Heaven and Dixie


The following is from my book: Heaven, Where Few Are Many:

IF HEAVEN AIN’T A LOT LIKE DIXIE!
I heard Hank Williams, Jr. sing this song a number of years ago. In it he said, “If Heaven ain’t a lot like Dixie, I don’t want to go.” Now I definitely would not go that far by any means. Personally, I think that he is foolish for saying that if he really means it. If Heaven is not anything like Dixie, or any other place on earth, I would still want to go. Furthermore, New York City and hell are not the same to anyone who has been to New York City and read what the Bible says about hell—and I have done both!
But, at the same time, if Heaven is not “somewhat” like Dixie in some respects, I would not want to go as much as I do now! What do I mean? I mean that one of the attractions in Heaven for me is my family and friends who will be there. I want to go be with them forever and never be separated from them again. I look forward to renewing and enhancing my relationships with my family and friends who have died. I believe that, for Christians, Heaven really is somewhat like Dixie in the sense that it is a continuation of life on earth in many respects. I say this as a man who grew up and has lived all of his life in the south, but the same principle would apply for others. Those who have lived their lives in Seattle, Washington or Austin, Texas or London, England would expect heaven to be “like” those cities in some ways for them. I believe that I will be there with those that I know and love who lived with me in the “Land of Cotton” where “Old times there are not forgotten!” Some things will change I’m sure, but it will only be for the better!
Naturally, none of us know exactly how it will be in Heaven living in spiritual bodies without the limitations and problems we have in our earthly bodies. No doubt, there will be many adjustments and changes that will be made from life on earth in this “body of death” (Rom. 7:24) with its “sinful nature” (Rom. 8:5, NIV) and “sinful flesh” (Rom. 8:3, KJV). But, in Heaven, we will move to a sinless society with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit where changes, of necessity, will be made in our relationships because of our new environment.
But changes have always been the norm in relationships even here on earth. For example, the expressions or aspects of my relationship with my mother changed numerous times in my lifetime. Once I was a baby in her arms. Then I was her little boy who needed his hurts kissed away and to be tucked in at night. Then I was a teenager who was told by her what to do and taught to do right (which, by the way, did not always work). Then I was a grown up, and she let me be out on my own and make my own decisions. Then I was a married man with children and grandchildren of my own that she would visit as often as she could. Then she got old and sick, and I helped take care of her at times. But she was always my mother and still is. There were always changes made in certain aspects of our relationship as necessary, but the relationship itself never changed. I believe that my relationship with my mother will obviously change in some other ways in heaven (enhanced, intensified, heightened, who knows?), but the relationship, itself, will never change. She will always be my mother, and I will always be her son.
The same is true of my wife. She has been my companion and best friend for over forty years. I expect our relationship to be even better in Heaven than it has ever been here on earth, even though here it is good most of the time. But in Heaven there will, no doubt, be new ways and means of expressing and experiencing the closeness of our relationship because there it will only be good thoughts, good deeds, good dispositions, and good decisions. To be honest with you, sometimes here on earth, because of the influence of Satan, sin, selfishness, stubbornness, and downright stupidity, some of our “expressions” would not be suitable for all audiences. But I do expect Heaven to be a place where my relationship with her and the rest of my family will be very clearand very dear. I certainly do not expect those relationships to just disappear. I expect some changes in certain aspects of our relationships, but I do not expect a total elimination of those relationships.
Women like Euodia and Syntyche have their names in the Book of Life just like men do (Phil. 4:1-2). Women here will be women there! I believe that my wife here will be my wife there. My mother here will be my mother there. My daughter here will be my daughter there. It is one thing to believe what Jesus said about how, in the resurrection, we will be “like the angels” in the sense that we do not die anymore and will not marry in Heaven, for these are things He clearly said (Lk. 20:35-36). But to say, or believe, that He said anything about us being “sexless beings,” and indicating that all of our earthly relationships will be dissolved and be as though they had never existed, is something I have never read! 
Of course, I don’t know exactly what Heaven will be like as far as all the aspects or expressions of our relationships are concerned, but I do believe that it will be better than ever in every way and “somewhat” as they are now in a number of ways. 
Wayne Dunaway
wdunaway.blogspot.com

