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Showing posts from September, 2019

Sneaky Self-Exaltation

Jesus made a statement recorded in Matthew 23:1: “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” This is following a teaching that we are not to be called master, father, or teacher. Jesus said approximately the same thing in Luke 14:11, only in this case He said "everyone" instead of “whoever.” It was the conclusion of a command not to take the place of honor but to take the lowest place at a wedding banquet. He said it again in Luke 18:14 with the same conclusion; this time it was the conclusion to a parable of a man who considered himself more righteous than another man. There seems to be more than one way to exalt yourself. They all seem to be evident in today’s society. They are evident because we can see self-exaltation in other people , but we do not see it in ourselves. What should we do about this? Let us pray that we will be able to reject self-exaltation and that we will humble ourselves. Written January 1985.

Breakfast with the Servant Lord

“...but that night they caught nothing.” “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.” “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” “Come and have breakfast.” “Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.” (Selections from John 21) Jesus had been fishing. Jesus had made or purchased bread. Jesus started a fire and cleaned the fish. He cooked the bread and the fish. He invited the men to breakfast. He served them their breakfast. This was the risen Christ. “None of the disciples dared ask him, ‘Who are you?’ They knew it was the Lord.” Isn’t this a wonderful picture of the risen Lord? He is still a servant. We are to be like him. Join the #keepthefeast Bible Reading Challenge. This post coordinates with today's reading. Written June 1988.

The Father Himself Loves You

“I have said this to you in figures; the hour is coming when I shall no longer speak to you in figures but tell you plainly of the Father. In that day you will ask in my name; and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from the Father. I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father” (John 16:25-28). This is a wonderful statement! The Father Himself loves you. Many Christians do not believe that, even though they know John 3:16 and Romans 5:8. They read those verses in such a way as to read, “For Jesus so loved the world,” and “Jesus commends His love for us.” The Father loves us. We should dwell on that fact. It influences all of our actions. Join the #keepthefeast Bible Reading Challenge here. This post coordinates with today's reading. Written August 1986.

Fear & Love Done Wrong

“Nevertheless many even of the authorities believed in Him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, lest they should be put out of the synagogues: for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:41-43). There seem to be two reasons for this unwillingness to confess Jesus Christ: fear and love. It is fear of men instead of God and love of the praise of men instead of the praise of God. The fear anticipated something bad happening in the future, i.e. being put out of the synagogue. The love is past-tense. They already knew what it was like to be praised by men, and they liked it. They wanted the pleasant things from men and did not want unpleasant things from them. In other words, they were concerned about the opinions of the world and, in this particular instance, that part of the world that controlled the existing church. Join the #keepthefeast Bible Reading Challenge here. This post coordinates with today's reading. Written November 1

Water That Wasn't in the Well

“Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life’” (John 4:13-14). When I was 9 years old, we sang this song in church: Jesus gave her water That was not in the well, Gave her living water, And she went forth to tell. She went away singing And came back bringing Others for the water That was not in the well. Have you taken Jesus Who is the well of life? For He gives salvation, And keeps from sin and strife. Then you will be singing, Others you'll be bringing To the loving Savior Who gives eternal life. Join us for the #keepthefeast Bible Reading Challenge here. This post coordinates with today's reading. Written August 2019.

The Example of John the Baptist

“He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light” (John 1:8). “He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30). Here are two statements, one about John the Baptist, and the other by him. In a culture where it is a temptation to become greater, we must follow John’s example. We are witnesses to the light “so that through Him all men might believe.” Join the #keepthefeast Bible Reading Challenge here. This post coordinates with today's reading. Written March 1992.

Imitation: Dwight L. Moody

"Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith" (Hebrews 13:7). The best way to learn is by imitation. The first nine years of my life in Christ were on active duty in the U.S. Navy. There were not many men there whom I could imitate in order to be more like Jesus, although there were a few for which I am grateful. In 1951, I discovered the BIOLA Bookstore in Kowloon, Hong Kong. Two of the books I bought there were C. T. Studd’s Cricketer and Pioneer and David Brainerd’s diary. Since then, I have been imitating men who are already with the Lord by reading their biographies and learning from them. Some of my favorites are Hudson Taylor, George Mueller, James Fraser, and Paget Wilkes. I encourage you to read such books and imitate these kinds of men. The book I’m reading right now is a biography of Dwight L. Moody published in 1900. Moody was a great evangelist of the 19th century. He also start

Pointers on Praying for Revival

Prayer for revival should include: • Confession. Since the last revival, the world has acted according to its nature. The church has not and needs to take responsibility for the results in the world. • Submission. The Holy Spirit is sovereign in revival and cannot be manipulated by prayer meetings, fasting, etc. We cannot produce revival; it has to be given. • Optimism. In order to request revival properly, we must plead the promises of God in Scripture. In order to do this, an optimistic eschatology is absolutely necessary. • Knowledge. The last revival in America was in the mid-19th century. In order to pray intelligently, we need to read histories of previous revivals. We should know what we are asking for. • Focus. We should pray for the church , not the world. If the church is revived, the world will soon be affected. Within the church, we must pray for the preachers and teachers. • Solid Doctrine. We must pray biblically. The prayer must be based on a good gras

Reading the Whole Bible

I first read the Bible through in 1952-1953. It was the King James Version. I read four chapters in the Old Testament and two chapters in the New Testament a day. This took me through the Old Testament once and the New Testament two and half times in nine months. In 1970 or '71 I switched to the RSV, and then in 1980-81 I switched to the NIV. I have no idea what my Bible reading schedule was during those years. For about ten years, I followed a strict schedule with YWAM. For the last seven years, I have used Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s Light on the Way . This program starts with Genesis 1, Ezra 1, Matthew 1, and Acts 1 on January 1. The schedule goes through the Old Testament once, the book of Psalms twice, and the New Testament twice during the year. This year I am encouraging you to join the Bible Reading Challenge here . You will read the entire Bible during the school year. It will be a great blessing.

Got Questions? I'm Taking Requests.

To my readers (and anyone else who happens across this), Is there a subject you would like to hear more about on this blog? Or do you have any questions about the Bible, the Christian life, relationships, evangelism, etc. that you would like an answer to? I am taking requests for subjects. If you have one, post a comment here or email me at If you would like a private answer instead, mention that in your email. You can also call me at (208) 882-4383 to talk in person. In the Lord Jesus Christ, Jim Wilson

Reading the Bible (Watching Your Life & Doctrine)

“Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Timothy 4:16). Some years ago, I was talking with a young woman who had gone through a Christian high school and who had graduated from a well-known Christian college. This young woman was from a home where her parents were in Christian work. When I asked her when was the last time she had completed reading the New Testament, she replied that she had never read it all. And of course the Old Testament had been read less. This is now a standard question I ask, and it is almost a standard answer. Christians are not watching their life and doctrine closely. If you are not reading your Bible regularly, start now. If you like, you can join this plan for reading the entire Bible by the end of May.