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Showing posts from July, 2017

Hamlet and the Apostle Paul

Recently I have been thinking about two famous people who expressed their personal feelings about life and death. They were Shakespeare’s Hamlet and the Bible’s Saint Paul. The world view and the Christian.
"To Be Or Not To Be": Words Spoken by Hamlet, Act 3 Scene 1

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of despi…

Keep Warm and Well Fed

Today I want to bring to your attention several related passages that are clearly directed to individuals or households, not to the whole church.
There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land. (Deut. 15:11)

But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous. (Luke 14:13-14)

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27)

Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? (James 2:15-16)We have managed to evade these clear teachings by delegating the responsibility…

Being Trustworthy

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? (Luke 16:10-12)

Stealing is a common characteristic of the natural man. It is sin (Exodus 20:15), and in most countries it is also a crime. When we think of it as crime, then we are grateful that we have not been caught. When we think of it as sin, we know that we are always caught.

Most stealing is not in burglary, robbery, or shoplifting. It is in being dishonest in very little and being dishonest in much. This crime is measured as petty larceny or grand larceny. The penalty is related to the crime: petty larceny is a misdemeanor, and grand larceny is a felony. Sin is also measured in size; however, the size does not affect the penalt…

Definition of the Gospel

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! (Gal. 1:6-9)This is a good measuring stick against which we can evaluate what claims to be true. It is the Gospel that saved us. This Gospel is succinctly expressed in 1 Corinthians 15:1-5:
Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raise…

The Surgeon's Knife (guest post by Brad Scheelke)

This post was written by Brad Scheelke, manager of Oasis Books in Logan, Utah.
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. (Heb. 3:13) Notice that: 1) sin is deceitful, 2) this deceitfulness hardens people, 3) hardening can be prevented, 4) giving encouragement daily is a means of prevention, and 5) every individual is important. The important individual is the other person. “Self” died on the cross with the Lord Jesus Christ. Now it is His life living within and overflowing to others. This warning about hardness and unbelief continues through Hebrews 4:13, where the focus shifts to our hope in the Lord Jesus Christ's work for us. Notice verses 12 and 13:
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sig…

The Highway of Holiness

A highway shall be there, and a road,
And it shall be called the Highway of Holiness.
The unclean shall not pass over it,
But it shall be for others.
Whoever walks the road, although a fool,
Shall not go astray.

No lion shall be there,
Nor shall any ravenous beast go up on it;
It shall not be found there.
But the redeemed shall walk there,

And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
And come to Zion with singing,
With everlasting joy on their heads.
They shall obtain joy and gladness,
And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

(Isaiah 35:8-10)

I am not sure how literal this is, but it sure sounds wonderful! If it is spiritual, then the Redeemed should be experiencing this joy. It is part of Philippians 4:4: "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!"

Your Storehouse

Here are verses on three storehouses: earth, heaven, and heart.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break, in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt. 6:19-21)

You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. (Matt. 12:34-35)The first verse has to do with where your treasure is, on earth or heaven. Where that treasure is, that is where your heart is. The second verse is talking about the storehouse of your heart and what you put in it. What is stored up in your heart determines what comes out of your mouth.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set y…

Our God Is In Heaven

“Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?” (Acts 26:8) (Paul the Apostle, in chains, before King Agrippa and Governor Festus)

God is God! He created the universe and every microscopic part of it. “Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him” (Psalm 115:3). I’m with Paul. I think it is incredible that anyone thinks God raising the dead is incredible. God is God!

How is Your Eyesight?

Our view of God, our view of our own sinfulness (or our own righteousness), and our view of the sinfulness of others all have an effect on how and when we repent.

David had a great view of God’s mercy and unfailing love and a great view of his own sin. “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me, against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge” (Psalm 51:1-4).

A simple parable presented by Nathan the prophet broke David into repentance.

Job had a great view of his own righteousness and a great view of God’s injustice to him. "As surely as God lives, who has denied me justice, the Almighty, who has made me taste bitterness of soul, as long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nos…

Evangelizing Unbelievers or Stumbling Them?

We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. (1 Cor. 6:3)

Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God. (2 Cor. 10:32)

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. (1 Pet. 3:15-16)One of the most effective means of evangelism is to keep from stumbling unbelievers. Read how Paul does it:
Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of rig…

Ministry Update

I have had requests for more information on Community Christian Ministries.

Over the years, we closed all but two of our stores. The reason for this was that they had become ineffective both in evangelism and in book selling. The two remaining stores are and The Brushfire Coffee House in Gunnison, Colorado, serving Western State College, and Oasis Books in Logan, Utah, serving Utah State University with Brad Scheelke and Eldon Peterson on staff. We will send you Brad’s ministry letter. Oasis is located on Center Street. It is attached to a bakery with access both from the street and from the bakery.

Here in Moscow, Rodger Boothman has succeeded Matt Meyer as director. Matt succeeded me at the end of 2006. In addition to his responsibilities as director, Rodger is our main evangelist for both Washington State University and the University of Idaho.

CCM has a new office at 212 E. 6th St., 1½ blocks east of Main Street. (We have just moved into that location, so there is no signage out…

All Authority

Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matt 28:18)Following this statement from Jesus, we have commands from the Supreme Commander, the one with all authority: Therefore “go,” “make disciples,” “baptize,” “teach them to obey everything.” When Jesus was on earth, the people saw his authority:
• To teach (March 1:22)
• To cast out demons (Mark 1:27)
• To forgive sins (Mark 1:10)
• Over the wind and the waves (Mark 4:41)
• To raise the dead (Mark 5:41)
• To heal the sick (Mark 5:30)
• To not let the demons speak (Mark 1:34)
• “I have authority to lay [My life] down and authority to take it up again” (John 10:18).We are to believe and obey the one with all authority.