Men Who Understand the Times

Men Who Understand the Times

At such a crit­i­cal time in the his­tory of the nation of Israel, it is said that the lead­ers of the tribe of Issachar were men “who under­stood the times and knew what Israel should do.”  This memo­r­ial and tes­ti­mony in Scrip­ture is not lengthy; it is not ver­bose, but it is one of the great acco­lades which may be cred­ited to any indi­vid­ual. In a time of tur­moil and great social upheaval, the tribal lead­ers of Issachar were well aware of what was tran­spir­ing around them and knew the appro­pri­ate steps to take to bring peace and rest to their soci­ety and the peo­ple of God.

1 Chron­i­cles 12:22–23, 32, Day after day men came to help David, until he had a great army, like the army of God. These are the num­bers of the men armed for bat­tle who came to David at Hebron to turn Saul’s king­dom over to him, as the LORD had said: … men of Issachar, who under­stood the times and knew what Israel should do– 200 chiefs, with all their rel­a­tives under their command …

In the early and mid­dle years of the 1730s, Amer­ica expe­ri­enced a tremen­dous spir­i­tual awakening–an awak­en­ing which con­tin­ued to rever­ber­ate in our young nation in the years which led up to the Rev­o­lu­tion. As a result, the belief that God alone was the true Sov­er­eign and Ruler among the affairs of men became once again the dom­i­nant polit­i­cal ide­ol­ogy of the Amer­i­can colonies. When King George III refused to abide by Eng­lish law in rela­tion to his Amer­i­can sub­jects, the colonists revolted and won their inde­pen­dence. The Amer­i­cans, under the influ­ence of this Great Awak­en­ing, argued that a king who would not sub­mit to law had no right to rule in the eyes of God.

But the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion was not a rev­o­lu­tion against absolute author­ity or the “divine right” of the king. Rather, the colonists pledged them­selves to the absolute sov­er­eignty of King Jesus. To ensure that Amer­ica would always be influ­enced and con­trolled by Chris­t­ian prin­ci­ples, can­di­dates for pub­lic office through­out our young nation were invited to church ser­vices in which the pas­tors of the com­mu­ni­ties reminded pub­lic offi­cials of their respon­si­bil­i­ties under the divine Law Giver. Chris­t­ian pas­tors reminded can­di­dates that their author­ity was not ulti­mately derived from the con­sent of the peo­ple, but from God him­self. Their author­ity was not demo­c­ra­t­i­cally, but divinely bestowed upon them.

A num­ber of years ago, Dr. James Dob­son received with­er­ing crit­i­cism from many parts of the Chris­t­ian and evan­gel­i­cal com­mu­ni­ties. He had tena­ciously spo­ken out against lib­eral inter­est groups and lib­eral judges who, then, were unable to advance their destruc­tive poli­cies at the bal­lot boxes of our nation. Like the men of Issachar and our own early Amer­i­can fore­fa­thers, Dr. Dob­son under­stood the times in which we live, and he knew “what Israel should do.” Gen­er­a­tions of Amer­i­cans have reaped the ben­e­fits of the spir­i­tual wis­dom of our national fore­fa­thers, and if future gen­er­a­tions of Amer­i­cans are to expe­ri­ence the same bless­ings, it will come because of men like Dr. Dob­son who know the times and know what Amer­i­can should do in the eyes of God.

May our prayer be, “God, once again give us men who know the times and know what should be done in our nation. God give us men of Issachar!”

Faithful

Faithful

As is true with all lan­guages, Eng­lish is under­go­ing con­stant evo­lu­tion. The School­mas­ter of Amer­ica, Noah Web­ster, gave Amer­ica its first dic­tio­nary and our own form of Eng­lish. Since the days of Web­ster, the Eng­lish lan­guage has con­tin­ued to evolve.  “Gay” no longer means happy or joy­ous dis­po­si­tion; its con­tem­po­rary use is com­pletely unre­lated. In addi­tion to the change in con­no­ta­tions and deno­ta­tions of terms, we have added many words to the Eng­lish lan­guage since the days of Web­ster. He had never heard of a CD or DVD, he had never seen an air­plane, or typed on a com­puter. In addi­tion to new words, many have fallen or are falling into dis­use, among them is the term “faithful.”