ohatcheechurch.org

The Lowdown on a Bible Showdown

         THE LOWDOWN ON A BIBLE SHOWDOWN

          One of the most famous showdowns in history was the “Showdown at the OK Corral” on
October 26, 1881 in Tombstone, Arizona. On one side was Wyatt Earp, his brothers Virgil and Morgan Earp, along with Doc Holiday. On the other side were the Clantons and McLaurys. According to some reports, the fight only lasted about 30 seconds, but it left its mark on history and lifted Wyatt Earp to the status of western legend. They “showed up” for the “showdown” and then there was a “shoot out.”
          In 1 Kings 18 we have one of the most famous showdowns in the Bible. It is the showdown between Elijah and the worshipers of Baal. God had shut up heaven so that there was no rain just as he had promised to do if His people started worshiping idols—which they had been doing for quite some time. But now it was time to do something. God sent Elijah to deal with the problem and Elijah knew it was time to act. He challenged the prophets of Baal to a face to face confrontation and when it was over, the people knew who the true God really is. God answered by fire and Elijah was victorious.
          What can we learn from this “showdown”? One of the main lessons to be learned is that some problems have to be faced before they can be erased. There are some problems you can avoid, some you can ignore, some you might be able to put off, but some you must face head on. This is true when it comes to problems hurting and destroying our spiritual lives. We must bite the bullet. We must face the music. Wrestlers say “Get ready to rumble.” Boxers are told to shake hands and “come out fighting.” Alcoholics, those addicted to drugs, or any others with addictions must first be taught to face the problem. We must be willing to “show up” for the “showdown.”
          The children of Israel needed to be challenged to face up to their problem which was the sin of idolatry. God sent Elijah to challenge them and force them to take a stand one way or the other. And we must be willing to face up to whatever problem or problems that threaten our spiritual lives. As long we try to “straddle the fence” or “put our heads in the sand” this kind of problem will not go away. We cannot “waver between two opinions” like Israel was trying to do (1 Kings 18:21). We must make up our minds to hit the problem head on. Back in 60’s one of my favorite songs was by a group called The Lovin’ Spoonful titled, “Did You Ever Have Make Up Your Mind.” And, as the song says, sometimes we must “say yes to one and let the other one ride” and “it’s not often easy and not often kind,” but we know we “have to finally decide.”  It may be time for a “showdown” in your life. God may have brought you to your “Mt. Carmel.” If so, He is there to help you when you make the decision to follow His word. All you have to do is decide to “show up” for the “showdown” and God will “show out” as He did when Elijah made the choice to face the challenge.

Wayne Dunaway
gandpministries.org
ohatcheechurch.org

Rose Colored Glasses

The following is a section of my book: Heaven: Where Few…Are Many!

Rose Colored Glasses

A number of years ago my wife and I went to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. John Conlee was there and he had a pair of sunglasses on the top of his head. He sang a song that I had never heard before. It was called “Rose Colored Glasses.” One of the verses says: “These rose colored glasses that I am looking through, show only the beauty and hide all the truth.” Evidently the song was about a guy who loved a girl so much that he only saw the good in her and none of the bad. That is exactly what God does. When He sees those in Christ, He sees “only the beauty” of Jesus, and the blood of Jesus “hides all the truth” about us—including the sins, faults, ignorance, disobedience, and failure to live up to what He expects. The Bible calls this “covered.” Read it for yourself: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven and whose sins are covered” (Rom. 4:7). It is exciting to know that God looks at us through the “blood-colored glasses” that Jesus has provided. Remember that we will be “clothed with white robes” (Rev. 7:9) because we have washed our “robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev. 7:14). When we have on the robes, and God has on the glasses, then we can know for sure that He never sees any of our trespasses.

