The columnists of Forthright have been invited to devote themselves during the month of June to the topic of duty. They are free to write about any topic. But we’ll highlight on the front page articles tagged with the word “duty.” A few articles of the past tagged this way are already at the top of the front page. Check them out.
The Old Testament speaks frequently of duties of the priest, Levites, and the king. The NLT has Shecaniah saying to Ezra the scribe, who was laid low by the sins of the people: Continue reading “Our duty to get up and take action”
It is unfortunate that for some people their view of God and worship is a long list of what they cannot do. Scripture provides us a long list of how God’s people are empowered to act. Consider these representative ideas. How many biblical texts can you attach to each item? Continue reading “Tell me what I can do”
By Johnny O. Trail — Compassion is defined as “sympathy for the suffering of others, often including a desire to help.” It might also be defined as “to have the bowels yearn” for the well-being of another. It means for one to have a deep, inward yearning for the good and welfare of another person—even in cases where they are not deserved of our sympathy. The word for compassion is used several times in the Old and New Testaments.
In the New Testament, the word compassion is combined with an action in connection with the expression of sympathy. Simply stated, we need to act compassionately toward those who deal with various physical, mental, and spiritual afflictions. If we wish to be like the Master, we should have the same type of compassion within ourselves. Continue reading “Compassion, action, and evangelism”
All that hard work, and the garden was a failure…or so it seemed. The beautiful Kwanzan cherry tree was dying out, and the eagerly awaited billows of pink fluffy blooms did not materialize in the splendor of years gone by.
The tree was the highlight of the patio garden; the central hub for the whole yard, really. Without its expected glory, everything else was lackluster in comparison.
It didn’t matter that the violas under the disappointing tree were particularly robust and colorful this year. The graceful nodding of the Hawera daffodils went largely unnoticed as well. Continue reading “The prominent ones”
Researchers think they’ve discovered a strange phenomenon in the area of persuasion. The more a person believes strongly in a future, the more likely he thinks that others will eventually come around to his belief. But there’s more.
“… partisans believe they are so correct that others will eventually come to see the obviousness of their correctness,” says behavioral scientist Todd Rogers of the Harvard Kennedy School, lead author on the research. “Ironically, our findings indicate that this belief in a favorable future may diminish the likelihood that people will take action to ensure that the favorable future becomes reality.
Continue reading “Taking action so that others will believe in our ‘favorable future’”
DIY. “Do it yourself.” Whether landscaping, plumbing, electrical, or painting, my husband (the Yard Boy) and I have done just about all of it.
Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise. Having spent the bulk of our adult lives in the full-time service of various churches, we have never had enough funds to have professional work done on our house. We have learned how to do most repairs ourselves, because there was usually no other choice.
When it became apparent that the septic tank was a hazard to anyone walking over it, since it could never be adequately covered with soil, we decided that a patio with loose stones would be a good remedy for the uneven ground it presented near the back porch. Continue reading “Do it yourself”
Jesus and John approached their audiences differently, but their message of repentance for the coming Kingdom was the same. People played up their differences merely to discount the messengers and discard their message. Continue reading The World Is Never Happy
I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.
Luke 1:3-4 NRSV
Doctor Luke decided and then went out and did what he’d decided to do. By deciding and doing, he wrote a gospel account of his Lord, which then allowed him the opportunity to write a second volume, the book of Acts.
Together, the two books make up the largest block of writings in the New Testament by a single writer. Continue reading “Decide and Do”
Plans are wonderful, but there comes a time when people must execute their plans. God blesses the effectual doers not the hearers who delude themselves (James 1:22-25). Getting the job done takes self-control. If you wish to lose weight, you must do the things that call for weight loss — watching what you eat and exercising. Talking about it won’t make much difference. Self-control is one of the elements of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23). Paul told the Christians in Galatia, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” … Continue reading Time to Execute