Do not be afraid of what you are about to suf­fer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suf­fer per­se­cu­tion for ten days. Be faith­ful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. Rev­e­la­tion 2:10

Some words must be metic­u­lously guarded, because they rep­re­sent the very best in human expe­ri­ence. They encap­su­late the great­est val­ues known to mankind. “Faith­ful” and the terms derived from it are among those terms which dis­till the most desir­able traits of the human heart. The New Tes­ta­ment idea of “faith­ful­ness” can be encap­su­lated in three words: ascent; act; and acclaim.

First, it means “firm­ness of faith,” “trust,” or very sim­ply, “believ­ing.” This idea sug­gests a trust or con­fi­dence in some­one or some­thing. In the New Tes­ta­ment, stress is laid upon believ­ing in Jesus as the Christ or Mes­siah. But from this truth radi­ates many other teach­ings which often both ele­vate and illu­mi­nate Old Tes­ta­ment truths. To be faith­ful or have faith in the New Tes­ta­ment sense means a per­sonal con­fi­dence in the per­son of Jesus Christ and all He taught as con­tained in the New Tes­ta­ment. This aspect of “faith­ful­ness” lays stress upon ascent of the mind and accep­tance of the will con­cern­ing the eter­nal truths which are taught in God’s Word.

Sec­ond, “faith­ful­ness” also means reli­able to per­form a given duty or task. It is used of God who is faith­ful to His promises (1 Cor 1:9; 10:13; 1 Thess 5:24), and it refers to the duty an indi­vid­ual has to him­self and to oth­ers (Col4:9; 1 Peter 5:12; Rev 2:10). “Faith­ful­ness” is in part defined by reli­a­bil­ity to per­form or act as expected.

Third, “faith­ful­ness” is also a rep­u­ta­tion received as a result of faith­fully per­form­ing what one knows to be right. The term is some­times applied to the sacred things of God (promises, bless­ings). Often it is used to express the char­ac­ter of that which is trust­wor­thy (1 Cor 7:25; 1 Tim 1:2; 2 Tim 2:2; 1 Peter 4:9). This aspect speaks of one’s assess­ment con­cern­ing some­one or some­thing and finds the thing or per­son to be true, trust­wor­thy, sure, believ­able, or wor­thy of credit or trust. In this way the thing or per­son receives acclaim when this term is applied.

I often meet those who wist­fully yearn for the “good old days” of yes­ter­year when an indi­vid­ual was as good as his word. How we long for politi­cians who will be “faith­ful” to cam­paign pledges; we long for spouses who will be “faith­ful” to their mar­i­tal vows; we long for employ­ers and employ­ees who will be “faith­ful” to the inter­ests of each other; we long for churches which will be “faith­ful” to the Gospel with­out being chameleons, seek­ing to blend into the world.

It is true, we often yearn for faith­ful­ness in every sphere of life, but too infre­quently is this yearn­ing sat­is­fied. A tragic fact must not be over­looked if we are to take large strides toward the real­iza­tion of a soci­ety that is indeed more faith­ful. In recent years, I have sensed that the cry for faith­ful­ness has increased through­out our soci­ety, but the will­ing­ness to be part of the solu­tion has decreased. What we need is not mere ascent to truth. We des­per­ately need peo­ple who will act faithfully–people to whom we can point with acclaim as we walk down the street, say­ing, “There goes one of the most faith­ful Chris­tians I have ever met!”

You are an impor­tant part of the solu­tion to faith­ful­ness. You and I must not merely talk about faith­ful­ness to our spouses–we must be faith­ful! We must not just talk about being on time to work and being faith­ful in all mat­ters to our employers–we must be faith­ful! We must not merely take mem­ber­ship vows at churches–we must be faith­ful to them! Do you long for more faith­ful­ness in our homes, churches, and places of employ­ment? Be part of the solution–be faithful!

Our Lord has promised eter­nal life to those who are will­ing to be faith­ful. May the grace of our risen Lord rest upon our hearts and hands that in mat­ters great and small we might be faith­ful to Him!

Keep Your Head

Keep Your Head

A few years ago, Beth and I took the oppor­tu­nity to go see the Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit in Mobile, Alabama. We doubted that we would again have the oppor­tu­nity to see such an exhibit which lends great cred­i­bil­ity to the authen­tic­ity of our Bible. So sel­dom have we had the oppor­tu­nity to be together in this way that to be with my wife on such an occa­sion was sheer delight for me.

