Obedient faith or disobedience

There are some bizarre definitions of faith in the world. One of the most prevalent seems to be that one only believes in Jesus, and that automatically confers salvation on that person.

Not even John the Baptist, however, agreed with that prevalent idea. In John 3, in a discussion by John with his disciples, the cousin of Jesus said, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him,” (John 3:36 NASB). Continue reading “Obedient faith or disobedience”

The power of faith

As the United States fought the Axis powers in World War II, scientists discovered splitting one of the tiniest particles of matter, an atom of Uranium, would yield enormous power. The atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima was the most powerful explosion known.

Who could have realized splitting something as small as an atom would create such a terrible result? The explosion over Hiroshima killed thousands of people. Another bomb dropped on Nagasaki had the same effect.

There is power in small things. Continue reading “The power of faith”

A second chance

The people who ate from the bread and fishes Jesus gave wanted him to feed them again. This time Jesus wanted them to provide them with spiritual food. He told them the bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to everyone (John 6:33).

They became somewhat excited and asked Jesus for that bread. Jesus did just that and said, “I am the bread of life.” Then, it was almost as if they took three or four steps away from Jesus. He told them that he had come down from heaven to do the will of the one who sent him (John 6:38). Jesus repeated that he was the bread of life. Continue reading “A second chance”

Photo of a woman's long hair

Need forgiveness?

Sexual immorality is a terrible sin. It has always carried a stigma with it.

Jesus dined with a Pharisee named Simon one evening, and a woman with a reputation of immoral conduct entered the Pharisee’s home standing behind Jesus weeping. Why was she crying? This woman needed something only Jesus could give her. We don’t know how she found out about the Lord. She may have listened to one of his sermons or saw him heal someone. Continue reading “Need forgiveness?”

The example we must practice

Before observing the last Passover of his life, Jesus put a towel around his waist and began washing his disciples’ feet. After finishing the task, Jesus asked his disciples, “Do you know what I have done to you?” Never was there a more penetrating question. Here was Peter: first to confess Jesus in Matthew 16, prominent in so many instances in the gospels, initially refused to allow Jesus to wash his feet. Possibly the look of astonishment and wonder was still on his face as Jesus asked this question. Then, there were James and John, who vied to sit on … Continue reading The example we must practice

Impress God with prayer

Our prayers are important to God, though there are those whose prayers sometimes target human ears, not God’s.

It seems absurd in the extreme that some people pray to be seen and heard by others when prayer is specifically for God. The Lord Jesus talked about this type of person in Matthew chapter 6. He told his listeners that prayer should not imitate “the hypocrites.” The word “hypocrite” in the New Testament hearkened back to the days of Greek theatre. Actors would wear a mask depicting their character. A hypocrite is someone who wears a false face. Continue reading “Impress God with prayer”

As shining lights

Fathers want the best for their children. Most of all, fathers want happiness for them.

My father, a gospel preacher for more than 30 years, always wanted me to be a preacher. My first name came as a result of my father’s love of scripture. His vision for me was to become like Jesus and develop a love of the truth so that I might be saved and proclaim the gospel to others. Continue reading “As shining lights”

Humble Mary

In the United States, we are entering the season in which we will elect a president. What this means is that for the next year and three months we will hear politicians tell us why they deserve the favor of our vote to elevate them to high office.

Before all the hubbub starts in earnest, it might be refreshing to hear another voice, the voice of Mary, the future mother of Jesus, in Luke 1:46. She so humbly said, “My soul magnifies the Lord.” This statement begins what many call the “Magnificat.” Let’s view it for what it really is: a hymn of thanksgiving, the object of which was a poor maiden’s desire to make God larger than herself. Continue reading “Humble Mary”