BRIEF EXHORTATIONS FROM DAVID RIGGS
1. "We do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord..." (2 Cor. 4:5)
Two guest speakers were asked to speak to a student body regarding Abraham Lincoln. After the first speech, the unanimous consensus of the student body was, "Our speaker was a great speaker." After the second speech, the consensus was, "Abraham Lincoln was a great man." We ask, "Which one did his job?"
Let us not exalt or glorify ourselves in our preaching, but the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. "And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness." (Rom. 8:10)
A boy while flying a kite was so successful that the kite went out of sight. He stood in the field with a cord in his hand that bent upwards into the sky. Someone asked him how he knew the kite was there, and he let them put their hand on the string. They could feel the pull of the unseen kite. Similarly, although the world cannot visibly see Christ in us, they can recognize His invisible power in every phase of our lives. They are forced to admit that we, as Christians, have something which they do not possess.
Let us truly have Christ, the hope of glory, within us.
3. "Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing." (2 Tim. 4:8)
"Clarence Darrow was a great criminal lawyer, and probably the most famous attorney in the country at the peak of his career. He was also an opponent of Christianity and a defender of Darwin's theory of evolution. His most famous case was probably his defense of evolution in the Scopes trial held in Dayton, Tennessee, otherwise known as 'The Monkey Trial.' Mr. Darrow grew old, as all men invariably do, and, when he was 75, was quoted in the newspapers as saying: 'If I were a young man with my life ahead of me, I think I'd chuck it all, the way things are now. I certainly have no encouragement for young bloods that are just starting out looking for jobs. The sooner they jump out of windows, the sooner they will find peace.' Darrow had all the best as to an earthly career, but at the last decided that life was not worth living. He died with nothing to look forward to for himself, and with no word of encouragement for those who were following after him. Darwin and Darrow produce despair." (From Jere Frost)
Let us not follow Darrow or Darwin, but the beloved apostle Paul as he followed Christ.
4. "Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits." (1 Cor. 15:33)
Two men who were friends both purchased parrots for pets. It turned out that one of the parrots was accustomed to singing spiritual songs, while the other used many curse words. The owners thought if they would place the parrot which sang spiritual songs with the one that cursed, the bad habit would be corrected. It turned out in the end that the opposite happened. The good parrot began to also use curse words!
Often Christians think they can associate with wicked people and not be affected. Some even think they need to get involved with evil people so that they can convert them. To the contrary, one does not need to jump into quicksand in order to get someone out of quicksand.
Let us not be deceived. Evil companionships corrupts good morals.
5. "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God; through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Rom. 7:24-25)
Some scholars think that Paul, in the above verse, was alluding to the barbaric practice of the Romans, and others before them, who strapped a dead body to a prisoner who was captured in battle. The dead body hindered the prisoner from escaping as he was marched off to captivity. Verse 24 can literally be translated, "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this dead body?" Of course, Paul was making a spiritual application, and was asking, "Who will deliver me from the bondage of sin which shackles and condemns?"
Paul answers his own question in verse 25. Deliverance from the wretched, miserable state of sin comes through Jesus Christ our Lord. He is the Redeemer, Savior, and Deliverer.
Let us thank God that we have deliverance and salvation through Christ.