Serious thoughts on the Faith

Concern for the direction of some churches in some places calls for a stronger feeling of gratitude for those in many locations who hold fast to the true gospel.

Even rational people in religion think it normal to speak of denominations and fail to see themselves in the Bible’s condemnation of divisiveness. They’ve been led to a total disconnect between spiritual truth and their practice.

The one hope of Ephesians 4.4 is summed up by Paul in Romans 5.2: “we rejoice in the hope of God’s glory.” For mankind who distanced himself from his glory, Romans 3.23, this is wonderful news. Continue reading “Serious thoughts on the Faith”

Feelings on your shirtsleeves

The tiny vase lapel pin that I usually wear on Sundays is now expected by my fellow worshippers. The little lantana that graced it on a recent Sunday caught the eye of one sister, who knows that I also like to share a photo of a flower every day on social media, calling it my “daily dose of sanity.”

“Well!” she exclaimed, “I see you have your ‘sanity’ here with you today, right on your lapel!”

“Yes,” I said. “Portable sanity! I love it.”

We both shared a laugh and a hug. Continue reading “Feelings on your shirtsleeves”

Be fruitful

“Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:28 NKJV).

There are many standards by which worthiness or value might be measured. As applied to individuals, one thinks of physical attributes like strength, speed, intelligence, or beauty. Our societies also place a high priority on accomplishments and status. VIP (Very Important Person) honors go to those who hold high office, acquire great wealth, or possess rare and desirable attributes. Continue reading “Be fruitful”

David’s grace to Mephibosheth

Jonathan and David were the best of friends. If we look at their relative ages, which we can determine from when they both first appear in 1 Samuel, it is likely that Jonathan was up to twenty years older than David. Yet they had a healthy respect and love for each other, to the point that Jonathan was convinced that David would be the next king and not himself as next in line to the throne (you can read about this in 1 Samuel 23).

Before David lived as an outcast from Saul for several years, he and Jonathan made an oath that whichever of them survived, the other would take care of their children (1 Samuel 20). After David had reigned a number of years, he remembered Jonathan and his promise. He asked, “Is anyone still left from the family of Saul, so that I may extend kindness to him for the sake of Jonathan?” (2 Samuel 9:1 NET). Continue reading “David’s grace to Mephibosheth”

Love is blind

You have heard the expression “love is blind.” It usually refers to someone who falls in love but who seems not to see the (apparently obvious) flaws in the person he loves. Christians are likewise told not to love the world: “Do not love the world, or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).

It’s easy to become infatuated with the world. She is so alluring, in a fatally charming way. Beneath the beautiful exterior, she is hollow, feeding her followers a diet lacking in nourishment. She can be a harsh mistress, demanding and unreasonable, prepared to abandon those who love her at a whim. That’s why it is so hard to resist her demands. We are reluctant to displease her, for fear she will withhold the approval we crave. And, to put it simply, we don’t see that she is manipulative and controlling, because our love is blind! Continue reading “Love is blind”

Light in the darkness

“In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:4-5 NKJV).

There are still many places in the world where there is little or no access to electricity. Even where some electrical power is available it is often insufficient to meet the demand. This results in power rationing, sometimes called “load-shedding” where it is practiced. People there may have periods ranging from an hour or so per day to more than half of the time. Continue reading “Light in the darkness”

Relying on God

There is an interesting anomaly that took place while David was king. It is found in the list of the men who were his advisors or, perhaps we might say, his cabinet.

“So David reigned over all Israel, administering justice and righteousness for all his people. Joab son of Zeruiah was over the army; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was court historian; Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech son of Abiathar were priests; Seraiah was court secretary; Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and David’s sons were chief officials” (2 Samuel 8:15-18 CSB). Continue reading “Relying on God”