60 seconds with David Arnold 2-BREVITY IS THE SOUL OF WIT

60 seconds with David Arnold 2-BREVITY IS THE SOUL OF WIT
60 seconds with David Arnold 2-BREVITY IS THE SOUL OF WIT

A young man was sent to Socrates to learn oratory. On being introduced to the philosopher, he talked so incessantly that Socrates asked for double fees. “Why charge me double? ” said the young fellow. “Because, ” said the orator, “I must teach you two sciences: the one, how to hold your tongue, and the other how to speak.”

William Shakespeare, in his play “Hamlet, ” wrote, “Brevity is the soul of wit, ” meaning that articulate and intelligent communication (speech and writing) should use few and wisely chosen words. In Proverbs 17:27, we read, “He who has knowledge spares his words, ” meaning that he shows his common sense. Matthew Henry commented, “He ‘spares his words’, because they are better spared than ill-spent.” The Living Bible renders both verses 27 and 28, “The man of few words and settled mind is wise; therefore, even a fool is thought to be wise when he is silent. It pays him to keep his mouth shut.”

According to Ecclesiastes 10:11 – 14, those who know the least, talk the most. Solomon describes them as “a babbler, ” whose words “swallow him up, ” and “the end of his talk is raving madness, ” because he is “a fool who multiplies his words” (NKJV). George Elliot stated, “Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact! ”

The directions that come with a well-known brand of fountain pen say, “When this pen runs too freely, it is a sign that it is empty!” In Proverbs 10:19, we are warned, “Don’t talk so much. You keep putting your foot in your mouth. Be sensible and turn off the flow! ” (The Living Bible). Remember, “The more you say, the less people remember.”

We are instructed in James 1:19, to “be swift to hear and slow to speak.” Calvin Coolidge, the thirtieth president of the United States, came home from church one Sunday, and his wife, who was ill, asked him what the sermon was about. “Sin, ” said Coolidge. “Well, what did the minister say about it? ” She asked. “He said he was against it, ” Coolidge replied. He was famous for his brevity. When a woman at a state dinner bet him she could make him say more than two words, Coolidge replied, “You lose.”

“Do not be rash with your mouth therefore let your words be few” (Ecclesiastes 5: 2).
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654

One night at a prayer meeting, a discouraged church member stated his request in the presence of the visiting minister: “Pray for us here. The blower is still blowing but the fire is out!” Vance Havner remarked, “The blower was blowing at Sardis, but the fire was out. It was known as a live church, but it needed a revival. A lot of ‘live churches’ today, dead in the sight of God, need to repent.”
The word revive literally means “to bring to life again.” In a religious context, it includes the awakening of those who were dead, and rejuvenating those who were alive but slumbering.
If we want a revival, there are some Biblical principles to follow. They are:
1. DISSATISFACTION. Complacency is the deadly enemy of spiritual progress, and the contented soul is the stagnant soul. In Jeremiah 48:11, the prophet spoke of Moab who had “settled on his dregs, and has not been emptied from vessel to vessel.” The figure is that of a jar of vinegar that has set until it is covered with scum, or settled sediment in a winevat, or a vessel of milk that has curdled. Churches, individuals, marriages, etc., get that way and need to be shaken.
2. COMMITMENT. Set your face like a flint for a sweeping transformation of your life.
3. POSITIONIZE. Put yourself in the way of the blessing of God. Psalm 24 declares that “He who has clean hands and a pure heart…he shall receive blessing from the Lord” (verses 4 and 5). Charles G. Finney declared, “Revival is nothing else than a new beginning of obedience to God.”
4. REPENT. We cannot tolerate in us what God does not tolerate in us.
5. RECONCILIATION. Christ said, “Be reconciled to your brother,” Matthew 5:24. “In order to have a revival, let a few church members get thoroughly right with God” (R. A. Torrey).
6. SERIOUS-MINDED. Be serious with God, and He will be serious with you. James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”
7. FOCUS. Narrow you interests. Develop a “single eye” (Matthew 6:22.)
8. FAITH. Jesus admonished, “Have faith in God” (Mark 11:22.)
When church people were objecting that revivals were temporary, the late Billy Sunday replied, “So is a bath, but it does you good!”
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654

The great expositor Sam Shoemaker stated, “In the triangle of love between ourselves, God, and other people, is found the secret of existence, and the best foretaste of what heaven will probably be like.”
We have both a vertical relationship with God, and a horizontal relationship with others. At least 26 times in the New Testament, we are admonished about “reciprocal living,” with the words “one another” being stated. Here is the list and references:
1. Do not judge one another (Romans 14:13).
2. Be likeminded (take an interest in) one toward another (Romans 15:5).
3. Receive (admit to friendship) one another (Romans 15:7).
4. Admonish (gently caution) one another (Romans 15:14).
5. Salute (embrace or welcome) one another (Romans 16:16).
6. Care for (be concerned about) one another (1 Cor. 12:25).
7. Serve one another (Galatians 5:13).
8. Do not bite and devour (as do wild and savage animals) one another (Galatians 5:14 – 15).
9. Do not provoke (be argumentative or irritating) one another (Galatians 5:25 – 26).
10.Do not envy one another (Galatians 5:25 – 26).
11.Bear (help carry the load) one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2).
12.Forbear (tolerate) one another (Ephesians 4:2).
13.Be kind (gracious) to one another (Ephesians 4:32).
14.Forgive one another (Ephesians 4:32).
15.Submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21).
16.Do not lie to one another (Colossians 3:9).
17.Comfort one another (1 Thessalonians 4:18).
18.Edify (build up) one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
19.Consider (understand) one another (Hebrews 10:24).
20.Do not speak evil of one another (James 4:11).
21.Do not murmur (complain) about one another (James 5:9).
22.Confess your faults to one another (James 5:16).
23.Use hospitality (be hospitable) to one another (1 Peter 4:9).
24.Minister (a waiter of tables or menial duties) to one another (1 Peter 4:10).
25.Have fellowship with one another (1 John 1:7).
26.Pray for one another (James 5:16).
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654



Christians should do four things: wait with patience, watch with anticipation, work with zeal to solve the world’s great social problems, and prepare with urgency.


Christians should do four things: wait with patience, watch with anticipation, work with zeal to solve the world’s great social problems, and prepare with urgency.

John Wesley White wrote, “The teaching of the second coming of our Lord is dealt with some 1,845 times in the Bible, 318 of these being in the New Testament. The return of the Lord is the dominant theme of 17 Old Testament books, and one epistle in the New. In fact, 7 out of every 10 chapters in the New Testament make reference to the second coming. Whole passages of the last half of the Bible are given over exclusively to its discussion.”

In Titus 2:13, Paul exhorted us to be “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” Dr. G. Campbell Morgan testified, “I never lay my head on the pillow at night without thinking that before morning dawns the final morning may have dawned.”
In John 14:3, Christ promised, “I will come again.” While the present tense is used in this expression, its meaning is an emphatic future. A. T. Robertson describes it, “Futuristic present middle, definite promise of the second coming of Christ.” As in English, a present tense is sometimes used in the Greek of a certain future event pictured as if already coming to pass (i.e.) the present is used for an emphatic future action. At the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, a profound moment happened. When the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Geoffrey Fisher, extended to her Majesty the crown, he said, “I give thee, O Sovereign Lady, this crown to wear, until He who reserves the right to wear it shall return.”
It was Billy Graham who stated that in preparation for the Second Coming, Christians should do four things: wait with patience, watch with anticipation, work with zeal to solve the world’s great social problems, and prepare with urgency. In a small country store in a southern state, an elderly lady came to do her shopping. Two or three young men were standing around passing the time of day, and knowing that she was a Christian, they began to taunt her. “We hear you’re expecting Jesus to come back, ” they said. “I sure am, ” she replied brightly. “Do you really believe He’s coming? ” they asked. “Sure as you’re born, ” she answered. They said, “Well you’d better hurry home and get ready, He might be on the way! ” She turned, giving them a fixed look, replied, “I don’t have to get ready, I keep ready! ”
“The early believers were not looking for something to happen, they were looking for someone to come” (Vance Havner).
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654



Charles Spurgeon told his ministerial students the following story: “An incident occurred in my garden. There was a dog which was in the habit of coming through the fence, and scratching in my flower-beds, which tested my patience and temper. Walking in the garden one Saturday afternoon, and preparing my sermon for the following day, I saw the four-footed creature, and having my walking stick in my hand, threw it at him with all my might, at the same time giving him some good advice about going home. Now, what should my canine friend do but turn around, pick up the stick in his mouth, and bring it, and lay it down at my feet, wagging his tail all the while in expectation of my thanks and kind words! Of course, you do not suppose that I kicked him, or threw the stick at him anymore. I felt quite ashamed of myself, and I told him that he was welcome to stay as long as he liked, and to come as often as he pleased. There is an instance of patience and trust, in overcoming even righteous anger.”
George Sand stated, “Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.” In the Messianic Psalm 41, verses 9 and 10, we read of A MALICIOUS ACT and A KIND DEED.
1. A MALICIOUS ACT. “My own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me” (v. 9). This passage is applied to Judas’ betrayal of Christ with a kiss (John 13:18). The words “has lifted up his heel against me” is metaphor of the horse, who kicks viciously the one who feeds him. This was the awful pain Christ felt when Judas proved to be a traitor. It has been correctly observed, “Man is the only animal who causes pain to others with no other object than wanting to do so.”
2. A KIND DEED. “But You, O Lord, be merciful to me, and raise me up, that I may repay them” (v. 10). The Hebrew word translated “repay” may also be translated “recompense.” Morgan says it is “far oftener used to indicate a kind action than a vindictive one.” Benjamin Franklin wrote, “Doing an injury puts you below your enemy; revenging one makes you but even with him; forgiving it sets you above him.”
Remember, “Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart, rather than a piece of our mind!”
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654



In his article Love Can Change History, the late Bill Bright stated, “A single act of love can have beneficial ripple effects far-reaching beyond our wildest imaginations. Refusing an act of love can have the opposite effect.” He then told the following story:
“In 1952, a probation officer in New York City tried to find an organization that would assist in the adoption of a 12-year old boy. Although the child had a religious background, none of the major denominations would assist in his adoption. The officer said, ‘His case had been reported to me because he had been a truant. I tried for a year to find an agency that would care for this needy youngster. Neither Catholic, Protestant, nor Jewish institutions would take him because he came from a denomination they did not recognize. I could do nothing for him.’ If the principles of Christian love had prevailed in the Bronx in 1952, perhaps a good home could have been found for that young, mixed-up lad. In fact, providing a better environment for him might have changed history. For, you see, the boy was Lee Harvey Oswald, who later assassinated President John F. Kennedy, causing grief to the nation and the world.”
In Isaiah 38:17, we read, “You have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption.” The Hebrew word for “lovingly” is chasaq, and means the following:

1. “To join or fasten together.” As we are joined and fastened together with God in love, we are to have the same connection with others.
2. “To be attached, to cleave.” This is to love with warm affection.
3. “To delight in doing, to please.” True love delights in doing good to others. It always builds, never tears down.
4. “Spokes.” Spokes connect the rim with the nave or hub. The Lord is the center, and we are the spokes coming out to take His love to others.
The early Church always lovingly cared for the poor, sick, distressed, helpless, and those for whom no one else cared. In the days of the terrible Decian persecution in Rome, the Roman authorities broke into a Christian Church. Their intentions were to loot the treasures which they believed the Church possessed. The Roman prefect demanded from Laurentius, the deacon: “Show me your treasures at once!” Laurentius, pointing at the widows and orphans who were being fed, the sick who were being nursed, and the poor who were being supplied, said, “These are the treasures of the Church.”
“The self-sacrificing love of Christ, His humility, meekness, and gentleness, manifested in daily life, are the most perfect fruit of the Spirit. They are the true proof that a man is spiritual” (Andrew Murray).
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654



Helen Keller, shortly before her sixtieth birthday, expressed pity for the real unseeing, for those who have eyes, yet do not see. Her life of physical blindness had given her a spiritual insight which enabled her to enjoy life in all its fullness. She said, “If the blind put their hand in God’s, they find their way more surely than those who see, but have not faith or purpose.”
In his book, Mighty Faith, J. Oswald Sanders lists “The Facets Of Faith.” They are:
1. Faith is not merely an act, but a series of acts. It is a maintained attitude of the heart, an unquestioned obedience.
2. Faith is the soul’s perpetual Amen to God’s everlasting Yea.
3. Faith’s chief occupation is the obtaining of the promises of God.
4. Faith is ever discovering what God is able to do in the face of all opposition and difficulties.
5. The oftener we act in faith, the easier it becomes to trust God.
6. Doubt is a symptom of soul disease. When the soul is healthy, we believe without thinking of faith.
7. The heroes of faith staked everything on God, and history proved them right.
8. Faith is willing to accept what it cannot understand.
9. Faith does not believe that God is on the side of great battalions.
10. Faith is the assent of the mind, and the consent of the heart.
11. Faith is not an emotion, although emotion may be the result.
12. To doubt any word God has spoken is to cripple faith.
13. Faith is neither encouraged, nor discouraged, by circumstances.
14. Faith is the centrifugal force in its effects – from the faith of those who preach to the faith of those who believe.
15. Faith transforms a way of thinking into a mode of living, creed into character, theory into life.
16. We read in the Scriptures that unbelief evoked the anger of God.
17. To those who are able to undergo the strain of faith, God allows all sorts of disappointments, the death of bright hopes, the removing of earthly friendships…to compel the soul to house itself in Him alone.
18. The measure of our abiding in strength will be the measure of our confiding in the truth and fidelity of God.
19. As the Christian life is begun by faith in God, so it continues by taking God at His Word, and living to prove His Word is true.
20. When faith grows exceedingly, love abounds toward each other. Men of faith are almost always, and equally, men of love. Faith works by love.
Faith is the affirmation and an act
That bids eternal truth to be fact.
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654



A man’s real worth consists not in what he possesses, but in what he is in the inner sanctuary of his own soul

At Oxford University, back in the 1720’s, John and Charles Wesley put a test together, and it cost them most of their friends. When they drew up this test, and gave it to other students, they were called “exhibitionist prigs, ” and some said they were incapable of being ordinary. Here is the twenty-one question test:
1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am a better person that I really am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?
2. Am I honest in all acts and works, or do I exaggerate?
3. Do I tell other people what was told me in confidence? Can I be trusted?
4. Am I a slave to fashion, friends, fads, work, or habits?
5. Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or do I justify my actions, even when I am wrong?
6. Did I live today according to the Bible precepts?
7. Did I allow God’s Word to speak to me today by reading the Bible at least one hour?
8. Am I enjoying prayer?
9. When did I last speak to someone with the objective of my conversation being to lead that person to a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ?
10. Are there contacts I make for the sake of business or entertainment only, or do I minister Christ to everyone for the glory of God?
11. Do I pray about the money I spend?
12. Do I go to bed on time, and do I get up on time?
13. Do I knowingly disobey God in anything, which means that I have rebellion in my heart?
14. Do I insist upon doing something at the prompting of my conscience, even though no one else really cares?
15. Am I defeated in any part of my life? Am I jealous, impure, critical, touchy, irritable, or distrustful?
16. How do I spend my spare time, and do my spare-time activities honor God?
17. Am I proud?
18. Do I thank God that I am not as other people, and think myself more significant than other people? (See question 17).
19. Is there anyone whom I fear, hate, resent, or criticize? If so, what am I doing about it?
20. Do I grumble and complain easily and often?
21. Is Christ real to me, so that I do all that I do for His glory?
“There is no aristocracy of blood, only of character. A man’s real worth consists not in what he possesses, but in what he is in the inner sanctuary of his own soul” (Rev. Oliver G. Wilson).
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654



He that would govern others must first be lord of himself, and he only is lord of himself who is consciously and habitually the servant of God


Leighton Ford stated, “True leadership means to receive power from God, and to use it under God’s rule to serve people in God’s way.”
In Psalm 47:9, is the declaration, “The shields of the earth belong to God.” The word “shields” means “magistrates.” Webster defines “magistrates” in this way: “A civil officer empowered to administer and enforce the law: the President of the United States is sometimes called the first (or chief) magistrate.” The Septuagint translates it, “The strong ones of the earth.” The idea is that all the rulers of the earth belong to God, serving under His authority and are His.
They are set forth by a double relation:
1. Upward – “They belong to God.” They derive their dignity only by being subject to Him. Deuteronomy 17:19 says that they are to have a reverent trust in God, and 2 Samuel 23:3 instructs that they are to rule in the fear of God. God said of Pharaoh, “I have raised you up” (Exodus 9:16). Nebuchadnezzer, the king of Babylon, is defined by God as “My servant” (Jeremiah 25:9), and Christ warned Pilate, “You have no power at all against Me unless it had been given to you from above” (John 19:11). Sir Robert Peel, twice the Prime Minister of England, was found one day praying over a bundle of letters. His friend apologized for disturbing him in his private devotions. “No, ” said Peel, “these are my public devotions. I was just giving the affairs of the state into the hands of God, for I cannot manage them myself.”
2. Downward – “The shields of the earth.” Their duty is to serve and protect the people with character and integrity. When little Wilhemina was crowned Queen of Holland, the happy little girl, too young to realize the gravity of the occasion, with thousands of people cheering her, was unable to take it all in and asked, “Mother, do all these people belong to me?” Her mother smiled and said, “No, my dear child, you belong to all these people! ”
“He that would govern others must first be lord of himself, and he only is lord of himself who is consciously and habitually the servant of God” (Alexander Maclaren).
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654



Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”

In my distress I prayed to the Lord and He answered me and rescued me


Several years ago, a sad accident took the life of a sixteen-year-old farm boy. He was getting cattle silage from a trench silo when a pile about twelve feet high fell on him, burying him. Before anyone knew of his trouble, and before he could dig his way out, the lad died of suffocation. Figuratively speaking, life’s problems and pressures can likewise be suffocating.
In 1 Kings 19:4, we read of the prophet Elijah, “He sat down under a juniper tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, ‘It is enough! ’ Up to this point, his ministry had been one of miracles and noticeable accomplishments. However, he now escapes to Mount Horeb, suffering from the agony of discouragement, and he asks God to let him die. The late C. M. Ward said, “There are times like that in every life.”
In Psalm 38:14, we read of a time in David’s journey when he felt he was not going to make it, that he was at his emotional end, and about to fall. He expressed his feelings, “And in whose mouth is no response.” This phrase means “a man who has no arguments left.” At the end of his life, John Knox, the great Scottish reformer, lost heart, withdrew from public life, and wrote despairingly: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit and put an end to this miserable life, for justice and truth are not to be found among the sons of men. Signed: John Knox, with deliberate mind, to his God.”
Morris H. Chapman, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, reflected on the 23rd Psalm: “One of a sheep’s greatest dangers is a condition called ‘a cast sheep.’ The cast sheep is a sheep which has fallen on its back with its feet straight up in the air, and cannot get up on its own power. If the shepherd fails to restore the sheep, the sheep is vulnerable to attack, loses circulation in its legs and air to its lungs. Without restoration by the shepherd, the sheep will suffocate and die. The shepherd not only restores the weakened sheep to an upright position by gently supporting it and by nursing its wounds, but the shepherd also places the sheep on the right path, heading in the right direction.”
“In my distress I prayed to the Lord and He answered me and rescued me” (Psalm 118:5, The Living Bible).
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832), considered by many to be the greatest German writer, stated, “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”
In 1Timothy 2:1 – 3, we are given a priority of the Church. Paul wrote to the young pastor, Timothy, “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.”
The following is an excellent prayer for those who choose to obey Paul’s exhortation:
“Heavenly Father, I thank you for our country, our Constitution, and our leaders. I pray for our President and for every elected and appointed official who serves with him.
I pray that you will build a wall of protection around the marriage and family of every national, state, and local official.
I pray that You will give them the wisdom and the courage to uphold our Constitution which established a republic based on Your absolute laws; not a democracy based on the changing whims of human reasoning.
I pray that You will destroy Satan’s deceptive lie that we can be “as gods, ” deciding for ourselves what is right and what is wrong.
O Lord, may our leaders cast down every law, policy, and personal example which weakens marriages, families, or Your moral standards.
I pray that our leaders will understand and follow the principles of Your Word. May they realize that all authority comes from You, not the voters, and that one day they will stand before You to give an account of the power You gave to them.
I base this prayer on the promise of Your Word, that if I will humble myself, pray, seek Your face, and turn from my wicked ways, then You will hear from heaven, forgive my sin, and heal my land.
In the Name and through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.”
“We go down to our knees, or we go down to oblivion” (Leonard Ravenhill).
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654



