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Most of the articles on these WebPages have been written by godly men with a central belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as with most of us, they may have different beliefs concerning some particular doctrines. These articles have been made available for the purpose of “gleaning the good” where good can be found. I do not necessarily endorse all that is written by others, anymore than I expect others to endorse all that I write.

   Morning Thoughts by Elder Philip Conley

I Kings 19:4, "But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers."

This morning, I realize that this segment will be the final segment of what will eventually be Volume IV
of my "Morning Thoughts." While that is not noteworthy in and of itself, things have been stirred
in me that make for a fitting close to a volume of thoughts. While on a business trip this week, I had
the distinct pleasure and privilege to overhear some men talking over breakfast at the hotel. Apparently,
this group of hoary-headed men are close friends of many years that all served in World War II, and
listening to them made me realize how much I have that I take for granted, and many of the benefits for us
today are due in large part to the blessings of Almighty God in providentially carrying men like these
through some trying and difficult circumstances. They call those men "the greatest generation," and
listening to their stories and perspectives on current events, it took little time to realize how humble and
selfless these men are.

So, my thoughts have been made to call to remembrance all the blessings that we have that we
take so often for granted. When we begin to see how blessed we are by God, may it instill in us the
motivation and fortitude to stand and earnestly contend for the things that we should. The difference
between what those men were talking about and what we would like to investigate is that they focused on the
trials and circumstances of their natural lives, but we wish to look primarily at the trials and
circumstances of our spiritual walk. When troubles come, we can take two roads: complain about our
circumstance or draw nigh unto God with renewed vigor of service. May we seek the latter option.

Elijah here complains about his current circumstance in that he feels cast down about the tribulations that
he is undergoing. While we should not seek to emulate Elijah's actions, he does make a very pertinent
statement. His statement "should" be obvious as to its truth, but today, I am afraid many of my
generation would view the statement differently and incorrectly. The question for us today is, "Are we
any better than our fathers?" Surely, by nature, the answer is a resounding ,"NO!" By nature, we are no
better than anyone else, and we are all born in sin and depravity. (Romans 3:10) But, what about our walk
of faith and sincere closeness with God? Are we any better than they?

Men today marvel at their own magnificence. They pat themselves on the back at their modern,
technological innovations. But, even with all these modern marvels, I firmly believe that (in keeping with
Elijah's statement) that we are no better than our fathers in intellect, and most assuredly today, the
modern advances (so-called) have made us less than our fathers in our spiritual walk with God. When I
consider the writings of our forefathers in the faith, my own efforts are greatly lacking in relation to
theirs. Yet, reading their works, we find them lamenting their own "spiritual coldness" in relation
to fellowship with God. They constantly sought to re-double their efforts to serve God better in the
future than they did in the past. May we do likewise.

The men that I listened to at breakfast endured much for the cause of liberty. They stood in defense of
this nation to make the lives of their children better than theirs were. While the walk of our fathers in
the faith cannot contribute to our new birth, they can contribute to the example of the liberty we enjoy in
Christ should God, by His sovereign power, call us into His marvellous light. As my departed father used
to say, "I cannot give my children the spirit of the word. But, I can fill their heads with the letter of
it, so that if they are one of God's own, they will have plenty of knowledge ready for use once that time
of vital union comes." Our fathers in the world have shown us what standing in defense of natural liberty
entails, and our fathers in the faith have shown us how to stand in defense of the truth as it is in
Christ Jesus.

What truly matters is not that we are no better than our fathers (even though we should remember that
thought). What truly matters is that we think on these things to draw closer to our Saviour. May we
constantly see ourselves as the least of all saints, not worthy of the least of Christ's blessings, and the
chief of all sinners. The men at the table thought that their time in service was reasonable and the
honourable thing to do as a citizen of this great nation. May our desire be to do these things as our
reasonable service as citizens of the great heavenly kingdom. Their attitude about citizenship was that it
was a blessing and privilege. May our attitude about our heavenly citizenship be such that our conversation
is without covetousness and full of the rich and brilliant light shining forth from a touched and
tendered heart. May our zeal and fervor be more today than it was yesterday, and may it be even more
tomorrow than it is today. In so doing, we leave a rich heritage of faith for our children. May they say
(as we say), "I am no better than my fathers, but by the grace of God, I am what I am and desire to press
toward the mark set by my Saviour: Christ Jesus the Lord."

In Hope,

Bro Philip