Upon arriv­ing at the con­ven­tion cen­ter where the exhibit was dis­played, we entered a ticket line to pur­chase our tick­ets. It was then that we real­ized that we would also have the oppor­tu­nity to see a docu­d­rama of King Tut, titled (I believe), The Trea­sures of Egypt, star­ing Omar Sharif. I was excited about the prospect of learn­ing some­thing about the part of the world of which I knew lit­tle. The docu­d­rama was being shown in an “Imax The­ater.” This was only the sec­ond time I had been in such a theater.

2 Tim­o­thy 4:5 But you, keep your head in all sit­u­a­tions, endure hard­ship, do the work of an evan­ge­list, dis­charge all the duties of your ministry.

As was true the first time, my appre­hen­sion of the expe­ri­ence began as I entered the the­ater. Some of you may be unaware that such the­aters cas­cade upward, so that patrons feel as if they are sit­ting on the side of a pyramid–I am cer­tain it must be sim­i­lar to sit­ting in the cheap­est seats of a sta­dium. The screen wraps itself around the audi­ence, cre­at­ing a sur­round, real­is­tic sen­sa­tion. The audi­to­rium was so steep that I found myself wish­ing the seats came stan­dard with seatbelts.

We were not in our seat long before the docu­d­rama began. It began with forte, the images streaked across the screen with such rapid­ity and fre­quency that it imme­di­ately began to cre­ate a dizzy­ing sen­sa­tion which was sick­en­ing. Accom­pa­ny­ing the swirling scenes before me on the screen was music at such a deci­bel level that I am sure nearly rivaled sonic booms (maybe not that loud). What I was see­ing and hear­ing caused both my head and stom­ach to spin to such a degree that I feared that those moments might ruin the antic­i­pated out­ing with my wife.

In the midst of my dis­com­fort, the Lord spoke to me and enabled me to see that what I was expe­ri­enc­ing in such a graphic way was the expe­ri­ence of every true believer with regard to the spir­i­tual world. It is easy for us to allow the loud demands and swirling cir­cum­stances of life to cause us to lose sight of what is real, what is last­ing, and what is eter­nal. Often what is show­ing on the screen of life threat­ens to swal­low the larger truth of eter­nity, which fre­quently is less bois­ter­ous and less con­spic­u­ous, but never-the-less more true.

The Apos­tle Paul was con­cerned that his son in the faith might become dizzied by the fast-pasted sights and sounds of life, and pas­sion­ately warned him, “But you, keep your head in all sit­u­a­tions …” As our church looks toward the future, we must not allow what plays out on the screen before us to cause us to lose sight of a deeper real­ity. Men, women, boys, and girls need the Lord! The sheep of Christ’s flock need to be fed.

Will you pray for me that my vision will be clear? –that I too will keep my head in all sit­u­a­tions? And what I ask for myself, I also pray for each one of us.

Lord, no mat­ter how bright the sun today, teach us that there is an infi­nitely brighter Son tomor­row. No mat­ter how dark the clouds of today, remind us we are bound for a land of cloud­less day! God give us vision of the eter­nal and hearts resolved, by your grace, to go there!

Because Christ Lives

Because Christ Lives

Many years ago, well-known Chris­t­ian speaker and for­mer mem­ber of the Sal­va­tion Army, Harry A. Iron­side, was pub­licly chal­lenged by a mem­ber of his street meet­ing to defend his faith. His chal­lenger demanded a pub­lic debate the fol­low­ing day at the same loca­tion. Know­ing that infi­delity and athe­ism always leaves a dark trail of death wher­ever it sets its foot, Iron­side said he would accept the chal­lenge if his prospec­tive oppo­nent would bring proof of the per­sonal and social ben­e­fit of unbe­lief. Iron­side pro­posed to have Chris­tians with him whose lives had been glo­ri­ously changed through the sav­ing grace of Christ.

Romans 6:9, For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He can­not die again; death no longer has mas­tery over Him.

He requested that his chal­lenger, like­wise, demon­strate how infi­delity and unbe­lief had pro­duced a hap­pier and more hope­ful spirit in the lives of its adher­ents. Iron­side was sure that many from the local city mis­sion could accom­pany him and stand by his side the fol­low­ing day as evi­dence of the life-changing grace of Christ. As Iron­side con­tin­ued to throw out the rules of engage­ment between him­self and his would-be oppo­nent in debate, his chal­lenger turned and walked away. This infi­del real­ized what Iron­side knew by expe­ri­ence, but few ever con­sider. He knew that unbe­lief did not pro­duce a more hope­ful and joy­ous life. When all of the bib­li­cal and the­o­log­i­cal argu­ments are spent against the citadel of unbe­lief, the mock­ers of Christ and His Church can­not deny the life-changing influ­ence of the sav­ing grace of Jesus Christ!

