By Johnny O. Trail — Esther is a small book found in the Old Testament that many have read throughout the millennia. It is interesting to note that the word for “God” is not found in this ten-chapter book. While God is not mentioned in the book of Esther, one finds him providentially working in the lives of his people.
The book of Esther and the lives of the people mentioned therein illustrate some powerful biblical principles. Some of them are:
Esther demonstrates how the prideful reason about themselves.
God providentially works in the lives of those who are his people—in Esther’s age and ours too.
Obedience is necessary to effectuate the salvation of God’s people.
Hatred and racism are age-old problems that all generations of people have had to face.
The prideful will fail whereas the humble will find refuge and protection in God’s care.
By Johnny O. Trail — There was once a man who decided that he wanted to lose weight. To that end, he weighed himself on his bathroom scale and determined that he weighed 250 pounds. For the entire next week, he exercised and tried to cut back on what he ate. At the end of the week, he got on the scale and determined that he weighed 260 pounds. He was so angry at what the bathroom scale told him that he took the scale into the garage, got a sledge hammer and beat it to smithereens.
The next day he determined that there had to be something wrong with the scale. So he drives to Wal-Mart and purchases a brand new one. He returned home, made sure that it was properly calibrated, and stepped on to ascertain his weight. The scale revealed that he weighed 262 pounds. It was not what he expected, but he accepted that as a good starting point for his newly renewed attempt at weight loss. For the next week he exercised and watched his food intake (to some extent). Continue reading “What is truth?”
“And the king will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me” (Mathew 25:40 NET).
If one looks at this statement literally it is perhaps one of the most powerful statements in the Bible. That is, the way that you treat any human being is the way that you are treating Jesus. If Jesus came up to you and said “I’m hungry”, I am sure that you would give him all of the food that you had. But what about that drug-addicted man, dressed in rags, who is always begging by the side of the road. According to this scripture, there is no difference between the two. Continue reading “The least of them”
“It says what it means, and it means what it says!”
How have you formerly felt about hearing that famous phrase?
When I was a student at Freed-Hardeman, my youngest teacher told this autobiographical event. As a neophyte professor, one Sunday “Rob” chaperoned some college students to a congregation in another town. Since Rob represented the college, when the elders asked him to teach their adult Bible class impromptu, Rob felt obliged to comply. Then they told him that their text was the book of Revelation! Continue reading ““It says what it means..””
“My grandparents were such faithful Christians they even wanted to be buried facing east,” she said.
Hmmm. That was a concept new to me. So, I asked a friend if he’d heard of people wanting to be buried facing east. He said, “The only time I’ve made sure that I was stretched out facing east was when I got a West Texas motel room. A door facing east meant that wind didn’t drive sand in under it.” We chuckled. Continue reading “Buried facing east”
In our efforts to teach our children how to prioritize their values, we often caution, “Winning isn’t everything.” Certainly, that is a true statement in most realms of our lives.
Winning a ball game is more fun than losing, but it isn’t everything. Winning a contest at school is important to young people (and their parents), but we all must understand that some of the most important lessons in life are learned when we don’t win. Continue reading “Winning is everything”
By John E. Werhan — The hearing of God’s word is not identified as worship in the New Testament. Yet, it fits the definition and purpose of worship as taught in the Scriptures.
In prayer the congregation communicates with God. Through the Bible, God speaks to the congregation. This is the manifestation of the two-way communication the Christian has with the heavenly Father.
As God communicates through his Word, the worshiper should be a humble, submissive listener. The Bereans “received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). Continue reading “Hearing God’s Word”
When I think about my daughter I have entertained a wide range of options. Everything from complete isolation with the Bedouin Monks in the deserts of the Middle East to homeschool with the reindeer people of Mongolia. Just kidding. In a way. Continue reading Fear for the Best
by Neal Pollard These are some typical questions people ask, and increasingly they are being asked by professed Christians as well as agnostics and atheists. The concept of a truly limitless God doing the incredible in the unfolding of history and His plan of salvation troubles many. Continue reading Selective Skepticism