“And again he entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that he was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And he preached the word to them. Then they came to him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where he was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying” (Mark 2:1-4 NKJV).
Some years ago while visiting churches in the mountains of Nepal I fell from the steps leading into the house in which I was spending several days. The floor level was two or three feet above the ground and the steps were makeshift at best – a few rocks stacked loosely on each other without mortar and without much level matching surface. My fall was not serious and I was uninjured, but as I sat on the ground catching my breath I saw one of the Church’s leaders taking apart the steps and beginning to level and relay them to be more secure. I thought at the time, “This is not his house (he was not actually even a resident of that village); what is he doing working on someone else’s house?” Continue reading “Whose house is it?”
The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein (Psalm 24:1 ESV).
Everything belongs to God. If everything truly belongs to God then nothing truly belongs to us. While we may be in possession of many things, we are owners of none. Instead we are stewards.
A steward is “a person who manages another’s property or financial affairs; one who administers anything as the agent of another.” Continue reading “Stewards of God’s gifts”
“Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). Continue reading You had ONE job, Adam!
“Woe to you who are at ease in Zion, and trust in Mount Samaria. Notable persons in the chief nation, to whom the house of Israel comes! Go over to Calneh and see; and from there go to Hamath the great; then go down to Gath of the Philistines. Are you better than these kingdoms? Or is their territory greater than your territory?” (Amos 6:1-2 NKJV).
When I make reports on my work in undeveloped nations a very common response is “That sure makes us appreciate what we have doesn’t it?” Others will say, “We sure are blessed.” Behind such comments is an inference of guilt. Are we wrong to have so much when so many have so little? I believe a lot of sincere American Christians ask that question, and fear the answer. Continue reading “Is it wrong to prosper?”
Yesterday was a day of giving for many of us, particularly those who live in the Western World. Christmas Day has become a time for the giving and receiving of gifts. Being a day of rest for most professions, we were able to spend the entire day with family, enjoying each other’s company, eating a feast together, and then playing games and watching films.
Although as children, our emphasis too often was on what we were “getting” for Christmas, as we grew older the enjoyment is what we are able to give to others. We realise the problem when we hear children who are more concerned with how many gifts have their name on them rather than wishing to see the joy on someone’s face because of the gift we gave them. Continue reading “The joy of giving”
The problem began almost a week ago. The keyboard on my laptop takes quite a pounding on an almost daily basis. Between sermons, articles and e-mail correspondence, a lot of writing happens at my desk. I like it best when I can let my fingers fly, recording the thoughts that come to mind. Continue reading Unwilling Members
Numbers and dollars are not my areas of expertise. Yet when the end of the month arrives, I go through the routine of gathering receipts and expenditure logs. If I’m late with the task, I receive friendly but firm reminders to get it done. I don’t like this simple exercise in accounting, but I do like having a credit card for expenses I encounter. Continue reading Giving An Account