What I am saying is that if God did not have on some “blood-colored glasses,” then there would be no hope for any of us at any time. We are all sinful, ignorant, and blind about many things. We are all unlearned, unholy, undeserving, and ungodly people whether we admit it or not. We may not like to admit it, but frowns do not change facts. For example, Paul said that he was a “wretched man” (Rom 7:24), “least of all saints” (Eph. 3:8), “nothing” (2 Cor. 12:11), and “chief of sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15).

I know there are some of us who do not really feel the way Paul did. But if that is true, then it is surely the case that we have evidently never really compared our miserable, pathetic, and pitiful attempt at keeping all of God’s rules, regulations, restrictions, and requirements with what God actually desires, deserves, and demands. If we think that we are “keeping God’s law” then we are either woefully ignorant of what His law demands, or else we are self-deceived about what it means to keep His law. Jesus is the only One who has ever actually kept the law of God, and if we claim that we do so today, then we are actually saying that we live as righteously as Jesus Himself lived. That is probably enough said about that kind of ridiculous claim.

The Pharisees were the ones who thought that they had it all together and trusted in themselves that they were righteous. Jesus spoke a parable about a Pharisee and a tax collector to show the attitude of those who are justified. The Pharisee’s attitude was that he was thankful that he was not sinful like other men. He was proud of the good deeds he had done. He trusted in himself that he was righteous. However, the Publican’s attitude was simply: “God, be merciful to me a sinner.” The Publican was the only one justified. (Luke 18:9-14).

The attitudes displayed were two: self-righteousness or sinful. What is our attitude? Jesus is the only hope that any of us have, regardless of how good we may think we are, or how much good we may think we have done. Jesus will only save those whose attitude is: “God, be merciful to me a sinner.” We all need to be found in Him, not having a righteousness of our own but that which is by “faith in Christ” (Phil. 3:9).

Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).

Wayne Dunaway
gandpministries.org

My Outline Of Romans

                  
 THE BOOK OF ROMANS  
                                         
FOR THE NEED OF THE HOUR…THE GOSPEL IS THE POWER

Brief Outline

I. REDEMPTION THROUGH THE GOSPEL (Ch. 1-8)
II. REJECTION OF THE GOSPEL (Ch. 9-11)
III. REQUIREMENTS FOR THE CHRISTIAN (Ch. 12-16)

Expanded Outline

Introduction:

1. SAINTS IN ROME (1:1-15)
Paul longed to see them (1:11)
He was ready to preach (1:15)

2. SUBJECT TO DISCUSS (1:16-17)
Gospel is God’s power to save (1:16)
Reveals God’s righteousness (1:17)

I. REDEMPTION THROUGH THE GOSPEL (Ch. 1-8)

1. SINFULNESS OF MAN (1:18-3:20)
All are under sin (3:9)
All  the world is guilty (3:19)

2. SAVIOR’S DEATH (3:21-31)
Justified freely (3:24)
By His blood (3:25)

3. SAVING FAITH (4:1-25)
Does not work for salvation (3:5a)
Trusts Him who justifies the ungodly (3:5b)

4. SALVATION’S BLESSING (5:1-21)
Peace with God (5:1)
Much more… grace (5:15)

5. SEPARATION FROM SIN (6:1-23)
Do not let sin reign (6:12)
Become slaves of righteousness (6:18)

6. STRUGGLES WITH SIN (7:1-25)
What I will to do that I do not practice (7:15)
O wretched man that I am (7:24)

7. SECURITY OF THE SAINTS (8:1-39)
No condemnation for sins (8:1)
More than conquerors (8:37)

II. REJECTION OF THE GOSPEL (Ch. 9-11)

1. SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD (9:1-33)
He has mercy on whom He wills (9:18)
Who are we to reply against God (9:20)

2. STUBBORNNESS OF ISRAEL (10:1-21)
They have not all obeyed the gospel (10:16)
They are a disobedient and contrary people (10:21)

3. SOLUTION FOR ISRAEL (11:1-36)
Must not continue in unbelief (11:23)
All Israel saved by faith in Jesus (11:26)

III. REQUIREMENTS OF THE CHRISTIAN (Ch. 13-16)

1. Christian and SACRIFICE (12:1-8)
Present your bodies a living sacrifice (12:1)
We have many members in one body (12:4)

2. Christian and SERVICE (12:9-13:14)
Overcome evil with good (12:21)
Love your neighbor as yourself (13:9)

3. Christian and STUMBLING (14-15)
Resolve not to cause other Christians to fall (14:13)
Receive one another just as Christ received us (15:7)

4. Comments and SALUTATIONS (16:1-27)

Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).

