SIMPLICITY!

SIMPLICITY. I like things explained to me in a simple manner so that I can understand clearly what is being said. I usually do not like the instructions placed in a box where I must assemble things. Somebody should teach those people how to write instructions that simple people like me can understand. Sometimes I think preachers, Pastors, and bible teachers work second jobs writing those instructions for self-assembly items. Eternal life is an important topic in the Scriptures (bible) for everyone; at least to those who are interested in the ultimate future. And yet there are thousands of religions in the world teaching just about that many ways of planning for one’s future eternal destinati

WHERE CAN YOU FIND TRUE LOVE?

WHERE CAN YOU FIND TRUE LOVE? True love is derived from God. “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in them,” (1John 4:16 NIV). It is God’s life giving presence in us that allows us to truly love, not as man loves and describes it, but as God loves and has demonstrated it in the gift of His Son. It is this love where we abide in God and God abides in us that gives us confidence for the future when we appear in the presence of God, “This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus,” (1 John 4:17 NIV). Yes, there is a coming judgment. We will appear before Jesus. The reason we can have confidenc

THANKSGIVING!

THANKSGIVING! “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. (Psalm 100 NIV) Today is a special day of Thanksgiving in America and wherever Americans are gathered around the world. For most Americans it is a time of gathering of families, where possible, for a celebration of God’s blessings on the country and people of A

HOW DO WE SHOW WHAT LOVE IS IN A PRACTICAL MANNER?

HOW DO WE SHOW WHAT LOVE IS IN A PRACTICAL MANNER? Today we continue our reflection from yesterday on John 13:34-35. On the more practical “shoe-leather” level do we love Christ and our fellow Christians so much that we are willing to sacrifice our material possessions to meet their needs? This includes most people whom we have never met and probably will not meet this side of heaven. Though we don’t see them are we willing to help them? In America even the poorest among us are richer than most of the people in the world. Does that “blow” your mind so much that you throw up your hands and ignore the issue because the needs of the world are so great? There are many Christian organizations tha

TODAY!

TODAY! Today Millie and I plus an entourage of children, grandchildren, several spouses of such, and some great grandchildren are headed to Marathon in the Florida Keyes for a celebration time of the sixtieth wedding anniversary of Millie and me on November 23. Over a thirty year span our family spent many happy vacation days in a time share on Marathon Island. We enjoyed the company of family, friends, fellow vacationers, and many other invited guests over those thirty years. Marathon was a refuge, refreshment time for the body, soul and spirit and a place to share the love of Jesus with people from all parts of this country and even with people from other countries. We thought it good to a

SIN, WHAT SIN?

SIN, WHAT SIN? (Continued from yesterday). Dr. Charles Ryrie, after tracing the biblical concept of sin in both the Old and New Testaments came to this conclusion: “Sin may properly be defined by using all these descriptive words as recorded in the Old and New Testaments. Such a definition would be accurate though quite lengthy. Indeed, it might be a good idea to define it thus: sin is missing the mark, badness, rebellion, iniquity, going astray, wickedness, wandering, ungodliness, crime, lawlessness, transgression, ignorance, and falling away,” (Basic Theology, p.243 by Charles Ryrie). Or as Billy Graham said, it is “any thought or action that falls short of God’s will.” Sin involves not j

SIN. WHAT SIN?

SIN.WHAT SIN? In our society today there appears to be no standard for what sin actually is. People appear to just pick and choose what they consider right and wrong. The government can pass laws but a lot of people just obey what they like and disregard what they dislike. This attitude more often than not carries over to the realm of how people approach God’s Word and how God defines what sin is. People tend to pick and choose what parts of the bible they agree with and what they don’t. But having said all that the reality is God is the ultimate authority on what sin is and what the results of sinning are. A person may not agree with God’s principles and guidelines for living but their opin

LAST WORDS OF THE APOSTLE PETER CONTINUED!

LAST WORDS OF THE APOSTLE PETER CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY: In 2 Peter the third chapter the Eighth thing Peter reminds his listeners of is that he is not alone in giving these admonitions and warnings. He reports that the Apostle Paul writes about these same things and evil people distort what Paul is saying which leads to their own destruction. One of Satan’s tools is to bring forth evil people to distort and argue against God’s Word. Satan is a liar and he is determined to deceive the world through lies. At this time in history we need the people of God who will stand on God’s Word and proclaim it widely to a lost world that is being deceived by Satan’s messengers. Ninth, this chapter is a

LAST WORDS!

LAST WORDS; last words spoken by people sometimes have a lasting impact. Such are the Apostle Peter’s words in the third chapter of 2 Peter. I encourage you to read the whole chapter. In these verses Peter says ten things that are really important for the church of his day and the church today. First, Peter told the people that he wrote these things (1 & 2 Peter) to cause them to think and also to remind them to recall the “words spoken in the past by the holy prophets” and to recall the “command” of Jesus “given through your Apostles.” It would be good if today more of God’s people spent time thinking about the words of the Old and New Testament that have been conveyed to us and less about

TRAPPED?

