The Tale of the Three Trees

Ed Melott posted the following parable on a discussion list. The author of the piece is unknown but the story is wonderful and I hope you are edified by it.

Once upon a mountaintop, three little trees stood and dreamed of what they wanted to become when they grew up.

Continue reading

#christ, #jesus, #parable, #trees

A New Beginning

A new beginning would be when one is baptized into Christ (Galations 3:26-27) he or she becomes a “new creation” in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). A transformation or metamorphosis takes place (Romans 12:2), the “old man” of sin is crucified (Romans 6:6) and the “new man” of righteousness emerges (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10).

#baptized, #beginning, #christ, #creation, #crucified, #emerge, #man, #new, #old, #righteousness, #sin, #transform

Typology: Cities of Refuge

While reading in Num 35, an interesting thought occurred to me. It may not be new to you, but it is new to me (so I’ll share).

The OT cities of refuge were places where the manslayers (i.e., those who killed someone else accidentally) could flee for protection. One stipulation was that they had to remain in one of those cities of safety until the high priest died. That part always struck me as odd–what did the death of the HP have to do with it?

And then today the light bulb turned on and I’m left wondering: could it have something to do with typology? Under the NT, there is only one place of refuge: one must be IN CHRIST. And, as Hebrews points out so well, our HP never dies! Thus, as one living in the Christian dispensation if I want to remain safe from the consequences of my sins (from the avenger of blood, if you will) I must continually remain in the place of refuge (i.e., faithful in Christ). I can NEVER leave if I want to be saved (Rev. 2:10; Matt. 10:22). There won’t be a new HP coming along to “reset the clock” so to speak.

I know the conclusion is not new or surprising, but the typology here is to me. Granted, we must be careful not to imagine typology where revelation doesn’t explicitly reveal it. What do you think?

#christ, #cities-of-refuge, #high-priest, #typology

Seeing Jesus Through a Helping Hand

Justin Imel tells about a disabled boy years ago who sold items on the platform as passengers exited a commuter train. One day, a businessman rushes from the train to meet an appointment and crashes into the boy, spilling the contents of his basket. He leaves, never even looking down. As other passengers pass, trampling his goods, another man stopped. He offered his hand, helped the boy up and gathered his things together. Wiping away tears and dusting himself off, the boy, in a quivering voice, asked, “Mister, are you Jesus?”

Read More

#benevolence, #christ, #forthright, #helping, #poor

Strength Through Humility

No equation of strengths and weaknesses makes someone better than you. Our strengths, mixed with humility, lift us high (James 4:10), while we strive to overcome our frailties through transformation in Christ (Romans 12:1-2).

#christ, #grace, #mercy, #strength, #weakness

When I think of authority, that prompts …

When I think of authority, that prompts me to think of submission.

Christ has all authority, and we are commanded to submit to him, Matt. 28:18.
We are to submit to the governing authorities, as long as they do not make demands contrary to the will of God, Rom. 13:1; Acts 5:29
We are to submit to elders, Heb. 13:17
Wives are to submit to their husbands,, Col. 3:18
Children are to submit to their parents, Eph. 6:1
Servants are to be obedient to Masters, Eph. 6:5.

No matter our age or position in life, there will always be someone in authority above us. Parents need to do a better job instilling into their children proper respect for authority. Too often parents are afraid to be authoritative in the lives of their children. However, learning to respect and submit to authority on a rudimentary level is vital preparation for submitting to various authorities in life, not the least of which is Christ, our ultimate authority. When parents provide godly authority for their children, it enables children to feel secure. Likewise, I feel a great sense of security when I think of Christ, because He is my perfect authority. Anything he requires of me is for my own good.

On a personal note, living here in Tanzania I do feel a certain amount of trepidation towards those in positions of authority in the world. Many are not interested in truth and justice, but in personal gain. However, I know that Christ will cause justice to reign in the end, and that is where my security lies.

#authority, #christ, #submission

Give my definition of spirituality: In a…

Give my definition of spirituality: In addition to what Jim stated regarding the fruit of the Spirit, Gal. 2:20 immediately comes to mind.

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

In Paul’s mind, to have the mindset of Christ, was where true spirituality existed (1 Corinthians 2:16; Colossians 3:1-4). Christ is the personification of spirituality.