At this sea­son of the year, the Chris­t­ian Church observes one of the most impor­tant sea­sons in its cal­en­dar. This sea­son is sig­nif­i­cant not only for the believer, but for the unbe­liever as well. Can there be a bet­ter time for the unbe­liever to seri­ously exam­ine his under­stand­ing of the pos­si­bil­ity of life after death and how to enjoy it if, indeed, that is a pos­si­bil­ity. If this life is all that there is, then it makes sense to live accord­ing to Dar­win­ian think­ing about life and struc­ture life around the doc­trine of the sur­vival of the fittest. If there is no hope for life beyond the grave, then it does not mat­ter how we live today. The Apos­tle Paul real­ized this truth when he wrote, “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men” (1 Cor. 15:19). Though some might deny the teach­ing of eter­nity, most would agree there is life beyond death. They would agree with Solomon: “He has made every­thing beau­ti­ful in its time. He has also set eter­nity in the hearts of men; yet they can­not fathom what God has done from begin­ning to end” (Eccle­si­astes 3:11). “Eter­nity in the hearts of men” is not a prin­ci­ple which is doubted by the vast major­ity of the human race. What is doubted is the way it is obtained. After com­par­ing and con­trast­ing the truth of the Gospel with the reli­gions of the world which offer var­i­ous means of sal­va­tion, we must cor­rectly con­clude with the Apos­tle Peter, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eter­nal life” (John 6:68).

For the Chris­t­ian, the res­ur­rec­tion is a piv­otal event. Many have attempted to min­i­mize and com­pletely deny the mirac­u­lous deeds of Jesus, sug­gest­ing that nat­ural means best explain the alleged mir­a­cles of Jesus. But the Apos­tle Paul–himself con­verted from unbelief–points to the res­ur­rec­tion of Jesus as the defin­ing moment in his min­istry (1 Cor. 15). Why? Because the Apos­tle knew that if believ­ers through the ages were to be con­vinced of the fact of eter­nal life, greater evi­dence was needed, and God pro­vided the evi­dence along side the procla­ma­tion of the Gospel. Vic­tory over death was won and proven through the res­ur­rec­tion of Jesus Christ. Another impor­tant truth is tied to the doc­trine of the res­ur­rec­tion, that is the doc­trine of jus­ti­fi­ca­tion. In Romans 4:25, the Apos­tle Paul writes, “He was deliv­ered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our jus­ti­fi­ca­tion.” Here Paul teaches that the believer’s jus­ti­fi­ca­tion, estab­lished by Christ’s death on Cal­vary, was proven to be true by the res­ur­rec­tion. With­out the res­ur­rec­tion, no jus­ti­fi­ca­tion of sin would occur, and believ­ers would remain in their sin (1 Cor. 15:17).

Finally, the Apos­tle Paul iden­ti­fied the prac­ti­cal con­se­quence of affirm­ing the doc­trine of the res­ur­rec­tion. In 1 Corinthi­ans 15:58, Paul calls believ­ers to “stand firm” in their faith in the res­ur­rec­tion, and the prin­ci­ple rea­son is one of assur­ance. Armed with the assur­ance that beyond this present life God would reward the faith­ful, believ­ers could give them­selves “fully to the work of the Lord.”

If the res­ur­rec­tion of Jesus Christ did not occur, Chris­tians remain in their sin, there is no hope for a glo­ri­ous life after the tri­als of this world, and what is done in this life has value only for the present. But since Christ has been raised from the dead, there is assur­ance of for­give­ness of sin, there is cer­tainty of a glo­ri­ous eter­nity, and what is done in this life does indeed have eter­nal significance.

My prayer is that we might real­ize more deeply than ever before the ben­e­fits of the res­ur­rec­tion of our Lord, Jesus Christ. May the knowl­edge and expe­ri­ence of His grace be deeper and more real than ever in your heart and life.

