Ides of March

by J. Randal Matheny, editor
Odd thoughts on the Ides of March
* The most impressive point about the story of the rich man and Lazarus? Not the picture into what lies beyond the portal of death. Not the striking contrast between the earthly condition of the two and the reversal of their situation in the world of the dead. Not even the pitiable pleas of the rich man in torment. What most impresses is that our Lord ends the story by telling us to read the Bible (Luke 16:29-31).
* If you could start your life in Christ over again, knowing what you know now, how would you live it differently? I was encouraged and amazed at the candor of the participants on The Fellowship Room. Check out their answers, among other posts made today.
* Amazing how the evidence can be ignored. One person insisted in a conversation that no one be supported to preach the gospel. He had a valid point that everyone is responsible. But the multiple strands of evidence make for an irresistible conclusion that there is a place for supporting evangelists. Paul says it plainly, “In the same way the Lord commanded those who proclaim the gospel to receive their living by the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:14 NET). Again, he says, “Now the one who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with the one who teaches it” (Galatians 6:6). Irresistible, for the one who doesn’t have an ax to grind.
* Social networks like Twitter and Facebook need that conversational salt that makes everything sound good to those outside of Christ. “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunities. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer everyone” (Colossians 4:5-6). Include emails in that, as well.
* Speaking of Facebook, a little game is going round to name the place where you were born. Most people are proud of their birthplace. It is, certainly, a part of who we are. Paul mentions that he was “born in Tarsus in Cilicia” (Acts 22:3). Of course, Jesus was born in Bethlehem and fulfilled Scripture. Barnabas was from Cyprus (Acts 4:36), Apollo from Alexandria (Acts 18:24), Aquila from Pontus (Acts 18:2). But aside from our Lord, there isn’t much interest in people’s birthplaces. The interest of Scripture is in our final resting (or suffering) place. I can’t help where I was born. (Texans would say that differently.) I can help where I am going.
* Beware the Ides of March! It has come and gone for me, to no harm. There are some prophecies I’m still heeding, however, about the arrival of the Lord Jesus Christ. Maranatha!

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