The Last Best Hope of Earth

[389 words] One month before signing the Emancipation Proclamation, Abraham Lincoln wrote a letter to Congress in which he addressed freeing the country’s slaves. In it, Lincoln stressed the importance of doing the right thing to “save our country,” which he described as “the last best hope of earth.” I want to borrow and amend…

Not a Good Idea?

[387 words] I was watching a television program in which a number of preachers were asked questions from viewers. One viewer asked a very important question. The question dealt with why there are different denominations. The viewer asked, “Wouldn’t it be better to have just one church?” The moderator of the program stated that would…

Three Questions to Keep Your Worship Focused

[308 words] Worshiping God is something that takes real effort to do properly and acceptably. (Note the word “do.”) While the word “worship” can be used as a noun, God uses the word as a verb. Furthermore, it is not used as a passive verb (of something that happens “to” me or “around” me). Worship…

How Strong is Your Strength?

[352 words] Stephen was a great man of faith (Acts 7). Earlier the Lord had identified him as a man of conviction, reputation, wisdom, and the Holy Spirit. All these traits of character were going to be necessary for what he was about to face. It is easy to speak favorably of one’s commitment to…

What the Church Offers

[337 words] Too many folks look upon church attendance as being secondary to anything else on their schedule. They are not opposed to religion. They may even look upon it as a vital part of life. But they have no conscience against neglecting it. Perhaps the attitude is: “I’ll go to church if nothing comes…

‘They Just Don’t Come Anymore!’

[342 words] I recently was in conversation with a gentlemen who has been a Christian for approximately sixty or more years, he remarked to me that back in “his day,” he would have twelve to fifteen teens in his class. He followed that comment with, “They just don’t come anymore!” Not be an alarmist, but…

More, Please

[300 words] Ralph Kramden, the lovable oaf portrayed on television by Jackie Gleason in the 1950s, found it easy to put his foot in his mouth. When asked why he didn’t treat Alice, his wife, in the same romantic way he did before they were married, he replied, “Why keep running after you catch the bus?” His…

True Freedom

[357 words] In 1776, the 13 British colonies in North America protested the tyranny of the king of England and engaged in a struggle that gave birth to a brand new republic. The infant nation soon adopted that now famous document known as the Declaration of Independence. We celebrate this emancipation every July 4th. Almost…

Celebrate Freedom

[311 words] In a letter dated July 3, 1776, John Adams wrote to his wife: “This will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance,…

Abraham and God

[388 words] Among the greatest names in the roll call of faithful saints down through the ages, the name of Abraham must surely rank high on the list. Abraham’s distinction lies in the fact that Abraham listened to God, loved God and leaned upon God. Abraham Listened to God. In Genesis 22:1, God spoke the…

Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace

[349 words] How does one keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace? When people willingly join themselves together, they do so with good intentions. Each one comes from a place that is not shared by the others in that group. We all have our experiences, perspectives, and we launch into the…

Lessons from Samson

[391 words] The story of Samson can be found in Judges chapters 13-16. Samson allowed his lust to control his actions and made poor decisions based on impulsive thoughts driven by that same lust. What are some lessons that we can learn from Samson and his pursuit of a wife? Be teachable. Always have a…

The Danger of Popularity

[352 words] So many people base their life on the pursuit of popularity. I do not believe that I have ever been popular, but as a teenager I can remember wanting to be. The desire to be liked and to have the praise of the people around us can be a strong temptation. Our young…

Diligence and Neglect

[320 words] The apostle Peter, in the early part of his second letter, gives emphasis to the importance of Christians being diligent in the development of spiritual qualities. How diligent did he want them to be? He urges, “…giving all diligence…” (2 Pet. 1:5). Later, he adds, “…be even more diligent…” (2 Pet. 1:12). Since…

Am I Strong?

[338 words] How do I know if I am strong? There are numerous ways to measure physical strength. One example of a physical strength test would be the bench press. Each year at the NFL combine players demonstrate how many times they can press 225 pounds. Fifteen to twenty-five times seems to be about the…

Watch Out for the Traps

[349 words] Once there was a little fly who saw a spider’s web in the corner of the room. “I’ll fly away from it,” he thought; “For if I should get one foot in it I might get two, and soon I would be caught all together.” Wasn’t this little fly a wise fellow? In…

A Man of Many Hats

[336 words] Have you ever heard the phrase “He is a man of many hats”? I can remember hearing this growing up. I remember thinking how funny a man would look with a stack of hats on his head. The real meaning goes back to the days when everyone was wearing hats and different professions…

God and the Big Bang

[300 words] I was surprised to learn the Big Bang Theory is credited to Georges Lemaître (1894-1966), a Belgian Catholic priest. It’s concerning that an alleged “man of God” promoted such rubbish. Lemaître postulated that the observable universe began with the explosion of a single primeval atom. Aside from contradicting God’s Word (Genesis 1:1), this…

A Mother’s Love

[328 words] There was a widow who was trying to raise twin sons on her own. When the boys turned 18 and graduated from high school, they thought they could do whatever they wanted. So they stopped going to church and started going out at night to some very unsavory places. Their mother kept begging…

Happy Mother’s Day!