Billy Sunday, the flamboyant evangelist of the early 1900’s, related this story of a well-known village atheist who was seen running towards a burning church building, intent on assisting others in extinguishing the flames. A neighbor, observing him, exclaimed, “This is something new for you! I never saw you going to church before.” The atheist replied, “Well, this is the first time I have ever seen a church on fire.”
The Psalmist inquired of God, “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? ” The Hebrew word for “revive” is chayah and has several meanings:
1. “To live, to remain alive.” We can appreciate the sexton who rang the funeral bell by mistake just before the regular preaching service. “It makes no difference, ” he said, “the church is dead anyway.”
2. “To live again, to be revived.” The following story could be expressed about any denomination or fellowship. John Wesley was once asked if he was fearful that the Methodist church in America would cease to exist. “Never! ” he replied. “But, ” he added, “I am fearful that it will cease to exist as a movement with power and godliness, and become only a church with a form of godliness, denying the power thereof.”
3. “To become well, to recover from sickness.” Leonard Ravenhill wrote, “At two-o’clock one morning, a man called me, and tearfully sobbed, “Ravenhill, I am reading Why Revival Tarries, and I found out three things: my nation is sick, my church is sick, and I am sick.”
4. “Lively, vigorous, strong.” Vance Havner declared, “The business of the Church is to demonstrate God.”
5. “Flourishing, prosperous.” The same Billy Sunday said, “Churches don’t need new members half as much as they need the old bunch made over.”
6. “Fresh.” Charles G. Finney declared, “Revival is nothing else than a new beginning of obedience to God.”
D. L. Moody said, “Every great movement of God can be traced back to a kneeling figure! ” In 1904, the country of Wales experienced a remarkable revival. Thousands of people were introduced to Christ in a period of nine months, and the results were dramatic! A major reason was because the Welsh people possessed what is described as “the wail of the soul”—a continuous cry for revival. They placed godly pursuits above all else.
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654
“ the delight of life is to be led by the Spirit, not driven by the flesh.”

The Jewish tradition teaches that every child is shaped by competing influences: the yetserha-ra, the selfish or evil urge, and the yester tov, the inclination to do good. But by the time the boy turns 13 or a girl 12, the ages by which Jews believe children become accountable, the yetser tov should control the child’s yetser ha-ra. The ancient sage Rabbi Isaac said of the evil yetser: “At first, it is a wayfarer and a lodger. At last, it becomes the master of the house! ”
In Proverbs 29:21, we read, “He who pampers his servant from childhood, will have him as a son in the end.” Some writers have applied this proverb to the pampering of “the flesh.” It is supposed to be dealt with through self-denial, and brought under the control of the Holy Spirit. However, if gratified and unrestrained, it gets the upper hand, and, like a spoiled servant, dictates and controls. A veteran pastor wisely wrote, “ the delight of life is to be led by the Spirit, not driven by the flesh.”
Galatians 5:17 reveals, “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” D. L. Moody acknowledged, “When I was converted, I made this mistake: I thought the battle was already mine, the victory already won, the crown already in my grasp. I thought the old things had passed away, that all things had become new, and that my old, corrupt nature, the old life, was gone. But I found out, after serving Christ for a few months, that conversion was only like enlisting in the army that there was a battle at hand.”
Martin Luther’s co-worker, Melancthon, once wrote, “Old Adam is too strong for Melancthon! ” One woman stated to her friend, “Betty, your lawn is full of Creeping Charlie. It’s coming right under your fence from your neighbors. It will soon flower and ruin your yard! ” Betty confessed, “I had gone to my yard every morning, but I went to look at the roses. Now I took another look, and there it was a dark purple plague running close to the ground. I called the lawn spraying service, and the man said ‘Not even spraying kills Creeping Charlie. You have to get down on your hands and knees and pull it out’! ”
Galatians 5:24, “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654


When I could not see my way clearly, I prayed for more light. Dear Lord, you be the needle and I will be the thread. You go first, and I will follow wherever you may lead! ”

Samuel Morse, the inventor of the telegraph, was once asked the question, “When you were doing your experiments on the telegraph, did you ever come to a place where you did not know what to do next? ” “Oh, yes, more than once, ” replied Mr. Morse. “At such times, what did you do? ” they further inquired. The inventor answered, “That is a matter of which the public knows nothing. When I could not see my way clearly, I prayed for more light.”
We are told in Psalm 37:23, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.” “Steps” mean “his course of life; the way in which he goes.” There is nothing in the Hebrew for “good, ” so the original reads “The steps of a man.” The word for “man” is geber, meaning, “a strong man, a conqueror.” The idea is that even the most powerful man must be guided and supported by the Lord. When this is the case, “He delights in his way.” God is pleased with him, and he lives under the blessings, care, and favor of God.
In Luke 14:15, Christ said, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.” He used a word to denote the happy estate of those who trust God. The word here translated “blessed” is from two Greek words meaning “not, ” and “fate, ” and “death.” The intimation is that such persons are not subject to the caprices of fate or death. Adam Clarke said, “From this definition, we may learn that the person whom Christ terms happy is the one who is not under the influence of fate or chance, but is governed by an all-wise Providence, having every step directed to the attainment of immortal glory.” This is the thought of the Psalmist in 48:14, “He will be our guide even to death” or “forever.” Remember, “Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.”
A native of the Congo prayed this way, “Dear Lord, you be the needle and I will be the thread. You go first, and I will follow wherever you may lead! ”
“But He made His own people to go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock” (Psalm 78:52).
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654


What if no one follows you? I’ll never notice because I won’t look back.”


C. H. Spurgeon stated, “The best evidence of God’s presence is the devil’s growl.” From John Wesley’s journal we have this paraphrase, “ May 5th: A.M.: Preached in St. Ann’s; was asked not to come back. P.M: preached at St. John’s; deacons said, ‘Get out and stay out.’ May 12th A.M.: preached at St. Andrew’s; elders called a special meeting and said not to return. P.M.: preached on the street and was run off. May 26th A.M.: preached in a field; got chased by a bull that was set loose. June 2nd A.M: preached at the edge of town; police moved me. P.M: preached in a pasture and 10,000 people came! ”
Paul admonished us to “be steadfast and immovable” (1 Corinthians 15:58) meaning to be “settled, firm, letting nothing shake our faith or move us away.” J. Oswald Sanders wrote, “It is significant that the word ‘persecute’ in Philippians three, sixteen is the same as ‘press on’ in Philippians three, fourteen.” Seventeen year old Joan of Arc was determined to right the human injustices in France. When asked, “What if no one follows you?” She answered, “I’ll never notice because I won’t look back.”
In Luke 18:1, Christ warned of becoming “faint.” The Greek word for faint means “relax, become weak or weary in faith, give up the struggle, and no longer wait for completion.” Johannes Tauler, the German theologian (1300 – 1361) declared, “If a man loves God truly, and has no will except to do God’s will, the whole force of the Rhine River may rush at him, and yet will not disturb him or interrupt his peace.”
In Zephaniah 3:16 and 17, we read, “Zion, let not your hands be slack. The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save.” Alexander was informed that there was a formidable army of hundreds of thousands of Persians prepared to defeat him. He answered, “Yet, one butcher fears not myriads of sheep.” “Ah! ” said another, “when the Persians draw their bows, their arrows are so numerous that they darken the sun.” Alexander responded, “It will be fine to fight in the shade! ”
Remember, “Faith makes things possible; it does not make them easy” (Vernie W. Reed).
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654



The story of Luther and a revengeful enemy sets forth the evil of sin, and how to avoid it. Luther’s enemy was seeking an opportunity to stab the Reformer, but Luther received a portrait of the would-be murderer, so that, wherever he went, he was on guard against the assassin. Using himself as an illustration, Luther said, “God knows that there are sins that would destroy us, and He has therefore given us portraits of them in His Word, so that, wherever we see them, we may say, ‘That is a sin that would stab me; I must beware of that evil thing, and keep out of its way’.”
In Proverbs 6:16, we read, “These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him.” The Hebrew word for “hates” means, “to hate personally, odious, ” and “abomination” is defined, “something disgusting, and an abhorrence.” Seven things are listed in verses 17 – 19:
1.THE SIN OF THE EYE. “A proud look.” This reads literally, “haughty or lofty eyes, ” meaning supreme disdain for everything and everybody.
2.THE SIN OF THE TONGUE. “A lying tongue.” A lying tongue is hateful to God, because He is the God of truth.
3.THE SIN OF THE HAND. “Hands that shed innocent blood.” This means to inflict pain and cruelty, a murderer, and cruel disposition.
4.THE SIN OF THE MIND. “A heart that devises wicked plans.” There are evil thoughts in all men’s hearts, but the devising and fabricating of them, making the heart the devil’s workshop, is the mark of utter depravity and wickedness, and is abhorrent to God.
5.THE SIN OF THE FEET. “Feet that are swift in running to evil.” Some not only do evil, but they do it with eagerness.
6.THE SIN OF THE HEART. “A false witness that speaks lies.” A low, mean, and contemptible character, whose very breath is loaded with falsehood,
7.THE SIN OF THE SPIRIT. “And one who sows discord among brethren.” A. T. Robertson, that excellent Greek scholar of years ago, rendered the first part of 1 Corinthians 3:17 as “church wreckers God will wreck.” God warns that He will deal a serious blow to those who are out to wreck a local church.
Roy Hession stated, “We do not lose peace with God over another person’s sin, but only over our own. Only when we are willing to be cleansed, there will we have peace.”
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654
OR PHONE 727 – 868 – 2089


David Wilkerson testified, “My wife, Gwen, was thirty-four years old the first time cancer was found in her. We were devastated when we got the news. We’d just moved our family to New York so I could start a ministry to street gangs. Now, as I walked the streets, preaching to gang members and addicts, I had to fight back tears of anguish and fear. But the Lord continually reassured me, ‘I am faithful, David. I won’t abandon you or your loved ones.’ God walked with me through that frightening ordeal with cancer, and every one that has followed.”
In Isaiah 49:14 – 16, we have a picture of despondency during a time of severe trial. Four helpful truths’ are presented:
1. THE PROBLEM OF QUESTIONING GOD’S CONCERN. “But Zion said, ‘The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me’.” John Boyle O’Reilly said, “Doubt is the brother devil to despair.” However, “A contradiction in our minds does not prove a contradiction in the Word!”
2. THE PARENTAL AFFECTION OF GOD. “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you.” The attachment of a mother to her infant child is the strongest attachment of nature, thus, God could no more forget His people than that a mother could forget her own child. Matthew Henry wrote, “Believers, in their despondency, are ready to say, ‘God has forsaken His church and forgotten the sorrows of His people’. But, we have no more reason to question His promise and grace, than we have to question His providence and justice.”
3. THE PROMISE OF GOD’S CONSTANT CARE. “See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands.” The word “inscribed” is a reference to tattooing, speaking of deep personal concern. Zephaniah 3:17 tells us that, “He will rest in His love.” The Hebrew word for “rest” here means God hasn’t a single question concerning His love for us. In other words, He has fixed, or settled, his love for us, and He will never take it away.
4. THE PREDESTINED PURPOSE OF GOD. “Your walls are continually before Me.”“Your walls” speak of His plans and purpose for our lives, and He will certainly complete what He has promised.
Remember, “It is impossible for that man to despair who remembers that His Helper is omnipotent!” (Jeremy Taylor).
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654

