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Showing posts from April, 2020

What Frightened Felix

"Several days later Felix arrived with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jewess. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus. As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, 'That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you'” (Acts 24:24–25).

Felix was the governor, and Paul was the prisoner. Yet it was Felix who was afraid. Perhaps it was the subject of their discourse that frightened him: “righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come.”

In the Gospel of John, Jesus spoke of the coming of the Holy Spirit: "When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment" (Jn. 16:8).

You can draw three conclusions from this:

1) Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit.
2) Fear is evidence of guilt and conviction.
3) The Holy Spirit will convict the world through the words and lives of His people.

Are the …

Confessing Jesus Christ

"Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him. Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God" (Jn. 12:41–43).

These leaders had two reasons for being unwilling to confess Jesus Christ—fear and love. They feared men and loved the praise of men instead of fearing God and loving His praise. They put their fear and their love in the wrong place. They feared what might happen in the future (e.g., being put out of the synagogue) and loved what they had already experienced. They knew what it was like to be praised by men, and they enjoyed it. They wanted the pleasant things to continue. They were most concerned about the opinions of the world and, in this particular instance, the part of the world that controlled the church.

Today the problem seems to be the reverse. Pastors …

Humiliation

“Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company or soldiers around Him. They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on His head. They put a staff in His right hand and knelt in front of Him and mocked him. ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’ they said. They spat on Him, and took the staff and struck Him on the head again and again. After they had mocked Him, they took off the robe and put His own clothes on Him. Then they led Him away to crucify Him” (Matthew 27:27-31).

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29).


During this month, we are going to remember again the events of Matthew 27 and 28. However, I would like to draw your attention to the soldiers’ attempt to humiliate Jesus. At different times in our lives, we have all b…

April Ministry Letter: Anxiety

Dear Friends,

Early in my Christian life, I had several periods of deep and sometimes prolonged anxiety. In each case, someone else pointed me to God and His faithfulness and how to trust Him. In every case, my anxiety ended, and God answered my need.

God cares for us. The more we think about God the way God thinks about Himself, the happier our lives will be. As long as we think of Him according to our accusative thoughts which are not true, we will adjust our lives based upon those lies. We think that God has characteristics that He does not have. We think He is unkind, intolerant, impatient, waiting for us to step out of line so He can swat us. That is not true. He is the opposite: He is kind, faithful, and caring.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet…