A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth. (Proverbs 14:6)
Because of his prejudices and preconceived notions, a scorner cannot know the truth. Like the Pharisees of the New Testament, he’s not really after it. Rather than looking for the Lord, he’s looking for loopholes and reasons to mock and to question the truth. However, that inability to see God’s truth is not limited to scorners. Many well-meaning truth-seekers have a similar problem because they too bring prejudices and preconceived notions to the table. They have too much junk in the way. Continue reading
The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD. (Proverbs 16:1)
All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits. (Proverbs 16:2)
Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. (Proverbs 16:3)
Remember math? Remember the really hard math classes? I remember how in some of my math classes the back of the book would sometimes have the answers to every other equation. I also remember how sometimes taking a peek at the correct answers helped me figure out the formula I needed to use to get to the right answer and how that helped me figure out the equations where the book didn’t give the solution. Most of life is like that: lots of problems without the solutions written out. Thankfully, God has given us His answer key in the form of His Word. So now the question is: How do we make our lives look like Proverbs 16:1? Continue reading
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