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Showing posts from April, 2019

Children and Lying

Recently I was asked how to keep children from lying. There are several answers to that question. The first is: you can’t. They are born liars. My parents were successful in teaching me not to use profanity, slang, tobacco, alcohol, or girls. They were not successful in teaching me not to lie. I lied my way through high school.

The second answer is to teach them the negative consequences of lying: if caught, an immediate, hard spanking. This will thin down the lying. However, it will also help them to figure out how to not to get caught.

The third is to teach them the everlasting consequences of lying.
Nothing impure will ever enter into it nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Rev. 21:27)

Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. (Rev. 22:15)When we teach this judgment, we should also teach …

The Heart: Stubborn Ways (Bessie Wilson)

This article was written by my wife Bessie for The Hammer Magazine.

We have all known the frustration of dealing with a stubborn child or an adult who will not respond to reason or argument. We know what stubbornness is even if we cannot define it. The dictionary lists many synonyms for this word such as obstinate, mulish, pig-headed, stiff-necked, arrogant or defiant. Like so many other English words, the definition of stubbornness has gone through a transition. The original meaning of the word included such good qualities as sturdy, fixed, resolute and unyielding. However, today the emphasis seems to be on the negative aspect of the word.

So it is in the Bible. When speaking to King Saul, the prophet Samuel said, “For rebellion is like the sin of divination and arrogance (stubbornness in KJV), like the evil of idolatry” (1 Samuel 15:23, NIV). What was the sin of Saul in this case? He insisted on his own way while declaring that he had obeyed the Lord (1 Samuel 15:20). Perhaps vers…

What Does It Mean to Be a Disciple?

Jim Hardie was a very good friend of mine. He discipled several of my brothers while I was away in the Navy.

by Jim Hardie

Our Lord Jesus gave those of us who make up His church the most challenging responsibility and greatest adventure we humans can imagine he stated this responsibility to eleven men He had chosen to be His disciples and later appointed them to be Apostles. The charge He gave them was what we usually refer to as The Great Commission. These men were to be the instruments through whom His church would be established.

This Great Commission to these eleven men must have caused complete bewilderment at first. Here were men with little financial resources, no transportation, no printing presses, no radio, television, telephones, cell phones or anything we feel today are a must-have to carry out this task. What the Lord Jesus was asking, how could it possibly be accomplished? This charge to these men is recorded in Matthew’s gospel, chapter 28:18-20: “All authority in heave…

Fair, Unfair, and Walking in the Light

Back in my bookstore days, one of my co-workers told me of the effect of light on different kinds of insects. Moths fly to the light, and cockroaches run from it. He was simply saying that light attracts and light repels. It is the same light in both cases.

“But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin" (1 John 1:7)

The definition of light is found two verses earlier. “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth” (1 John 1:5-6).

God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. Some of us have been in places where there is no light at all. Even for those who are not afraid of the dark, after a short while they begin to get scared.

However, none of us has ever been in a place where there is no darkness at all.…

Christ's Compassion

This article was written by my daughter-in-law Nancy for The Hammer Magazine.
Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. (Matt. 24:17-20)Although I have always noticed this passage and Christ’s reference to pregnant women and nursing mothers, I never stopped to think much about it. Only recently did I see something of the gracious character of our Lord in this statement.

How many of us, in the midst of a discourse such as this, would mention the difficulty of pregnant women and nursing mothers? Especially, how many men would refer to it while addressing a group of men (Jesus was addressing His disciples)?

Jesus shows a great deal of empathy and compassion in this brief statement. A pregnant or nursing mother can relate to the difficulty and stress of the …

Life in Christ

by John R.W. Stott

This article is reprinted by permission.

When we meet some people we know immediately and instinctively that they are different. We are anxious to learn their secret. It is not the way they dress or talk or behave, although it influences these things. It is not that they have affixed a name tag to themselves and proclaimed themselves the adherent of a particular religion or ideology. It’s not even that they have a strict moral code which they faithfully follow. It is that they know Jesus Christ, and that He is a living reality to them. They dwell in Him, and He dwells in them. He is the source of their life, and it shows in everything they do.
Not merely in the words you say;
Not only in your deeds confessed,
But in the most unconscious way
Is Christ expressed.

Is it a beatific smile?
A holy light upon your brow?
Oh no! I felt his presence
When you laughed just now.

To me, ‘twas not the truth you taught,
To you so clear, to me still dim,
But when you came you brough…

Read Your Bible

My advice to Christians of all ages: I find that most Christians do not read their Bibles, except perhaps a chapter or two once or twice a week. My advice is to read your Bible daily, and read at least four chapters a day. When you get done, reread it.

If you do not have a reading plan, you can join one here.

The Bill We Can't Pay

This article was written by my daughter-in-law Nancy for The Hammer Magazine.
“Let no debt remain outstanding except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellow man has fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:8)We all know what it is to have bills. Bills, bills, bills coming persistently in the mail is part of life. Scripture tells us to take care of these debts promptly. When one comes due it should be paid in full.

But there is one debt that we can never properly pay off; one debt that is incessantly overdue and underpaid. We cannot “save up” for it. We must pay more than our tight budget allows each month, each week, each day. That debt is the continuing love due our fellow creatures. It is the debt that remains outstanding day after day, month after month, year after year.

In and of ourselves we lack the resources to pay this continuous debt. But if we have died and our life is hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:8), we have access to all the riches of God’s grace a…