Fictional genies with lamps usually offer you three wishes. From a wishing well, you might get one. Teachers sometimes assign students to write an essay on what one thing they would ask for if they could get anything. And many of us sometimes sit and ponder that question: “If I was given one wish for anything, what would it be?” While it's interesting to think about, it’s not going to happen. But one time it did!
The story is in the third chapter of I Kings. Solomon is ruling Israel and we read that Solomon loved and obeyed the Lord. In Gibeon, the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream and said, “Ask what I shall give you.” Wow! What an opportunity. Riches. Control of the known world. To live forever.
Solomon may have thought a while; Scripture doesn’t say. But he remembered the Lord’s goodness to his father David and his thankfulness that God brought him to the throne after David’s death. But Solomon understood himself and the great task of being king.
So, of all the things he could have asked personally or for his kingdom, he confessed to the Lord his own weakness and inability and in verse 9 made his request, “Give Your servant an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this Your great people.”
The next verse tells us that God was pleased with Solomon’s choice and told him he would receive “a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you.” Then God added that He would also give riches and honor and long life, as he used his gifts in obedience to the Lord.
Given the same situation, I’m sure I would not have been as noble as Solomon was. Maybe I wouldn’t have wished for possessions, money or power, but I’m sure wisdom wouldn’t have been my first choice; what about you?
And yet, each day we make choices, many choices. Some of them are as trivial as what to eat for breakfast or what shoes to wear to work. Some are more important: what college should I attend? Should we get married? Is it time to have children? Where should I plan to work and for how long? Is it time to retire? Did I save enough to do so? Important questions and questions that affect our lives and the lives of others.
I’m not sure if God really cares if I have Chick-fil-A or KFC for lunch or if I wear a blue or black tie to work. But I do know that God has a vital interest in the decisions we make and that He has a will for the major life decisions and changes.
Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor at the time of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, came face to face with two major decisions we each must answer, and these decisions affect live on earth and our eternal destiny.
Pilate asked, “What is truth?” And his question came as he was staring Truth (Jesus Christ) eye to eye. We hear so much about “fake news” today and it seems that we really can’t be sure of the veracity of much of what we hear, either in news or from pulpits.
But there is truth, absolute truth, regardless of how much our culture wishes there weren’t. All truth is God’s truth. Truth is found in the Bible; it is God’s only word and revelation to man.
Beware of professed “new” truths or anything that contradicts the Bible. In His Word, God reveals Himself (the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit); in His Word God reveals creation. In His Word, God reveals the innermost parts of every human being, born in sin and in need of a Savior.
And in His Word, God reveals the incarnation of Jesus Christ (fully God, fully man), His life, death (paying the full price for sin), resurrection and future return.
And in His book, God reveals the only way to salvation, by grace through faith in the finished work of Christ. We cannot take anything away from that and we dare not add anything to it.
And in His book God reveals that we will all one day stand before Him to give account and, as everlasting beings, all will spend eternity either in heaven or in hell. This is TRUTH!
The second question Pilate wrestled with (and which we must all answer) is “What will I do with Jesus?” The answer to this question, personal to each of us, determines your peace on earth and your eternal destiny. When the Holy Spirit of God convicts you of sin and you have to decide what to do with Jesus, what is (what was) your answer?
You can reject Him and trample underfoot His precious blood shed for you; or you can fall on your face before Him and confess Him as Savior and Lord, forsaking yourself, your sin and accepting His finished work for your forgiveness and eternal life.
Solomon was given a choice. He chose well. When you come face to face with Jesus Christ, what will you do?
“Jesus is standing in Pilate’s hall, friendless, forsaken, betrayed by all. Hearken! What meaneth the sudden call? What will you do with Jesus?
“Jesus is standing on trial still; you can be false to Him if you will; you can be faithful through good or ill: what will you do with Jesus?
“Will you evade Him as Pilate tried? Or will you choose Him, whate’er betide? Vainly you struggle from Him to hide: what will you do with Jesus?
Will you, like Peter, your Lord deny? Or will you scorn from His foes to fly, daring for Jesus to live or die? What will you do with Jesus?
“Jesus, I give Thee my heart today! Jesus, I’ll follow Thee all the way, gladly obeying Thee! Will you say, This will I do with Jesus!
“What will you do with Jesus? Neutral you cannot be; someday your heart will be asking, What will He do with me?”
(Albert B. Simpson 19th century)
New Book Published
Local Christian author Michael Martin, BBA, RN has published a new book and it is now available. The book is entitled My Career as a Spirit-Filled Nurse and tells Michael’s story “from the orphanage, to a despaired teenage father and high school dropout, to a spirit-filled nurse”.
The book is available at Paula B’s (2017 U.S. 378) or you can order it from the author at 2309 Ninth Ave., Conway. The price is $15.95 and, if ordered directly, Michael will pay the postage. You can also get a bundle of all seven of his books for $95 at Paula B’s. There will be a book signing in the near future and the book will be available on Amazon and from other sellers.
Be sure to check out this book and Michael’s other books, too.
The Best Place to Be: On Our Knees!
The Bible encourages God’s people to “Pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17), “pray always with all prayer and supplication” (Ephesians 6:17), and the exhortation from Paul to Timothy (I Timothy 2:8) that “men (and women and children, too) pray everywhere.”
I’m sure your church, like mine, has a long prayer list and I’m sure you have your own personal prayer list, too. Here are some things that we, as God’s church, can and should be praying about daily:
■ Pray for our leaders, at all levels and right now, our elected incumbents and newly-elected leaders, that they will lead wisely and seek God’s wisdom and will in their new positions of authority
■ Pray for the church in America and the church around the world (especially the persecuted church). In the increasing darkness of sin, the church is the light and if we’re willing to be the light, then darkness cannot extinguish God’s truth!