Blotted life is not necessarily a useless life


A friend once showed John Ruskin, the English poet, author, and artist of the 19th century, a costly handkerchief on which a blot of ink had been made. “Nothing can be done with it now, ” said the owner. “It is absolutely worthless.” Ruskin made no reply as he carried it away with him. Later, he sent it back, and to the surprise of his friend, in a most skillful and artistic way, Ruskin had made a design in India ink, using the ugly blot as a center for the design. Lesson: A blotted life is not necessarily a useless life. Christ can make a beautiful life if it is yielded to Him!
In Galatians 6:1, Paul wrote, “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself, lest you also be tempted.” The words “overtaken in any trespass” speaks of a Christian who has sinned. We are told to “restore” them, meaning to “relocate.” Also, it is a medical term meaning “to set broken bones and a dislocation.” Just as a dislocated arm is useless, but is still part of the body, so is the Christian who has fallen into sin.
The expression “lost sheep” used throughout the Bible, comes from the pastoral experience of shepherds in Palestine. Fred H. Wight in Manners and Customs of Bible Lands, points out that among the Oriental shepherds great care was taken to keep their sheep from straying from the flock. It is said that sheep, when by themselves, are “utterly helpless, ” and, in such circumstances, they lose all sense of direction and of locality. Hence, the psalmist said, “I have gone astray like a lost sheep, seek Your servant, ” Psalm 119:176.
After Jonah failed and ran from the call of God, we read, “Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah THE SECOND TIME, ” Jonah 3:1 (Italics and capitalization mine). He is the God of the second chance, and a third chance if you need it! F. B. Meyer wrote, “When the soul has spent itself unduly, He recruits it. When diseased, He heals it. When penitent, He puts it back whence it fell.”
Among the first glimpse we get of our God is that of a Seeker. In Genesis 3:9, He inquired, “Adam, where are you? ” In commenting on this question to his Bible class, a teacher said, “You can never be a preacher if you read it as though God were a policeman. Read it as though God were a broken-hearted Father looking for a lost child! ”
Psalm 23:3, “He restores my soul.”
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654


By David Arnold

The following ad was printed in the Lost and Found section of a newspaper termed, “Classifieds”: “LOST: MY WILL TO LIVE. If you find it, please return it to me.”
We read in Proverbs 13:12, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” This speaks of both HOPE DELAYED and HOPE OBTAINED.
HOPE DELAYED: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” Years ago, a small town in Maine was chosen as a proposed site of a hydroelectric plant. Since a dam would be built across the river, the town would be submerged. When the project was approved, the people were given several months notice to relocate. During the time before the dam was built, an interesting thing developed. All improvements stopped, no repairs were made on buildings, roads, or sidewalks. Slowly the town became shabbier and shabbier. Long before the dam was completed and the waters came, the town was uncared for and abandoned even though the people had not yet moved. One citizen explained, “Where there is no faith in the future, there is no power in the present.” Norman Cousins said, “Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”
HOPE OBTAINED: “But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” Hebrews 6:19 describes hope as “an anchor of the soul.” Someone stated, “God makes a promise. Faith believes it. Hope anticipates it. Patience quietly awaits it.”
Through the prophet Habakkuk, God reassures, “For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry” (2:3). Malcolm Muggeridge wrote, “In the turmoil of life without, and black despair within, it is always possible to turn aside and wait on God. He will always turn up.” The English city of Coventry was made famous by the devastation it suffered in a Nazi air raid. Only the tower remained of the city’s great Cathedral. One morning, an inscription was found at the base of the tower, written there by an unknown person during the night. It was the familiar passage from Haggai 2:9, “The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, says the Lord of hosts.”
Remember, “Nourish hope. Hope is the flame that rekindles our fire, and casts out darkness.”
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654

It is natural to resist change

By David Arnold


In London, over 200 years ago, the umbrella was first introduced to the public. Religious groups were outraged, and tried to have the new contraption banned. Their argument was simple: “Man is interfering with heavenly design by not getting wet.” It is natural to resist change.
Some things should never be changed, such as the truth of the Gospel. A Swedish proverb says, “Don’t throw away the old bucket until you know whether the new one holds water.” In Proverbs 24:21, we are exhorted, “Do not associate with those given to change,” meaning, “malcontents who want to overthrow the existing order and want change for change-sake.”
However, Christ Himself declared in Matthew 9:17, that to put new wine into old wineskins is disastrous. New wine is still fermenting, and old wineskins are dry, rigid, and brittle. The pressure of new wine fermenting would burst those skins. New wine must be placed into soft new skins, flexible and pliable. Giuseppe Mazzini (1805 – 1872), an Italian patriot and politician, who helped bring about the modern Italian state in place of several separate states, said, “Slumber not in the tents of your fathers. The world is advancing. Advance with it.”
The writer Mark says of Jesus, “On the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught, ” Mark 1:21. The word for “taught” means that He adapted His method of delivery to the place, time, audience, and subject matter. The late Vance Havner stated, “We must be on our guard against the dull, enervating atmosphere around us. It is easy to adjust to the prevailing temperature. What a race of chameleons we are! The early church did not try to achieve peace of mind by accepting the status quo, they changed it.”
Joe McKeever, in his article The Trouble With Old Wineskins, wrote, “The problem with wineskins is that they age and become dry and brittle, resistant and unyielding, stiff and set in their ways. That marvelous old hymn “The Old Rugged Cross” was written in 1913. It was new then. But church people welcomed it and sang it, until it became a great old standard. What if they had said, ‘We don’t like these new songs’! We’d still be singing the Psalms in Latin. Friend, in heaven we shall be singing ‘a new song’ (Revelation 5:9).”
The New Yorker once ran a cartoon showing a computer talking to its owner, and saying, “I can be upgraded. Can you? ”
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654

Opinions cost only breath. Convictions may cost blood.”

By David Arnold


There is a story of a fellow in the Civil War days who would not fight for either the North or the South. Finally, he ventured forth wearing a yankee coat and rebel britches, and was fired upon from both directions. This is the life of a man who is a compromiser, with no solid convictions.
In Daniel 1:8, we read how Daniel “purposed in his heart, ” meaning that he “stood erect and planted himself” against what was not good for him. Twice David expressed, “My heart is steadfast, ” defined as “established” (Psalms 57:7 and 108:1). The same word is used of the man who fears the Lord in Psalm 112:7, stating, “His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”
Four days before his assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “On some positions, cowardice asks the question, is it expedient? And the expedience comes along and asks the question – is it polite? Vanity asks the question – is it popular? Conscience asks the question, is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, not polite, not popular – but one must take it, because it is right.”
Luke writes of Christ, “Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face ( ‘turned resolutely in a certain direction’) to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51). Though knowing the consequences, He was committed to doing the will of His Father. J. Oswald Sanders wrote, “A small man may entertain strong opinions; a great man cherishes strong convictions. Opinions cost only breath. Convictions may well cost blood.”
Reverend Peter Marshall was, at one time, chaplain of the United States Senate. In one of his prayers, he said, “Give us clear vision, that we may know where to stand and what to stand for – because unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything.”
1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654


By David Arnold


A newspaper cartoonist sent an e-mail to twenty of his acquaintances. Each message was the same, and it contained only one word, “Congratulations! ” But, as far as he knew, not one of them had accomplished anything in particular worth congratulating. Within a few days, he had either an e-mail or phone call of thanks from everyone on the list. And everyone of them mentioned something they had done that seemed deserving of praise. Most of them said, “I was really surprised you found out.” Lesson: Everyone likes to be complimented.
In Proverbs 25:11, we read, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Apples of gold in a framework of silver represent sculptured work for the decoration of expensive buildings. They were objects of great beauty. Equally lovely are the words of appreciation spoken at the proper time. It has been correctly stated, “There is in the world far more hunger for love and appreciation than there is for bread.”
Proverbs 15:4 begins with, “A wholesome (healing) tongue is a tree of life.” A factory in North Carolina sponsored a radio music show, and ran unusual commercials. They made mention of outstanding employees. Pride raised by hearing their virtues praised to the public caused the workers to attack their chores with greater zeal, and increased productivity by 125 percent! Lord Chesterfield suggested to his son that he follow the example of the Duke de Novernois: “You will perceive that he makes people pleased with him by making them first pleased with themselves.”
Proverbs 15:4 continues with, “But perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” A young mother told the following story: “My little boy often misbehaves, and I have to scold him. But one day he had been especially good. That night, after I tucked him in bed and started downstairs, I heard him crying. I found his head buried in the pillow. Between sobs, he asked, ‘Mommy, haven’t I been a pretty good boy today? ’ that question went through me like a knife, ” the mother said. “I had been quick to correct him when he did wrong, but when he had behaved, I hadn’t noticed. I had put him to bed without a word of praise.”
“A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how good it is!” Proverbs 15:23.
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up

By David Arnold


Rafael Solano, discouraged and physically exhausted, sat on a boulder in a dry river bed, and expressed to his two companions, “I’m through. There’s no use going on any longer. See this stone? It makes 999,999 I’ve picked up and not a diamond so far. If I pick up another, it will make a million – but what’s the use? I’m quitting.” This occurred in 1942, when the three men had spent months prospecting for diamonds in a Venezuelan water course. They had worked, stooping, gathering pebbles, hoping for a single sign of a diamond. But they never thought of quitting until Solano said, “I’m through.” Glumly, one of the other men said, “Pick up another and make it a million.” “All right, ” Solano said, and bending down, placed his hand on a pile of stones, and pulled one out. It was almost the size of a hen’s egg. “Here it is, ” he declared, “the last one.” For that millionth stone, Harry Winston, the New York jeweler, paid Rafael Solano $ 200,000.00. Named, The Liberator, it was the largest diamond ever found!
In Luke 18:1, Christ admonished us “not to faint.” The Greek word for lose heart or faint means “relax, become weak or weary in faith, give up the struggle, no longer wait for completion.” One translation reads, “and not cave in.” Harriet Beecher Stowe said, “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you until it seems you cannot hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time when the tide will turn.”
In John 5:1 – 9, we have the story of the lame man at the pool of Bethesda. For 38 years, he had been there, hoping to get into the water at the right moment and be healed. It has been estimated that this paralyzed man could have made several thousand attempts during those 38 years. Think of being disappointed thousands of times! Yet, he stayed with it, not giving up, and, eventually, he heard those welcomed words, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” Thomas Edison observed, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
After a great snowstorm, a small boy began to shovel a path through a large snow bank in front of his grandmother’s door. He had only a small, toy shovel to use. A passerby asked him, “How do you expect to get through that drift with that shovel?” “By keeping at it, ” was the lad’s cheerful reply.
Psalm 126:6, “Those who sow in tears, WILL REAP in joy! ”
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654
A Deadly Disease of the Spirit.”


