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When the World Ends

Your gadgets will be worthless. “In a moment,” the Bible says, “in the twinkling of an eye” the end will come. There will not be time to call friends or loved ones. There will not be time to send one final email to say goodbye or “prepare to meet thy God.” Our cell phones, our laptops, and our gadgets which now seem so powerful and time-consuming will all be rendered useless with the coming power of an omnipotent God! For…

Mistakes

The dictionary defines the word “mistake” this way: “a misunderstanding of the meaning or implication of something; a wrong action or statement proceeding from faulty judgment or inadequate knowledge.” Most of us would admit that we know plenty about mistakes, without having to consult a dictionary, because of personal experience. We know that mistakes can be of various kinds. Ever call someone by the wrong name? Ever make a mistake in your checkbook? Ever pick up something you thought wasn’t…

A Slip of the Tongue & A Clued-In Seven-Year-Old

“Daddy, you said a bad word when you were preaching,” he whispered to me. Immediately, I stopped what I was doing and turned to face him to give my full attention. “What did I say, son?” He turned away from me and said, “you said the word, ‘gee’.” It is true that sometimes I’m given to filler words that creep unaware into my speech. I have no excuse for saying it and I certainly didn’t try to justify it to…

Let the Cause of Christ be First

I wish I could share effectively all of the positive feedback that I have heard from members based on the evangelism workshop we had last weekend. Very little of it had to do with Rob and Nicole, and the majority of it had to do with members who have had their eyes open to the fact that they have a part to play in the growth of the church (Acts 8:4). The excitement is palpable and we will say and…

An Essential Purchase

Reflections on Proverbs 23:23: Buy the truth, and do not sell it, Also wisdom and instruction and understanding. I have the choice to buy the truth. Buying and selling is as natural as breathing in the consumer-driven culture of America 2021. Advertisements and appeals bombard the average American from all over with one message: “buy this to be happy!” Solomon says in Proverbs and throughout Ecclesiastes, “Buy the truth,” and accessorize it with “wisdom, instruction, and understanding” in order to…

Psalm 103

Psalm 103, attributed to David, is a wonderful psalm of thanksgiving. It would help us greatly if we read it frequently and remembered its lessons constantly. We immediately notice that expression “Bless the Lord,” repeated five times within the twenty-two verses. We are not really surprised to see these words come from David, a man who was full of praise for His God. But, we need to see more from the psalm. We see a choice. David tells himself to…

Our Specialized Armor

The Amazonian piranha is an extremely vicious fish with a powerful bite. The three-striped cory is a slow, passive catfish, which only grows 1 to 2 inches long. At first glance, one would assume that the little cory would be an easy meal for a piranha. That would be a false assumption. The three-striped cory is equipped with a very specialized armor, in the form of scales made of collagen and mineral. Rather than being brittle, the scales are flexible,…

Trials

James wrote to people who were having “trials” in their lives. The word James used could be translated “temptations.” Readers were to understand that these trials caused “the testing of faith” (James 1:2). The result, if successfully dealt with, would produce patience. Something good can come from something that seems bad. Patience, a needed virtue, is developed through facing trials. Today, just as in the time when James wrote, trials will test God’s people. Those who think living the Christian…

Such Great Faith

Jesus gave some of the most coveted compliments to the most unlikely of people. In Luke 7, a centurion discovers Jesus and implores Him to come and heal his dear servant. The account ends with the servant healed but Jesus making the comment to the following crowds, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel” (Luke 7:9). What types of qualities characterized this centurion’s faith and made it great in the eyes of…

Inconceivable!

In James 1:14-15, James explained the process that leads to the birth of sin. “Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.Then,when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin.” It’s interesting to note that temptation isn’t something that enters into people; rather, people enter into temptation. Jesus instructed His disciples to ask God to not lead them “into temptation” (Luke 11:4; Matthew 6:13). As Jesus entered the garden to pray, He warned…

Craving Perspective in the Valley

People in the valley often have little perspective on how big the mountains really are, how long the range is, or what is waiting on the other side. Isn’t it wonderful to know that whatever valleys life tries to shove us into, God has provided perspective we badly need, yes, even crave? What really gets you down? Maybe economy, politics, sorrow, trouble, rumors, falsehood, families, wars, persecution or simply dread of the future? What valley are you walking through? The…

“On Sale, NOW!”

The holidays are almost over. Everyone will soon be settling back into a rhythm that will take most people through the remainder of the winter and through the first part of spring. However, every day I check my “junk email” account, I see hundreds of email subject lines from hundreds of different companies such as this: “Christmas sale! You don’t want to miss this event.” “Treat yourself NOW!” “Don’t miss an EXTRA 40% off year end.” After months of Christmas…