Are You A Good Listener?

[251 words] James tells us that we should be a people who are “swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (James 1:19). There is certainly a gift that can be learned in becoming a better listener. James is concerned with the anger of man, within the context of this particular verse, when he…

The Gospel Message in “Modern” Language

[588 words] Language is constantly changing (and not always for the better!). With texting and posting on social media have come a whole host of abbreviated words and phrases. I do not know them very well, but I do know a few of them. Likely you do, too. Using some of them, let me offer…

H.O.P.E.S

[519 words] One of the great needs of the church today is for our members to be more evangelistic. We have more people living in our world today and yet fewer people becoming Christians and being involved in the life of the church. There are people all around us, we have neighbors, co-workers, family, and…

What a Pitcher!

[187 words] Last November, Lindy McDaniel passed away. If you look him up in the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, you will notice that he was well-known in baseball circles. His pitching career spanned 21 years (from 1955-1975). He was an amazing relief pitcher who “saved” many games.  Wikipedia makes one additional brief mention. It states: “He…

When This Last Barrier to Vice is Broken Down

[356 words] While recently reading from Moses Lard’s Commentary on Paul’s Letter to Romans, my attention was captured by a sentence from Lard on the following text: “There is no fear of God before their eyes” ( Romans  3:18). Among Lard’s comments on the preceding verse is this statement: “Where God is not feared, nothing…

A Heart like Paul’s

[452 words] “I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to…

‘Do Right’ or ‘Waste Good’

[580 words] Former Arkansas Razorbacks coach Lou Holtz was a strong proponent of the “do right” rule for athletes and inspired his athletes to follow the rule as they interacted with others on and off the athletic field. I agree with Coach Holtz’s “do right” concept as regards Christianity. We can look to God’s word…

Talk to Someone Today

[370 words] In John 4, Jesus makes the decision to go from Judea to Galilee (v.3). Samaria lay between the two. John 4:4 states, “But He needed to go through Samaria” (v.4). Most of us well know that the Jews and the Samaritans were bitter enemies. In fact, many Jews making the same trek Jesus…

Watching Them Drown

[327 words] It was shocking, to say the least. In July, 2017, James Dunn, a disabled man, drowned in a Florida retention pond. There is a disturbing video to prove it. Standing on the shore was a group of five teens – ages 14-19 – watching James Dunn drown.  Instead of going into the water…

Will You Not Tell It Today

[321 words] Samaria was under siege. The city was cut off from resupply. Prices for fuel and food skyrocketed. Things that would not be considered food became meals, even children (2nd Kings 6:24-29). It seemed all hope was lost. Yet God had a plan. The army that threatened would be gone. Food would be cheap.…

The Old Clothesline

[363 words] My daddy was a man of many talents. He thawed frozen water pipes under the house during the winter, repaired bicycles, house fans, was a great cook and even overhauled a car engine in our drive-way. When I was old enough, my job was to always hold the flashlight, carry the toolbox, or…

Coexistence or Confrontation?

[236 words] How do you approach the sinful world in which we live? Are we content to coexist with sinful people or do we creatively confront sinners? If we are content to coexist nothing changes. But if we creatively confront sinners they may repent; they may get angry with us; and they may even persecute…

Upside Down

[293 words] What impact should you as a Christian have on society? Should you be passive or active in the lives of the people around you? How do we help people become better? How can we help the sinner become a saint? We are sometimes reluctant to become involved in social change. We would rather…

What I Have Learned from the Covid-19 Pandemic

[494 words] Covid-19 is like sin. Covid-19 has quickly spread around the globe, and although not everyone gets this virus dies, it has caused many deaths and has disrupted many lives. It reminds me a lot of sin, yet sin is far more dangerous. Rom. 3:23 states, “for all have sinned and fall short of…

A Real God Can Defend Himself

[469 words] A man named Gideon demolished an altar to Baal. As you can imagine Baal worshipers were not a huge fan of that action. People tend to take slights to their god very personally. Re-member what happen when the Ephesians accused Paul of making life difficult for their idol? They shouted for two hours…

The Bad Samaritan

[533 words] “Which one?” That’s what a typical Jew in Jesus’ time would have asked about this title. To many Jewish people, all Samaritans were bad. There was no such thing as a good Samaritan. The truth, of course, is that Samaritans were like other people. Some were good and some were bad. Although the…

The Parable of the Sower

[452 words] Jesus explained to the disciples that He spoke in parables, “…because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand” (Matthew 13:13). Parables were stories teaching practical lessons to those who wanted to hear and understand and to hide His message from those who were…

The Gospel and Us

[169 words] In Rom. 1:14-16, Paul not only gives the importance of the gospel, but what our relationship should be with it. It is seen in the three “I am” statements. Concerning the Gospel… We Need to Realize Our Obligation (“I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise”,…

Seeking the Lost Coins

[521 words] During the reign of Oliver Cromwell, the British government began to run low on silver for coins. Cromwell sent his men on an investigation of the local cathedrals to see if they could find any precious metals there. After the investigation they reported: “The only silver we could find is in the statues…

For Such a Time as This

[537 words] Esther could have died. Sure, all the Jews were scheduled to die anyway but Esther could have been the first one. She did something that was illegal and went, unsummoned, to the king. The punishment for doing so was a date with the royal executioner. And why would she do such a thing,…

Appropriate Responses to Jesus

[156 words] In Luke 4 there is a major focus on who Jesus is and the way people respond to Him. Obviously, there are both appropriate as well as inappropriate ways to respond to His presence and call. Some appropriate responses to Jesus would be: Praise Him for His powerful message (Luke 4:15). Jesus reveals…

Do You Evangelize and Edify?

