Spiritual Bucket List

[399 words] Creating the proverbial “bucket list’ can be a lot of fun. Coming up with a list of things you would like to do one day in the not-too-distant future is also a good way to take the first step in accomplishing your goals. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are expected to be…

Think Souls

[350 words] The inner part of the person—the soul—is such an important element to who we are. God made us as body, soul, and spirit (1 Thess. 5:23). Yet the concept of the soul is so broad in God’s word that we could spend a year just studying its various nuances! Even in the book…

A Glimpse Into the Future

[372 words] The rapidity with which changes have taken place over the past several years leaves us longing for some sort of glimpse into the future. What will the financial markets look like in six months? What will be the political landscape a year from today? And, what about the spiritual and moral climate in…

Our Present Hope

[391 words] Many suffer from what might be called emotional paralysis. We are unable to function today because we either live in the past or are preoccupied with worry about the future. While we may regret mistakes of the past, we cannot make up for those mistakes by continually reliving them in our minds. Where…

There’s No Place Like Home

[329 words] A good home is such a wonderful place. It seems that we are always wanting to go home. And we especially love being home for the holidays. In fact, there is a traditional song that testifies to that fact. What is it that is so great about home? Let’s note a few of…

Jesus Loves the Little Children

[333 words] In Mark 10:1-16, we see Jesus sitting in a house doing some teaching when people started bringing children to Him. At first, the disciples of Christ forbad this from happening. But then we see that Jesus got upset and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for…

Peace In Your Personal Life

[324 words] The following story ran a number of years ago in the Fort Worth Star Telegram. “The man who spotted targets for American bombers over Hiroshima in August 1945 has been laid to rest in Texas soil after searching the last 33 years for some peace in his life. Claude Robert Eatherly was a…

Ready or Not

[357 words] In a cemetery in Hanover, Germany, is a grave covered with huge slabs of granite and marble, fastened with heavy steel clasps. It belongs to a woman who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. Yet she directed in her will that her grave be made so secure that if there…

Consumed

[383 words] An other monumental election season has come to an end. And, again, the season has consumed us! Let me give you an example: My family had to travel to St. Louis recently. On Saturday morning, as we were enjoying our complimentary breakfast with the rest of the weary travelers, the television in the…

Prominent Religious Subjects

[385 words] Some are surprised to learn that the Bible’s teachings differ from what they have always heard. What have you heard about these prominent doctrines? Falling from grace? The Bible teaches such is possible (Galatians 5:4; Hebrews 6:1-6; 2 Peter 2:20-22). Inherited total depravity? The Bible teaches that sin is of such a nature…

Past, Present, Future

[303 words] I’m sure you’ve heard the old riddle about the polar bear when he looked forward was looking south, when he looked back was looking south, and when he looked all around was also looking south. Of course he was standing on the North Pole to make this accurate. We can make a similar…

Saul’s Obedient Conversion

[330 words] The conversion of Saul is told in Acts 9:1-19; 26:9-18; and here in 22:1-16. He gave us many details about what happened on his trip to Damascus to persecute Christians. We should study carefully what the Bible says about conversion and not be swayed by our preconceived ideas. Saul was wrong religiously, but…

What About Witnessing?

[326 words] We hear much about “witnessing for Christ” in our present day. Even some of our brethren are taking to using it. The denominational world uses this expression to refer to “a special working of grace.” A dictionary definition is in order. Webster’s Collegiate gives this: “Testimony, one who beholds or has personal knowledge…

God’s Mirror

[360 words] Chances are good that you have looked at yourself in a mirror today. Usually, viewing our physical appearance is one of the first things we do after getting out of bed in the morning. We do this because we know there are some changes which need to be made. We need to brush…

Don’t Get in the Trash Can

[315 words] One day a mother was scraping vegetables for a salad as her daughter came and asked permission to go to a R-rated movie. “But all the kids are going,” she said, “and their parents didn’t think it would hurt them.” As she talked, she saw her mother pick up a handful of scraps…

Does Prayer Really Work?

[392 words] One of the great privileges of the Christian life is the opportunity to approach the heavenly Father in prayer. God’s people are encouraged to draw near to the Father’s heavenly throne with boldness, seeking help in time of need. Sometimes, Christians get discouraged and may wonder if prayer really works. One might say,…

The Opportunity to Do Good

[306 words] We live in the land of opportunity. Every person has the opportunity to do an extremely vast number of things each day. We have choices when it comes to employment. We have choices when it comes to living. We have choices when it comes to entertainment. We have so many choices that usually…

Those Who Know Your Name

[320 words] Names have always been special to God. In Scripture we often find God using names to convey ideas. For example, the prophet Hosea assigned names to his children that stood as indictments of Israel’s sins (Hosea 1:3-9). The Almighty would even change a person’s name to teach a lesson. Abram became Abraham. Sarai…

Easy Overview of the New Testament

[339 words] It isn’t uncommon today to hear someone say that it is impossible to understand the Bible. It seems to me that this is a reflection on God. Is God not powerful enough, smart enough, and loving enough to give us a Book we can understand? Certainly, He is. The problem, therefore, when it…

Great Things in First Peter

[372 words] There are at least nine different Greek words that are used in the New Testament which could be translated “great.” The word appears more than a few times in different books and letters. As we read our Bible, some of these great things stand out. At times, even if the word “great” is…

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,…