Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2018

The Discipline of the Lord

My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. (Prov. 3:11-12) And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, ‘My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.’ Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order t


One of my favorite paragraphs in the New Testament is 1 Corinthians 2:1-5: “And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.” Notice the word resolved . The KJV says determined . The definition is “to fix conclusively, decidedly, and authoritatively.” What was this resolve? “To know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” Apparently Paul was not into small talk and inane conversations.

A Simple "No"

Here are a few observations from my time witnessing on university campuses and elsewhere. These observations are not new to me. Mormons are not Mormons; they are just natural men. Muslims are not Muslims; they are just natural men. Atheists are not atheists; they are just natural men. And many “Christians” are not Christians; they are natural men. There are only two types of people in the world: Forgiven people Unforgiven people People who are going to heaven People who are going to hell People who are saints People who are sinners People who are spiritual People who are natural People who are dead to sin People who are dead in sin People who are slaves of God People who are slaves of sin Here are a few characteristics of the natural man: The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. (1 Cor. 2:14) Jesus

Jesus Our "Enabler"

I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. (Rom. 6:19) Notice that righteousness leads to holiness. (They are not the same thing.) He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. (Luke 1:69, 74-75) Jesus is our “enabler.” He does not enable us to continue in sin, but the opposite, in holiness and righteousness. He does this all our days. Righteousness is purity that comes from God when we receive Jesus Christ. We are cleansed from our sin. Holiness is also pure. However, it does not cleanse us. Holiness is not getting dirty in the first place. It starts out being clean by the righteousness that comes from God. Mo

Dead & Alive: God's Solution to Disobedience

There seem to be two extremes in disobedience – legalism and licentiousness. There is drifting between these two. Both of these (and the in-between) are sins. The world’s answer to legalism is the works of the flesh - licentiousness. "The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God" (Gal. 5:19-21). The world’s answer to licentiousness is “touch not, taste not, handle not” - legalism (Col. 2:20). The Christian has crucified the flesh, and the Christian is dead to the basic principles of the world. “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires” (Gal. 5:24). The Christian is in liberty and the fruit of the Spirit. Where does that leave us? I

Directing Our Steps

Jeremiah prayed, “I know, O LORD, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23). Paul wrote, “Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Rom. 8:14). But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. (Gal. 5:18) If the LORD delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm. (Psalm 37:23) In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps. (Prov. 16:9) I thank God for these wonderful truths. I thank God for His daily directing my steps from my earliest days as a Christian until today. I have no idea where I would be today if this were not true. Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. (2 Thess. 3:1)

God's Love: A Study of Jesus' Commands

What are Jesus’ Commands? If you love me, keep my commands. (John 14:15) 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.’” (Matt. 22:37-40) We are told to love God, and this is how: “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him” (1 John 4:16). If we are living in love, we are living in God, and consequently we are obeying Him. Jesus is saying, “If you love Me, then love Me.” You obey His commandments by loving, and loving is the means to obey His commands. Loving God is a response to His love for us. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” 1 John 4:19 says, “We love him because he

And So He Condemned Sin

There is a verse that comes to my attention at least twice a year. It should come to my attention daily. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. (Rom. 8:3b-4) Notice what God did and why He did it: “in order that.” The words before “in order that” and the words after it are very powerful words. Condemning sin in sinful man was a means for the righteous requirement to be fully met in us. The “us” are those “who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.” The “us” are Christians. When God saved us, He made it possible to be fully obedient. Please pray for me as I use my time in personal teaching, group teaching, preaching, and writing. I need to be led daily. Thank you.

1950: Meeting My Wife

The year 1950 was very important and eventful in my life. On June 2, I graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and was commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Navy. On my 30-day graduation leave, God used me in a week of gospel meetings in a Methodist Church in Giltner, Nebraska. Before the meetings began, three of my younger brothers and four of their friends received Christ. During the week, another 20+ teenagers and my father received Christ. As soon as my leave was over I reported for duty in San Francisco. My ship was currently in the Western Pacific. I reported aboard the USS Brush (DD745) on 15 July. The Seventh Fleet got underway on 16 July and landed the First Cavalry Division ashore in Pohang Dong on 18 July. (The Korean War had started on 26 June.) We rode out a typhoon in the Tsushima straits on 19 July. The next six weeks, we supported the aircraft carriers USS Valley Forge and the HMS Triumph . On 6 July, the Brush was ordered to the front lines in Pohang Harbor, where w

Like the Lord Jesus: I Want to Know Christ

Here is a thought put together by the following verses: I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 3:10-14) Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Cor. 3:17-18) For those God foreknew he also pre

The Olympics: Making Every Effort

In the Winter Olympics, we are watching men and women making every effort to win a medal. This means the ultimate in mental and physical effort, regardless which event they are competing in. The Bible tells us several times to make every effort. This is not the same kind of “every effort” that we see in the athletes at the Olympic games. How do we know? The difference is described in two portions of Scripture: Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. (Luke 13:24) Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? (Gal. 3:3) In Luke we are to make every effort to enter. Those who “try” are not able to enter. In Galatians, we began by the Spirit, but cannot finish by human effort. It is foolishness! We can see from this that “every effort” is not human effort. This effort is a spiritual event, a grace and faith event. It is different from trying.

A Prayer for Convicting Power

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matt. 9:36-38) Even without a revival, the harvest is plentiful. The shortage is in harvesters. More people apparently are ready to enter the kingdom than there are people ready to help them in. Our instruction is to pray that God would send more people as workers into the harvest field. Praying that prayer should not be too difficult to do. Please pray for the many Christians who are living mediocre Christian lives. They might have many unconfessed, willful sins and also hidden, great transgressions. “Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression” (Psalm 19:13). Please pray for the overwhelming convicting power of t

Reconsidering Our Responsibility as Believers

Here are a few thoughts on evangelism. There is a key responsibility placed upon the unbeliever. “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). This is a command to all people, everywhere. However, all people everywhere have not heard this command. Let's look at the responsibility placed on the believer. For, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our message?" Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. (R

A Few Prayer Requests

These are sentences that the Apostle wrote which I have attempted to live. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me. (Col. 1:27-29) Paul also had prayer requests which I, in turn, send to you: Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. (Col. 4:2-4) As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. (2 Thess. 3:1) Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so t

God's Direction

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. (Rom. 8:14) But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. (Gal. 5:18) In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps. (Prov. 16:9) A person’s steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand their own way? (Prov. 20:29) LORD, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps. (Jer. 10:23) These verses wonderfully describe my life as God has directed my steps and has led me by His Spirit.

No Darkness

There are many favorite verses of mine in the Scriptures. Here are a few of them: This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5) But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7) The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. (2 Cor. 4:4-6) In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you t