Dr. Bill Rice, III, Evangelist

Dr. Bill Rice, III, Evangelist

Dr. Bill Rice, III is an effective and clear Bible preaching evangelist who expresses the pulpit-centered philosophy of the Bill Rice Ranch. The mission of Bill Rice Ranch is to “make the most of Bible preaching for the benefit of the churches and the people they seek to reach.”

Introduction by Pastor Michael McClure:

The Bill Rice Ranch has been operating for about 70 years with countless thousands of young people that have been there, including deaf young people. It is a wonderful ministry. There is a lot of things I could say about Dr. Bill Rice, but he is the only preacher that we have had here whose mother conducted meetings here in 1985 and then in 1995 she came here and held a ladies’ retreat. It was an honor and what a gracious lady she was. I first heard Dr. Bill Rice about 1971 and many times since then, and we are so privileged to have him tonight.

Message by Dr. Bill Rice, III:

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

About the Bill Rice Ranch

We thank the Lord for being here tonight. I think the last time my wife, Mary, and I were here was on a Wednesday and it is good to see more people tonight. How many folks here are guests? Thanks for coming and I hope you come back.

Bill Rice Ranch began in 1953, because of a burden my parents had for those who were deaf. My sister is deaf, and deafness is an educational handicap. If you were crippled, you could come to this service just fine. If you were blind, you could come to the service and understand everything. If you are educationally slow, you could benefit from the service. But if you were deaf, the service would not mean anything to you unless somebody who loved the Lord and loved you interpreted the service through sign language so that you could understand it.

My parents were interested in having deaf people hear the Gospel. In 1950, my dad was in a revival in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, right in the center of the state, 30 miles south of Nashville. While there, he found some property, 900 acres. My dad bought the original 900 acres for $20 an acre. I would be a millionaire if I inherited it, but I had not. It all belongs to Bill Rice Ranch and there are 1,300 acres today.

We have hearing camps for children every summer, for families, and for the deaf. We have about 4,000 campers a summer, 200 to 250 who are deaf. And the deaf come free of charge through the campership program. Like the scholarship when you get help from the school, a campership is when you get help from camp. The campership fund is provided by people from all over this country. For the last 12 to 15 years, Mary and I have been coming to Florida for two months and the offerings in the churches where we minister all go to the ranch. So, everything that you give goes to the Bill Rice Ranch campership fund.

A campership for one deaf person is $250, but the wonderful thing about the campership fund is, if you give $250 or if you give $2.50, it all goes to the campership fund so you can actually help make it possible for a deaf teenager to come to the ranch. Maybe you would like to give an entire campership, maybe you’d like to give to the campership fund and that would be $0.36. Whatever you contribute it goes to help deaf young people come to the ranch. We must raise just over $50,000 a year for deaf camperships. Whatever you can give, we appreciate you for it.

My God

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

The apostle Paul wrote these words to the church at Philippi and he said, “my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Often, we apply that to us, and you can if you realize what it meant to the church at Philippi. In other words, God did not make a general promise that He would always supply believer’s needs. This was written to address a specific need and it was a giving church.

The apostle Paul said earlier in the chapter that when he first began in the ministry nobody helped concerning giving and receiving, but you, the people at Philippi, you helped. So, he says basically, you are a giving church, my God will supply all your needs.

It makes me think of Galatians chapter six:

Galatians 6:7: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

Galatians 6:8: “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”

Galatians 6:9: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

Now somebody says if you do what is wrong, you are going to reap the consequences. Well, that is true, but it is not what Galatians chapter six is saying. It is saying, if you do what is right, you will reap the consequences. So, this verse, Philippians 4:19, is written to a giving church.

Your Needs

The second thing to say about this verse, just as an introduction, is that the apostle says by inspiration, “my God shall supply all your need.” Sometimes people have said, “God has promised to supply our needs but not our wants.” Have you ever heard that? People say God is not a Santa Claus. You cannot just go to God and ask what you want and expect to get it. But that is completely wrong.

The psalmist said, “Delight thyself also in the Lord and He shall give thee the desires of your heart.” He did not say, “Delight thyself also in the Lord and He shall give thee the needs that thou hast.” He did not say that. The key is wanting for you what God wants for you. You can expect God to provide that when you delight in the Lord, when you love God, when what He says and does are uppermost in your mind and thinking, you can have your needs met. You are not any more concerned about your genuine needs than God is. You are not any more concerned about your wants than God is. God wants you to want correctly and you can do that. You can have your wants met.