■ Pray for our nation that we will return to a time of mutual respect for each other, of love, real toleration, and as the Bible tells us “accepting and bearing with” one another. Pray that the hate, the violence, the malice will end.
■ Pray that we’ll all respect life as a gift from God, who alone has the right and power to begin and end it. Pray that we’ll realize that all life matters from conception until natural death.
■ Pray for our homes and families that love between parents and parents and children will be the “rule of the day” and that families will follow God’s pattern to be the solid basic building block of society.
■ Pray for our schools (all levels), students, teachers, administrators and service personnel. These are incredibly difficult days in education.
■ Pray for the sick, the infirm, the elderly, the needy and be willing to be God’s hands and feet to meet needs as you can.
■ Pray for each other. Each week as I share prayer requests at church, I ask our folks to look around and tell them everyone they see needs prayer. But we have a great God who can hear every prayer.
Your Help is Making a Difference!
The ongoing Covid-19 “pandemic”. The upcoming “flu season”. Financial upheaval caused by the current situation. Storm devastation. Wildfire destruction. The list of difficulties and problems seems never-ending.
It seems that each day we add to this list! What can we do? Inventory what you have. Do you have more than enough? (Be honest, God has given to most of us abundantly!) If you do, someone has said that God gives so you can share with others.
Share your resources (food, clothing), your time, your monetary resources with others. And you don’t have to look far to find the needy or good faithful organizations that are ministering to them. Open your hands and your heart to others! You’ll be blessed as you bless. Mother Teresa said, “Not all of us can do great things, but we can all do small things with great love.”
Conway, Loris, Aynor and Western Horry
■ Loris First United Methodist Church, 3507 Broad St., has a Blessing Box in the church and it is available each Friday from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. This box contains nonperishable food items and individuals in need are encouraged to come to the church at those times. Also, if you would like to donate items, please place them in the box.
■ Dogwood Hill Baptist Church, 1040 Mt. Zion Road in Loris, has a food pantry on the third Saturday of each month from 8 a.m.-10 a.m.
■ Salem Baptist Church, 4008 Salem Road in Aynor, opens its Food Bank on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 9 a.m.-noon. The mission: “We serve Christ when we serve people.”
Please help as you are able. Call (843) 347-5168 or go online to www.stjamesconway.org.
Myrtle Beach/The Coast
■ Myrtle Beach Christian Church, 1226 Burcale Road invites you to its upcoming Auto Show, a classic old car show, to be held Saturday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
There will also be arts and crafts, lunch, family fun and inflatables and more. (Be sure to register your car or craft now!) Donations will be accepted and support the ministries at MBCC, such as Amanda’s Place, missions in Puerto Rico, Senior Apartments community and so on. Phone 843-236-1121 or go to www.myrtlebeachchristianchurch.com.
■ The Ministers of the Flame Conference will be held April 22-24 at the Landmark Resort with Prophet Steven Francis and Brother Judah James Diamante.
And Look What God is Doing! will be held April 24 at 6 p.m. at the Recovery Ranch in Loris.
■ You are invited to the following services and activities at The Well By The Sea, 211 Forestbrook Road: In-Person Bible Study/Discussion Group on the “9 Supernatural Gifts of the Holy Spirit”, on Mondays at 11 a.m. beginning April 12 (no cost, no RSVP, masks required).
In-Person (or Zoom) Weekly Bereavement/Loss Support Group, every Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In-Person Hangout for Young Adults (ages 18-30); every Saturday at 7 p.m. Come for a free meal and planned activity. Email email@example.com.
■ Temple Emanu-EL by the Sea; 406 65th Ave. North: Services (Zoom and Temple) Friday 6 p.m., Shabbat 10 a.m. (Masks required!)
Education classes: April 28: Advanced Hebrew 12:45 p.m. (via Zoom); Adult Education 2 p.m.-3 p.m. (via Zoom) (Book: Jewish Literacy by Joseph Telushkin); Hebrew School, 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. in the Rosen Center.
Second Passover, April 26-27.
Call the Temple at (843) 449-5552; website www.mbsynagogue.org.
■ The next New Beginnings drive-thru food distribution will be held May 15, June 19 and July 17 at the Church of the Resurrection, 8901 U.S. 17 Bypass in Surfside Beach. Cars can begin lining up at 7 a.m. and the distribution begins at 8 a.m.
Please bring an ID, if you have one. Food will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis, one per household represented with a maximum of two per car. There is no cost. This is sponsored by Faith Outreach Ministries of the Grand Strand and Low Country Food Bank. Phone (843) 215-4500.
■ Together in Christ has a Wednesday ZOOM Prayer Meeting from noon-12:30 p.m. each week. Prayer changes everything and you are invited to pray with the mid-week group. Email hgprayer @sccoast.net.
■ St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 542 Cypress Ave. in Murrells Inlet has a Life Chain every first Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on U.S. 17 Business near the church driveway. You are invited to participate in this event. (Bring a chair if not able to stand for the hour.) Contact Joanne Bennett at (614) 313-8425 or email Joanne.bennett55@ gmail.com.
■ Myrtle Beach Christian Church, 1226 Burcale Road, opens its Thrift Store each week, Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. You are encouraged to come out and browse and buy and, in so doing, you’ll be supporting this community outreach. Phone (843) 236-1121.
■ Temple Shalom, 4023 Belle Terre Blvd., invites you to Shabbat services each Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Phone (843) 903-6634 or go online to templeshalommyrtlebeach.net.