The keys to the kingdom


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Part 6 of the series; The pursuit of happiness in an unhappy world

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  • Fred Craddock tells the story of a time that he was on vacation. He and his wife had found a quiet little restaurant where they looked forward to a private meal, just the two of them. While they were waiting for their meal they noticed a distinguished looking white haired man moving from table to table, visiting guests. Craddock whispered to his wife, “I hope he doesn’t come over here!” He didn’t want the man to intrude upon their privacy. But that’s exactly what the man did. “Where you folks from,” the man asked. “Oklahoma,” said Fred. “Splendid State, I hear. Although I’ve never been there. What do you do for a living?” “I teach homiletics,” Said Fred hoping that this would scare the man off. “Oh, so you teach preachers, do you! Well, have I got a story for you!” And with that he pulled up a chair and sat down. Dr. Craddock said he groaned inwardly thinking to himself, “Oh no! Here it comes. Another preacher story. It seems like everyone has one.” At that point the man stuck out his hand and said,I’m Ben Hooper. I was born not far from here across the mountains. My mother wasn’t married when I was born so I had a hard time. When I started school my classmates had a name for me, and it wasn’t a very nice name. I used to go off by myself at recess and during lunch time because the taunts of my playmates cut so deeply. What was worse was going down town on Saturday afternoon and feeling every eye burning a hole through me. They were all wondering just who my real father was. When I was about 12 years old a new preacher came to our church. He preached hell fire and brimstone. He scared me and fascinated me all at the same time. I would always slip into church late and leave early so no one would see me. I feared that if anyone saw me they would ask what a boy like me was doing in their church. One day the preacher said the benediction so fast I got caught and had to walk out with the crowd. I could feel every eye in the church on me. Just about the time I got to the door I felt a big hand on my shoulder. I looked up to see the preacher looking down on me. He said, ‘Well young man, I see a resemblance in you. You look a lot like... Why you’re the son of.. the son of...’ I cringed and figured here it comes. And then he said, “Why you’re a son of God!” And slapping me on my bottom he added, “Now go out and collect your inheritance.”At that point the white haired gentleman looked across the table at Fred Craddock and said, “That was the most important single sentence ever said to me.” And with that Ben Hooper bid his good-byes and moved on to another table. Suddenly, said Fred Craddock he remembered how on two occasions the people of Tennessee had elected an illegitimately born man to be their governor the man named Ben Hooper.
  • Hooper, who was of illegitimate birth, spent part of his childhood in an orphanage, was unofficially "adopted" by members of his rural Baptist church, and was belatedly acknowledged by his natural father, a prominent physician. He was a native of Newport in Cocke County, Tennessee. He was admitted to the bar in 1894, and served in the state legislature. He was a captain of the 6th U.S. Volunteer Infantry in the Spanish-American War of 1898, and nominated by the Republicans for governor in 1910 over Alfred A. Taylor. His initial Democratic opponent, incumbent Governor Malcolm R. Patterson, despite winning the nomination withdrew from race due to diffences among Democrats, which in turn led to the nomination of United States Senator and three-term former governor Robert Love Taylor, younger brother of Alf Taylor.
  • The keys to the kingdom

    1. 1. The Keys to the Kingdom<br />
    2. 2. Psa 37:22-29 NASB<br />For those blessed by Him will inherit the land, But those cursed by Him will be cut off. 23 The steps of a man are established by the LORD, And He delights in his way. 24 When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand. 25 I have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken Or his descendants begging bread. 26 All day long he is gracious and lends, And his descendants are a blessing. 27 Depart from evil and do good, So you will abide forever. 28 For the LORD loves justice And does not forsake His godly ones; They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off. 29 <br />
    3. 3. Inheriting the Land<br />“Those Blessed by Him will Inherit the Land”<br />Depart fro Evil and be His delight<br />“The righteous will inherit the land And dwell in it forever.”<br />
    4. 4. Inheriting the Land<br />
    5. 5. Joseph’s Wardrobe<br />Gen 37:3 NASB Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a varicolored tunic.<br />Gen 39:12 NASB She caught him by his garment, saying, "Lie with me!" And he left his garment in her hand and fled, and went outside.<br />
    6. 6. Gen 39:1-6 NASB<br />Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the bodyguard, bought him from the Ishmaelites, who had taken him down there. 2 The LORD was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian. 3 Now his master saw that the LORD was with him and how the LORD caused all that he did to prosper in his hand. 4 So Joseph found favour in his sight and became his personal servant; and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he owned he put in his charge. <br />
    7. 7. Gen 39:1-6 NASB<br />5 It came about that from the time he made him overseer in his house and over all that he owned, the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house on account of Joseph; thus the LORD'S blessing was upon all that he owned, in the house and in the field. 6 So he left everything he owned in Joseph's charge; and with him there he did not concern himself with anything except the food which he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.<br />
    8. 8. Joseph’s Wardrobe<br />Gen 41:14 NASB Then Pharaoh sent and called for Joseph, and they hurriedly brought him out of the dungeon; and when he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came to Pharaoh.<br />Gen 41:42 NASB Then Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph's hand, and clothed him in garments of fine linen and put the gold necklace around his neck.<br />
    9. 9. Gen 39:20-23 NASB<br />So Joseph's master took him and put him into the jail, the place where the king's prisoners were confined; and he was there in the jail. 21 But the LORD was with Joseph and extended kindness to him, and gave him favour in the sight of the chief jailer. 22 The chief jailer committed to Joseph's charge all the prisoners who were in the jail; so that whatever was done there, he was responsible for it. 23 The chief jailer did not supervise anything under Joseph's charge because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made to prosper.<br />
    10. 10. In Summary<br />Joseph had to put His desires in the box<br />He had to put on the mantle of opposite spirit<br />Because he found his identity and status in the robe of righteousness God blessed Him with <br />Joseph inherited the land.<br />