Author Archives: William Cody Bateman

Why We are Lonely

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“I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.” (Psalm 142:4)

This is one of the saddest verses in the Bible. To be all alone, not knowing where to find refuge from problems that bear heavily at times—this is the lot of many lonely people.

Sometimes, of course, one’s feelings of loneliness may be because of unconfessed sin, as when David lamented after his crime of adultery and murder:

“When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me”.

Psalm 32:3-4

Outwardly silent, but inwardly roaring—that’s the way it is when a believer tries to rationalize and hide his sin from God and man. The remedy in such a case is obvious:

“I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah”.

Psalm 32:5

When the problem is not one of unconfessed sin, the Lord is always there to comfort and guide, if we ask Him. Following the sad complaint of our text, David made a statement of hope and faith. “The righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me” (Psalm 142:7).

There was a time, in fact, when the Lord Himself was all alone. When He was arrested, “then all the disciples forsook him, and fled” (Matthew 26:56). But that was not the worst of it. “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).

Jesus died all alone on the cross—the loneliest and most forsaken person in all human history—as even His heavenly Father had to abandon Him when He took our sins and died for us. Thus, He understands our own need and is always there. “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted [or ‘tested’], he is able to succor them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18). HMM

Featured Audio: What God Says About Alcohol

Dr. David Hocking, Hope for Today Ministries

There seems to be no greater confusion and misinformation discussed amongst believers than the subject of alcohol. Does the bible grant a “pass” when it comes to social drinking? Should drinking alcohol be avoided altogether. What does the bible really say about it?

Manna at the Banquet Table

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“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Mark 12:30-31)

The hymn “Brethren, We Have Met to Worship” is summarized in the moving lines of its final verse:

Let us love our God supremely,
Let us love each other, too;
Let us love and pray for sinners,
Till our God makes all things new.
Then He’ll call us home to heaven,
At His table we’ll sit down;
Christ will gird Himself, and serve us
With sweet manna all around.

The Christian’s blessings include daily “manna” (provision and blessing) from God and the promise of life with Christ throughout eternity. Our union with Him is compared to a marriage, commencing with a sumptuous wedding feast: “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints” (Revelation 19:7-8).

“Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).

When He comes and claims His bride—the ones for whom He sacrificed His precious blood—He will usher us all into His banquet room. Then “he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them” (Luke 12:37). JDM

Praying for the Lost

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“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

Intercessory prayer in church must not be for other believers only, but also for unbelievers. Many attendees mistakenly consider themselves true Christians, and others are merely curious. Both are doomed for a Christless and hopeless eternity. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

There is still an opportunity to reach them, as the hymn “Brethren, We Have Met to Worship” reminds us.

Brethren, see poor sinners round you
Slumb‘ring on the brink of woe;
Death is coming, hell is moving,
Can you bear to let them go?
See our fathers and our mothers
And our children sinking down;
Brethren, pray, and holy manna
Will be showered all around.

George Askins, “We Have Met to Worship”

Our hearts should especially be broken for loved ones who face eternity without Christ as Savior. What can be done? Pray. God answers the prayer of His children. We are assured that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).

What would this serving of manna be worth to you to see a wayward family member or neighbor repent of their sin and come back to fellowship with God? To see your fractured church healed of the disunity caused by wolves disguised as sheep? Surely this manna would be sweet indeed. Surely it is worth an hour of intercessory prayer. JDM

God’s Provision for His People

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“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

Psalm 136 gives three key examples of God’s sovereign provision. He protects and shelters during our times in the “wilderness.” He makes possible victories over great “enemies.” And he gives “food to all flesh.” God’s detailed provision and the many examples thereof in the Scriptures are inexhaustible. Yet, in these three areas, we may find hope for any situation “in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

Our “wanderings” are compared to hard-hearted Israel (1 Corinthians 10) and the many physical and spiritual sins of a people in rebellion to God’s control in their lives. Jesus warned that the “cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things” would “choke the word” and make us unfruitful (Mark 4:19). Yet, even though we may be like the younger son in the story of the prodigal (Luke 15:11-32) and would waste our “substance in riotous living,” God was still the Provider of the inheritance that was wasted. God was still waiting for the son to “come to himself” and return home.

God still has compassion, and He forgives and restores to fellowship all who come home.

And were it not for the promises of deliverance from our enemies that are so replete throughout the Scriptures, were it not for the hope that we would see deliverance “in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13), and were it not for the confident knowledge that “evildoers shall be cut off” (Psalm 37:9), we would be in constant fear and torment.

God promises to bring us victory! We are told that He will fight for us, and that we are not left to our own devices!

Jesus said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. . . . and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:18-20). HMM III

Jesus Purges His Father’s House

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“For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.” (Psalm 69:9)

After spending a few days at Capernaum, Jesus, His family, and His disciples traveled to Jerusalem to observe the Passover (John 2:12-13). The huge temple complex, rebuilt by Herod, had been turned into something akin to a religious shopping mall, with stalls and booths surrounding the outer court with vendors who “sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting” (John 2:14).

Ostensibly, these vendors were there to facilitate the thousands of visitors who had come to observe the Passover and offer sacrifices and contribute payment for certain vows and “redemption” fees identified by the Old Testament laws (Leviticus 27). However, the system had been corrupted by “heavy burdens” of usurious temple fees levied by the priesthood (Matthew 23:4).

Jesus became incensed by the open corruption and flagrant violation of God’s instructions, and making “a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; and said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise” (John 2:15-16).

What a sight this must have been! Just a small taste of the “zeal of thine house” (John 2:17) turned this one man into a flurry of power that stunned a host of vendors, priests, and temple guards. One day, “the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever” (Revelation 15:7) will be unleashed on Earth. “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). HMM III

Featured Audio: What God Says About Gossip

Dr. David Hocking, Hope for Today Ministries

🎓 The church is facing an epidemic of biblical proportion; The practice of gossip. It is not surprising then, that God names the practice of gossip as a sin that He hates. This teaching will expose the reasons we gossip and how we can stop it.

The Miracle at Cana

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“This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.” (John 2:11)

Right after His baptism and the time of spiritual intensity in the wilderness, Jesus returned to Galilee and attended a wedding celebration at Cana, some nine miles north of Nazareth, with Mary and some of His disciples.

During the course of the multi-day feast, the host family ran out of wine to provide for their guests. Apparently, Mary was embarrassed for the hosts and expected Jesus to fix the problem.

Within the compound were “six waterpots of stone . . . containing two or three firkins apiece” (John 2:6). A firkin was about 10 gallons. Each stone pot would hold about 25 gallons, therefore the six vessels would contain about 125 gallons total. Jesus told the servants, “Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim” (John 2:7).

Once that was done, the servants were directed to fill a pitcher and serve the “governor of the feast” (John 2:8). The unsuspecting governor tasted the miraculous beverage and declared, “Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now” (John 2:10).

What actually happened? The water (H2O), a simple molecular compound, was instantly changed into extremely complex, multifaceted molecular compounds. It was a creation event, overriding the scientific axioms of stasis and entropy. New matter was created—instantly—just by the private thought of the Creator Himself!

This first miracle defies those who would insist that God must use natural processes over long ages to create. HMM III

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