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Showing posts from May, 2019

Seven Minutes with God: How to Plan a Daily Quiet Time

If you are not a regular Bible reader, this is an encouragement to start now. You can begin by reading the New Testament together with several thousand of us during the #samepagesummer. Get the schedule and find others in the plan here. When I was a young Christian, I was involved with the Navigators under Dawson Trotman. Here is the text of a very good booklet put out by the Navs on how to get started with a daily quiet time. Seven Minutes with God: How to Plan a Daily Quiet Time By Robert D. Foster (reprinted by permission from NavPress) It was in 1882 on the campus of Cambridge University that the world was first given the slogan: “Remember the morning watch.” Students like Hooper and Thornton found their days loaded with studies, lectures, games and bull sessions. Enthusiasm and activity were the order of the day. These dedicated men soon discovered a flaw in their spiritual armor—a crack which if not soon closed, would bring disaster. The sought an answer and came up w

The Heart: Our Loving Father

This article was written by my wife Bessie for The Hammer Magazine. O that their hearts were inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever! (Deuteronomy 5:29) Moses is quoting the Lord in these words as we see from verse 28, “and the Lord said to me.” We need to pause long enough to hear the yearning heart of God over His people. He longs to see His people fear Him and keep His commandments. It seems to burst from Him in an exclamation, “O that there was such a heart in them,” yearning, loving and seeking. It is an aspect of the character of God we rarely consider. We find it also in Jeremiah 29:11. "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future…you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." And here in Deuteronomy 5:29 the thought is the same, “that it might be well with them and with their child

How to Walk without Fainting

To walk without fainting is the greatest miracle of all. Most Christians, at some time or other, are able to manage a spectacular flight into the heavenly places, their wings momentarily as strong as an eagle’s. At the final day of a great convention, the whole congregation may suddenly take off as they soar to the rare atmosphere of great spiritual heights. Running is also a fairly common phenomenon. At most evangelical churches, the congregation breaks out into a fairly brisk trot every Sunday morning and follows up with another burst of speed on Wednesday at the prayer meeting. But a steady, consistent walk, up and down hill, fair weather or foul, alone or in company, is rare. It is rare because we do not “wait for the Lord.” A better translation might be “wait upon” or “look to” the Lord. We faint or fall because we do everything except go to the Lord who has an abundance of what we need. Look at the threatening nations, read the news reporters’ gloomy prophecies, seek the sorry

The Ephesians Test

Many people have told me they do not read their Bibles regularly because it is just too hard or takes too much time. Here is a suggestion: read the book of Ephesians (all six chapters) in one sitting, and time yourself. You will be surprised at how little time it takes. On average, it takes about 16 minutes. (If you are a slow reader, you can still read the entire Bible in about 80 hours.) Compare those 16 minutes with some of the other things you might be spending your time on - looking at Facebook or Instagram, watching TV, etc. We have time!

My History with Books

If you know me at all, you probably know that I am involved with books (reading, writing, selling, loaning, and giving them away). My first acquaintance with Christian books was during my first-class year at the Naval Academy in 1950 when Corrie ten Boom gave me her book A Prisoner and Yet . Other books which had a major effect in my life include The Calvary Road by Roy Hession in 1951; Continuous Revival by Norman Grubb in 1956; Behind the Ranges , a biography of James Fraser, in 1957; and C.T. Studd by Norman Grubb in 1951. In particular, I have used biographies of godly men and women as models for me to imitate. Here are a few thoughts about types of books. First, I like good writing. Second, I like good content, whether the books are fiction, history, or biography. When I was a senior at the Naval Academy and had been a Christian a little over two years, I read a book on apologetics. I loved it. I set about debating with classmates using apologetics. I loved to argue. I

Same Page Summer: A Bible Reading Invitation

There are many Christians who read the Scriptures sporadically. In other words, they read their Bibles “now and then” and “here and there.” They gravitate to their favorite chapters. If asked the last time they had read the New Testament all the way through, they might not be sure they ever had. Consequently, there is an appalling ignorance of God’s Word in the body of Christ, and a consequent lack of obedience. Listening to the best Bible teachers in the world will not make up for not reading the Bible yourself. Are you hesitant to try reading through the New Testament or the Bible? Is it difficult to understand? Do you get stuck on the genealogies? When you don’t understand a verse, do you stay with it, trying to understand it, and then you don’t progress? Is it just too long? Here are a few suggestions to overcome these complaints. First, get a Bible, or download an audio Bible. If the King James is too hard for you to understand, go with something simpler like the NIV or the