By David Arnold


Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.” Remember, “Nourish hope. Hope is the flame that rekindles our fire, and casts out darkness.”

An article appeared in a religious publication entitled, “A Deadly Disease of the Spirit.” It stated, “Believers are particularly vulnerable to a ravaging spiritual disease. This disease can make demons appear more powerful than angels; it reduces the Word of God to mere paper and ink; and it shrinks God to the size of man. This highly contagious disease has divided congregations and choked spiritual vision. It has been known to terminate dynamic ministries. If the afflicted person finally gives up, he becomes another fatality of this disease’s final stages. The disease is ‘discouragement’—with all its disguises removed. Discouragement is devastating. No one ever seems to turn from following Christ without first being weakened by this virus. And when discouragement is accepted and entertained, it rapidly becomes the sin of unbelief no one is immune from this virus.”
In Zephaniah 3:16, we have the admonishment, “Let not your hands be slack.” The meaning is, “to make less confident or hopeful and to dishearten, ” i.e. “discouragement.” Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:1, “Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.” To “lose heart” was used of a soldier who became weak and fainthearted in battle and turned back. Norman Cousins said, “Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”
Several things contribute towards discouragement:
1. Physical and emotional exhaustion. A tired body can easily result in a depressed soul. This is why Christ said, “Come apart and rest awhile, ” Mark 6:30.
2. Demonic attack. Daniel 7:25 warns of how the enemy seeks to “wear out the saints of the Most High.” The Hebrew word used here for “wear out” means to “mentally tire, to make the mind weary.”
3. Disappointed hopes. Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when dreams come true at last, there is life and joy” (TLB).
4. People. Speaking of the ten spies of Israel, the Bible says, “They discouraged the hearts of the children of Israel, ” Numbers 32:9.
5. The daily routine. Numbers 21:4 reveals “And the soul of the people became discouraged on the way.” Dr. George W. Truett told his congregation, “The words ‘groove’ and ‘grave’ are from the same root – keeping right on the groove, in the grave.”
However, Jesus, in Luke 18:1, said that we can shield ourselves from “losing heart” through prayer and communion with God.” Paul exhorted, “But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.” Remember the words of Longfellow, “The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide! ”
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654

By David Arnold


In ancient Rome, the gladiator was a slave who fought in the arena to a bloody death. If he was agile and skilled enough, and lived long enough, the emperor might grant him his freedom. With great pomp and ceremony, he would kneel before the Caesar, and be touched on his shoulder with a beautifully crafted wooden sword. He then would be given this sword as a sign of a free man. However, this wooden sword was useless to him, serving only as a symbol.
The Apostle Paul referred to the Bible as the Sword of the Spirit in Ephesians 6:17 and 18. The Word of God serves as a weapon in both offensive and defensive encounters. Hebrews 4:12 says, For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. However, unless it is read, meditated on, and applied to daily living, it serves no better than an ineffective wooden sword.
Abraham Lincoln, in a letter to a friend, said, I am profitably engaged in reading the Bible. Take all of this Book upon reason that you can and the balance upon faith and you will live and die a better man. Dr. G. Campbell Morgan’s biographer said of the great expositor’s father: He lived with a Bible in his hand and his face toward a better world.
Psalm 119, with its 176 verses, tells us all about what God’s Word has to offer. Here are a few of them:
1. The Word cleanses, How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to your word, verse 9.
2. The Word gives direction, Your testimonies also are my delight and my counselors, verse 24.
3. The Word provides encouragement, Your statues have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage, verse 54. D. L. Moody testified, I know the Bible is inspired because it inspires me.
4. The Word is forever founded, Forever, O Lord, your word is settled in heaven, verse 89. As life changes and society shifts on uncertain foundations, God’s Word is settled forever.
5. The Word is truth, Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and your law is truth, verse 142.
Arthur W. Pink so ably stated, Unless our hearts are affected and our lives molded by God’s Word, we are no better off than a starving man with a cook book in his hand. Remember, If your Bible is in good shape, you probable aren’t!
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654
Repentance is to leave the sins we loved before,

By David Arnold


Ridiculing the doctrine of repentance and forgiveness, Robert G. Ingersoll once said: “If I rob Mr. X and God forgives me, how will that help Mr. X? ” An old man in the crowd answered, “Well, even if you can’t pay him back what you took from him, it would still keep you from robbing him again.”
The Standard Dictionary defines repentance as “A sincere and thorough changing of the mind and disposition in regard to sin, involving a sense of personal guilt and helplessness, apprehension of God’s mercy, a strong desire to escape or be saved from sin, and voluntary abandonment of it.”
Charles Spurgeon told his congregation, “Men always like the religion of ceremonies, because it does not need the giving up of their favorite sins.” Rending of clothes in the Orient was a gesture of exclamation or grief. Freeman describes it as follows: “They would take a knife and holding the blade downward, give the upper garment a cut on the right side, and then rend it a hands breadth.” This is what Joel alluded to when he demanded “Rend your heart and not your garments” (2:13). Vance Havner reminded us, “Real repentance is not merely turning from this particular sin and that, but turning from having our own way and letting God have His way.”
A verb form for repentance is “metanoia.” It means “a complete change of mind, a new direction of will, and an altered purpose in life.” Tony Evans stated that repentance means that we are to “get off on the next exit, cross over the overpass and go back down on the other side.” During the Welsh Revival of 1904 – 1905, a village doctor remarked to a friend, “Well, the revival is doing me good anyway.”“Do you mean that you have more patients? ” his friend inquired. “Not at all,” the doctor answered; “but large amounts of money was due me, which I had written off my books as hopelessly bad debts, have been paid to me since the revival began.”
“Repentance is to leave
The sins we loved before,
And show that we in earnest grieve,
By doing so no more.”
Proverbs 28:13, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida

Let love be without hypocrisy.”

By David Arnold


Every day for 20 years, Antonio wrote a love poem to his wife. At a divorce hearing, though, he revealed that he didn’t compose these verses to celebrate the joys of marriage, but to pacify his domineering wife. The judge granted the divorce, and declared that the marriage had nothing more to it than a “look of love.”
In Romans 12:9, we are exhorted, “Let love be without hypocrisy.” That is, do not try to counterfeit this love by seeming to love a Christian brother, and yet not be willing to put that love into action. The same word is used in 2 Corinthians 6:6 and 1 Peter 1:22, where it is translated “unfeigned” or “sincere.” The love that wears a mask and merely shows on the face is only external. That is feigned love. Ours should be unfeigned.
Hebrews 13:1 states, “Let brotherly love continue.” The phrase brotherly love is not quite adequate because the termination ly means “like, ” and the reference is not to “brotherly love, ” but to actual “brother-love.” We are not to love as though we were brethren, but because we ARE brethren!
Accurately it has been stated, “Where love is thick, faults are thin.” Relationships among people often undergo a slow breakdown. Long-hidden resentment finally comes to the surface as pretenses drop away. Whether in marriage or in our relationships with fellow believers, resentment and separation are sure to surface if love is insincere.
Robert McCheyne said, “If you love an absent person, you love their picture. Here is a sailor’s wife. Every day she takes out his picture and looks at it. It has imperfections, but it is like him. Now believers are the picture of Christ in this world. The spirit of Christ dwells in them. They are full of imperfections, still they are copies – and if you truly love Christ, then we will love the children of God.”
A policeman stopped a motorist for running a red light. As the officer approached, the driver broke into a wide grin and pointed to the patrolman’s badge. It was a tin one reading, “Space Police.” The policeman’s four-year-old son had swapped with daddy! The officer displayed a symbol of authority, but it was worthless. Jesus demanded that His followers wear a badge to identify themselves to an unbelieving world. He said, “By this will men know that you are my disciples, if you have love, ” John 13:35.
“Let love be without hypocrisy! ”
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654

By David Arnold


The late C. M. Ward, in one of his Revival time sermons called, “Bruised, ” quoted the following letters from a child, then from a lady facing divorce. The child wrote, “Our mother drinks. I don’t mean just a cocktail at parties. I mean all by herself during the afternoon. Sometimes the woman next door comes in, and they get drunk together. When my sisters and I come home from school, Mom is usually in terrible shape. Most days, she doesn’t make the beds or clean the house. We have to do the housework, or it doesn’t get done. Then I go to the market and beg for credit, so I can have dinner on the table when Dad comes home Please help us.” The woman in divorce court was described by her lawyer as, “haggard and over thin from loss of sleep and food, her eyes dimmed and rimmed with red because there were no more tears, quivering and shaken, although not a finger had been laid on her.” Reverend Ward then asked his worldwide radio audience, “Are you that woman? Are you a living, tormented, bruised soul? ”
Question: Have you been wounded? Husbands and wives can wound viciously in their marriage relationship. Parents can wound their children. David cut Absalom to heart because of his illicit relationship with Bathsheba, a wound that some believe Absalom never did recover from. Growing more resentful and bitter, he sought to destroy his own repentant father. Sadly, as is often the case, he only destroyed himself. Children wound their parents. Esau deliberately married young ladies against his parents’ wishes, and we read in Genesis 26:35, “And they were a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah.” The family relationships can bring deep wounds, as was the case with Joseph and the cruel treatment of his brothers. Sadly, some of the deepest wounds can take place within the church walls!
In Luke 4:18, Christ declared of Himself, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has sent me to heal the broken hearted to set at liberty them that are bruised.” A man who had been severely wounded by others, yet was restored, gave this testimony, “I just crept to the feet of Jesus, and greatly, to my astonishment, He did not scold me – He knew I had been scolded enough. He did not pity me, and He did not give me advice, either. He just put His arms around my neck and loved me. I was a new man! ”
Psalm 147:3, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654

You are not tempted because you are evil; you are tempted because you are human.” Temptation comes to us all, but we can resist if we know the process.

