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Showing posts from July, 2019

Beautiful Feet

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!" (Isaiah 52:7) We do not normally think of feet as beautiful. Why are these feet different? They are carrying a voice that proclaims good news, peace, good tidings, salvation and the reign of God. The Apostle Paul quotes this text in Romans 10:15 right after a series of questions: "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 they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news! " (Romans 10:13-15) Same Page Summer Bible Reading

Not Honoring God: Idolatry in the Modern World

"Set forth your case, says the Lord; bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob. Let them bring them, and tell us what is to happen. Tell us the former things, what they are, that we may consider them, that we may know their outcome, or declare to us the things to come. Tell us what is to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods; do good, or do harm, that we may be dismayed and terrified. Behold, you are nothing, and your work is nought; an abomination is he who chooses you!" (Isaiah 41:21-24) This is one of the many comments on idolatry in the Old Testament. Psalm 115 is another. “Not to us, Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. Why do the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. But their idols are silver and gold, made by human hands. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see. They have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but cannot smell. They h

What Kind of Person Should You Be?

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends; with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. (2 Peter 3:8-12) I want to focus on two elements that this passage seems to be indicating. First of all, since Peter is writing this letter to Christians, he indicated that God is patient with Christians , as well as non-Christians, when it comes to fulfilling His promised return. Secondly, since God’s desire is that no one should perish b

Afraid? Of What?

Afraid? Of what? To feel the spirit’s glad release? To pass from pain to perfect peace, The strife and strain of life to cease? Afraid? Of that? Afraid? Of what? A flash—a crash—a pierced heart; Darkness—light—O Heaven’s art! A wound of His a counterpart! Afraid? Of that? Afraid? Of what? To enter into Heaven’s rest, And yet to serve the Master blest, From service good to service best? Afraid? Of that? Afraid? Of what? To do by death what life could not— Baptize with blood a stony plot, Till souls shall blossom from the spot? Afraid? Of that? - E.H. Hamilton

Are We Making People Afraid?

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 judgement 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 the discourse which frightened Felix: “righteousness, self-control and the judgement 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.” It is easy to come to three conclusions: 1) Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit. 2) Fear is one evidence of conviction of guilt. 3) The Holy Spirit will convict the world through the speaking and living of His own people. Here are a few questio

Hearing the Gospel: Two Different Audiences

"And as he talked with him, he went in and found many persons gathered…. So I sent to you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here present in the sight of God, to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord." (Acts 10:27, 33) "So on the morrow Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp, and they entered the audience hall with the military tribunes and the prominent men of the city. Then by command of Festus Paul was brought in.” (Acts 25: 23) These are two different audiences gathering together to hear the Gospel. There is a great difference in the makeup of the audiences. The first was a household: a family, servants, and soldiers; the second was a gathering of self-important people. The first gathering wanted to know God. The second gathering was curious. One hundred percent of the first group were converted as soon as they received the minimum of truth. To our knowledge, none of the second group responded to the Gospel. I

Roots By the River & the Same Page Summer

For those of you doing the Same Page Summer Bible reading plan, I will be, Lord willing, posting thoughts on the subject of the day’s reading. This will not happen every day, but I will endeavor to do it often. Many of the posts will be things I have written in the past, but I hope they will be of some benefit to you. I will endeavor to keep this up for the year-long plan once it starts in September. If you are not doing the Bible reading plan but would like to join or want to know more, you can find that information at .

A Note on Missionary Methods

This was found when going through my old correspondence files. It is a letter I wrote to CCM supporters upon returning from my around-the-world trip in 1981. It is still relevant today. May 14, 1981 Dear Friends: It has been close to two months since I returned from a nine-week round-the-world trip. Certainly God was in it. He directed my steps daily. Here are a few observations out of many things I learned while I was gone. Many years ago, Jesus' statement in John 4:35 impressed me as a truth that was always true. "Do you not say 'four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you open your eyes and look at the fields. They are ripe for harvest.” If is always true, then it is true in every society at any given time. Over the years I have found it true. Again I found it true in Japan, Korea, Egypt, and Germany as people came to the Lord. Others had sown; I was there for the reaping. I believe it is far truer than missionaries or native Christians believe. We

A Man Named Stephen

I would like to draw your attention to a man named Stephen, whom we meet in the Book of Acts. "Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom" (Acts 6:3). "They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 6:5). "Now, Stephen, a man full of God's grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people" (Acts 6:8). "These men began to argue with Stephen, but they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by which he spoke" (Acts 6:9-10). "All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel" (Acts 6:15). Stephen started his defense with "the God of glory" and ended his message in this manner and with these words: But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. "Look

Describing God

"Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of Glory appeared to our father Abraham." (Acts 7:2) One of the wonderful things about the Bible is that God is not described in adjectives or in likenesses. He is described in characteristics of who He is and in terms of what He does. He is the God of glory; He is the God of hope and the God of peace. Daniel described Him to Nebuchadnezzar this way: "There is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries." Jonah spoke of Him, "I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land." God is, and God acts. In Hebrews 11:6, we read "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists, and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. "Sing to the Lord, for He has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world.” (Isaiah 12:5) Written June 1981.

Two Women, Two Invitations

"Let all who are simple come in here!" she says to those who lack judgment. (Proverbs 9:4, 16) This quotation is taken from two different persons, Wisdom and Folly. They give this invitation from the same place: "the highest point in the city" (9: 3, 14), and they give it to the same people: "those who lack judgment." Then a difference takes place. Wisdom offers, openly and honestly, food, wine, and life, but she asks for repentance (9:5-6). Folly offers a lie. "Stolen water is sweet, food eaten in secret is delicious!" (9:17), but does not ask for repentance. Wisdom gives life. Folly gives death. Folly offers present benefits which are called "sweet" and "delicious." "But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol" (9:18). Written March 1979.

Who Doesn't Get In

Have you ever thought about who does not enter the kingdom of God and why? Here are a few explicit examples. 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. (Galatians 5:19-21) For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:20) And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3) In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." (John 3:3) It is easy not to enter. The first verse is an example of things to do

Our Perfect Holiness

Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. (2 Corinthians 7:1) Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. (Hebrews 12:10) The first verse tells us that out of reverence for God we will not touch the unclean, we will cleanse our bodies and our spirits, we will perfect holiness. The second verse tells us that God’s goodness toward us disciplines us toward sharing in His holiness. His goodness and our reverence result in our perfect holiness.