As Paul was completing his third trip of proclaiming Jesus he was “hurrying to arrive in Jerusalem, if possible, by the day of Pentecost” (Acts 20:16 NET). But he also wanted to see the elders of the congregation in Ephesus, with whom he had spent several years. Because the ship was docking in Miletus he sent a message to Ephesus, asking the elders to come to him. What follows is a very sad scene in Paul’s life.
Paul had a message to give them. This message was to encourage them to go on without his being around as well as a warning to them about being faithful to God. Continue reading “The importance of God’s word”
“How blessed are those whose actions are blameless, who obey the law of the Lord. How blessed are those who observe his rules, and seek him with all their heart, who, moreover, do no wrong, but follow in his footsteps” (Psalm 119:1-3 NET).
Psalm 119 lies almost in the center of our Bibles. The actual middle chapter is the two verse Psalm 117, which is also the shortest chapter in the Bible. Psalm 119 is the longest with 176 verses. Continue reading “Meditating on God’s word”
Psalm 86 is identified as a “prayer of David.” He began by asking YHVH, the God of Israel, to listen and answer him, because “I am faithful” (Psalm 86:2). God is always “abounding in faithful love to all who call on you” (Psalm 86:5). God is always faithful to his people and God wants his people to be faithful. On this basis, we can “call on you in the day of my distress, for you will answer me” (Psalm 86:7). This is one of the great privileges of being a child of God.
Notice how David described God: “For you, Lord, are kind and ready to forgive” (Psalm 86:5). So often our view of God is that he is just waiting to pounce on us when we do wrong. This is not the view we find of God in the scriptures. God is loving and kind – he not only wants what is best for us but gives us those things that we need. Continue reading “Teach me your way”
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”
What do you say to someone as your life comes to its close?
As Paul wrote the second letter we have to Timothy, what memories he must have had of this younger man. He had taken Timothy with him on his travels and Timothy had learned from Paul to the extent that Paul could leave him to get on with the work that needed done for the Lord.
Yet there is always something more to say, some advice that you think the other person might need once you are gone. Listen as we read some of what Paul wrote as he knew his life was almost over. Continue reading “Living a godly life”
Flowers for happy or sad occasions is a time-honored tradition in our culture, whatever our thoughts may be about the practicality of it. When I shed this earthly tabernacle to be clothed with immortality, I won’t be interested in flowers. From February through October, there are enough blooms outdoors to bring cheer inside. I can’t say I am florifically-deprived even in the off-season, with my computer screen saver flashing photos of past splendor across the screen.
Not everyone is so well situated for feeding the psyche with the mind-healing fragrance and beauty tat flowers bring. For those people, I keep a fairly large collection of thrift-store vases handy. Continue reading “Cheer up”
What have you sacrificed today? This is not a question we normally go around asking each other.
Under the Mosaic Covenant, various animals were killed and offered in sacrifice to God on a daily basis. Sometimes these animals were burnt whole but more often parts were burned and the rest cooked and eaten to indicate a person’s fellowship with God. Which brings us back to the question. Continue reading “What have you sacrificed today?”
The doorway of your word gives light. They give insight to the untrained. (Psalm 119:130 NET)
If you have been following through our Bible reading schedule for the past year, you will now have completed reading the New Testament. We hope the thoughts we have written to accompany one day’s reading each week have been helpful – we appreciate the comments that we have received. Continue reading “God’s word give light”
How often do we make rash statements? Statements, that if we had taken just a moment to think through, we would never have made, yet statements that lock us into a particular course of action. This is what we find in Acts 23.
The apostle Paul had been taken prisoner on a trumped up charge (see Acts 21:28). All the Roman commanding officer knew was that because of Paul the Jews had come close to rioting during the time of Pentecost (see Acts 20:16). When Paul spoke to him in Greek he figured out that he wasn’t the Egyptian outlaw with 4000 assassins following him. Paul offered to speak to the people and the officer gave him permission, hoping, it would seem, to gain some insight into why the people were trying to kill this man. Continue reading “Are they still hungry?”