Wayne Dunaway
http://www.gandpministries.org

"Going Along" to "Get Along"

Getting along…by…Going along!

I know we do not always have to “go along” to “get along” in religion because none of us agree on all matters. And I try to make it a point to “get along” with all people as much as I can. Sometimes however, even among believers, that is just not possible (Rom. 12:18). One verse that helps me when dealing with difficult people is Ephesians 4:1-2 paying special attention to the phrase “BEARING WITH one another in love” and remembering that I only have to “bear with” those who do/say things that I don’t like. I only have to “bear with” those that I may really wish would just “bow out” or “bail out” or “pass out”…or maybe even “check out!” (LOL). Seriously when I “put up” with those people that I had really rather “punch out” I consider myself suffering as a Christian in one sense because sometimes we “suffer, being tempted” (Heb. 2:18). And suffering as a Christians is one way I can “glorify God” according to the apostle Peter (1 Pet. 4:14-16). Another thing I sometimes do is write them a letter telling them exactly the way I really feel about it/them…then I tear the letter up…ask for forgiveness…and usually try to avoid them as much as possible! In other words, I need to just “go along” on my way and stay away from them in order to “get along” with them. Others may be natured differently and can respond/react better than me and perhaps can even be more “Christ like” in some ways…but it is what it is and I am who I am and my admission is simply based on my disposition. By the way, I am not mad at anybody and have no axe to grind at this point but I am simply explaining what I have to do in order to get along with others at times…without my feeling guilty or that I have done something wrong….because I am actually doing them (and myself) a favor when I “go along” and stay out of their way in order to “get along!”
IF IT IS POSSIBLE, as much as depends on you, LIVE PEACEABLY with all men. (Romans 12:18). But that is not always possible and sometimes we simply need to “part from one another” and just “go along.”

Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark. But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. Then THE CONTENTION BECAME SO SHARP THAT THEY PARTED FROM ONE ANOTHER. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God. (Acts 15:37-40).

Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).

Wayne Dunaway
gandpministries.wordpress.com

Twinkle Little Star

TWINKLE, TWINKLE LITTLE STAR

Introduction:

A. In this study we will discuss the subject: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
so you will not have to wonder who you are. We are going to study about
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star to help you remember who you are.
B. The poem TWINKLE, TWINKLE, LITTLE STAR has been around
forever. I read somewhere that it was first published in 1806. I’m sure most
of you have heard it:
Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are?
Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky
When the blazing sun is gone, when he nothing shines upon
Then you show your little light, twinkle, twinkle all the night
Then the traveler in the dark, thanks you for your tiny spark
He could not see which way to go, if you did not twinkle so
In the dark blue sky you keep, and often through my curtains peep’
For you never shut your eye, ‘till the sun is in the sky.
C. How about this one:
Star light, star bright
First star I see tonight
I wish I may, I wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight.
D. One of the things that will motivate us and keep us going in the right direction is to be reminded of who we are. And Twinkle, Twinkle, little Star
Will serve to emphasize just who we are.
E. Remember that God wants us to stay motivated to serve Him.
1. God does not want us agitated, he wants us motivated.
2. He does not want us irritated, he wants us motivated.
3. He does not want us aggravated, he wants us motivated.
4. He does not want us devastated, he wants us motivated.
5. He does not want us exasperated, he wants us motivated.
C. Twinkle, twinkle, little star, you don’t have to wonder who you are. You
are called out of the world and will live on high, and you shine like a diamond in the sky.
D. The Bible has quite a lot to say about stars.
1. I’m talking about real stars. The stars you can see at night.
2. Now the Bible is not a book on astronomy or a study of stars.
a. It doesn’t tell us a whole lot about the creation of stars.
b. In fact, I’m sometimes amazed when I read Genesis 1:16 where the Bible says only five words about God creating the stars: “He made the stars also.”
c .Thinking about the universe makes us wonder why God would even give mankind a second thought. It’s like David said, “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained. What is man that You are mindful of him?” (Ps. 8:4-5).
d. I understand that no two human finger prints are the same. I am told that no two snowflakes are the same. And, according to Paul, “one star differs from another star in glory.” (I Cor. 15:41).
e. And, not only are they different, they are also innumerable. In Genesis 22:17 God told Abraham, “I will multiply your descendents as the stars of heaven.” And the stars in the sky are like the sand of the sea “innumerable” (Heb. 11:12).
d. In Amos 5:8 the Bible talks about “the seven stars”