[312 words] In the passage on “the worthy woman,” it is noted, “Her children rise up and bless her” (Proverbs 31:28a). The King James Verson expresses the thought this way: “Her children arise up, and call her blessed.” Mothers are special. In a Peanuts comic strip, Charlie Brown said, “Everyone needs someone to love them,…

Sincerely Wrong

[313 words] “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s…

If We Would Just Communicate

[356 words] One of the chief sources of problems and difficulties that we will most regularly deal with in our lives, comes from communication, the lack thereof, or the misunderstanding thereof. Marriages fail because husbands and wives stop communicating. If they do communicate, they do so in the wrong way or they misunderstand each other…

God Is Fighting For Us!

[321 words] “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses…

Sending Messages Through Worship

[360 words] Long before e-mail and long before texts, people were sending messages. Solomon sent a message to Hiram, asking him to provide lumber for the building of the temple (1 Kings 5). Hiram answered with his own message, “I will do all you desire concerning the cedar and cypress logs” (1 Kings 5:8). John…

The Beauty and Power of Hope

[306 words] Viktor E. Frankl is one of those rare and special individuals who survived Hitler’s concentration camps. He went on to become a well-respected psychiatrist in his time after the war. Frankl dedicated his life’s work to exploring and sharing the necessity and influence of meaning and hope. Frankl observed that the people who…

Grasping Hope

[346 words] Charles Spurgeon, a well-known denominational preacher of 19th century, related in one of his sermons the story of a sailor who fell overboard amid a great storm and the thrilling rescue that followed. As soon as the cry, “Man overboard!” was sounded the crew flew into action determined to save their shipmate from…

Can I Borrow Your Rope?

[392 words] A farmer came and asked his neighbor if he could borrow his rope. The neighbor said, “No, I can’t let you borrow it.” “Why not,” he replied. “Because I’m using it to tie up my milk.” “But you can’t tie up milk with a rope.” “I know, but when you don’t want to…

Will a Man Rob God?

[373 words] I once heard a comedian confess that in his childhood, he and a friend would wrap double-stick tape around their fingers before the collection plate was passed on Sundays. They would make it look like they were placing something in the plate, when they were actually taking coins out. Any right-thinking person can…

What is Christ Worth to You? 

[367 words] Is He worth studying the Word for? Are you willing to give up your free time and put your effort into studying God’s Word? “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15, KJV). Is He worth forsaking…

Casting Pearls Before Swine

[393 words] “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you” (Matthew 7:6). Jesus made this statement in His great Sermon on the Mount. But what does this verse mean? Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus…

I Want To Go To Heaven

[336 words] “Every athlete exercises self-control…They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one…” (1 Corinthians 9:25) John “Pepper” Martin played for the St. Louis Cardinals and was the star of the 1931 World Series. Following one of those games, Pepper was interviewed by a newsman. The first question he was…

Keep Your Heart With All Diligence

[369 words] “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23).  You have probably heard the saying concerning computers, “Input equals output.” Or, the more popular term, “Garbage in, garbage out.” That does not apply to just computers, but also to human beings. If what we feed…

Mothers: The Heart of the Family

[359 words] Nations rise and fall, empires prosper or crumble and men are stirred to great accomplishment s or driven to shameful failure often because of the influence of a wife or mother. The wise poet has properly said, “The hand that rocks the cradle, is the hand that rules the world.” For most women,…

There Is Room At The Cross

[386 words] “The cross upon which Jesus died is a shelter in which we can hide; and its grace so free is sufficient for me, and deep is its fountain, as wide as the sea.” These words written by Ira F. Stanphill in his song, “Room at the Cross” should give a great sense of…

Needed: Personal Evangelism

[392 words] How wonderful it is to be needed! One of the joys of marriage. One of the joys of parenthood. One of the joys of Christianity. There are physical needs, and there are spiritual needs. Everyone has a need for something or someone. True of kings and true of hermits. True of Christ, the…

The Cumulative Weight of Bees?

[335 words] We often fail to consider the gradual, cumulative effect of sin in our lives. Keep reading. In Saint Louis in 1984, a woman noticed a few bees buzzing around the attic of her home. Since there were only a few, she thought, she made no effort to deal with them. Over the summer,…

Good Sense vs. Lacking Sense

[393 words] With a name like “common sense,” one would think that everybody has it. That does not seem to be the case though. Someone with common sense would surely think they need to tie down trash bags in the back of their truck filled with junk if they are going to exceed 50 mile…

Let Your love Light Shine

[339 words] One of the most famous light houses in America is Minot’s Ledge Light House off shore from Scituate, Massachusetts. It is not known for its age or beauty. Though it has a rich, interesting history, it is perhaps best known for its light flashing, in nautical code, “1-4-3.” The flashing lantern was installed…

Get in the Wheelbarrow!

[370 words] There was a tightrope walker, who did incredible aerial feats. All over Paris, he would do tightrope acts at tremendously scary heights. Then he had succeeding acts: he would do it blindfolded, then he would go across the tightrope, blindfolded, pushing a wheelbarrow. An American promoter read about this in the papers and…

Will You Deny Him?

[370 words] Peter looked boldly into the eyes of the Lord and said without hesitation, “though all men shall be offended because of you, yet will I never be offended.” To which Jesus replied, “assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” But unwaveringly, Peter…