So, the writer here, by inspiration, says:

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

There are three points in this verse that are easy to remember. “my God,” “your needs,” and “his riches.” So, let’s look at these three things quickly.

“my God”: When the apostle says, “my God,” he does not mean the god that I own. He does not mean the god that belongs singularly to me. When he says, “my God,” he means the God with whom I have a personal relationship. Notice a wonderful thing. God can be your God, and that is what He intends. God intends a personal relationship with you. Something that is special, something that is specific.

God is all-powerful, we know that. We say He is omnipotent. We say He is all-knowing, we know that. We say He is omniscient. So, what is there about you that God does not know? Nothing. God knows everything about you and that is kind of frightening, isn’t it? Now here is a wonderful truth. When the Bible says:

John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

You know that God loves you, knowing you. There is not a thing hidden from God. You have not snowed God. God knows you. Have you ever heard a preacher say, “You know you can’t hide anything from God. God knows what you think. God knows what you say. God knows everything that you do. You can’t hide anything from God.” It is a frightening thought, and it is true by the way, you cannot hide anything from God, but there is another side to that, and that is that God is personal.

In other words, you are not a number to God. You are not a name to God. God knows more about you than you know about yourself and God is concerned about you. God not only knows your name, He knows you, so that the apostle here says, “my God.” Isn’t that a wonderful thing? And when he is talking about “my God,” he is talking about my God and my needs. So, that is #2, “my God, shall supply all your need.”

His Riches

Suppose I ask if anybody here tonight has any needs? Wouldn’t that be a dumb question? We often think of this in light of financial needs. We think of that because he says, “according to his riches.” That is understandable, but our needs are larger than simply finances, are they not? Such as health, friendship, burdens because of sickness, or because of lack of health. All of us have needs, don’t we? But my God can supply them, I cannot.

Have you ever had a friend who was sick and thought to yourself or said to your friend, “I wish it were me instead of you.”? Have you ever thought that or said that? It certainly is a wonderful thing to think or say but you cannot do anything about it. If he is sick and you are healthy, you cannot make yourself sick and make him healthy. You transfer his lack of health for the health you enjoy, you cannot do that, but God can. God can take care of sickness. God can take care of heartaches. God can take care of financial needs. God can take care of marriages. God can take care of kids. God can take care of parents. God can take care of a country. That is kind of good news, isn’t it in this day and time?

We have been under challenges for some time in this country, haven’t we? But there is a God in Heaven, you ought to remember that. If politically, something does not turn out the way you want it, remember there is a God in Heaven, “my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches.”

So, it is #1 My God, #2 Your Needs, and #3 His Riches

God does not supply our needs according to our needs. He supplies our needs according to His riches. That is a big difference, and it is important. God does not provide our needs according to our needs, he provides our needs according to His riches. So, what is it you need? If you are a giving person, you will reap what you sow. And if you sow generosity, you will reap in kind and you will reap according to God’s riches.

Now if we stopped and thought about it a minute, wouldn’t all of us say we have already been given so much in accordance with God’s riches? Just think about that for a second. Just think, first of all, obviously, about salvation. You know it was God’s riches in Christ that provided for me, eternal life. My need was great, but His riches are greater.

You eat three times a day but most people on this planet do not. Have you ever been on a diet? Most of us probably have. Do they diet in Africa or in India? Not in every case, but we can assume not generally. Hasn’t God been good to us?

What does the word “fellowship” mean in a Baptist church? Food! If we get together for fellowship after church, it would be to eat. Baptists eat for fun. There are people on this planet tonight that do not eat for fun, they eat to not die. When was the last time you prayed a prayer asking Jesus to encourage us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” We don’t even think of that.

How long has it been since you have said, “I wonder if I’ll be able to eat tomorrow.”? I am 78 and I have never asked that question in my life, not once. I have never asked it primarily because of God’s blessings on this country, on my family, and on people, I know and love. Hasn’t God been good to us?

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

#1 My God, #2 Your Needs, and #3 His Riches.

We ought to live in light of that, don’t you think? And don’t you think the fear of our needs ought to be turned to the Lord and just say, “My God. Your Needs. His Riches.” It works because it is in the Bible that the scripture clearly teaches.

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For more information on the Bill Rice Ranch, visit billriceranch.org.

Photos and video courtesy of the Bill Rice Ranch.

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Dr. Bill Rice, III served as president of the Bill Rice Ranch from 1978 until 2003 when his son Wil Rice IV received the reins of leadership. Dr. Bill Rice is actively involved in the summer camp ministry and speaks around the country in local church revivals, conferences, and regional events of the Bill Rice Ranch and West Branch.

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