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Fix Your Eyes on Jesus

“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance” (2 Thessalonians 3:5).

We have all known of God’s love and that our hearts should be directed into it. But we may not have known or thought of the “steadfastness” (RSV) or the “perseverance” (NIV) of Christ. What is it? How was it shown, and how should our hearts be directed into it? Hebrews 12:1-4 answers all three questions:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding you…
Recent posts

Apologetics: Problems & the Kind of Questions We Should Be Prompting

Early in my Christian experience, before I knew the definition of apologetics, I sensed the need of an adequate apologetic for every accusation against, and question to, the Christian faith. There were so many people who did not know God, and there were so many questions that seemed to stand between them and God. If their questions could be answered clearly, rationally, intelligently, and kindly, these students would stand convinced and would then become believers (or so I thought). I set myself the task of getting the right answers.

Before I became accomplished in this pursuit, I began to have doubts. The doubts arose as I began to practice my growing knowledge in face-to-face encounters (arguments) or large bull sessions. It was great fun arguing. It was even more fun winning the argument. But there weren’t any results. No conversions.

Part of the problem was that I found it difficult to be kind while I was being methodically rational and clear in my presentation. There was anothe…

Sneaky Self-Exaltation

Jesus made a statement recorded in Matthew 23:1: “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” This is following a teaching that we are not to be called master, father, or teacher.

Jesus said approximately the same thing in Luke 14:11, only in this case He said "everyone" instead of “whoever.” It was the conclusion of a command not to take the place of honor but to take the lowest place at a wedding banquet.

He said it again in Luke 18:14 with the same conclusion; this time it was the conclusion to a parable of a man who considered himself more righteous than another man.

There seems to be more than one way to exalt yourself. They all seem to be evident in today’s society. They are evident because we can see self-exaltation in other people, but we do not see it in ourselves. What should we do about this? Let us pray that we will be able to reject self-exaltation and that we will humble ourselves.

Written January 1985.

Breakfast with the Servant Lord

“...but that night they caught nothing.”
“Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
“When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.”
“Bring some of the fish you have just caught.”
“Come and have breakfast.”
“Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.”
(Selections from John 21)

Jesus had been fishing. Jesus had made or purchased bread. Jesus started a fire and cleaned the fish. He cooked the bread and the fish. He invited the men to breakfast. He served them their breakfast.

This was the risen Christ. “None of the disciples dared ask him, ‘Who are you?’ They knew it was the Lord.” Isn’t this a wonderful picture of the risen Lord? He is still a servant. We are to be like him.

Join the #keepthefeast Bible Reading Challenge. This post coordinates with today's reading.
Written June 1988.

The Father Himself Loves You

“I have said this to you in figures; the hour is coming when I shall no longer speak to you in figures but tell you plainly of the Father. In that day you will ask in my name; and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from the Father. I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father” (John 16:25-28).

This is a wonderful statement! The Father Himself loves you.

Many Christians do not believe that, even though they know John 3:16 and Romans 5:8. They read those verses in such a way as to read, “For Jesus so loved the world,” and “Jesus commends His love for us.” The Father loves us. We should dwell on that fact. It influences all of our actions.

Join the #keepthefeast Bible Reading Challenge here. This post coordinates with today's reading.
Written August 1986.

Fear & Love Done Wrong

“Nevertheless many even of the authorities believed in Him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, lest they should be put out of the synagogues: for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:41-43).

There seem to be two reasons for this unwillingness to confess Jesus Christ: fear and love. It is fear of men instead of God and love of the praise of men instead of the praise of God.

The fear anticipated something bad happening in the future, i.e. being put out of the synagogue. The love is past-tense. They already knew what it was like to be praised by men, and they liked it. They wanted the pleasant things from men and did not want unpleasant things from them. In other words, they were concerned about the opinions of the world and, in this particular instance, that part of the world that controlled the existing church.

Join the #keepthefeast Bible Reading Challenge here. This post coordinates with today's reading.
Written November 17, 1977.

Water That Wasn't in the Well

“Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life’” (John 4:13-14).

When I was 9 years old, we sang this song in church:

Jesus gave her water
That was not in the well,
Gave her living water,
And she went forth to tell.
She went away singing
And came back bringing
Others for the water
That was not in the well.
Have you taken Jesus
Who is the well of life?
For He gives salvation,
And keeps from sin and strife.
Then you will be singing,
Others you'll be bringing
To the loving Savior
Who gives eternal life.

Join us for the #keepthefeast Bible Reading Challenge here. This post coordinates with today's reading.
Written August 2019.