Mar 24

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Though the heading of this article is generic, it could refer to any event. However, to those of the Barnes congregation and those who received the bulletin sent out by the Barnes congregation, it is not generic. For the Barnes congregation has been planning for one event for months! It is an event that takes place each year about this same time.
The event to which the heading of this article refers, is the “29th Annual Oklahoma City Lectures.” It was a time to put away physical activities and to be spiritually minded. It was time to prepare ourselves for a spiritual feast! We had, up until today, nine lessons and three to go; all twelve lessons based on Paul’s words to Timothy: “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Tim. 4:8). These words refer to the difference between the physical and the spiritual in the words of the text: first, “bodily exercise profiteth little,” and second, “godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” Please notice with me the word “little.” Strong says of this word, the Greek “oligos,” “somewhat” and “briefly.” It will help in our understanding to note the words of James: “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:14). The words “a little time” is the same Greek word, “oligos,” and is speaking of our life on this earth; it appears “for a little time,” or as Strong says, here, speaking of our life, it appears ““briefly” and “then vanisheth away.” So, it is with “bodily exercise, it “profiteth briefly.” “Bodily exercise” may and does “profiteth” for a brief time, as in this life only. Whereas, “godliness is profitable unto all things,” and the apostle clarifies the “all things” in two parts: 1) “having promise of the life that now is,” and 2) “of that which is to come.” This goes hand in hand with the words of Jesus in his answer to the devil in his temptation: “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). Man needs “bodily exercise” just as he needs “bread;” but both are limited to this life and can go no further; all of it is left on this side of death!
On the other hand, “godliness is profitable unto all things!” Here I would point out the word “all” must be taken in the context in which is appears and must never be extended outside the text at hand! Therefore, the apostles gave the limits of the words “all things;” as he writes: “having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” These words express, if I may say, Paul has covered man in his two areas of life: 1) “the life that now is,” and 2) the life “which is to come.” As a child might say, “There ain’t no more!” Just as “bread” and “bodily exercise” are for this life only! Just here, consider this question: Knowing these truths, what would a wise man do? Let the wise man answer the question: “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Pro. 4:23). Jesus uses this same truth when he said: “… for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matt. 12:34). As one man put it: “Before you can do a thing you have to think it. Your thoughts lead to attitudes; attitudes lead to actions; actions lead to those achievements.” (Bible StudiesTools.com). One’s “achievements” may be good or evil but both start in the same place, the heart! As all this relates to the “29th Annual Oklahoma City Lectures,” what have you been doing while the word of God has been and will be preached in these lectures? Have you been feasting upon things that are for this life only, or have you been developing godliness which: “having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come?”
The decision has been yours to make, it is from your heart that attitudes are formed, it is from your attitudes that actions follow! Have you and will you be pursuing the things of “this life,” or have you and will you be following godliness that have “promise of this life and that which is to come?” I condemn you not, for it is not for me to condemn anyone! It is understood that plans are made at an earlier date, unless you are like me, never knowing what comes tomorrow!

Frank R. William

Permanent link to this article: https://okcsbs.com/it-was-here-and-is-here/