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Crawford's Kingsmen Kommentary

Apr 16 | Posted by: Kingsmen Quartet

Well here we are in the month of April.  Spring has sprung and it is my sincere hope that all had a blessed Easter.  We serve a RISEN SAVOR!!!

God has been blessing the Kingsmen so greatly over the last few months!  We are excited about upcoming events.  Not the least of these is the NEW LIVE RECORDING!!!  Getting back to the model that made the Kingsmen the premier quartet in America, the Kingsmen and Crossroads will be releasing The Kingsmen: Front Row LIVE!  With a tentative release date of June 2013 this recording will feature several Kingsmen favorites from years past as well as unreleased songs that have become fan favorites.  Younger gospel music fans who have never really heard a Kingsmen Live recording will get a full dose of the excitement and power the Kingsmen have generated since 1956 in concert.  This recording will stir the memories of Big and Live, Chattanooga Live, and Live at the University of Alabama.  Where nothing will ever compare to those landmark recordings, we know this one will add a significant and well represented chapter to the Kingsmen legacy.

Make sure you plan now for the Memphis Quartet Show. This show is a throw-back to the ORIGINAL QUARTET CONVENTION.  The National Quartet Convention (NQC) started in Memphis, TN in 1957 and we are going back to where it all started.  If you are a fan of traditional, male, four-part harmony then DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW! It’s June 19-22 at the Cook Convention Center in downtown Memphis, TN.  The Kingsmen will be performing on Friday June 21.  Tickets are selling fast with some sections already unavailable. 

Marvin, was in the hospital on his death bed. The family called Marvin’s Preacher to be with him in his final moments. As the Preacher stood by the bed, Marvin’s condition seemed to deteriorate, and Marvin motioned for someone to quickly pass him a pen and paper. The Preacher quickly got a pen and paper and lovingly handed it to Marvin. But before he had a chance to read the note, Marvin died. The Preacher feeling now wasn’t the right time to read it put the note in his jacket pocket. It was at the funeral while speaking that the Preacher suddenly remembered the note. Reaching deep into his pocket the Preacher said “and you know what, I suddenly remembered that right before Marvin died he handed me a note, and knowing Marvin I’m sure it was something inspiring that we can all gain from. With that comment the Preacher ripped out the note and opened it.  The preacher then read aloud Marvin’s final words,  “HEY, YOU ARE STANDING ON MY OXYGEN TUBE!”

How does that happen? Though I find humor in the story, I also see a great lesson.  Many Christians, me included, go along without regard of things we might be doing or not doing that cause others or ourselves pain.  Sometimes we do things that cause a brother or sister to stumble.  Have you heard this one, “Make sure you pray for Sister So-n-So.  I’m not gossiping here, but she and her husband are having money problems. (then whispered in a hushed tone) I think he is a gambler .” Raise your hand if this one applies to you. (Crawford  raises his hand) 

How about this one . . .”I think the sales lady gave me too much change.  Oh well – I guess that’s a blessing from God!” 

There are many more examples I can give here that illustrate the “small” things we overlook in our lives.  We think we are doing a good thing or even receiving a blessing when in fact it not only hurts God, but it ruins our witness in front of the world and other Christians.   

Here’s the biggest one of all – who are you when NO ONE IS LOOKING??? Who are you when you are certain no one will know your blatant disregard of God and His Word?

Let’s address these with the Word.  First, GOSSIP. 

Pro 13:3 He who keeps his mouth keeps his life; he who opens his lips wide, it is ruin to him.

Pro 20:19 A gossip is a revealer of secrets; so do not mix with him who flatters with his lips.  

It’s been said Christians don’t gossip we “share”. We think we are doing good by asking for prayer for a brother or sister who is having a rough time. Where it is obvious to see the merit in this, I would argue that in some cases, it can be more harmful than helpful.  Look at it this way – if you are asking everyone you know to pray for the couple that’s having a hard time due to a gambling problem, you are exposing them to possible unhelpful judgment more than help and forgiveness.  Some will say that they can’t believe the couple is having a problem with gambling, or drinking, or adultery, etc.  Joh_8:7   . . .He who is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her.  We find fault in others but we don’t see the sin in our own lives.  Mat_7:5  Hypocrite! First cast the beam out of your own eye, and then you shall see clearly to cast the splinter out of your brother's eye. When we see a situation like this we need to be praying – but we do not need to be “MAYTAGING”. (Maytaging, verb, English origin, def., refers to the action of a clothes washing machine stirring up or agitating; making a problem worse, stirring it up) - I just made that up!!! When we tell all the details we go beyond helping and cross into the dangerous waters of gossip.  Pray for them; yes.  But do not MAYTAG!

