“So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, ‘What is it?’ For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, ‘This is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat’ . . . And the house of Israel called its name Manna” (Exodus 16:15, 31 NKJV).
As one travels throughout the world there are many occasions when he or she may ask, “What is this?” It may be regarding a food, a drink, a piece of household furniture, a tool, or even a custom or behavior. There are many cultures in this world, each with its own history, traditions, and particular resources. It is not surprising that varying cultures have found different solutions to many of the same needs. One person’s familiar object may be completely strange to someone else. Continue reading “What is it?”
Healthy churches are no accident. Paul knew this. In his letter to the Ephesian church the apostle guided them toward growing up into Christ. What he prescribed would produce a church being built up in love.
Later in his pastoral letter of 1 Timothy, Paul counseled Timothy to take strong action in order that the church might be a thriving community of love. In both cases, Paul’s prescription for spiritual health involved ideas. Ideas matter. Continue reading “Ideas matter”
By Johnny O. Trail — One radio station in Nashville does nothing but talk radio. As an avid listener to talk radio, I am always interested in the questions and comments of those who call in to the radio station. On one show in particular, the host deals with e-mails that are sent in by listeners. Last week, one e-mail in particular caught my attention. The lady who sent the e-mail asked the host, “How do I choose a church?”
The host then gave her some suggestions for finding a church to suit her needs. He proceeded to tell her to look at churches as communities and that she simply needed to find one that had people who most met her needs for friendship. Continue reading “How do I choose a church?”
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!” (Matthew: 23:23-24 ESV).
The campus of Khulna Bible College contains a number of fruit and nut trees, including mango, coconut, litchi, jackfruit, papaya, and jambora (a type of grapefruit) trees. The nine coconut trees are especially productive and the nuts are prized for their water (or milk), meat, and fibrous hull. Periodically coconuts will be collected and counted out for sharing among the various staff families and the needs of the college kitchen. Continue reading “‘Without neglecting the others’”
“But also, for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, . . .” (2 Peter 1:5 NKJV).
I have watched as a crew of workers built a road (or driveway) on private property in Bangladesh. First they dug out the soil to a pre-determined depth, then filled it with pieces of concrete broken into chunks the size of one’s doubled fists and larger. After those are packed and leveled there will be a layer of brick chips several inches thick, and ultimately a cement pavement.
The order of fill is of great importance as the varied materials in the base strengthen and support the smooth surface. If the smaller chips were put in first, on the bottom, they would eventually be pressed into the dirt and the road would become uneven and broken. The larger concrete chunks will stay at the correct level. Continue reading “The big stuff”
Listening to how people speak, how they think and whether a word choice carries with it a positive or negative connotation can quickly suggest some impressions about doctrine. Recently a candid meeting confirmed my suspicions. Apparently some regard doctrine as a dirty word. How did we arrived here?
Consider the following stereotypes from history. For many, such story snippets exist in mere memory, nevertheless I suspect they resonate and wield determinative power over current perspectives. Once we understand something about the journey, what might the next steps be?
Continue reading “That dirty word doctrine”
An amazing story emerges from the pages of the New Testament. No, I am not referring to God’s love in sending Jesus to rescue us from our sins, although this is truly amazing. Rather, I am referring to the glimpses we are permitted into another astounding and sobering story, a story involving people. Continue reading “Entrusted”
When a baby is born, they are fed milk or formula until they are able to handle solid food. As we grow, we have a greater say over our diet.
Some choose to become meat eaters while others become vegetarians. Neither is inherently right or wrong since you can find a host of experts and advocates on both sides.
Spiritually, though, we can be more certain. In the Bible, God uses diet to refer to spiritual maturity. New Christians can’t handle the advanced teaching that may be a normal meal for a mature Christian. Continue reading “Spiritual vegetarians”
One would have thought Jesus’ sayings would engender unity and love everywhere he went because that was his message, right? That was not the Jew’s reaction. Their reaction was division.
In John 10:19, the apostle John wrote, “There was a division therefore again among the Jews” about Jesus’ sayings. Some claimed he was possessed by a devil. Others rightly said Jesus could not be demon possessed and cure the blind.
Jesus’ answer was, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in my Father’s name, these testify of me. But you do not believe because you are not of my sheep” (John 10:25-26 NASB).
Then, Jesus made three statements that proved the Jews were not his sheep. Continue reading “Are you Jesus’ sheep?”
We must become Christians if we want to enter heaven. Christ paved a path to follow to reap the rewards of eternity. Head, heart and hands must all join as we live for the Lord.
Everything in Christianity was organized before time began (Ephesians 1:4), and God’s Word will be supreme after it ceases. What happens in the middle can have no effect because God’s will is so much bigger than we are.
God writes on a canvas larger than the universe and we’re an infinitesimal spot on the fabric (Psalm 139:7-12). Humility is easier the more we immerse ourselves in Scripture (James 4:10). We must perpetually place God on his throne as we sit in the dirt. Continue reading “Preaching and living”