 

Today

Today

Many years ago in Liv­er­pool, Eng­land, a skep­tic deliv­ered a strong address against Chris­tian­ity to a large audi­ence. When he fin­ished, he threw down a gaunt­let to the mem­bers of his audi­ence: “If any man here can say a sin­gle word in favor of Jesus Christ, let him come out and say it.” The fore­bod­ing chal­lenge hov­ered over the audi­ence. No man moved to answer his challenge—the silence became oppres­sive. Then, two young girls arose from their seats, walked hand in hand toward the front of the gath­er­ing (as if moved by the Holy Spirit), ascended the stairs of the plat­form, posi­tioned them­selves before the audi­ence and the skep­tic, and then said: “We can­not speak, but we will sing for Christ.” The girls began to sing in rare har­mony and with the anoint­ing of God’s Spirit, “Stand up, stand up for Jesus!” As the rever­ber­a­tion of the rous­ing chal­lenge fell silent, many in the audi­ence wept. So deeply was the assem­bly moved that it began to qui­etly go away, being con­vinced by the power of the young girls’ courage.

Num. 14:36–38, So the men Moses had sent to explore the land, who returned and made the whole com­mu­nity grum­ble against him by spread­ing a bad report about it— these men respon­si­ble for spread­ing the bad report about the land were struck down and died of a plague before the LORD. Of the men who went to explore the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephun­neh survived.

Heb. 4:7, There­fore God again set a cer­tain day, call­ing it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”

The Lord has always been will­ing to use those who were will­ing to be used. Trag­i­cally, many who real­ize the need to serve and engage the world for Christ never do. The Israelites refused their oppor­tu­nity to enter Canaan, and as a result, that generation’s priv­i­lege was lost for­ever. Hav­ing left behind them a legacy of dis­obe­di­ence, suc­ceed­ing gen­er­a­tions of Jews—though enter­ing Canaan—followed the tragic exam­ple of their fore­fa­thers, refus­ing to faith­fully serve the Lord. For this rea­son, the Jews who received the book of Hebrews were warned of the con­se­quences of neglect­ing the fullest claims of the Gospel. Man says, “Tomor­row!,” but God says, “Today!”

Many soften their unfaith­ful­ness to Christ’s Church with words such as, “some­day” and “tomor­row.” It is not that they mean to com­pletely neglect Christ and his Church, it is only that their ser­vice must be ren­dered on their terms accord­ing to their tim­ing. In this way, the Church in Amer­ica is greatly weak­ened and enfee­bled. A few faith­ful carry the cause of Christ as long as they are capa­ble, but with­out a will­ing­ness to faith­fully serve on the larger part of the fel­low­ship, the Church—in its war against sin—never advances and often loses its Canaan because many obsti­nately say, “No!” to Christ, but more fre­quently they say, “Some day!” or “Tomorrow!”

Many imag­ine their entrance into “Canaan” to be a per­sonal prerogative—they will deter­mine the best time to serve the Lord. But, the Lord responds to these as He did the rebel­lious Jews: “They shall never enter my rest” (Heb. 4:3, 5). Tomor­row is too late in the plan­ning of God.

May God give us the grace to answer the Great Com­mis­sion with one word—“Today!”

You Can Do It!

You Can Do It!

I can’t do it!” What par­ent has not heard that? And, what child has not used it? When I was grow­ing up, “I can’t do it” was often my defense when I felt infe­rior to the task or sim­ply unwill­ing to try. Know­ing how much more tech­ni­cal and advanced we are today than we were even a gen­er­a­tion ago, I am sure that moms and dads will not have to fear hear­ing this expres­sion again. How­ever, if there are some who per­sist in using this anti­quated expres­sion, sim­ply relate the fol­low­ing anec­dote to them con­cern­ing one of England’s great­est scholars.

The exact year is uncer­tain, but his biog­ra­phers are in agree­ment that it was in the early 1760s when he was born (the exact date being unknown due to the fact that the parish clerk failed to enter him in the reg­is­ter of the Church). His name was Adam Clarke. He was born in Ire­land in the vil­lage of Moy­beg. He was a Scotch-Irishman of Eng­lish descent. His ances­tors crossed over from Eng­land in the sev­en­teenth cen­tury and set­tled in the region of Car­rick­fer­gus, where the great-great-grandfather, William Clarke, was an estated gen­tle­man. Adam’s mother was a descen­dant of the Laird of Dowart, in the Hebrides, the chief of the clan of the Mac Leans.