TRAPPED? In our society there are millions of people who are trapped…by alcohol, drugs, sexual perversion, materialism, false religions, and you can continue the list. Sometimes these people have been led astray by others and now they are trapped in a lifestyle they can’t seem to overcome. The Apostle Peter speaks of the danger of this in the second chapter of 2 Peter. The entire chapter is basically devoted to the false teachers and religious leaders of his day and how many of them had even permeated the church and would still do so after his death. This is serious reading for us today on how we need to be aware of those religious leaders around us. But the verse that I want to share today

IS THE BIBLE REALLY GOD'S BOOK?

IS THE BIBLE REALLY GOD’S BOOK? The Apostle Peter in 2 Peter 1:16-19 reminds his readers that what he has spoken to them is not “cleverly devised stories” but rather he is telling them about what he has seen and experienced as an “eyewitness” of the majesty of Jesus in the flesh and real life. He relates the instance on the mount of transfiguration when the glory of God appeared and God the Father spoke and said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” What Jesus did and what God has said is the truth as related by those who walked with Jesus for three and one-half years and experienced life with Him. But how do we know what we are reading is really God’s message from him

ANXIETY!

ANXIETY. “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you, (1 Peter 5:5-7 NIV). Anxiety is a common human trait that all must deal with. To be or not to be (anxious) is the question. The Apostle Peter understood this and addressed the issue in a simple concise manner. According to anxietycentre.com, “Anxiety has become the number one mental health issue in North America. It’s estimated that one third of the North American population experiences anxiety unwellness issue

SPIRITUAL GIFTS!

SPIRITUAL GIFTS: “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen,” (1 Peter 4:10-11 NIV). God does not expect Christians, as the body of Christ, to do what He has not equipped us to do. With His Word, His Holy Spirit, Prayer, and His Spiritual Gifts He sends us forth to be His servants. It is up to each individual Christian to take the equipment God

RELATIONSHIPS!

RELATIONSHIPS: The Apostle Peter, after commenting on Christian conduct in societal and personal relationships, turns his attention to conduct in general for every Christian. And certainly we could use this instruction today in all our relationships with each other. “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing,” (1Peter 3:8-9 NIV). Life would be grand if everyone followed these simple “rules of the road.” All Christians should seek the mind of Christ, which will bring us into li

SUBSTITUTION!

SUBSITUTION: “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls,” (1 Peter 2:23-24). God dies for man. Death produces life. Out of sin comes righteousness. Wounds produce healing. Wandering sheep return. Return produces guidance and oversight. These are simple words but profound realities and mystery. Jesus, God in the flesh, did something we could never do. He satisfied the righteous sacrifice demanded by God for man’s sin against Him. And Jesus did it on our behalf since He himself had n

SEEING THE UNSEEN!

SEEING THE UNSEEN! Most people, it seems, think that Christians are a little unhinged because they believe that a person they have never seen but only read about in a book is really God. And not only that but this person died a tragic death and then was resurrected. That, most people believe is utterly impossible. Christians must be really simple minded people. Or, from my perspective, Christians have just found the key to earthly and eternal life. Even in the first century A.D. the over whelming majority of Christians had never physically seen Jesus. The Apostle Peter said, “Though you have not seen him, (speaking of Jesus), you love him; and even though you do not see him now you believe i

INSTANT VS PATIENCE!

INSTANT VS PATIENCE! We live in an instant society. We want everything within minutes. Fame, fortune, position, education, food, drink, news, information, and service of any and all kinds must be instant. Every moment of every day needs to be packed with activity. Patience does not seem to be a virtue in our society. It appears that even many church services must be instant and timed to the split second and people moved on out the door. Is it any wonder that so few people have really developed deep and long lasting relationships with other people? And is it any wonder that we can live next door to someone for years and yet know so little about them? Even the body of Christ, the Church, seems

TOMORROW!

TOMORROW! How often we use those words. They slip out so casually, so easily, often without thinking. Tomorrow I will cut the grass, clean the house, send that text or email, tell someone I love them, or make plans for the future. But in the book of James God reminds us of the lack of certainty concerning tomorrow. “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes,” (James 4:14). At times in Haiti I have sat on the roof of Grace Theological Institute early in the morning and watched the rising sun burn off the mist that spread out across the fields surrounding us. It was there and beautiful at that time o

EDUCATION VS WISDOM!

When we number all the educational institutions in the world today one would think we would be the most educated and wisest generation to ever live on planet earth. But the state of the nations around the world and the morality of most of the human race leads me to believe otherwise. We can send a person into space and return them safely home again. But we can’t keep a baby, made in God’s image, safe in the womb for nine months if society says the mother can kill them. Is real wisdom lacking in this over educated and morally deficient world? I believe so. James stated God’s opinion this way: “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the h

QUESTIONS?

QUESTIONS? “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?” In James 2:14-17(NIV) James asked some very important questions to his listeners. Questions that were uncomfortable and embarrassing at times. Almost as if he had seen these things happening among professing Christians. Can the kind of faith that is all talk and no action be real faith? How many Pastors would ask their congregations that question today? “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?” How many time

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