Missions (A Few Memories)

My wife Bessie was in Japan for four years. Our daughter Heather was in Egypt for eight months and in Turkey for five years. We have had a long interest in praying for missions, giving to them, and encouraging people to go. In the early 1960s, I gave a book written by a Wycliffe Bible translator to a University of Maryland student name Ron Metzger. Ron recently finished his second New Testament translation with Wycliffe. The first was the CarapaƱa language for people in the Columbian headwaters of the Amazon River. The second is in the English Creole of St. Andres Island in the Western Caribbean. Ralph Toliver came to Christ in our home in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1970. He and his wife Marilyn translated the New Testament into Ambo Paseo, a dialect of Quechua in Peru. Our close friends Csaba and Lisa Leidenfrost finished translating the New Testament into the Bakwe language of the Ivory Coast in August 2017. Mark and Rachel Miller are working with the Lono people in Sabah, Malaysi

Personal Testimony

One of the best ways of communicating the gospel is personal testimony. We see this in the book of Acts. Paul’s conversion experience shows up three times in Acts: once, when it happened in chapter 9, and the other two when Paul is giving his testimony. The last time was when Paul was in chains before Agrippa and testifying to him. “I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the Lord’s people in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. I was so obsessed with persecuting them that I even hunted them down in foreign cities. “On one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. About noon, King Agrippa, as I was on the road, I saw a light from he

"So That"

Here is a short meditation I hope will be an encouragement to you. “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.” (Acts 3:19-21) “We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited.” (2 Cor. 6:3) “Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” (Titus 2:4-5) “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.”

Dear Friend: Working Alongside Non-Christians

This was my advice to a friend who is having trouble with non-Christian coworkers. Dear J, Thank you for the good email. Remember, you should not expect Christian virtues from people who are not Christians. They are the ones who need help. Colossians 3:17 and 23-24 were a great help to me in the Navy: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him…. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Jim

God's Love: How to Recognize a Christian

God is love (1 John 4:16). This is primary. Because He is love, He loves . God’s action comes out of His character. His nature is love; His action is love. The most famous text of His action is in the third chapter of the Gospel of John: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believers in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” The whole chapter is good—in fact, the whole book is great. There is another great paragraph in the Bible that expresses this loving action of God. It is found in the fifth chapter of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans. This is another good chapter in another great book. “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Not only is love the character of God and t

An Update on My Ministry

This is an update from my son Douglas on my health and the plans for continuing my literature publishing ministry with Community Christian Ministries. If you would like to talk to me more about this or just for fellowship, you can reach me at (208) 882-4383 or Dear saints, My name is Douglas Wilson, and I am writing you with an update about my father’s health, and about our plans for the future of his ministry. I serve on CCM’s executive committee, and we recently made some important decisions in this regard, and so I wanted to take this opportunity to pass this information on to you. As most of you know, Jim Wilson is now on hospice care. He is getting progressively weaker, but is still able to live at home, where he continues to counsel and minister to others. We don’t know when he will go to be with the Lord—it could be any time, and it could be a while yet. My wife and I have been living with him the last nine months, and are happy to report that

On Warts

Concerning warts, love, and prayer: In the early 1950s, I had a large wart on the first finger of my left hand. It was right on the main knuckle and was very annoying. In Sasebo, Japan, I went to the Navy sickbay and had it burnt off. I can still see the scar. I had two other warts on my fingers. They were not big enough to be visible. In the past when I was stressed or anxious, they would grow and hurt. They have not hurt for at least thirty years, and they have been gone for some time now. When our family lived in Annapolis, my sons Douglas and Evan were in elementary school. They both had warts on their hands. Bessie asked Douglas if he wanted her to pray that the warts would be taken away. He said, ‘Yes.” Bessie prayed, and his warts were gone. We asked Evan if he wanted us to pray for his warts to be taken away. He said no, they were his friends. He played with them. I knew that my warts were the result of anxiety and stress. I figured that Evan’s were the result of ins

Divorce: Little Sins and Great Transgression

At least four of the marriages I have performed ended in divorce. I can think of seven others with whom I spent hours over years with seemingly no effect. In one case, the husband was at one time a dynamic spiritual leader. In retrospect, I can see the little sins that were in their lives when they were still in leadership, little sins which led to greater sins. When I saw the sins at the time, I spoke to them about them. I think I spoke the truth in love, but not in the fullness of the Spirit. There is a wonderful truth in Psalm 19:13: "Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression." The best way to not commit a great transgression is to not be dominated by little sins.