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Prepositions

I would like to draw your attention to several verses of scripture. I want you to notice the prepositions.

“yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live” (I Corinthians 8:6).

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all h…

Understanding the Old Testament Through Jesus

Here is how to understand the Old Testament according to Jesus.

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40).

Simple, isn't it.

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the …

Hypocrites

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.” Matthew 23:13-15
Hypocrites have been around a long time. According to many people, “the church is full of hypocrites.” That might be true. Certainly some hypocrites are there. Where else would they be?

Today, people talk about hypocrites in the third person and in a general way. They do not name the hypocrites. That would not be polite or politically correct. It would also take courage.

Jesus was specific in the second person; “you hypocrite” and He gave the reasons. People do not pretend to be bad. They are bad. People are hypocritical in the direction that they think is good. They do no…

Recommended Biographies

We got a few interested requests for biographies. I am sending out a selected list to all of you. I will start with the biographies which had an early influence on my life during the years 1950 to 1957.

“A Prisoner and Yet” by Corrie ten Boom (Holland and the Jews in Nazi camps)

David Brainerds Diary (American Indians pre American Revolution)

CT Studd by Norman Grubb (China, India and Africa)

Martin Luther by J. H. Merle D’Aubigne’

Amy Carmichael of Dohnarour by Frank Houghton

“Behind the Ranges” by Geraldine Taylor (James Fraser with the Lisu people of SW China)

George Mueller of Bristol by A.T. Pierson (Orphans)

John Sung (Evangelical in China)

Pastor HSI (Opium addict and Chinese scholar)

Biographies after 1957:

“To the Golden Shore” (Adoniram Judson, Baptist missionary in Burma)

“Delighted in God” (George Müller)

“Mountain Rain” (James Fraser)

George Mueller’s Autobiography

Recent Biographies (four about Africans)

Festo Kivengere (Uganda)

“Out of the Black Shadows” (Stephen Lungu, Zimbabwe)

“…

Google your way out of bitterness

If you Google “Bitterness” two Google advertisements will pop up. Both of them have wonderful descriptions and definitions of bitterness. The first one has a wonderful Biblical solution for bitterness and the second one has a “Bach flower therapy” solution.

The latter might offer a symptomatic correction but does not take care of the sin of bitterness.

For my “How to Be Free From Bitterness” in print and audio, go to our website; www.ccmbooks.org. You can also go to www.freefrombitterness.com.

The right kind of wisdom.

There is Godly wisdom and worldly wisdom. They are very different from each other.

Godly wisdom saves.

It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 1:30-31

Godly wisdom is Jesus Christ. Godly wisdom is righteousness, holiness and redemption.

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom…But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. James 3:13, 17

Godly wisdom is humility, peace, peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy, good fruit, impartial and sincere.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to an…

Political Action

Over the years, I have not taken a public political stance even though I have held strong opinions on most subjects. My greater conviction is that there is a more effective solution than the political one, which is preaching the gospel. If all, most, or a large minority of Christians would preach and practice the gospel with holiness instead of getting politically active, the character of the country would change rapidly for the good, even without a revival.

Back during the “civil rights” conflict I had to consider the option of being inside the restaurant “Mr. Barnes,” which threw out black people, or getting a placard and marching with the black people demanding to be let into Mr. Barnes restaurant. In praying about it I realized that the attitude of both groups of people were not good. If I was not going to identify with either side, what was I going to do, nothing? I realized that this third option was also not good. The answer was simple. I began to pray for opportunities w…

Passing on Good Stuff

Following is an article by an old friend, Bob Flynn, President of the Christian Military Fellowship.


Casualties of War — Friendly Fire

I am grieved in my spirit of late at the breaking news about all of the terrorist activity reported in the news. Not the television network news, nor even the cable news, but reports from the front lines in the battle for souls. My ears are still ringing from reports of church splits, pastoral staff resignations, mischief and misbehavior at Christian universities. What fuels the flame of this seemingly continuous conflagration that destroys lives, churches and makes impotent the work of the Gospel? It is the sin of anger! Yes, you heard it here first. Anger is a sin.

I did not come to this conclusion by way of thoughtful consideration of my intellectual prowess. It came instead by incremental illumination by the Holy Spirit as He worked upon my heart during a ten-year long sojourn in the second chapter of the Epistle to the Philippians. It could n…

Fame or Fruit?

Biographies are written about famous people, not because the people are good, but because they were great in their profession, science, military, drama, politics or sport and their lives were fascinating.