e. And then when you open up the New Testament you don’t read very far until you get to Matthew 2:2 where you read the wise men say they saw “His star is in the east.”
3. The Bible not only speaks of the stars in the sky, but sometimes God speaks of a star representing a person.
a. For example in Genesis 37:9 Joseph had a dream and he dreamed that the sun and the moon and the eleven stars bowed down to him.
i) The sun and the moon represented his mother and father.
ii) But the eleven stars represented his eleven brothers.
b. Then I remember reading in Job 38:7 where God asked Job
all those questions.
i) One question was this,“Job, where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? When the morning stars sang?”

ii) And then he says, “When the son’s of God shouted for joy.”
iii) The “morning stars” and the “sons of God” are the same ones.
iv. And who are those morning stars? They wouldn’t be man because man wasn’t created when God laid the foundation of the earth.
v. So when He uses the word “stars” in Job 38:7 he is talking about angels.
C. In Revelation 1 John records a vision in which he saw the Lord and in the Lord’s right hand were seven stars. We are told later that those seven stars are the messengers, or angels, of the seven churches. (Rev. 1:20).
d. And so God has used the term “stars” to represent human beings and angels.
e. Even today we speak of “movie stars” and “star” athletes. In fact we have baseball “All Stars” and football “All Stars.”
4. He even used the word “Star” to represent Jesus.
a. In Numbers 24:17 Balaam made the following prediction: “A Star shall come out of Jacob.”
b. When he was speaking of a star coming out of Jacob he was talking about Jesus.

c. In the book of Revelation chapter 22:16 you have Jesus making this statement: “I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”
5. And then He also uses the word star to represent Christians:
a. In Daniel 12:3 Daniel says, “Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.
b. I think when he talks about those who turn many to righteousness He is referring to Christians.
c. In Philippians 2:15 the Bible says that Christians are to “shine as lights in the world.”
d. Why? Because you are to TWINKLE, TWINKLE, LITTLE
STAR, and you don’t have to wonder who you are. Called out of
the world to a home on high…you shine like a diamond in the
sky.
E. Now, you are not a fallen star.
1. When I was a young man I used to hear a song with a line that said, “A fallen star, that’s what you are.”
2. Well, you not a fallen star, but you are a faithful star.
3. “The twinkle in your eye did come from the sky”… if you know what I mean.
4. And you didn’t “stray from the milky way” but you can stay in the narrow way (Jn. 14:6).
5. In fact, when I look out over this audience, I want you to think of me as a “Star Gazer”.
a. Because that is what I am doing.
b. I’m looking at some stars.
c. Someone might say, “Well, Wayne, why are you calling a
me a twinkling star? Because twinkle means “to shine with a
sparkling light.”
F. In this study, we will use the letters in the word S-T-A-R help you remember who you are.

I SAVED. “S” in the word star we will let stand for “saved”.

