“In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in your sight'” (Luke 10:21 NKJV).
It can sometimes be discouraging to work diligently to proclaim the gospel with little apparent immediate results. Often what results there are may seem to be among the poor and uneducated, or even among the so-called outcasts of society. Paul described the majority of Christians as consisting of “Not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble” (1 Corinthians 1:26). He went on to state, “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are” (1 Corinthians 1:27-28). Continue reading “What babies can know”
“For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another” (Titus 3:3 NKJV).
The feuding mentality is alien to some, but seems to come naturally to many. What enables certain families, clans, or ethnicities to pass on hatred and enmity through multiple generations? From the warring tribes of Africa, the feuding families of Appalachia, and the clans of the Scottish Highlands, some ancient grudges have lasted for hundreds and even thousands of years. And some seem to be just as intense and fierce as they have ever been. Continue reading “The cure for hatred”
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth” (Isaiah 40:3-4 NJKV).
In the twenty-five years that I have traveled in Asia I have noticed two major areas of development that have affected me personally – communications and transportation. In the early years I might call my family in the U.S. one or two times in a month’s absence; now via inexpensive mobile phones, internet, and Skype we are in contact almost every day. When I first began visiting Bangladesh, the trip from Dhaka to Khulna required more than ten hours and involved at least six ferry crossings. Now the ferries are down to one and my last journey was barely more than six hours long. What a great blessing good roads and bridges are! Continue reading “Good roads”
“Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things” (Romans 14:1 NKJV).
Some years ago we planted a row of Royal Palm trees on the Bible College campus in Bangladesh. They have grown and are now quite tall, stately, and very beautiful. Well, most of them are. There is one, on the far end next to the outer wall, which has grown comparatively little and is still small and weak looking. All were the same size at planting, all put into the same soil and treated identically. Yet one is much smaller than the others. Continue reading “Runts”
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24 NKJV).
We recently had a small local tournament in a table game called “carom” that is hugely popular in this part of Asia. There were twelve teams, and to ensure an even number we allowed the young son of one of the staff members to participate. Of course the father and son wound up on different teams (they were chosen by random drawing) and, as you would know it, the very first match of the tournament pitted father’s team against son’s. Continue reading “Divided loyalties”
“Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins” (Proverbs 10:12 NKJV).
When I walked out on the campus early one morning before devotional, one of the teachers, Arther, was out by the main gate. When I joined him he greeted me with, “It is a beautiful morning.” We walked back together to the building where the devotional was to be, and there Siroj, a student, said, “The weather is bad today.”
On the same day, in the same place, within two or three minutes, two people expressed exact opposite opinions of the same phenomenon. How can that be? Continue reading “In the eye of the beholder”
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. . . . But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one must bear his own load” (Galatians 6:2,4-5 NKJV).
Brenda cooks our meals at Khulna Bible College in a tiny kitchen over a two burner gas cook top. When she cooks omelets or pancakes for our breakfasts, she cannot do one serving at a time. Continue reading “Alone, together”
I have two questions for you:
First, is slander the same as a lie? Not exactly, I guess, because slander implies an added ingredient: A lie told with malice. Sort of a verbal mixture of gasoline and sparks.
Second: When a gossip or slanderer is not gossiping with you, what is he saying to the people he’s with? Continue reading “Rumor has it”
“Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death, is the man who deceives his neighbor, and says, ‘I was only joking'” (Proverbs 26:19 NKJV).
April 1, or “April Fool’s Day” is a much loved tradition in many areas of North America and Europe. From old clichéd routines to elaborate practical jokes, there will be a lot of “ha, ha, I fooled you” peals of triumph. Those who are the brunt of these jokes will mostly receive them with forced smiles and grudging, “yes, I fell for it,” keeping their resentment or bored “oh, no, not that again,” secret thoughts to themselves. Continue reading ““Only joking””
“And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was deserving” (Luke 7:2-4).
The title of this article could easily serve as the theme, or at least one of the themes, of the Gospel according to Luke. The stories of the good Samaritan (chapter 10), Zacchaeus (19), Lazarus the beggar, and others are about people normally despised by the supposedly righteous Jews, but shown in the third gospel with good qualities. Continue reading “Good in unexpected places”