Setting God’s agenda

“Someone in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.’ But he said to him, ‘Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?’” (Luke 12:13-14 ESV).

One of the most persistent human endeavors is to attempt to compel God to do our will. An observation of worldwide religious activities reveals that many of those things we call “worship” are actually attempts to persuade or coerce “god” to perform actions which we desire to be done. These include the many fertility rituals, much sacrifice, and even many prayers. Continue reading “Setting God’s agenda”

Looking back or forward?

“Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14 ESV).

I was going down the three flights of steps from my apartment at Khulna Bible College carrying some treats Brenda had prepared for the workers. Unfortunately I had failed to take off my bifocals and as I descended, the steps were out of focus, causing me to miss one and fall. Thankfully I was near the bottom and it was not a hard, injury-producing fall, but enough to make me more careful nonetheless. Continue reading “Looking back or forward?”

Painter’s palette

I am not an artist. Sure, arranging live plants in a visually appealing way to accommodate all seasons is quite the artistic challenge, but what I mean is that I don’t draw or paint. It’s on my bucket list of things to take up when I have more time.

However, I do have a plant in my garden called Tovara Painter’s Palette. Continue reading “Painter’s palette”

Perspective is everything, so Scripture must constantly feed our minds

twinsby J. Randal Matheny, editor

Twins grew up with an abusive alcoholic father. One of them became an alcoholic. The other refused to touch drink and maintained a respectable lifestyle.

The two were asked why they turned out the way they did. They both gave the same answer. “With the father I had, how else could I turn out?”

Although they gave the same answer in words, they meant very different things by them. One made it his excuse; the other, his reason.

We are not formed or influenced by our experiences, but by our interpretation of them. It is not what happens to us, but how we frame events in our minds that determines how they will affect us. Perspective is everything. Continue reading “Perspective is everything, so Scripture must constantly feed our minds”

The Continuum of Time

by J. Randal Matheny, editor
On this day in 1990, I had lunch with a missionary coworker, met with two Brazilian brothers in the afternoon, got a Coke and an esfirra with my wife, then taught that night in an evangelistic home Bible study group, on the fifth commandment.
Twenty years ago today. Where did the time go? How did this year escape between our fingers?
Then, our oldest was 7, the youngest, 4. There was no third child yet. Today, besides the third child, two daughters-in-law and a grandchild (the reason God gave us children) grace our lives.
These are the ramblings of an aging man. Teens and twenty-somethings think on another plane. Life is, or is yet to happen. The Now and the Future concern them.
But once a life passes some midpoint, with the onset of physical decline, and the ambition of goals peaks, the Past grows in importance.
All of us journey on this continuum of Time, early or late. And whether our focus is past, present, or future, whether time seems to drag or fly, we all need the perspective of living in the end times.
We know the end of a span of time. The hour is up. The day is over. The week is finished. The month has ended. The year has flown.
This era is also closing. The end is near. The time is at hand. The door will soon be shut.
The young think they have plenty of time. This is the great mistake. We all have only the rest of time. And that sliver of life still left to us must finish with sin and devote itself to the will of God. So says 1 Peter 4:1-2:

“So, since Christ suffered in the flesh, you also arm yourselves with the same attitude, because the one who has suffered in the flesh has finished with sin, in that he spends the rest of his time on earth concerned about the will of God and not human desires” (NET).

Make 2011 the year of the will of God.