2 Tim­o­thy 2:15, Study to shew thy­self approved unto God, a work­man that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly divid­ing the word of truth.

In his youth, Adam was a stout lad, full of life, and not overly fond of his books. He delighted to hear the wild Irish sto­ries of ghosts and fairies, but for the Latin gram­mar, and more espe­cially for math­e­mat­ics, he pos­sessed a thor­ough dis­gust. His father owned a tract of land which he farmed. Adam and his brother were employed alter­nately in work on the farm and help­ing one another along in the rudi­ments of clas­si­cal learn­ing, in which their father was a notable master.

His mother was a staunchly com­mit­ted Pres­by­ter­ian and taught him the Cat­e­chism of the West­min­ster Assem­bly, while his father was an Epis­co­palian and taught him the Apos­tles’ Creed–a mix­ture of doc­trine which suited the boy well, for Adam was sen­si­tive to spir­i­tual mat­ters. How­ever, he was in great dan­ger of grow­ing up a dunce in other respects. The only stud­ies to which he would apply him­self were the Eng­lish trans­la­tion of the Fables of Aesop, Robin­son Cru­soe, the native fairy lit­er­a­ture of Ire­land, and the arts of magic, which later was taught him by a trav­el­ing tin­ker who had strayed into his home territory.

While at school one day, Adam was scolded by his teacher and mocked by his fellow-pupils for his poor progress in his school work. So trau­matic was this occa­sion, that in his agony of spirit and shame he “felt as if some­thing had bro­ken within him,” and, tak­ing his book with the resolve to change his ways, he began to study with a sense of power which was quite a sur­prise to him, and from that moment he became the star pupil of the school.

Dur­ing the year 1777, a Methodist preacher, by the name of John Bret­tel, began preach­ing in the neigh­bor­hood, in barns, sta­bles, school­houses, and in the open air, and young Adam, now about sev­en­teen years old, was among his most atten­tive hear­ers. His father approved of the teach­ings of the itin­er­ant as “the gen­uine doc­trine of the Estab­lished Church,” while his Pres­by­ter­ian mother, with equal admi­ra­tion, declared, “This is the doc­trine of the Reform­ers; this is the true, unadul­ter­ated Chris­tian­ity.” As a result, the Methodist preacher was made dou­bly wel­come at the Clarkes’ home, which sub­se­quently became a stop­ping place for preachers.

It was not long before Adam was spir­i­tu­ally awak­ened and con­victed of his sin. This sense of con­vic­tion and sense of spir­i­tual need lasted for some time and was char­ac­ter­ized with great ago­nies of mind, but at last in 1779, Adam was deeply con­verted. By this time, he was a well-learned lad. Although he had been oblig­ated to spend his days on the farm, his nights afforded him time for study, and when he had found Christ as his per­sonal and present Sav­iour, he imme­di­ately began to share Him with oth­ers. He would often toil from four in the morn­ing till six in the evening, and then, walk three or four miles to a Methodist meet­ing. Before long, he too began to preach. With the encour­age­ment of a fel­low Methodist, John Bredin, Clarke left for the Kingswood School which John Wes­ley had started and assumed the role of itin­er­ant that same year (1782).

From this small begin­ning, Adam Clarke went on to become a leader among Methodists in the British Isles, most notably as a Bible scholar and Con­fer­ence Pres­i­dent. But Clarke also dis­tin­guished him­self to the royal fam­ily and the most learned soci­eties of Britain. For sev­eral years, Clarke, in the midst of a busy min­istry as a preacher, was employed by the King in the han­dling of some of the most impor­tant doc­u­ments of the British Empire.

Adam Clarke was a man immersed in the Scrip­tures, loved for his char­ac­ter, and ardent in his love for and loy­alty to the prin­ci­ples of the Methodist revival. He had no Methodist peers as a scholar and few peers as a preacher and gen­tle­man. Few Methodists have ever been known as widely and as well received as Adam Clarke.

As a young boy, Adam Clarke decided to replace his, “I can’t do it,” with “I can do it, and by God’s grace, I will do it!” Young scholar, as you begin a new school year, my prayer is that you will allow both the chal­lenge of the Apos­tle Paul to “study to shew thy­self approved unto God, a work­man that needeth not to be ashamed” and the exam­ple of Adam Clarke to be of chal­lenge and encour­age­ment to you.

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