Ingrate!

Parents who wanted their children to have what they were deprived of often discover it growing among the toys and privileges.

Christians who help the poor sometimes see it in the scowls at the same time the hand is extended.

Friends who share the amazing gift of God’s grace with their loved ones see it in the face of those who find salvation a small thing. Continue reading “Ingrate!”

Thankful for answered prayer

I have prayed prayers, waited years, and never have been able to recognize empirically that they were answered. Your mileage may vary, but I suspect we all have put our concerns and needs before the Lord without seeing an identifiable answer.

But I believe the good Heavenly Father answers all the supplications, petitions, and intercessions of his faithful children. I believe it because the Bible affirms it, and I believe it because he has answered enough of my prayers to convince me of that truth.

Just this morning I asked the Lord about a subject. Within an hour’s time I had an answer. The answer was not a natural outflow of events. It came, atheists and skeptics might say, out of nowhere. But it actually came from heaven. Now that’s not a divine rule, as if he were a fast-food server working on a timer to get out the burger-answer to the drive-through customer Christian. Continue reading “Thankful for answered prayer”

The last word on righteousness

It is altogether fitting that the last word on righteousness comes from the last chapter of the last book of the Bible. The old apostle John, last of his tribe, writes what are probably his last words to a cowed and persecuted church.

As he wraps up the series of apocalyptic visions showing the grand victory of Christ and his followers, he makes what at first glance appears to be a strange statement. Continue reading “The last word on righteousness”

7 truths about God in Ezekiel 33

The Old Testament is a rich mine of truths about God and his ways. The prophets reveal the divine heart and intentions. Get a taste of truths about God from this little slice of Ezekiel 33.

No. 1. God is a revealer. “The word of the Lord came to me” (Ezekiel 33:1, ESV). He tells man what he is doing and what he expects. God does nothing without letting us know his intentions and actions (Amos 3:7; Ephesians 3:5). Things he reveals are for us all, that we might obey his commands and thereby find joy and peace (Deuteronomy 29:29). God’s revelation to us, now contained in the Bible, is for our salvation. “The Lord has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations” (Psalm 98:2). Continue reading “7 truths about God in Ezekiel 33”

The greatest challenge

Surrounded by immorality, a Christian fights an uphill battle to remain pure. But that is not his greatest challenge.

In a world awash in words and alternative philosophies, a Christian struggles to get the divine Word out. But that is not his greatest challenge.

In the rush of daily events, a Christian vigorously defends his time alone with the Lord. But even that is not his greatest challenge.

This is an opinion, and you are more than welcome to differ with me, but I think I have good evidence (in my own life) to back it up. Continue reading “The greatest challenge”

Blind to duty

Don’t me and my family require the highest degree of concern and protection? Me first. Then, maybe, I can do something or other for my family. That is, if they’re good to me. After that, if there’s any extra time, money, or good will, we can think about church and neighbors, and throw in a stranger or two for good measure. And for my country? Nah, why bother with patriotism for a nation well on its journey down the tubes?

Isn’t that pretty much the idea these days of priorities and commitments? Gone is any sense of duty beyond me and mine.

So the following words from Lot sound like they come from another planet. Continue reading “Blind to duty”

Do no harm — an important litotes

Nosiree, I didn’t commit a typographical error in the title. A litotes* is a figure of speech, and a common one at that. It is, according to a Webster clone, an “understatement for effect”, especially when expressed by a negative to the contrary. In plainer words, you use a negative when you mean a positive.

An example: You say, “I have not a few regrets.” You mean, “I have many, many regrets.”

Another example: You say, “That’s not bad.” You mean, “That’s really good!” Continue reading “Do no harm — an important litotes”