is easier to go down than to keep straight.”
    That being said, I want to concentrate on the words by J. Stuart Holden for a few minutes.  He speaks of the fight we have to face and our duty in facing it.

         “Opposition?  But that is what I am for!  That is what Christ saved me for!  Conflict?  But that is what I enlisted for!  The fact that there is likely to be trouble is the hallmark of the open door!  It assures me as to Whom has opened it!  Of course, I will take care, God helping me.  But what am I to take care of?  Of myself or my entrustment?  If I am in Christ’s way, how can I keep out of harm’s way?  They are practically synonymous, just one and the same thing!”

    The world fellowship is important!  I hear that Jesus had fellowship with the world, with sinners.  No, He did not!  He associated with them, He mingled with them, but He did not have fellowship with them.  For fellowship He turned to His disciples or to the Father.
    “This world is not my home,” says the words of the hymn.  Know that we are not here to Christianize the society.  However, also realize that we cannot turn our backs on the world–there is a place for reform and efforts should be made in that vein.  Our purpose is to rise above the evil; fulfill the Great Commission, and life in fellowship with Christ in this world.  Realize that “life outside God is not life, it is existence.” (Lloyd-Jones)  

Coffee Percs

We made our fire, and we all had coffee and fried salt pork.  Coffee made me feel better.”
              –Robert Parker

Come on in, Pard, throw yur spurs under the table, whilst I pour us some coffee.  Ahhh, already had one cup, but been waitin’ for yuh, honest.  Take a sip while I tell yuh somethin’ that I figured out.  Now, get yurself ready for this–we are now witnessin’ the woke version of looney-tunes.  Yep, that’s a fact!  What finally made me come to the conclusion was this week, ol’ Joe Biden called Governor Abbott and us Texans “neanderthals” for demasking and gettin’ back to the common chores of the week.  (Remember, that has-been bureaucrat called us “deplorables” once).  Right after ol’ quick pen said that, he then released numerous migrants onto Texas soil, many with the virus.  Yep, now yuh tell me who’s deplorable!
    Add to that the complete stupidity of transgendering and all that goes with it, and remember, these are yur congress-persons who say with part of their forked tongue that science mandates masks and vaccines, yet with the other part of the forked tongue disregard science when it comes to biology in regard to male and female.  Yep, Pard, really woke!
    Go ahead, take yurself a deep swaller.  For sure, it’ll make yuh feel some better.  Now that we know we are livin’ in the midst of looney-tunes it makes the day seem brighter.  But poor ol’ Mr. Potato Head, and Dr. Seuss, but there yuh go, just part of the woke looney-tunes.  They’ve already barred several books and movies.  It seems that folk, the woke, just can’t handle reality.  I don’t know if they think they are living in “Never, Never Land” or in “Wonderland” with the Mad Hatter.
    One thing about reality, Pard, with the bureaucrats of the looney-tunes leadin’ this land, we are livin’ in it with them.  Lord, help us through the jungles!  Makes one focus on checkin’ his cinch.
     Vaya con Dios.

Echoes From the Campfire

Man builds up a pretty schedule of ideals—and life knocks it flatter than a pancake.  When I’m old and shot and look back down the crooked trail I hacked out, I think I’ll be kind of sad at the fine thoughts I threw overboard.  But I think I’ll also hope to hear somebody in the hereafter say, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’”
              –Ernest Haycox  (Whispering Range)

    “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!”
              –Romans 6:15 (NKJV)
This week I have given a brief overview of How to Live in a Pagan, Apostate, and Foolish World.  Life is not easy, but once we have determined that we will stand no matter the difficulty, the issue, the perplexity, the foolishness, or the persecution we can go forward much easier and have within our hearts the peace that passes understanding.  In the midst of the cancel culture we have a firm foundation–a trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word.
    To end the week I want to let us calm ourselves from politics, the religious lies, the woke stupidity and relax in the assurance that God has everything under control.  I want to give you what I call the Great Certainties.  The main idea of each comes from Lloyd-Jones.

         1)  “We know we are of God!”
                –Christian are people who are certain.  The lies of the devil cannot change that fact.  We know, that we know, that we know we are of God.  Nothing, no one, can take that certainty from us.
         2)  “We know the world lies in wickedness.”
                –This world is under the powerful of the evil one.  This will be discussed more thoroughly later, but understand that this world is evil and full of deceit.
         3)  The world may change on the surface, but it is always under control of evil and sin; it will always be the world and will never get better.  People who believe the world will become better are living under an illusion no matter who is President.
         4)  “The evil in the world cannot be taken out; it is to be destroyed; there is to be an ultimate climax and there will be a terrible end.”  Woe unto the inhabitants of the world until the Millennial Reign of Jesus.  There may be revivals until the Rapture, but the world will continue to deteriorate.