A. One of the reasons you should TWINKLE, TWINKLE, LITTLE
STAR is because you are saved. That should put a twinkle in you eye.
1. You see, you kind of stand out from the rest of the people, because you are saved.
2. Look at the book of Titus chapter 3:5 and notice what he says here about Christians:
a.” Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”
b. Notice that Paul says “He saved us!
3. Jesus said in Mark 16:16, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved”
4. I Corinthians 1:18, the Bible says, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”
5. 2 Timothy 1:9 says, “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,”
6. God has saved us! You are not:
a. Almost saved,
b. Nearly saved,
c. Barely saved,
d. Just about saved,
e. Going to be saved.
f. YOU ARE SAVED!
B. We have received the “blood of sprinkling” (Heb. 12:24; 1 Pet. 1:2) and that is the reason for all this “twinkling.”

II. TALENTED. The “T” stands for talented.

A. TWINKLE, TWINKLE, LITTLE STAR with God you can go no telling
how far.
B. Did you know that every Christian has a talent or gift from God?
1. In Matthew 25:14-15 the Bible says that, “For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability;”
a. And every person in the kingdom has a talent, a gift, an ability that God has given them.
b. Everybody has a gift.
2. Look at I Peter 4:10, “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
a. You see God has given you these gifts to be a steward.
b. In Acts 8:18 there were gifts given in the early church instantly and miraculously by the laying on of the Apostles hands.
c. But that is not the gifts we are talking about.
d. Not all the gifts in the New Testament were miraculous gifts and not all Christians had the apostles hands laid on them.
e. But everyone did have a gift (or gifts) because, notice again 2 Peter 3:10, “As each one has received a gift ,minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
f. Now watch verse 11,”If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers ,let him do it as with the ability which God supplies,”
g. God has given each a gift. He sets His people in the church, just as He pleases. (1 Cor. 12:11). And while every one does not have the same gift, we do all have some gift.
3. Romans 12 talks about gifts from God.
a. Notice carefully that some of these gifts He talks about Christians having would not be considered miraculous by most.
b. But Romans 12:3-8, “God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same function:”
c. We can’t all do the same thing. We don’t all have the same function.
d.“So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness.”
i) Notice that he says that each has a gift. Did you ever think of giving as a gift.
ii) We have some gifted people right here that have the gift to give.
iii) They might not be able to do a lot of other things, but they can make money and they will give it.
e. Oh, by the way, don’t let someone tell that a preacher not interested in money.
I heard about this hippie one time who came to church. He was truly a hippie. I mean, he looked like a hippie. He dressed like a hippie. He was a hippie. I mean, he looked like to armpits with eyes. He came to church. At the end of services some of the big dogs in the church came to the preacher and said, “You are going to have to do something about this. You are going to have to tell him, he can’t come here. He will destroy our image in the community. So the preacher went out to talk to him. He was leaning up against the building. The preacher said, “We are glad you were here today.”
The hippie said, “Man, I’m hip. That was one rap session you had today. I was spaced out over that. In fact, I was so spaced out that I laid a “C” note on the dude who was collecting the bread.” Which means that he put a hundred dollar bill in the collection plate. When the preacher heard that, all he could say was, “Crazy, man, crazy. That’s groovy, Dude.”
f. What I am saying is that is a gift. I know a lot of people who can make money, but they can’t turn it loose. (About the only song they can sing with feeling is the verse that says, “When we asunder part, it gives us inward pain”). But there are those, believe it or not, who are gifted to give.
g. And then he said, “he who leads.” etc.
4. You might say, “Well, what is my gift?” Well, I don’t know, but I do know that everyone is gifted to do something.
a. Well someone might say, “I’m not gifted to do anything.”
b. Well then, you can serve as a bad example, but you are gifted
to do something.