By David Arnold


Dante Alighieri, the Italian Florentine poet, who lived from 1264 to 1321, has an allegorical picture of life as a journey in which a man climbed up a winding mountain road. He begins his journey as a young man. After climbing for a short while, a vicious wolf leaped out of the bushes, and attempts to rip him in pieces. According to Dante, this was the wolf of lust, of physical passion, and represented the major temptation of a young person. As the man climbed higher, reaching “middle life, ” a huge tiger sprang on him. This was the tiger of pride, representing the great temptation of middle age, which is pride of position, reputation, and social standing. Finally, as he approached the top, at the time of “old age, ” a large, hairy-maned lion came bounding after him. The great temptation of later life, money and financial security, is the lion. As he classified these three great temptations, Dante’s point is that there is no level of life where you will be free from temptation.
It has been correctly observed, “You are not tempted because you are evil; you are tempted because you are human.” Temptation comes to us all, but we can resist if we know the process. The seven steps are:
1. The ENTRANCE of the thought. This is not a sin. Everyone has thoughts. Satan works from without to within. In 2 Corinthians 10:3 – 5, Paul spoke of how thoughts in our mind must be dealt with.
2. The ENTERTAINMENT of the thought. This is the first mistake. Some sound advice is, “Kill the serpent, don’t stroke it! ”
3. The EXAMINATION of the thought. This is when we go over the details. We consider and think about how we would do it. Thomas Secker warned, “To pray against temptation, and yet rush into occasions, is to thrust your fingers into the fire, and then pray they might not get burnt.”
4. The ENJOYMENT of the thought. This is the bonding to the thought. An adage from decades ago states it well, “One that stands or walks in slippery places is always exposed to a fall.”
5. The EXPERIENCING of the thought. J. William Chapman once said, “Temptation is the tempter looking through the keyhole into the room where you’re living; sin is your drawing back the bolt and making it possible for him to enter.”
6. The EXCUSING of the sin. This is to pass the blame, without taking responsibility for our choices. A saint of years ago said, “If Satan comes up to my door, I cannot help it; if he lifts the latch, and walks in, I cannot help it. But if I offer him a chair, and begin with him a parley, I put myself altogether in the wrong.”
7. The being ENVELOPED by it. Like in an enclosed envelope, we allow ourselves to become under bondage.
Warning: “The devil has no conscience, and the flesh has no sense! ”
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654


By David Arnold


It is declared by some that there is a distinctive difference in attitude between a dog and a cat. A dog will look up at you and think, “You know, you feed me all this wonderful food. You give me this great house to live in. You treat me with love and respect. You must a god! ” A cat will look up at you and think, “You know, you feed me all this wonderful food. You give me this great house to live in. You treat me with love and respect. I must be a god!” I don’t know if that’s true of dogs and cats, but it is too often true of human nature.
Someone stated, “Pride is the most peculiar disease known to the human family; it makes everyone sick except the one who has it.” Solomon warned in Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
The following list reveals symptoms of pride:
1. Being overly conscious of our self-importance. In Psalm 101:5, God warns, “The one who has a haughty look and a proud heart, him I will not endure.”
2. Having all the answers. Proverbs 3:7 states, “Do not are wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil.”
3. A proud look. From Proverbs 6:16 – 19, we discover that a “proud look” is listed first among the sins God despises.
4. Giving glowing resumes’ about one’s self. Proverbs 27:2, “Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.”
5. Boasting about what we plan to do or accomplish. James 4:13 – 16 gives a stern warning against such an attitude.
6. Loving the praise of men. In Matthew 6:1 – 8, Christ spoke of this, and declared that those guilty of it, will lose their reward in Heaven.
7. More frequent use of “I” and “my.” Isaiah 14:12 – 15, records Satan’s fall. Five times he said, “I will, ” revealing his pride and self-centeredness.
8. Having little concern for others. Paul instructs us, “Let each of you look out, not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4).
9. Crediting oneself with work done for God. King Herod took credit for his accomplishments, ignoring God, and he came to a tragic end. Acts12:21 – 23.
10. Loving titles, rewards, position, recognition, and compensation. In Matthew 23, this is the very thing Christ spoke against, concluding, “But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself, will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted, ” verses 11 and 12.
“God sends no one away empty except those who are full of themselves” (D. L. Moody).
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654


By David Arnold

Les Waas was born two weeks late. Several decades later, he still had not caught up. His kitchen clock read 10:30 for years. He put off shoveling snow until after it had melted, and he raked leaves in the spring. He stated, “If I wait long enough, sometimes they’ll blow onto a neighbor’s lawn.” His wife revealed he was 15 minutes late to his own wedding. To Waas, none of this was a sign of laziness; putting things off was an art he had cultivated since before 1956, when he became founder and president of the Procrastinators Club of America.
Solomon addressed the danger of procrastination, by challenging us with the self-discipline and energy of an insect. In Proverbs 6:6 – 9, he wrote, “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise. Which, having no captain, overseer, or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep?” Charles Spurgeon warned, “Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow! Alas, tomorrow never comes! It is in no calendar except the almanac of fools.”
Longfellow wrote, “Do not delay: the golden moments fly!” In one of the old Greek cities, there stood a statue. Every trace of it is vanished now. But there is still in existence an epigram which gives us an excellent description of it, and as the words are read, it teaches a valuable lesson. The epigram is in the form of a conversation between a traveler and the statue:
“What is thy name, O statue?”
“I’m called OPPORTUNITY.”
“Who made thee?”
“Why art thou on thy toes?”
“To show how quickly I pass by?”
“But why is thy hair so long on thy forehead?”
“That men may seize me when they meet me.”
“Why, then, is thy head so bald behind?”
“To show that when I have once passed, I cannot be caught.”
Henry Ford correctly stated, “You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do!” Proverbs 24:33 and 34, “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest; so shall your poverty come like a prowler, and your need like an armed man.”
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654


By David Arnold

Thomas a’ Kempis observed, “The devil sleepeth not; neither is the flesh as yet dead; therefore, cease not to prepare thyself for the battle; for on thy right hand and on thy left are enemies who never rest.”
In 1 Chronicles 12:1, we read of men who came to David while he was a fugitive from Saul. They are described as helpers in the war, ” then listed by name. “Helpers” means “to surround, protect, and come to the aid of.” These were valiant, brave men, loyal to David, and keenly aware of their adversary and what was at stake.
Countless numbers of “Christians” are “church-goers, ” but fail to be “Kingdom-minded.” In C. S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, one of Satan’s agents on earth, whose assignment is to keep a man from becoming a Christian, is worried because his intended victim has joined the church. However, Screwtape assures his comrade that, “there is no need to despair as long as the victim does not see the Church itself as we see her, spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army of banners. That, I confess, is a spectacle which makes our boldest tempters uneasy.” C. S. Lewis has revealed a great truth: the Christian banner strikes fear into the very heart of hell!
Hebrews 11:32 – 34, speaks of those who “subdued kingdoms, ” and were “valiant in battle.” The words “subdued” and “battle” signify “a desperate contest in war.” In Ephesians, chapter six, Paul describes the Christian walk as “spiritual warfare, ” and admonishes every believer to view himself as a soldier, armed for battle. However, these words, written by Vance Havner, ring true today, “It has been said that, ‘The early church was a company of lay witnesses, but it has become a professional pulpitism financed by lay spectators’.”
In Romans 16, Paul saw his fellow believers as companions, giving their names, and commending them for their faithfulness in laboring together. Furthermore, he referred to the Philippians as “my partners” (Philippians 4:15, The Living Bible). They were “helpers in the war.” R. Whitson Seaman stated, “In the work of the Lord, the mite of each, makes for the might of all.”
In Philippians 1:27, we are admonished to “stand firm in united spirit and purpose, striving side by side and contending with a single mind for the faith” (Amplified Bible). During the Civil War, an old lady, whose house was in the midst of a battle, grabbed a fire poker and took sides. When someone expressed that she could do little with a poker, she replied, “I want them to know which side I’m on! ” Well did Gresham Machen say that “the most important things are not those about which men are agreed, but those for which men will fight.”
Ephesians 6:10 and 11, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God.”
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654


By David Arnold

What would you think about a baseball player who played seven seasons without hitting the ball in fair territory? One of the best players of all time, Hall of Famer, Mickey Mantle, did the equivalent of that. His strikeouts and walks added up to more than 3,400 trips to the plate – seven season’s worth. R. H. Macy failed seven times before his store in New York caught on. Novelist John Creasey got 753 rejection slips before he published 564 books, and Jonas Salk failed two hundred times in his efforts to find a vaccine for polio. Former Chicago Bears head coach, Mike Ditka correctly observed, “Failure isn’t fatal unless you let it be.”
In Isaiah 49:4, we discover that the prophet was battling thoughts of failure. He stated, “ I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and in empty futility.” Yet today, his writings are still influencing a generation. John Calvin, one of the fathers of the Reformation, experienced these same feelings. He said in his dying hour, “All that I have done has been of no value. The wicked will gladly seize on this word. But I repeat it again: all that I have done is of no value, ” yet his work lives on today.
The word “fail” in the Hebrew has various meanings. One is “the light to go out, ” speaking of weariness. Another is “for the eye to be dimmed, ” speaking of allowing our vision to diminish due to the lack of results. Third, “to have a spirit of heaviness, ” meaning “discouragement.” Finally, “to be restrained, ” allowing ourselves to lose our zeal and passion for the work God has called us to. Matthew Henry experienced this. He thought his ministry was a failure, and yet he lives on in book shelves around the world. Our perception of things is many times mistaken.
The late Ruth Bell Graham wrote an article in Decision called “Mistakes.” She stated, “Some fishermen in the highlands of Scotland came into a little Scottish inn late one afternoon for a cup of tea. As one was describing ‘the one that got away’ to his friends, he flung out his hands in the typical fisherman’s gesture. He did so just as the waitress was setting down his cup of tea. The resulting collision left a huge tea stain spreading on the whitewashed wall. The fisherman apologized profusely.
Another man seated nearby said, ‘Never mind.’ Rising, he took a crayon from his pocket and began to sketch around the ugly, brown stain. Slowly there emerged the head of a magnificent royal stag with large antlers. The man was Edwin Landseer, England’s foremost painter of animals.
Now, if an artist can do that with an ugly, brown stain, what can God do with my sins and mistakes, if I give them to Him?”
Remember, “Success is not permanent, but neither is failure! ”
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida 34654


