Obedience

“The one who says, ‘I have come to know him,’ and does not keep his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4).

Religious leaders will do verbal back flips in order to avoid saying that we need to obey God’s commands. Commentators will write four paragraphs to show that the Holy Spirit really didn’t mean what he plainly said in one simple sentence. People will declare, “Oh surely God wouldn’t condemn us if we didn’t obey that commandment!”

The fact is that the Lord demands that we obey his commands. Continue reading “Obedience”

Better to have never been born

Job expressed the desire to have never been born, so great was his suffering. In his moral confusion, Solomon considered better than both the living and the dead “the one who has not been born and has not seen the evil things that are done on earth” Ecclesiastes 4.3.

The Lord Jesus used this idea, of better to have never been born, for the one who betrayed him. Continue reading “Better to have never been born”

Two wrongs do not make a right

This is a scenario every preacher and elder knows: A family has been missing from worship. When a church leader notes this, he goes to their home to determine if there is anything he can do.

During the visit the family throws a number of accusations at the church. This church “doesn’t feed me,” this church “doesn’t have a good youth program,” someone in the church “said something insensitive,” and, my personal favorite, “there are hypocrites in the church.” Continue reading “Two wrongs do not make a right”

Will we learn from our failings?

Spiritual awareness is indispensable as we try to maneuver through this challenging life. Even as Christians, we know we’ll fail at times and the Lord is ready to forgive (1 John 1:7).

We exhibit righteousness so as to minimize the sin in our lives (Romans 12:1-2). The Lord is forgiving and patient but he has limits (Ephesians 5:1-14). He knows the spiritual direction we are traveling and we must remain in the light. Continue reading “Will we learn from our failings?”

It’s the church’s responsibility to meet my needs

How many times have I have heard someone say: “I left that church because they weren’t meeting my needs.”

The thing I’m struggling with is the vision of a church as a place where our needs ought to be met, as if we were entering a shop, then storming out because the service did not meet our expectations. All of which begs the question: Is the purpose of a church to meet my needs? Is that why we join a church – in order to be served? Continue reading “It’s the church’s responsibility to meet my needs”

Everybody wants shade, but nobody wants a tree

Our city’s newspaper published a recent report about the differences in temperature from one end of the city to another, because of trees and green areas. It’s much hotter in the south zone than the downtown area or the north zone, because of the lack of greenery there.

An environmentalist was quoted as saying, “There is a great need for green areas. Unfortunately, everybody wants shade, but nobody wants a tree in front of their house.” Continue reading “Everybody wants shade, but nobody wants a tree”

Dependency

“Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, ‘Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest'” (2 Kings 4:7 NKJV).

A common characteristic of people in poverty, and of some undeveloped societies, is to develop a sense of helplessness. They see no way to solve their problems, or to improve their situation in life. This can lead to giving up and throwing oneself upon the mercy and compassion of others. It is as if they are saying, “You have to help me because I cannot do anything for myself.” Continue reading “Dependency”

What Satan needs Christians to do

“Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17 NKJV).

This summer and fall Nepal has been struggling to obtain essential goods, such as food, petroleum supplies (gasoline, diesel, and propane) and other necessities. Certain ethnic groups in the southern plains, near the Indian border, have protested the newly approved constitution by staging sit-ins at border crossing points. Nepal officials charge the Indian government with aiding the protestors by closing the border to trucks carrying needed supplies. Continue reading “What Satan needs Christians to do”