These people will be imitated; they will have babies named after them. As an example, Peton Manning will become a great quarterback like his example Johnny Unitas.

Unfortunately bad qualities are also copied and proudly so. This just happens.

Here are two short biographies of men who can be copied:

“Agape Leadership” about R. C. Chapman
“To Know This Mystery” about Lewis L. Bock M.D.

Here is a poem, Status Quo, written by Dr. Bock a year or two before he died in 1985.

To Know This Mystery by Dr. Lewis L. Brock, M.D.

Status Quo!

I’m so tired of mediocrity, Lord,
Weary of the commonplace
Jaded by the customary
Of business as usual
Of life restrained
Shallow and muted

Of preoccupation with trivia
Small talk and egomania
And knowledge falsely so-called
Of conf…

It's about Victory!

I would like to remind Christians of what they have in Christ in this present world. The unbeliever may know the words, especially if they were raised in an evangelical church, but know nothing of the experience the words describe.

1. We have peace with God (Romans 5:1)
2. We have become slaves to God (Romans 6:22)
3. The Spirit of God dwells in us (Romans 8:9-16)
4. We have been given the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-24)
5. We have been made a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
6. Streams of living water flow from us (John 7:37-39)

There are many doctrinally correct people in Evangelical churches who do not have the spiritual victory that the scriptures describe as normal to the Christian life.

If they are Christians, they have bought into the lie that spiritual defeat is normal and right. There is a possibility that they have not been saved. They are not defeated Christians. They are just not Christians! Jesus does a better job of saving than they evidence in their lives.

My Bible Reading

Over the years I have read the Bible but I did not keep track. The first time I read the Bible through was in the first year of our marriage (1952-53). I read four chapters every morning in the Old Testament and two chapters every evening in the New Testament. The result was I read the Old Testament in nine months and the New Testament two and one half times in the same period. I had been a Christian four and one half years before I started. However, before I did this reading I had memorized at least two hundred verses of scripture. I found out that many of these verses which had been memorized were memorized out of context. I had to unlearn some of what I thought I had learned.

Maybe eight years ago, I followed a “Youth With a Mission” one-year Bible reading program. I did this for maybe three years. Then four years ago I stated using a reading schedule put together by Robert Murray M’Cheyne called “Light on the Way.” In one year the Old Testament is read once, the New Testa…

Do you know where you are?

I would like to remind us of where we were, and for people who have not yet received the Savior, where they are.

When were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. Romans 6:20

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. Ephesians 2:1-2

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves. Colossians 1:13

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of[b] your evil behavior. Colossians 1:21

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins. Colossians 2:13

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating on…

Retirement?

Over the last few years I have been hearing rumors of my retirement. My job description has bee changed several times by transferring responsibilities and discontinuing others but that is not he same as quitting.

Over the last year or two I have transferred administration of CCM, pasturing staff, travelling to bookstores and quite a bit of personal ministry to Matt Meyer. He has not complained.

Five years ago I quit taking conferences out of town. More recently I moved my office to our home for counseling, and later quit preaching at the Chinese Church in Pullman.

Then last Thursday we made a bi-lateral decision (God and I) for me to quit preaching, going to church and counseling here in the home. All of the above have been down because Bessie has become increasingly frail and needs me even if I am not much help. I am honoring previously made commitments (I am speaking at CRF at the University of Idaho on February 8, 2010 at 7:30 pm on “Life between the Sexes.” If you need a refr…

Returning $ to the US Government

Here is a note to bring you up to date on my returning the $500 to the Treasury Department.

I wrote the check on April 16, 2009. It was returned to me by the Senator.

It was sent again on June 6 to the US Treasury, certified mail. It was signed for on June 24.

It was finally cashed on August 10. My last e-mail on the subject, it had not yet been cashed.

So cheer up, it is possible to return money to the government.
Following is another sermon post from recent correspondence.


A New Command

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

While prayer and reading God’s Word are absolutely necessary in order to grow in our relationship with the Lord, there is a third key to our Christian walk, and that is fellowship. Fellowship, in the context of our Christian perspective, is a good and right relationship with our fellow Christians, our brothers and sisters in Christ. It was Christ Himself who taught us that we should look at those who follow His Way as family. “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:50) Now, if Christ Jesus, God clothed in flesh refers to us as brothers and sisters, how much more so should we, mere mortals so finite and insignificant to our …