#christ, #crucified, #faith, #life, #spirituality

My favorite hymn is: “Living By Faith”…

My favorite hymn is: “Living By Faith” because it encourages a lifestyle that trusts in the redemptive work of Christ and reminds the believer of the peace and security that is in Christ.

#christ, #faith, #hymns

Do I struggle w/facing death? No, becaus…

Do I struggle w/facing death? No, because I know that if I’m faithful to the Lord (even in the face of death), these six things will happen to me when I die:

1) The angels will carry me into Abraham’s bosom, a place of blessed peace and tranquility (Luke 16:22).
2) The Lord will be with me when I walk through that valley (Psalm 23:4).
3) I’ll be with Christ (2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; cf. 2 Timothy 4:6).
4) I’ll be blessed with rest from my labors (Revelation 14:13).
5) I’ll receive a victory crown (Revelation 2:10; cf. 2 Timothy 4:8).
6) I’ll receive my everlasting inheritance (1 Peter 1:4; cf. 1 Timothy 6:19).

Then I’ll live forever with the Lord (John 14:1-3), with God (Revelation 21:3), and the redeemed of all the ages (Revelation 5:9; Revelation 21:24).

If we are a faithful Christian, and we know these things, why should we have a struggle facing death?

#blessed, #christ, #death, #peace, #victory

God’s Providence

When God wants to make an impact on people’s lives, he usually sends another person. My parents, preachers, and other family influenced me profoundly in my developing years to become a Christian and to pursue ministry as a life. I was baptized by Carl Wills after hearing the preaching of a blind man, Tom Silva. Steve Bracken influenced me to preach the gospel. Many men mentored and blessed my life in those early days, giving me opportunities and showing me methods and techniques.

In all of this I realize that it is God who makes us adequate as His ministers (2 Cor. 3:5). Preachers have always been my heroes, and God uses men to shape other men in this undertaking for eternity. God blessed me with wonderful, godly, and faithful teachers in my university experiences. I am so thankful to them.

At 58 years of age and 40+ years of experience I am still learning and developing in my new ministry. God is opening up great opportunities to grow in His grace and knowledge. And I am thankful for the opportunity to serve.

I so deeply appreciate all the posts I see in TFR. I am learning from you all how to think more like Christ and how to grow in faith. Thank you for being my brethren.

Christ is all and in you all. I can see Him when I read your posts (Eph. 3:17).

#christ, #faith, #god, #learning, #providence

I have a great need for Christ; I have a…

I have a great need for Christ; I have a great Christ for my need.

Charles Spurgeon

#christ, #need

My personal Bible verse for 2010 is Gala…

My personal Bible verse for 2010 is Galations 2:20:

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

My goal for 2010 is to be more like Christ.

#christ, #crucified, #faith, #gave, #life, #love

My Mission Statement

My personal favorite verses for 2010 are also the motivation for my preaching and writing.  Ephesians 3:20-21, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

This should be the mission statement of every Christian and congregation. If we seek, in everything that we do, to bring glory to Christ, the mission of our Lord will be empowered and will change the world!

Always remember: This isn’t about us.

#christ, #ephesians, #glory

I’ve listed a few resolutions on my blo…

I’ve listed a few resolutions on my blog http://mbriley.preachersfiles.com/2009/12/17/suggested-new-years-resolutions-for-2010/. However, if I were to reduce all of those down to one resolution, it would be this one:

To be more like Christ, as the apostle Paul so profoundly stated in Galations 2:20:

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

If I am willing to pattern my life after Christ, I will be spiritually successful this coming New Year.

#christ, #crucify, #life, #new-year, #resolution, #success

My Best Thoughts About Chrst

My best thoughts about Christ are compassion and love. His compassion for the downtrodden, the outcast and those with physical aliments. He reached out to them in love. I could make a long list of these from the recordings from MMLJ. Yet those that came to Him wanted what He could do for their physical aliments. I don’t think it would be any different if He was amongst us today. People would come for what they could get, but not what He really offers, a cure for the diseased soul. He offers us the best of what He died and suffered for, yet people walk away. That’s sad.

#christ