III. APPRECIATED. And then the “A” stands for APPRECIATED.

A. Twinkle, twinkle, little star because we are proud of who you are.
B. You are appreciated.
1. You know when Paul was writing a letter to the Romans in Romans 1:8 he said, “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
a. You are appreciated in this church.
b. (Talk about different ones: elders, deacons, teachers, etc.)
2. It is amazing how much good we can say about someone when they die.
a. When they die we just pour it on.
b. I heard about a guy one time who died and his wife and children were sitting on the front row.
c. The preacher began to talk about what great guy he was, and what nice, kind, considerate, and what a generous guy he was. d. d. He kept going on and on and on.
e. Finally the lady punched her oldest son and said, “Go up there make sure that is your daddy he’s talking about.”
3. But that is the way we are. When they die we just pour it on.
4. But a person cannot understand any of that when he is gone.
“So, if with pleasure you are viewing
any work that one is doing.
If you like them or you love them
tell them now.
Don’t withhold your affirmation
Until some preacher makes ablation
And he lies with lilies on his brow.
For then no matter how you shout it,
He won’t care a thing about it,
He won’t know the many tear drops you have shed.
If you think some praise is due him,
Now’s the time to slip it to him,
For he cannot read his tombstone when he’s dead.
If he’s earned his praise bestow it,
If you like him let him know it.
Let those words of true encouragement be said.
But don’t you wait till life is over,
And he’s underneath the clover.
For he cannot read his tombstone when he’s dead.” (Author unknown).
B. And you know that is one of the things we need to do more of here. We need to express appreciation.
1. Paul would say, “We give thanks to God always for you.” (1 Thess. 1:2).
2. And we know that is important.
a. Everybody has a little sign on them that says, “Make me feel important.”
b. And everyone needs to feel important.
c. And one of the ways to make them feel important is to tell them how important they really are.
d. But so many times I forget about it or fool around and don’t tell them like I should.
C. You are appreciated in this church.
D. But not only are you appreciate by us, but you are appreciated by God.
1. God appreciates YOU.
2. Sometimes we get the idea that God is some kind of power in the sky who cannot wait to see you die so he can carry you off to hell, by and by.
3. But that is not the way He is.
4. In Job 1:8 God said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”
a. He knew what Job was doing and he know what you are doing.
b. And He appreciates what you do.
E. TWINKLE, TWINKLE, LITTLE STAR because God is proud of who you
are.

I. REDEEMED. Finally the letter “R” in the word “STAR” stands for redeemed.

A. Twinkle, twinkle, little star because Jesus made you what you
are….Redeemed!
B. The only reason you are saved, talented and appreciated? It is because
you are REDEEMED.
C. I Peter 1:18-19 says, “knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
1. Redeemed, that is why we are saved.
2. Redeemed, that is why we are talented.
3. Redeemed, that is why we are appreciated.
D. Think about it;
1. Redeemed how I love to proclaim it.
a. Why would I love to proclaim it?
b. Because it makes me a little star.
2. “Redeemed how I love to proclaim it.
Redeemed by the blood of the lamb.
Redeemed by His infinite mercy,
His child and forever I am.
Redeemed and so happy in Jesus,
No language my rapture can tell.
I know that the light of His presence.
With me doth continually dwell.”

CONCLUSION:

A. TWINKLE, TWINKLE, LITTLE STAR because Jesus made you who
are. He came into the world from His home on high, so you could shine like a diamond in the sky. You can receive the salvation that Jesus has provided and be baptized in His name anytime (Col. 2:6 & 12).

Wayne Dunaway
G & P Ministries/Ohatchee Church of Christ
im-1-9″>who has saved us and called us with

My Study Notes on Balaam

MY NOTES ON BALAAM

Introduction: Numbers 22:1-25:9

1. A special people (Israel). A strange petition (curse Israel). A sinful person (Balaam). One of the most unusual stories in the Bible. He is like a “Jeckel and Hyde” type “prophet.”
2. He was a man who said things like:
a. I could not go beyond the word of the Lord My God to do more or less (22:18).
b. How can I curse whom God has not cursed? (23:8).
c. Let me die the death of the righteous and let my end be like his (23:10).
d. God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and    will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? Behold, I have received a    command to bless; He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it (23:19-20).
3. Yet he is condemned every time he is mentioned in the New Testament.

