And they set the ark of God upon a new cart…. (2 Samuel 6:3a)
David’s heart was in the right place. He wanted to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. So, he put the Ark on a new cart, purpose-built for the sacred duty of moving it to its proper home. It was a huge affair. For the occasion, David called in thirty thousand of his choicest men, and like the Philistines had done before them (1 Samuel 6), the people of David manhandled the Ark and put in on the cart. Continue reading
For a lot of years instead of my personal walk with God being like a river growing deeper and wider with each passing day, it was more like a stagnant pond that was gradually drying up under the heat of the sun. Thankfully, the goodness of God leads us all to repentance and by His grace I learned again what it is to truly walk with Him. Continue reading
The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all. (Proverbs 22:2)
We are to be stewards, not victims, of our circumstances. Because our lot in life is ordained of God. That we are not necessarily foreordained to remain in our current state is clear from the lives of people like Paul and Joseph. Paul said: “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound” (Philippians 4:12). He’d personally experienced both feast and famine and learned to be content in either circumstance. As for Joseph, he went from second-in-command in his own household, to prisoner in Egypt, to second-in-command of Egypt. The key in the lives of both these men was how they stewarded their circumstances. Who they were was not defined by their current socio-economic status. They were defined by whom they worshiped and honored with their lives. Their God was unchanging, so regardless of where and how they found themselves, they also were unchanging.
Church discipline is never a pleasant thing. It weighs heavily on the hearts of church leadership and it is uncomfortable for a church body to endure. That’s by design. It isn’t meant to be pleasant. It is corrective (Proverbs 22:10) and instructive (Proverbs 21:11). Unpleasant as it is, when it is not carried out, the church and its power in the community both suffer. Continue reading
Preaching against worldliness may be passé in the modern church, but with Christ it has never gone out of style. When He introduces Himself to the church at Pergamum, Jesus describes Himself as “He which hath the sharp sword with two edges.” He was not giving them a warm welcome. He was reminding them that He is Judge and Executioner, and that His judgment begins in His own house. Pergamum was a worldly church and Jesus was having no part of it because “the friendship of the world is enmity with God” (see Ephesians 2:16). Continue reading
Jesus Christ brings to the world something it desperately needs: Hope. And by hope, I don’t just mean wishful thinking. I mean real hope. In Scripture when the Bible uses the word “hope,” it’s referring to something we can expect with confidence, a sure thing. (Read 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10)
For the believer that hope includes a guaranteed home in heaven, and the sure return of the Lord Himself. That kind of hope should be overflowing our lives. It should be contagious. Continue reading
I’d like to end this series on prayer in the Book of Acts with some general observations, and I think the best way to sum up the prayer life of the early church is to look at what they did not pray for. Continue reading
(36) And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.
(37) And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul’s neck, and kissed him,
(38) Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.
I like football. Anyone who knows me, knows I like football. (American football, that is.) It’s the only sport I watch with any kind of regularity. I enjoy the strategy, the athleticism, and the plain old excitement of the game. When you watch a game, it’s not uncommon to hear a commentator say that one or more of the players is playing with an injury. They call it “playing through the pain.” I admire that because I am not sure if I would have the same grit or determination. But you know something? As admirable as it is to play through a game when you’re hurt, life is tougher than football. Continue reading
Luke 10:19 “Behold, I give unto you power…over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
Christians are powerless because they fail to claim what they already have in Christ. This is either through neglect, ignorance, or unbelief. Paul had no such hesitations because he was completely “sold” on God. The fact is, we have no excuse to be just like Paul. Continue reading
(7) After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.
(8) And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas.
(9) And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.
While this is commonly known as the Macedonian call, it didn’t happen without some Macedonians praying. It’s how missionaries get to the mission field:
Matthew 9:38 “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” Continue reading