He has been attending for a while and we have a study set up in his and his wife’s home for later this week. He’s a young man, with a small child. He once came straight from work to a mid-week study in his work clothes—bright orange with reflective stripes—because he had forgotten a change of clothes, but didn’t want to miss the meeting.
This afternoon he called to ask if he could bring a friend, about his age, who also has a small child, who is separating from his wife and very troubled.
Here’s a person outside of Christ, who recognizes that he himself is far from God, bringing another in a similar situation.
If a non-Christian can do this, why can’t a Christian?
The video of a doctor dragged bloodily from a United Airlines flight last Sunday by airport security personnel will long provoke anger, long after the episode is investigated and resolved. The video went viral, and United’s stock has taken a multi-million dollar drop in value.
One writer noted that it wasn’t United personnel responsible for the scene, but an airport security person. Regardless, it happened on a United flight and the company will bear the brunt of the criticism. Continue reading
We must always think that we could be in the gutter, if our upbringing were different, if our choices had been poorer, if our circumstances had been more unfortunate. “There but for the grace of God go I.”
So it is compassion that leads us and compassion that stays us among the lost, hard as it is to witness their perdition. He who seeks to save takes great care not to lose his own soul.
The risk is great; the loss, eternal; the mission, heedless of harm; the benefit, endless joy and perfect peace.
“And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives” Jude 22-23 NTL.
It’s a deceptively simple visualization, but the story that gets distilled is loud and clear:
via Does Size Matter? Visualizing The Population Of Every Country (In Bubbles) | Zero Hedge
Think of evangelizing these countries, and how much is still needed to do.
This from the Bible Illustrator, on 1 Cor 16.14:
As means towards the attainment of the best ends there is no comparison between these. The latter [logic] may convince the understanding and leave the heart unchanged, but the former [love] will win the heart, and with that gained, the understanding will usually soon succumb.
The difference between them is similar to that between a mallet and the sun in reducing ice to water. The mallet may break the ice into small particles, but each particle will remain ice still, while the sun’s heat falling upon the ice will melt it into a fluid, and so impregnate the fluid with its warmth that while that warmth is continued the water cannot assume again its icy condition.
So in changing opinions and reforming habits. Arguments will be of little avail without a loving disposition behind them. The opinions, after all cold pure arguments, will remain generally unchanged, or probably assume another false complexion, and the habits, if broken up for a little, will soon resume their wonted round.
But if love prevails, the eyes looking it, the face beaming it, the words expressing it, the whole demeanour demonstrating it, the citadel of opinion will melt before the loving assault, and the heart will become ablaze with the sacred glow.
Love and logic should at least go hand in hand in seeking the regeneration of the world.
God expects us as Christians to take risks while doing His work. I would suggest the same is true at the level of the local congregation. I’m talking about the risk of failure. How ambitious are we in the plans we have to do work for God? Do we trust that things will be okay even if we try hard and mess up? This, I think, is a part of faith that requires maturity — the faith that God will stick with us even if we don’t succeed by our standards.
via The Christian, the Church, and Risk – Restore Our Faith
As time and technology progress, we need to abandon our naivete and realize the threats before us. Complaining about the rise of persecutions is normal, but not very productive.
In these times, courage is required to confront Satan and his forces. Yet, it’s worthless unless it’s combined with faith (Hebrews 11:6), perseverance (Romans 5:3) and the spiritual armament constructed by God (Ephesians 6:10-17). In addition, we must be wise, cautious and perceptive. Continue reading
What follows is something of a confession. Through the years, I’ve felt no shame or embarrassment to invite churches and individuals to financially support our efforts in missions. In the past, I’ve joyfully extended that invitation, believing fully in our task, as I still do. After several occasions, however, where we have lost larger amounts of monthly support, that ease of asking, that freedom to invite, has been lost. Perhaps it’s partly age, partly feeling tired of the process of fundraising, which I am no professional at doing, nor do I wish I were.