 I. WHAT BALAK ASKED

1. Num. 22:1-7 Balak king of Maob sent for Balaam to curse Israel.
2. Num. 22:8-14 God asked Balaam who these men were and told him that Israel is blessed.
3. Num. 22:15-18 Balak sends other more prominent men.
4. Num. 22:19-21 God said “If” the men come then go with them. They didn’t and he shouldn’t.
5. Num. 22:20-33 The donkey rebuked the prophet and she actually saved his life.

II. WHAT BALAAM ATTEMPTED

1. Num. 23:11 Balaam attempted to curse Israel, but he blessed them bountifully.
2. Num. 23:13 Move to another place and curse them from there.
3. Num. 23:27 Yet another place and curse them from there.
4. Num. 24:10 Blessed them three times when he tried to curse them.
5. Num. 23:20 God had bless them and no one could reverse it.

III. WHAT BALAAM ADVISED

1. Num. 25:1-9 He advised Balak to send women among them and lead them into idolatry, then God would judge them. He said something like: “I can’t curse them but I can tell you how to corrupt them and then God will consume them.” When they turned from God to idolatry God punished them with a plague and many died.
2. Joshua 24:9-10 Balaam wanted to curse them for the money.
2. Num. 31:8 Balaam was later killed with the sword.

LESSONS TO LEARN:

A. The Blunders. He committed numerous sins against Israel. In the example of Balaam we are warned against the love of money and false teaching.

1. II Peter 2:15-16 He loved the wages of unrighteousness. It drove him to madness.
2. Jude v. 11 He went into error for profit.
3. Rev. 2:14 He taught Balak how to corrupt the children of Israel.
4. Joshua 24:9-10 Balaam wanted to curse them for the money.
5. Numbers 24:1-4 He fell down with his eyes wide open.
6. Balaam was condemned for loving the “wages” of unrighteousness (2 Pet. 2:15; preaching error for “profit” (Jude 1:11); and teaching God’s children to “eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit sexual immorality” (Rev. 2:14).
7.  His example should help us better understand the following words of Paul:

 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith IN THEIR GREEDINESS, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (1 Timothy 6:9-10).

B. The Blessings. He taught numerous good things about Israel and that a “Star” (Jesus) would come from Jacob.

1. Num. 24:2 Balaam sees that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel.
2. Num. 24:9 “Blessed is he who blesses you and cursed is he who curses you.”
3. Num. 24:17 “I shall see him but not now; I shall behold Him…A Star shall come out of Jacob, A Scepter shall rise out of Israel.” (Rev. 22:16).
4. Num. 24:19 “Out of Jacob One shall have dominion.”
5. Balaam teaches that Satan cannot curse those whom God has blessed.
6. The main lesson for me from the story is summed up in Numbers 23:20-21:

“God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent.
Has He said, and will He not do?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
20 Behold, I have received a command to bless;
HE HAS BLESSED, AND I CANNOT REVERSE IT.                                                                           “He has not observed iniquity in Jacob,
Nor has He seen wickedness in Israel.
THE LORD HIS GOD IS WITH HIM,
And the shout of a King is among them.

7. We cannot curse those whom God has blessed. If we try, God will simply reverse the curse. Satan and all of his demons cannot curse those whom God has blessed. Unbelievers can’t do it. Brethren can’t do it. When God blesses us with forgiveness He does not observe “iniquity” nor does He see “wickedness” in us because when He has blessed no one can “reverse it.” The Lord our God is “with” us. It is “just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.” (Romans 4:6-8). Remember we cannot out sin the blood of Jesus. He is better at saving than we are at sinning. But, like Balak, Satan will always be seeking to find ways to put “curses” on us from various sources. If one way does not work he will try another. But we must remember when God “HAS BLESSED” then others “CANNOT REVERSE IT.” When Satan tries to curse us with guilt, or shame, or unworthiness, or rejection, or whatever else he may conjure up, we must remember that God can and will always reverse the curse!

Wayne Dunaway
gandpministries.org