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The Clarion Herald

    On January 19, the day before his Inauguration as the 39th President of the United States, I was deeply moved by a consciousness of what influence a President wields over a nation -- for evil or for good; thus, I sat down and addressed the following to:

The Honorable James Carter, President
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:
    Conscious of the tremendous responsibility that becomes yours in assuming the Presidency, it is my earnest prayer that the guidance and blessing of God may be yours for this great task. May He grant to you an understanding heart -- one that will both discern the need and provide such wise leadership as will re-direct this nation from the very precipice of ruin to new heights of greatness and respectability!
    Never before have I presumed to address myself to one in such a high position of worldly honor; but never before, in my lifetime, has such a situation existed. And it is under a sense of urgent compulsion

that I am moved to this endeavor. Having just read the biblical record of Israel's ancient kings, my heart is deeply impressed by the powerful influence that political leaders wield over the life of a nation -- shaping the lives and destinies of others in both temporal and spiritual matters.
    Mr. President, you have a marvelous OPPORTUNITY to influence this nation for good; if you put "first things first" you will have the smile of Him Whose providence has brought you to the office you now hold. He has given to you a "stewardship" for which you will ultimately give account -- not merely to the voters of America, but to Him Who "rules over all".
    It is my sincere prayer, Mr. President, that as you have openly acknowledged a personal, living, trusting relationship with Jesus Christ (during your Presidential campaign), you will NOW daily seek His will -- that you may do it. Your actions, in the months ahead, will influence this nation for evil or for good. Likewise, they will manifest whether your religious testimony was used as an opportunistic expediency, or whether it came from a heart that gladly bows
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The Clarion Herald The Clarion Herald


    Lack of response to our appeal for letters from our readers during the month of January has been most deeply disappointing. As we head into the final week of the month approximately 99% of those to whom we mail the paper regularly have made NO RESPONSE at all. Thus, we have no way of knowing how our message is being received -- or whether, for the most part, it is being cast aside and given no consideration at all.
    We do deeply appreciate the kind letters that have been received from a precious few. And we especially appreciate the liberal offering that was received from the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, of Arvada, Colorado, to assist us in continuing this ministry.
    Perhaps others will write before the month is over. But, whether or not you take time to write, we most earnestly desire your prayers in

behalf of this ministry. We want to honor the Lord and encourage the hearts of His people as they hold forth the Word of Life and Light to a sin-darkened world. --The Editor


    In his first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul commended them for their "work of faith" and "labor of love". LABOR (Gk. kopos) normally describes such toil as results in weariness -- the pain taken and the strength that is spent in the performance of a task. The word may involve physical toil (Matt. 6:28; I Cor. 4:12), or the weariness resulting from such toil (John 4:6). It sometimes refers to the burden of religious observances, (Matt. 11:22); to labor in the gospel, (Gal. 4:11); or to labor among the saints, (Col. 1:29; I Tim. 5:17; Rev. 2:3). But, when love is the motive, labor is lightened.
    The supreme expression of Divine love is seen at Calvary; there God proved His love for us sinners, (Rom. 5:2). This is the quality of love to which we are called in Christ, (I Jn. 3:16). Our love to God is expressed in a joyful obedience of His commandments, (Jn. 14:15; 21-22; I John 5:2-3; 2 John 6). To our fellow-men love involves a consideration of their interests before our own, (Phil. 2:4; Rom. 15:2). It is a genuine love for one's brother that Paul has described so eloquently in I Corinthians 13.
    Selfishness is always a contradiction of love. Beloved, let us CONSIDER one another!


    The closest disciples of Jesus knew nothing of a Kingdom of God existing, according to covenant, during the earthly ministry of the Master. Nor did they see its appearance following His resurrection. And they surely were never so foolish as to consider the church to be the promised kingdom -- or any form of it.
    Jesus taught His disciples to pray: "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth even as it is done in heaven". And He encouraged the hearts of those composing His, already existing, church by saying: "Fear not, little flock, for it is the Father's good pleasure to GIVE YOU the kingdom". Nor did He discourage His disciples from looking upon Him as the long-expected Messiah. But NOwhere did He encourage them to believe that the actual establishment of His kingdom was imminent.
    In spite of His clear teaching and warning of what would befall Him in Jerusalem, there was still a widespread misunderstanding of the order of His Messianic role. As a final effort to clear up that misunderstanding, He spoke the parable recorded in Luke 19:11-28. He is said to have spoken it - "because He was nigh unto Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God would immediately appear".
    Though Jesus had told them He must suffer and die at Jerusalem, His disciples did not seem to understand, (Luke 9:51-56; 13:22; 17:11; 18:31-34; 19:11, 28). Since

they thought the kingdom was about to appear, He wanted them to understand Gods order, (Lk. 17:20-37).
    Jesus clearly intended the disciples to recognize HIM as the "nobleman" who must go into a far country (John 20:17; 14:1-3). On this journey He would receive title to a kingdom (Dan.7:13-l4; Lk. 22:28-30) after which He would return and rule over His subjects IN THE VERY REALM WHERE HE HAD LEFT THEM.
    The absence of the Master will be a lengthy one -- allowing His servants opportunity to do business (I Cor. 4:1-2; I Peter 4:10-11; 2 Cor. 5:20; I Tim. 6:17-19). Returning with absolute authority (2 Tim. 4:1), He will deal with His servants concerning their faithfulness to His trust, (Lk. 16:10-13; John 14:21; 23-24; I John 5:2-3). Each one will be rewarded according to His particular degree of faithfulness, (Rev. 22:12, 14). The unfaithful will suffer the loss of all that was once entrusted to them -- to stand before God empty-handed and naked.
    When it functions according to God's "order", the New Testament Church (using that term in its institutional sense) is engaged in CALLING OUT and preparing a willing people for the coming kingdom of God. Our message is "the Gospel of the Kingdom", (Matt. 24:14). It is not enough that we know the FACTS about the kingdom. Our lives must be characterized by such spiritual qualities as fit us for that glorious realm.
    The kingdom IS COMING! In the meantime, we must "tell the old, old story, of Jesus and His Love!"

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A CHALLENGE .... Continued
to the rightful "lordship" of Jesus Christ. I trust that it will be the latter, in both cases.
    May God grant you wisdom in formulating such constructive policies as will: 1) Enable us to live at peace with our neighbors; 2) Restore bi-partisan responsibility in the Congress; 3) Encourage righteous judgment in the courts; 4) Break the pythonic monopoly whereby organized labor has progressively
crushed the corporate life out of businesses that once provided jobs for millions, and 5) Relieve the ever-increasing burden of taxation that is pushing our nation toward the possibility of an ultimate anarchy.
    The wisdom necessary to effectively lead this nation cannot be found in the heads of trusted advisors; it may only be DIVINELY BESTOWED as you "ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally". "They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true."
        Yours, for God and America,
        Eugene L. Garner, Pastor
        Landmark Missionary Baptist
        Rockford, Illinois


Church of the ever-living God,
   The Father's gracious choice!
Amid the voices of this earth
   How feeble is thy voice!

A "little flock!" - 'tis well
      'tis well;
   Such be her lot and name:
Through ages past, it has been so,
   And now 'tis still the same.

But the Chief Shepherd comes
      at length;
   Her feeble days are o'er,
No more a handful in the earth,
   A "little flock" no more.

No more a lily among thorns,
   Weary and faint and few;
But countless as the stars of
   Or as the early dew.