By David Arnold

Billy Graham said, “History could be altered if people went to their knees in prayer.” In Matthew 6:9a, Christ said, “In this manner, therefore, pray, ” then gave seven guidelines in prayer, in verses 9b –15.
1. WORSHIP GOD. “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, ” verse 9b. “Hallowed” means to give a unique and special place to, and “name” speaks of the character, nature and personality of the person, so far as it is known and revealed to us. “Hallowed be your name” means, “Enable us to give to you the unique place which your nature and character deserve and demand.” A. W. Tozer stated, “If you do not worship God seven days a week, you do not worship Him on one day a week. There is no such thing in heaven as Sunday worship, unless it is accompanied by Monday worship, and Tuesday worship, and so on.”
2. CLAIM HEAVEN’S WILL TO BE DONE ON EARTH. “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, ” verse 10. This speaks of the blessings of God, such as salvation, healing, restoration, peace, joy, etc. Augustine reminded us, “God is more anxious to bestow His blessings on us than we are to receive them.” In 1 Chronicles 4:10, Jabez prayed, “Oh, that you would bless me indeed.”
3. ASK GOD TO MEET YOUR NEEDS. “Give us this day our daily bread, ” verse 11. William Barclay wrote concerning the word “daily.” “The extraordinary fact was that, until a short time ago, there was no other known occurrence of this word in the whole of Greek literature. Origen knew this, and indeed held that Matthew had invented the word. However, not very long ago, a papyrus fragment turned up with this word on it, and the papyrus fragment was actually a woman’s shopping list! This is a simple prayer that God will supply us with the things we need for the coming day.”
4. ASK FOR FORGIVENESS. “And forgive us our debts, ” verse 12a. “Debts” speaks of “obligations or sins.” In verse 11, we find that God is a “giving God, ” but here we discover that He is also a “forgiving God.”
5. ASK GOD TO HELP YOU FORGIVE OTHERS. “As we forgive our debtors, ” verse12b (also, verses 14 and 15). C. S. Lewis observed, “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”
6. ASK FOR DELIVERANCE FROM SATAN’S TRAPS. “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one, ” verse 13a. This means, “Don’t abandon us or leave us, but save us and protect us, etc., from the evil of this present age.”
7. PLACE EVERYTHING IN GOD’S HANDS, IN SIMPLE TRUST. “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen” (verse 13b). “Amen” means “so be it.” It is an avowal of faith, stating, “It will be so.” Arthur Pink reassured us, “Nothing is too great, and nothing is too small, to commit into the hands of the Lord.”
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida.


By David Arnold

David Wilkerson wrote, “Some do not come to God’s throne because they think prayer must be audibly voiced. There is indeed a time to pray with the uplifted voice, to cry aloud, but I find my most effective praying is silent. IT IS THE VOICE OF THE HEART. This is heart crying, or heart praying.”
In 1 Samuel 1:13, we read of Hannah, “Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard.” She prayed earnestly, yet never uttered a word. With God, the attitude of the heart is more important than the posture or procedure. Spurgeon stated, “The prayer of the heart is the heart of prayer.”
David testified in Psalm 6:8, “For the Lord has heard the voice of my weeping,” and in Psalm 27:8, he spoke to the Lord, “When You said, ‘Seek My face,’ my heart said to You, ‘Your face, Lord, I will seek’.” George Muller was once asked how much time he spent in prayer. He answered, “Hours, every day. But I live in the spirit of prayer. I pray as I walk, as I lie down, and when I rise. And the answers are always coming. Tens of thousands of times have my prayers been answered.”
The prophet Amos declared, “Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). “Secret” means circle. God and His children can commune confidentially with each other, as in a circle. It means consulting with others. “Secret” also means deliberation. Lastly, it means an intimate conversation between God and His people.
Henri J. M. Nouwen said, “Without solitude, it is virtually impossible to live a spiritual life. Solitude begins with a time and place for God, and Him alone. If we really believe, not only that God exists, but also that He is actively present in our lives – healing, teaching, and guiding—we need to set aside a time and space to give Him our undivided attention.”
“True prayer is not the noisy sound
That clamorous lips repeat,
But the deep silence of the soul
That clasps Jehovah’s feet.”
“When thou prayest, rather let thy heart be without words than thy words without heart” (John Bunyan).
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida


By David Arnold

Paul Lowenberg preached, “The mandate of the church is generally considered in the words of Jesus, ‘Go into all the world, and the preach the gospel to every creature.’ Webster says a mandate is ‘a formal order from a superior court to an inferior one: an authoritative command, an injunction or order.’ Our mandate is not a matter of interpretation; it is a matter of total obedience to the last will and testament of the Lord Jesus Christ. The total earthly purpose of the New Testament church is summed up in these words, ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel.’ If we stop short in this path, we fail to justify our existence. Christ asks nothing more, but He accepts nothing less.”
Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, “For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth” (1 Thessalonians 1:8). “Sounded forth” means “the clear, ringing nature of the report as of a trumpet.” Charles Spurgeon said, “Having heard the Gospel sounding within, they in return sounded it out.” Samuel Johnson’s watch bore on its face the inscription: “The night cometh.” This was a constant reminder to work while it was day.
In John 20:21, Jesus said to His disciples, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” When Hudson Taylor was on his way to China, he was confronted by the ship’s captain. “Taylor, do you think the unsaved will be lost if you don’t go to China? ” Taylor responded, “I know the unsaved are lost. That’s why I go to China.” Veikko Manninen of Finland said, “Some ask, ‘How will God handle the one who has never heard the Gospel? ’ The more important question is, ‘How will God handle the one who has disobeyed God’s command to go into all the world and preach the Gospel?”
In Acts 1:8, Christ promised supernatural enablement to take the gospel “to the end of the earth.” A veteran leader in world missions promised, “If you will take the gospel overseas, God will help you take the gospel across the street.” One day Dr. Wilfred Grenfell, medical missionary to Labrador, was guest at a dinner in London, together with a number of socially prominent British men and women. During the course of the dinner, the lady seated next to him turned and asked, “Is it true, Dr. Grenfell, that you are a missionary?” Dr. Grenfell looked at her for a moment before replying, then said, “Is it true, madam, that you are not? ”
Oswald J. Smith warned, “Any church that is not seriously involved in helping to fulfill the Great Commission has forfeited its biblical right to exist.” A famous artist was once asked to paint a picture of a dying church. It was expected that he would paint a small and humble building. Instead, he painted a stately edifice with a rich pulpit and magnificent windows and near the door, an offering box marked MISSIONS, with the contribution slot blocked by a cobweb!
“The missionary enterprise is not the church’s afterthought, but God’s forethought” (Henry Van Dyke).
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida


By David Arnold

The Talmud (“The Sayings of the Fathers,” IV:17) reports: “Rabbi Simeon said, ‘There are three crowns: the crown of Torah, the crown of priesthood, and the crown of kingship, but the crown of a good name excels them all’.” In Ecclesiastes 7:1, we read, “A good name is better than precious ointment,” meaning that a good name is worth more than wealth, honors, and titles of men. Robert E. Lee, following the Civil War, was approached by the managers of the Louisiana Lottery. He sat in his old rocking-chair, crutches at his side, and listened to their proposition. He could not believe what he was hearing, and asked them to repeat it, thinking, surely, he had heard wrong. They said they did not want money from him. All they wanted was the use of his name, which would eventually make him rich. Lee straightened up in his chair, buttoned his old gray tunic, and thundered, “Gentlemen, I lost my home in the war. I lost my fortune in the war. I lost everything in the war except my name. My name is not for sale, and if you fellows don’t get out of here, I’ll break this crutch over your heads!”
Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold.” The word “good” in the Authorized Version is in italics, showing that the epithet is not expressed in the Hebrew, which is simply “name,” but this word carries with it the notion of honor, reputation, and character. Someone stated, “Have regard to your name, for that will continue with you above a thousand great treasures of gold.” Another declared, “A good life has but a few days, but a good name endures for ever.” Then, Sirach warns, “An evil name will inherit disgrace and reproach.”
It is said of the great explorer and philanthropist, David Livingstone, that he used to live in a village in Africa until his “good name” for benevolence had been established and had gone on before him. Following his reputation, he was perfectly safe. William Barclay tells about a man who chose to buy a house without even looking at it, because he knew the man who had built the house.
Socrates stated, “The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.” According to Acts 6:3, one of the qualifications of the seven who were chosen by the early church as the first deacons was that they be men “of good reputation.” When Paul wrote Timothy, and cited the qualifications of a bishop (overseer, pastor), one was that “he must have a good testimony,” 1 Timothy 3:7. Furthermore, as Christians, we must think of the effect a good or evil name has on society, because, as an “epistle of Christ,” we are “known and read by all men,” 2 Corinthians 3:2 and 3.
Remember, “a good name” and “loving favor” are priceless possessions that should never be bartered, but be jealously guarded.
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654


By David Arnold

In 1952, a fledgling business called Rocket Chemical Company, and a staff of three, set out to create a line of rust-prevention solvents and degreasers for use in the aerospace industry. It took them 40 attempts to perfect their formula. The original secret formula for WD-40 – which stands for Water Displacement, 40th attempt,– is still in use today. Another amazing story of persistence!
In Judges 8:4, it is said of Gideon, “And Gideon came to the Jordan and passed over, he and three hundred men who were with him, faint yet pursuing.” The New English Bible words it this way, “Gideon and his three hundred men crossed over to continue the pursuit, weary though they were.” They had battled the whole night, yet there was still work to do. With resolve of heart, they kept pressing on, even though they were tired. David Livingstone stated, “But for the belief that the Holy Spirit works and will work, I should give up in despair. I am a missionary, heart and soul. I am ready to go anywhere, provided it be forward.”
In John 4:38, Jesus said, “I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.” He reminds them that they would reap, because others have labored before them. The work of the laborer is more difficult than that of the reaper. The word for “labored” here means, “to toil to the point of exhaustion,” and is the same word used of Christ, where we read, “Jesus, therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well” (John 4:6). Martin Luther said, “The ministry is not an idle man’s occupation.”
When LeBaron Briggs was the Academic Dean at Harvard University, a graduate student came to his office to explain why he failed to complete the thesis for his master’s degree on time. The student told him, “I haven’t been feeling well.” Dean Briggs replied, ‘Young man, I think it’s time you realize that most of the work done in this world is done by people who aren’t feeling well.” In Judges 5:15, the Bible reads, “Among the divisions of Reuben, there were great resolves of heart.” God told Ezekiel in advance he was not running a sprint, but a marathon (3:4, 7 – 9). In Acts 19:21, we read that Paul “purposed in his spirit to go to Jerusalem.” Furthermore, when Paul challenged Timothy to “fight the good fight of faith, ” he was speaking of an eager, intense determination to be a finisher (1 Timothy 6:12).
The late C. M. Ward made this observation about the way people react to circumstances: “Win the victory within and you have already won it without.” At Chamonix, the beautiful little French Alpine village at the base of Mont Blanc, there is a very significant monument erected in the memory of one who possessed so much vision and determination, that he was willing to give his life in pursuit of his purpose. It compliments his intrepid spirit, because he was not satisfied to stay in the valley, but wanted to go higher. It has these simple words: “He Died Climbing.”
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to success is always to try just one more time” – Thomas Edison.
Dave Arnold, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida

