The church that pleases God

The young couple came to the truth because, as he said, they quit looking for a church that would please them both—since they were from different branches of Christendom—to search for a church that pleased God.

A coworker had told him to look for a church that “met in the name of Jesus.”

Before that, he’d begun reading his Bible. He noticed the differences between what Scripture said and what his church taught. When he asked a religious authority in his church about such differences, the answer was not convincing. Continue reading “The church that pleases God”

“They that are whole need not a physician”

The Romans taxed nearly everything. They taxed personal income and the use of roads and harbors. They taxed carts according the number of wheels, and they taxed for the animal that pulled the cart. If a person was walking with a bundle on his back, a tax collector could require the bundle opened and taxes could be collected on any item therein.

Many Jews became tax collectors hired by the Romans. The Jews punished these people they called, “publicans,” because of their association with the Romans. Continue reading ““They that are whole need not a physician””

“Gathering up the fragments”

“So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, ‘Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.’ Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten” (John 6:12-13 NKJV).

In Bangladesh when tables are set for meals, there are usually extra plates set out (about one for each 2-4 people). When I first began traveling there that puzzled me, but as we ate, their purpose became plain. Those were the “bone plates” onto which each diner would discard any bones, gristle or other inedible residue of his or her food. Continue reading ““Gathering up the fragments””

Our imperishable inheritance

“The people of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, received their inheritance” (Joshua 16:4 ESV).

After conquering much of the land of Canaan, the land was divided between the tribes of Israel. This was to be their inheritance. Reuben, Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh had already received their inheritance, their land, on the east of the Jordan in the lands they conquered before entering Canaan. In return for receiving their inheritance early, they had to lead the army as they conquered the Promised Land. Continue reading “Our imperishable inheritance”

Grace’s one great demand

Grace presents us with one great demand.

I know it seems strange to see the words “demand” and “grace” in the same sentence. Usually we view grace as the means by which we gain acceptance by God without carrying out works of the law. After all, as Paul reminds us, by “works of the law no one will be justified” (Galatians 2:16).

Many try to earn their salvation. Continue reading “Grace’s one great demand”

Stone of stumbling

It was no surprise to me to hear the nickname our son’s friends gave him — “Pyro.” From an early age, he was fascinated by fire.

His passion for fire has now matured into expert welding skills and the ability to make the best smoked pork shoulder on the planet. He must have gotten his firebug trait from his Dad, my own dear Yard Boy, who will take any opportunity to burn things in the yard. Continue reading “Stone of stumbling”

Room to turn around

“Lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears” (Hebrews 12:16-17 NKJV).

While looking for a place to eat lunch in Dhaka we found ourselves on a divided boulevard with concrete barriers separating the north and southbound lanes. When we reached the restaurant we had chosen we could not turn in because there was no break in the barriers. We had to drive a considerable distance past it, then turn and come back. Since we had already driven more than six hours to get to Dhaka, then another hour plus of city traffic jams, we were not pleased at the extra time and distance. Continue reading “Room to turn around”

He had a different spirit

“Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said” (Joshua 14:10-12 NIV).

Caleb was one of the great men of Israel. He was one of the twelve spies that were sent throughout Canaan when they first arrived at the border a few years after leaving Egypt. Ten of the spies were so overwhelmed with what they saw that they panicked and could not see how they could conquer the land. But it was Caleb, along with Joshua, who brought a different report. They knew that with God’s help they could take the land just as he had promised. Continue reading “He had a different spirit”

The journey’s data depot (4): faith in Christ and faith of Christ

If  the following characteristics describe you, have you considered the evidence for yourself?

  1. Don’t dismiss the professionals, just recognize they are human.
  2. The normal functioning and understanding is preferred over a claim for an unusual or exceptional one.
  3. Since scripture is the standard, follow the evidence.
  4. Our goal will determine what we find. Value truth.

Before unveiling more milestones from my journey, today’s article provides a way station, an organized table of the data. To be sure, additional ideas will still need to be addressed. Nevertheless, if you have been following this journey, you may want to review the data for yourself. Continue reading “The journey’s data depot (4): faith in Christ and faith of Christ”