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”

Bonhoeffer, Culture & 1 Corinthians 11

Dietrich Bonhoeffer is frequently praised within Christendom for standing up against the prevailing culture of Nazi Germany in support of biblical principles. I recently witnessed a celebration of Carl Spain, whose chapel speech in 1960 at an all white college condemned racism among Christian colleges.

The question invariably comes to mind, why were there not many others, who profess Christ, standing with Bonhoeffer or Spain? Seriously? Continue reading “Bonhoeffer, Culture & 1 Corinthians 11”

Some thoughts on preaching

As a listener, you might wonder why you should know what it takes for preaching to be what it should be. You are, after all, the listener, not the speaker. Yet it is worth noting that when Paul warned about a falling away he placed some of the blame on those who listen: “people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Timothy 4:4).

Observe the drift from faithfulness to faithlessness: “People will not endure sound teaching” (that’s you, the listener). “But having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their passions … and will turn away from listening to the truth.” At some point, the truth will no longer matter, only that which feeds our desires. And, finally, their drift will be complete: “And wander off into myths.” Continue reading “Some thoughts on preaching”

The greatest person

Who is the greatest person who ever lived? Who is the greatest ruler or king of all time?

Those questions could cause fights.

Some people may point to a particular president or even a dictator as the answer to either one or both questions. There are others who would also like consideration.

Let’s complicate the issue a little. You must prove your answer with the incontrovertible truth. Continue reading “The greatest person”

Planting the Word

“Therefore, lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21 NKJV).

When is the last time someone came to your church and begged for a Bible? Most missionaries have people constantly asking for a Bible for themselves, or to give to a friend or family member. Preachers request large numbers for their church members and to give to new converts or special prospects. In most parts of the world, Bibles are in short supply and large demand. And the demand part is certainly as it should be.

Why do so many desire God’s word? Continue reading “Planting the Word”

Uzzah and the ark

The Ark of the Covenant had been captured when Samuel was a boy. Although the Philistines returned it to Israel, it ended up staying in the home of Abinadab near Kiriath-jearim. 

David was concerned at the beginning of his reign as King over Israel that he have access to the Ark of God. He said, “Let’s move the ark of our God back here, for we did not seek his will throughout Saul’s reign” (1 Chronicles 13:3 NET). It is a sad statement on Saul’s reign that the Ark was not consulted to discover what God wanted of him as king at any point during his forty years reign. Continue reading “Uzzah and the ark”