In limbo

For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. . . . For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now, and not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:19, 22-23, NKJV).

During the Red-Shirt Rebellion in Thailand several years ago I was in Nepal, with return tickets to home on Thai Airlines with a layover in Bangkok. The Red-Shirts captured the airport through which I would be flying and stopped all travel for about two weeks. I inquired about changing my travel arrangements but the airline refused to deal with me until time for the flight to occur. For all of that time I was in a state of suspension, not knowing what would happen or when and how I might be able to return to the U.S. Thankfully, the rebellion was ended and the airport reopened just before time for me to travel. We completed our journey without difficulty. Continue reading “In limbo”

Solitude

“The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him” (Mark 1:12-13 ESV).

When traveling to distant and sometimes unfamiliar places I miss home, with all of my family, friends, and normal routines. Though I am usually busy and in the presence of many people, I can still feel lonely and isolated because of who I am not with and what I am not doing. Loneliness is a condition most of us experience at times, and it is one that is not generally pleasant. Continue reading “Solitude”

Meet and complete the new year with spiritual power

Was 2019 a year of spiritual growth and service for you? Did you make substantial progress or regress? Did your spiritual power grow or shrink? Did your love for the Lord Jesus Christ expand and reach outward or did it wither and die?

Whatever your evaluation of the year we leave behind, the year forward holds promise of positive change, powerful transformation, and eternal influence. The key to it all is spiritual power, its source the Holy Spirit of God: We are “strengthened with power through his Spirit” Ephesians 3.16.

How does such power come to us? The larger passage of Ephesians 3.14-21 offers us many paths. Continue reading “Meet and complete the new year with spiritual power”

The helper

Have you ever wondered how the apostles and writers of the good news of Jesus were able to record all the things he did while teaching and helping people? Not only did Matthew, Mark, Luke and John record the events of Jesus’ life, but they did it without contradicting each other.

How did Peter, Paul, James, Jude, and John know what to write in the letters they sent to the first Christians? How did they know what Jesus wanted written down about living the Christian life, not only for those living then but also for those who would be Christians in the future? Again, they did it without contradicting the other writers. Continue reading “The helper”

High Priest of our faith

Church leaders may be wise, knowledgeable Christian men, but they’re nonetheless sinful (Romans 3:23). Besides, a true man of God will direct everyone to the perfect Lord.

God established Jesus as our source of truth (John 1:17) because he’s the sinless (2 Corinthians 5:21) founder (Matthew 16:18) and head of the Church (Ephesians 1:22-23). As a result, Jesus is our leader in all things spiritual (Luke 4:8). Continue reading “High Priest of our faith”

Guided by the Spirit

“…take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak” (Mark 13:11)

When I was about 13, I picked up a guitar for the first time. To say that I picked it up quickly was an understatement. I could listen to a piece of music and almost see in my mind how to reproduce that sound on the guitar. It gave me the ability to do what some of my friends only dreamed of doing, or could only do with endless hours of hard work. Continue reading “Guided by the Spirit”

The Organizer

The Holy Spirit, wrote H. Leo Boles in his book about the third member of the Godhead, is the “organizer and perfecter” of two realms, the natural and the spiritual.

The Spirit was present in creation. The Bible says about him: “the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water” (Genesis 1.2 NET).

Modern versions published by liberal houses consistently make the Spirit into a “mighty wind.” The Hebrew word ruach can mean “breath, wind, spirit,” but all signs point to the personal Deity in Genesis 1.2. The Holy Spirit was present and active in creation. Continue reading “The Organizer”