Did you ever get too much change back?  Find a bank error in you favor (I love that one in Monopoly), or not claim everything you should on you taxes?  This one is easy friends and neighbors, Exo_20:15  You shall not steal. And taking and/or keeping ANYTHING on purpose that is not yours is stealing, PERIOD.  And since we are coming up on tax day soon let’s address the tax issue closer.    

Mar 12:17 And answering Jesus said to them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.

 

Rom 13:1 Let every soul be subject to the higher authorities. For there is no authority but of God; the authorities that exist are ordained by God.

Then verses 6 and 7 . . .

6 For because of this you also pay taxes. For they are God's servants, always giving attention to this very thing.

7 Therefore give to all their dues; to the one due tax, the tax; tribute to whom tribute is due, fear to whom fear is due, and honor to whom honor is due.

Don’t holler at me about Constitutional interpretation of the income tax.  I am not a lawyer or legal scholar.  But what I do know is God has given our government its rightful place over us (no matter who you voted for) and we are subject to them and their decrees so long as they DO NOT contradict God’s divine laws.  This may not be a popular stance, but it’s God’s words not mine.

Now to the biggie – the one that ALL Christians, ALL PEOPLE, have a problem with.  Who are you when no one is looking?  It’s often been said your true character is shown when no one can see you.  How true that is. 

 Always remember, God sees it all.  Good, and bad; when we bless others and when we cause pain.  But know this; He is paying real close attention to us when we are all alone. 

Mar 4:22  For there is nothing hidden which shall not be revealed; nor became covered, but that it might come to the light.

Luk 12:3  Therefore whatever you have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light. And that which you have spoken in the ear in secret rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.

No matter what you do - as you sow, so shall you reap.  Even in private.  He knows when we are doing things we should not be doing, whether with our hands or in our hearts and minds.  We know God looks on the heart . . .

1Sa 16:7   . . .For man looks on the outward appearance, but Jehovah looks on the heart.

And we know Jesus said we can sin in our hearts without EVER acting upon it . . .

Mat 5:28  But I say to you that whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

And we see how we can sin in our minds . . .

Jas 4:17  Therefore to him who knows to do good, and does not do it, to him it is sin.

We think that we are the only one who knows of our “secret sin”.  Know that the one who counts, God the Father, always sees – and the one who counts can deliver you from it!!! 

We all struggle with something – all have sinned and come short of His Glory.  But when we are having the greatest struggle, it is written 2Co 12:9  And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may overshadow me.

What a great promise! In all these situations, in all these struggles, whether in the mouth, mind, or heart, God has the strength to help you stand firm.  We simply must hold to that we know is good and righteous in His sight.  Mat 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.  Seek Him first.  Is this always easy?  No. Praise Him for GRACE!!!  But rely on His strength in the times where we are weak or when we see how we have messed up.  And when you “step on the oxygen tube” it doesn’t mean it’s all over.  Grace is there to pick you up – to breathe the breath of life back in to our gasping souls. 

However,  Rom 6:1  What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin so that grace may abound? 2  Let it not be! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

Just because grace is there, it is no excuse to keep on with behavior we know to be against God.  Let the Holy Spirit guide you through the process of weeding out all those things that keep you from a deeper walk with God. Guard against those things that could cause you to damage your witness.  A wise man once told me – once you lose your witness, it’s almost impossible to get it back. 

Remember, people watch Christians to see how we will act and react.  Not the least of these is our children.  We may be the only Bible some may ever read or see.  Always remember, Rom 14:21  It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor anything by which your brother stumbles, or is offended, or is made weak.  Always be a help to your brother and not a stumbling block.

I leave you with this story . . .

Children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Christian school for lunch.  At the head of the table was a large pile of apples.  Someone had written a note and placed it next to the apples.  It read, "Take only one, God is watching."  Moving through the line, to the other end of the table, was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies. One little boy wrote his own note and stuck it next to the cookies, "Take all you want, God is watching the apples."

Hope this blesses . . .

He’s a good, good God!

 

RC

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