We no longer have a wide base of contacts among Christians, after so many years on the field. In recent years, our friends have heard our pleas several times. How can we then place yet another burden upon them? Continue reading
Here’s a congregation’s website that streams GBN along with supplemental material of its own on a local radio-station 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you have open Internet access available at work you could listen to it no matter what shift you’re punching the time-clock.
Here are the details about the radio-station provided on the congregation’s website: Continue reading
On my way to worship I listened to a preacher on the radio from a neighboring county talk about the damage denominationalism has done to the church. He was very emphatic with his words and I am convinced he truly believed what he was saying…especially because he was preaching in a very plain way to/at his own denomination (his own words). And because of the things he was saying about fellowship, I am also convinced he understood the damage denominationalism has done to the church when it comes to the unity that God desires (John 17:20-21).
But despite the fact I believe he understands the damage of denominationalism, I don’t believe he understands the cause.
Why is that? Because of one thing he said. Now I wasn’t able to write it down when he said it, but what I am about to give him credit for is close enough that I know I am not doing any damage to the point he was making; nor am I worried about twisting it in any way to make my point seem valid.
The preacher on the radio said, Continue reading
Women need a feeling of security, say many writers in the field of marriage and counseling. That observation seems to hold true in our experience. That security often means physical and financial security. Though today it’s socially anathema to say it, a woman often looks for a husband who will provide these things for her. She wants to feel protected.
This was Naomi’s prayer for her daughters-in-law, after the death of her sons: “May the Lord enable each of you to find security in the home of a new husband!” Ruth 1.9.
At the same time, we all need security. Let’s first define our terms. The dictionaries give something like this: “1. freedom from danger, risk, etc.; safety. 2. freedom from care, anxiety, or doubt. 3. something that protects or makes safe; defense.” No one can live on the cusp of danger. Continue reading
The neighbor’s party noise is patent:
He thinks to drown his sadness with sound,
To fill his empty heart with drink,
His meaningless days, with movement and song.
While dwelling in darkness, dwarfed by loss,
He makes himself out a magic giant.
To save his soul, Jesus sends me.
“The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call” Acts 2:39.
Just as Paul needed the courage to stand on the pagan Mars Hill and proclaim Christ, we need to stand as a rock in the sea of postmodernism, denominations, and paganism today and proclaim truth. That is the real reason that the world hates us and why the proclaimers of tolerance are intolerant towards us. Truth, by its very nature, draws a line in the sand; it excludes all else.
One of my grown kids recently reminded me of how upset I was years ago when she had to sing a Kwanzaa song so the elementary school would not offend anyone. That’s the problem of the Lord’s church on today’s postmodern Mars Hill. The truth offends, and to offend today is the greatest sin.
Jesus’ disciples were concerned with this. After Jesus proclaimed that it was what came out of a person’s mouth that made him unclean, they said, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?” Jesus preached truth anyway … because the greater sin is to let the lost blissfully drift by while our hands never extend from the rock of truth to save them.
Do you proclaim truth?
Our tendency is to do what we’ve always done. Call it habit, or a rut, or tradition, or whatever; by itself it is a powerful and problematic motivation. The persecuted Christians who left Jerusalem (see Acts 8:1) took the gospel offshore to Cyprus, to the coastal region north of Galilee (Phoenicia), and to one of the three most populace cities of the entire empire (Antioch; v. 19). These are not Jewish dominated locales as was the place they had fled. Still, “they were speaking the word to no one but Jews” (v. 19). It’s not difficult to understand why. But, the fact that this is all they had ever done was not only insufficient reason to continue in the same way, in this case it was contrary to God’s plan. Our tendencies, if we’re not careful, can put us at odds with God. — Wrong Tendencies | i read the word
David Deffenbaugh has a good thought today that challenges ungodly ruts.
For a no-where-close-to-fluent Spanish speaker, one of the challenges to finding good biblical articles in Española is being able to understand what you’re reading before you print it out and pass it along to others. Other than using Google-translate (which has its flaws) or having an actual translator near-by (which is not readily available in my case) there aren’t a lot of options that I have been able to find … until now. Continue reading