[220 words] “But Peter and John answered them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard’” (Acts 4:19-20). On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out on those…

Can You Keep A Secret?

[219 words] In some instances, a secret must be kept! Spouses have conversations that only take place inside their relationship. Lawyers maintain client confidentiality. Bankers cannot share customer loan agreements. Medical Professionals cannot divulge patient information. Preachers cannot share details of meetings when he is assisting someone in the congregation with a problem or spiritual…

The Backpack

[308 words] Maggie Vasquez, who has cerebral palsy, wasn’t going to get to go on the annual school camping trip as her wheelchair and walker wouldn’t work on the rugged terrain of the forest where the group would be hiking. One of Maggie’s teachers, Helma Wardenaar, was determined that the ten-year-old would go on the…

Plant the Right Seeds

[179 words] Seed planting time is upon us. The gardener/farmer knows the importance of planting the right seeds at the right time. For the Christian, planting the right seeds makes all the difference, as well. I found a list of what we reap if we plant certain things in our lives. I have adapted and…

Prison Ministries

[448 words] “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’…

Night is Coming!

[304 words] Jesus healed a blind man. Before working the miracle, the Lord declared, “We must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (Jn. 9:4-5). Jesus knew…

A Pack of Seeds

[96 words] I bought myself a pack of seeds,To grace my garden fair.And stuck them in my pocketFor months they waited there. And when the time had come to seeThe flower’s lovely face,I thought it strange that only weedsWere growing in their place. How foolish then, oh Christian man,God’s Word, you have indeed.You carry it…

Sin Has Created the Need

[260 words] Sin Has Created the Need “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.”…

For the Joy of It

[307 words] The Hebrews writer advised his readers to always be “looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). Notice that phrase, “for…

Fish

[438 words] It happened off the coast of California several years ago. Fishing boats, many of them, would work the many miles of shoreline, going far out into the bay and gather in large catches of sardines to take them to the sardine canning factory at Monterey. In the area also were large numbers of…

The Fish Net

[224 words] When Jesus began His ministry, He began with a fish story (of sorts). Not really a fish story, but an occasion where experienced fishermen worked all night and were preparing to return, having caught nothing. Jesus sees the men returning and they were somewhat downcast as a result of an empty night. The…

Winning Souls for Christ

[391 words] Proverbs 11:30 states, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that wins souls is wise.” The New Testament continues to emphasize the winning of souls by teaching us to make disciples in Matthew 28:19 and Mark 16:15-16. Once one has been won to Christ, we are to continue being taught. In Acts 2:42 it…

Lessons From The Lost Coin

[309 words] Luke 15:1-2 sets up the three parables Jesus is using to teach His lessons. The “tax collectors and sinners” were drawn to the uplifting message of Jesus! These groups wanted an alternative to the ugliness found in their lives while having no sense of hope and direction. Luke 15:8-10 says, “Or what woman,…

His Name Is Christian, But He Isn’t One

[500 words] Various and odd instances brought me into contact with a man whose first name is Christian. He had been through some trying times and needed help. In the process of things being done, I asked some of the usual background questions and in so doing received answers which seemed to indicate a possible…

Fan the Flame of Your Faith!

[642 words] The fire began to burn low, so he got another log and put it in the fireplace. Those who wish to remain warm normally do this. Flames burn their fuel and, without additional fuel, they will go out. Timothy needed a boost; his zeal to use God’s spiritual gift had declined. We do…

Speak, Speak, Then Speak Again

[158 words] Fair topic of talk is today’s weather,The rain, tornadoes, cold and heat,And, mostly for men, in sports whetherThis team or that will win the meet. Then comes chat about dramas and series,Movies, actors, and famous folk,Jobs, economy, political theories,Cars and clothes, the inevitable joke. But talk of hope and life beyondThe grave? The…

Signals

[202 words] While driving to work while the traffic was really slow, I noticed a garden umbrella behind a fence that carried the name of a beer company. One could assume that the owner really liked that brand of beer; or maybe it was a free gift which he took advantage of. The point is,…

Fishers

[281 words] “Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the LORD, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks” (Jeremiah 16:16). The verses that follow speak of God punishing…

Telling My Brother in the Woods

[236 words] Missionary Egerton Ryerson Young served the Salteaux tribe in Canada in the 1700’s. The chief of the tribe thanked Young for bringing the good news of the Gospel to them, noting that he was hearing it for the first time in his old age. Since he knew that God was Young’s heavenly Father,…