    I want to leave you the words of this grand hymn of comfort, written by Louisa M. R. Stead, for you to relax in, rest in, take comfort in as you go back over and contemplate the introduction to How to Live in a Pagan, Apostate, and Foolish World.  

         ‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus
         Just to take Him at His word;
         Just to rest upon His promise;
         Just to know, “Thus saith the Lord.”

         O how sweet to trust in Jesus,
         Just to trust His cleansing blood;
         Just in simple faith to plunge me
         ‘Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

         Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus
         Just from sin and self to cease;
         Just from Jesus simply taking
         Life and rest, and joy and peace.

         I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
         Precious Jesus, Saviour, Friend;
         And I know that Thou art with me,
         Wilt be with me to the end.

                  Jesus, Jesus how I trust Him!
                  How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er!
                  Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
                  O for grace to trust Him more!

Yes, I’m so glad I learned to trust the Lord.  He is precious, He is Savior, He is Friend…  I have a Comforter to guide, keep, and help me along the way.  But, oh! I need to learn to trust Him more!

Echoes From the Campfire

The training of the range man will not let him sleep beyond dawn; and his vitality springs freshly up after a few short hours of rest, no matter how much physical punishment has gone before.  This is his birthright, and never does he lose it until he forsakes the queer combination of sweaty drudgery and wild freedom of cattle land and tries another trade.”
              –Ernest Haycox  (Whispering Range)

    “And the spies questioned Him, saying, ‘Teacher, we know that You speak and teach correctly, and You are not partial to anyone, but You teach the way of God on the basis of truth.'”
              –Luke 20:21 (NASB)
In these lessons on how to live in a Pagan, Apostate, and Foolish World, there are four major themes I want to look at.  With the help of D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones and others I hope to help us have a better perspective on how to live.  Look at the questions that confront the believer in the day in which we live.

    1)  What is possible to the believer?
    2)  How he is to face it?
    3)  How he is to stand up to it?
    4)  What must he do?
    5)  What is his relationship to this world?

    “Life outside God is not life, it is existence!” according to D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones.  People exist, they think they are going somewhere, or they seek to go somewhere, but in reality all they are doing is existing in a particular point in time.  Without Christ, they are literally “dead men walking” waiting to become a clod of earth again.  Hope is only in what man can do, and that is fruitless.  Look at what a little virus did to the confidence of man’s ability–fear ran rampant, confusion was the norm, hope had vanished for the only hope the unbeliever has is in man.
    This is a world of panic, difficulty, distress, perplexity, stress, uncertainty, what is going to happen next is in the minds of all.  Man changes truth to fit his situation and when it doesn’t work or no longer fits, he changes it again.  Truth is relative, yet it is in these times the believer “knows whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” (2 Timothy 1:12, NKJV)  Trust in God’s Word; it is there to steady us in troublesome times, through a depraved culture and society but presenting us with the truth.

         “It [Bible] is never out there just to soothe and comfort us for the time being.  No, its message always is that there are certain principles, and that if we only lay a firm hold upon them and grasp them, if only we base our life upon them and plan the whole of our existence in terms of them, then we can never really go wrong.”
                   –D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

    What is our first obligation or duty to not panic?  TRUST!  It is imperative that we know who God is.  It is vital–I can’t emphasize this enough–that we know the truth of God’s Word; take a firm hold of the doctrines presented.

         “Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.”
                   –2 Timothy 1:13 (NKJV)

         “Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.”
                   –Hebrews 2:1 (NKJV)

Then after Trusting, we must pray.  However, we must know the truth before we can pray properly.  Do not pray something that is contrary to God’s Word.  Lloyd-Jones states, “Prayer is sometimes an excuse for not thinking, an excuse for avoiding a problem or situation.”  Too often prayer is not specific and the reason why is that we do not know the truth of God’s Word.  We must always take firm hold of the truth so that we know what we are doing when we pray.  “Duty is first to face the truth, to face the doctrine and to apply it.” (Lloyd-Jones)  Remember, the purpose of God’s Word is not to simply ease the situation, but to look at the truth.  God may forsake our comfort for our character.