Cultural & Moral Decay, God’s Righteous Judgment

By David Arnold

The late George W. Truett told the following story, “You will recall Victor Hugo’s marvelous description of Waterloo. It is one of the masterpieces of all literature. In that description he asks, ‘Was it possible for Napoleon to win at Waterloo? No. Because of Wellington? No. Because of Blucher? No. Because of rain? No. Then why was it impossible for Napoleon to win at Waterloo? ’ ‘Because of God, ’ answered Hugo, and then he goes on with something of the touch of sacrilege, as he adds: ‘Napoleon bothered God.’ Woe betide to the nation that bothers God! ”
In Proverbs 14:34, we read, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” Jerry Falwell wrote, “In Biblical times, God gave Israel the king they deserved. When they forgot God and abandoned their commitment to God’s laws, He gave them wicked leaders who oppressed them and embarrassed them. When they repented, He gave them godly and compassionate leadership. The leadership is always a reflection of the moral and spiritual condition of the people themselves.”
Paul spoke of the “righteous judgment of God, ” thus, making it clear that the anger of God is unlike that of man. When God “renders to each one according to his deeds, ” it is based on His righteous judgment (Romans 2:5 and 6). Marv Rosenthal stated, “Sin will always be judged by God. Unnatural sin will always be judged more harshly. There is a time relationship between sowing and reaping. If a man sows tomato plants, he gets tomatoes in 70 or 80 days. If he sows olive trees, it will take about 20 years until the reaping of the fruit. If a man sows to the flesh (unrighteous sowing), he will reap from the flesh. If he sows to the spirit (righteous sowing), he will reap from the spirit.”
The prophet Amos gave five corrective judgments of God. First, he spoke of “cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places, ” 4:6. This speaks of unemployment and the inability to provide. Second, he spoke of drought, 4:7. Third, in 4:9, he wrote of “blasting and mildew.” This warns of the lack of funds for civic, state, and federal programs. Fourth, he tells of a destroying plague, in 4:10, meaning incurable diseases. Fifth, he warns of judgment like that on Sodom and Gomorrah, 4:11. He then admonishes, “Prepare to meet your God, ” 4:12. The Septuagint’s translation renders this, “Prepare to call upon your God, ” meaning that we are not to close our eyes to these judgments, but to call on God for His mercy.
The fall of Carthage, in North Africa (146 BC), ended one of the classic struggles of history. In 147 BC, Scipio Africanus Minor, Rome’s great general, was given command of the campaign. For three years, Carthage held out against Rome, and both sides lost thousands of troops. Finally, the city fell, and Scipio ordered it burned. On a hill high above flaming Carthage, Scipio watched in silence. No shout of victory rose from his lips. No fists were raised in triumph. Instead, tears flowed down his cheeks. Lifelong friend and historian Polybius was at his side, and recorded that Scipio said, “It is glorious, but I have a dread foreboding that sometime the same doom will be pronounced upon my own country.”
“Never forget: judgment is in proportion, not to how many sins we have committed, but to how much light we have rejected” (Vance Havner).
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida


By David Arnold

On one occasion, while Sir Henry Brackenbury (1837 – 1914) was a military attache’ in Paris, he was talking with the distinguished French statesman Leon Gambetta. Gambetta stated, “In these days there are only two things a soldier needs to know. He must know how to march, and he must know how to shoot!” The Englishman quickly responded, “I beg your pardon, Excellency, but you have forgotten the most important thing of all!” “What’s that?” asked Gambetta. Brackenbury replied, “He must know how to obey!”
In Genesis 17:1, God said to Abraham, “I am the Almighty God; walk before Me, and be perfect.” The word for “perfect” here does not means sinless perfection, but “uprightness, being without spot, without blemish, totally obedient.” It means to finish what you started, a complete performance. John Wesley called it “constant obedience.”
Christ declared, “He who has My commandments, and keeps them, it is he that loves Me,” John14:21. David Wilkerson stated, “You cannot love God without having the fear of God in you. You cannot love Him without obeying His Word. And you do not truly fear God unless you love and obey Him.”
William Penn warned our nation, “If we are not governed by God, then we will be ruled by tyrants.” Our national and individual blessings from the hand of God depends on our obedience to Him. God promised in Isaiah 1:19, “If you be willing and obedient, you will eat the good of the land.” To “be willing and obedient” speaks of being submissive to God, His Word, His will and His purposes.
During the Korean War, a young man received a draft notice. Having just married, he sent a note to the draft board referring them to Deuteronomy 24:5, “When a man has taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war or be charged with any business; he shall be free at home one year, and bring happiness to his wife whom he has taken.” The draft board apparently had their own “biblical scholar,” too. The draftee shortly received this reply, “For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it” (Matthew 8:9).
“Most of us do not need more light, we need more obedience.” (Leonard Ravenhill).
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida


By David Arnold

Athanasius (about 296 – 373) was one of the giants of Christian history because of his part in defining the Trinity. When he was told that everybody was denying the Deity of Christ, he said, “I, Athanasius, against the world.” Athanasius contra mundum became a proverbial expression.
As Joshua faced the task of leading God’s people in the Promised Land, he was admonished four times to “be strong and of good courage, ” or “be strong and very courageous” (Joshua 1:6, 7, 9, and 18). “Courage” and “courageous” both mean “be steadfastly minded, strong.” Webster dictionary defines “courage” as “the attitude or response of facing and dealing with anything recognized as dangerous, difficult, or painful, instead of withdrawing from it.” The late John Wayne stated, “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
A slavery abolitionist of the 19th century, Wendell Phillips, made an interesting observation. He noted that it is easy to be brave when all are behind you and agree with you. In Genesis 6:9, it is recorded, “Noah walked with God.” This meant courage and independence, because no one else was walking that way. When a man walks with God, it means that he cannot walk with any of his fellows who are going in the opposite direction. Dr. Griffith Thomas wrote, “What a splendid figure this man makes, a picture of solitary goodness! He was the one saint of his day. It is possible, therefore, to be good even though we have to stand alone.”
Someone declared, “Few things instill more courage than a good conscience toward
God.” When John Knox was standing for his godly principles against Queen Mary, she demanded whether he thought it right that the authority of rulers should be resisted. His answer was, “If princes exceed their bounds, madam, they may be resisted and even deposed.”
In 2 Chronicles 32:7, Hezekiah, when facing the insurmountable odds of the wicked, was extorted to “Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed.” The German pastor, Martin Niemoeller, broke ranks with other pastors and defiantly spoke out against the atrocities of Nazi-crazy Germany. He was arrested and placed in a concentration camp, being called, “Hitler’s personal prisoner.” For two years he was in solitary confinement. On various occasions he was offered his freedom – at a price. The price was to preach only as he was told. He steadfastly refused. A chaplain visited him in his detention, and asked Niemoeller, “Why are you here? ” Dr. Niemoeller answered, “Why are you not here? ”
“It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare” (Mark Twain).
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida

Hatred can damage and destroy families
By David Arnold

In Proverbs 10:12, we read, “Hatred stirs up strife.” The infamous 19th century feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys started with a fight over a razorback hog. The men who started this bitter hatred were William Hatfield and Randolph McCoy. The two families fought for nearly twenty years, and 12 were killed. Hatred is not always this blatant. It can be as subtle as a minor insult. However, once it starts, it can gradually damage and destroy families, churches, and lifelong relationships.
Hatred is forbidden. Leviticus 19:17, “You shall not hate your brother in your heart.” Colossians 3:8, “Put off…malice” (“malignity, ill-will, desire to injure, wickedness, depravity”). Edith Cavell, an English nurse in World War 1, helped more that two hundred English, French, and Belgian soldiers escape to England during the German occupation of Belgium. She was captured, court-martialed, and sentenced to death, as a spy, by the Germans. Just before her execution, she said to the English chaplain: “I have no fear of death. I willingly die for my country. But, standing as I do, viewing God and eternity, I realize that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred toward anyone.”
Hatred is called “murder.” 1 John 3:15, “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” Elmer Rivera arrived home from work to find a bomb under his bed. It was discovered that his wife and her boyfriend had planted the device, which, thankfully, never exploded. Detective Ray Schilke said, “Both defendants made it perfectly clear that their full intent was for Elmer to die.” (His wife) “didn’t see divorce as an option.” E. Stanley Jones remarked, “A rattlesnake, if cornered, will sometimes become so angry it will bite itself. That is exactly what the harboring of hate and resentment against others is,–a biting of oneself. We think we are harming others in holding these spites and hates, but the deeper harm is to ourselves.”
Hatred is a sign of a deceitful heart. Proverbs 26:24, 25 says, “He who hates, disguises it with his lips, and lays up deceit within himself. When he speaks kindly, do not believe him, for there are seven abominations within his heart.” Ahithophel, a wise counselor of King David, bitterly developed hatred towards his long-time friend David, because David had committed adultery with his granddaughter, Bathsheba (compare 2 Samuel 11:3 and 23:34). He harbored this hatred, refusing to forgive, and deceitfully sided with Absolom in a rebellion. Instead of accomplishing his deadly intentions, his hatred took his own life. Harry Rimmer said, “The only permanent pain and harm that can come to me from the offenses committed against me is the irreparable injury I do myself by hatred of those who wrong me!”
Hatred is living a lie. 1 John 4:20,21, “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this is the commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.”
“No man is able to force me so low as to make me hate him!” (Booker T. Washington).
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida


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