The following is a tribute I wrote for my father, who passed from this life October 20, 2011. My friend and brother in Christ, Dennis Craig, read it for me at a memorial service we had for dad on October 24, 2011. Dad’s name was Larry Cox. He was not well known in the brotherhood, but he was well loved by the brethren who knew him. He was not a preacher, just a kind and godly man. And a wonderful example for me and his family, friends and brethren. Men like this deserve honor as much as others who are better known. I pray you are encouraged and edified by learning a bit more about my dad.
The day before my dad died he and I were sitting in his hospital room talking. He mentioned to me that he had for a long while toyed with the idea of writing a short biography of his life that he thought might have meaning for his family. "When you have lived as long as I have," he said, "you gain a couple of insights you can share. Maybe not many, but a few."
This desire was not a surprise to me, because I had found a short outline he had handwritten some time before. I was going through his papers while he was in the ICU, near death, a year ago. I kept it with me for the past year. It is a single page, off of a 5" X 8" pad. I would like to spend a short time "fleshing out" that outline to give you a better idea of the type of man dad was. All of you know him as a kind man and a faithful Christian. There are reasons he lived his life as he did.
Continue reading » A Quiet Man of God
Don’t we all wish to experience kindness from others? It is one of the sweetest manifestations of the change that comes over the new convert. It should always be one of the most evident manifestations of the living word seen by others in the child of God. In fact, all Christians have already been the beneficiaries of the ultimate form of kindness in God’s love for us as we can read in Ephesians 2:7, “That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” Because we recognize that this is so, we begin in our faith owing others that which we have already gained through Christ. God’s kindness should actually be prayed for just as David did in Psalms 119:76 where he said, “Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.”
Kindness is a most beloved word of God’s faithful to be considered. Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” The KJV uses the word “gentleness.” The Greek word is chrestotes and is defined by Vines as “goodness of heart, kindness.” Continue reading » Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness (Gentleness)
There is a beautiful and rich word in the Hebrew language that powerfully describes the faithful mercy and steadfast lovingkindness of our Lord. This meaning filled Hebrew word is transliterated into English as hesed.
Why Study About Hesed?
There are several compelling reasons to engage in a study of the word hesed:
- To be wise. The Scriptures proclaim that if we desire to be truly wise, we will understand what hesed is. “Whoever is wise will observe these things, and they will understand the lovingkindness (hesed) of the Lord” (Psa. 107:43, take note that hesed will be in parentheses immediately following its English translation throughout the rest of this article, kdm).
- To be obedient. The Bible also explains that if we are to be truly obedient to God, then we will love hesed. “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy (hesed), and to walk humbly with your God?” (Mic. 6:8). The Lord commands us to “observe mercy (hesed)” (Hos. 12:6).
- To learn from the O.T. We frequently, and rightfully so, preach about the use and abuse of God’s grace from the New Testament perspective. However, there is a tremendous wealth of often overlooked information about the loving favor of our Lord from an Old Testament standpoint (Rom. 15:4). A study of the Hebrew word hesed will firmly reinforce many substantial truths about God’s gracious relationship with man.
- To refute error. Some affirm that the God of the New Testament is different than the God of the Old Testament. They claim that the God of the New Testament is a God of grace while implying that the God of the Old Testament was not. Others also teach that God’s grace provides an unconditional umbrella of safety that overlooks ongoing sins of immorality and doctrinal error. This study of hesed will prove such teaching to be false (Jer. 16:5, 10-13).
- To know God. Most importantly, the more we understand hesed, the more fervently we will endeavor to remain under Jehovah’s strong wings of protection and love. “How precious is your lovingkindness (hesed), O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings . . . Oh, continue Your lovingkindness (hesed) to those who know You” (Psa. 36:7-10). Continue reading » Solid Food: HESED – God’s Faithful Lovingkindness