Discipleship in the Wilderness: Helping Our Fellow Believers Live Out the Pursuits of Psalm 63 (Part 1)

From Faith Pulpit, Winter 2016-2017. Used with permission.

In the July/August issue of The Baptist Bulletin, Dr. Jeff Newman, professor of Biblical Counseling at Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary, wrote an article titled “Dependence in the Wilderness.” In that article, available here, Dr. Newman explored Psalm 63 and its implications for growth during difficult circumstances. This Faith Pulpit article builds upon his previous work by applying the Biblical concepts to discipleship ministries. For a more thorough study of these concepts, you may purchase his most recent book, Dependence in the Wilderness (Regular Baptist Press, 2015).

This side of glory all of us will walk together with brothers and sisters who face arid regions of this life’s wilderness. In the eighth grade, Mary faces constant pressure from her unbelieving friends to turn her back on her faith. Now her friend, Sue, who in the past had encouraged Mary in her walk with the Lord, offers Mary a joint and scorns her when she refuses. Mary sits crying in your office, struggling to believe that God is truly a friend when He allows her other friends to forsake her. Read more about Discipleship in the Wilderness: Helping Our Fellow Believers Live Out the Pursuits of Psalm 63 (Part 1)

The Curious Case of Jesus and the Leper

The account of Jesus healing the leper appears in all three synoptic Gospels. It is a famous story. At first glance, it seems to have some bearing on Jesus’ divinity and, by extension, on the doctrine of the Trinity. It is particularly fascinating to see Mark’s account in parallel with Matthew and Luke.1 Here is the first portion of the story:

Did the Leper Worship Jesus as God?

Read more about The Curious Case of Jesus and the Leper

Modern Spiritualism Briefly Tested by Scripture

(About this series)

CHAPTER XI—MODERN SPIRITUALISM BRIEFLY TESTED BY SCRIPTURE*

BY ALGERNON. J. POLLOCK, WESTON-SUPER-MARE, ENGLAND

I. ORIGIN AND GROWTH

Modern Spiritualism claims as its birthday March 31, 1848, and the place of its birth Hydesville, Wayne County„ New York, U. S. A.; but it is in reality almost as old as the world’s history, and will go on to its close. Read more about Modern Spiritualism Briefly Tested by Scripture

Theology Thursday - Emperor Constantine on "Vain" & "Unimportant Matters"

On “Theology Thursday,” we feature short excerpts on various areas of systematic theology, from a wide variety of colorful (and drab) characters and institutions. We hope these short readings are a stimulus for personal reflection, a challenge to theological complacency, and an impetus for apologetic zeal “to encourage you to contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints,” (Jude 3).

The Emperor Constantine being grieved at the Disturbance of the Churches, sends Hosius the Spaniard to Alexandria, exhorting the Bishop and Arius to Reconciliation and Unity.

WHEN the emperor was made acquainted with these disorders, he was very deeply grieved; and regarding the matter as a personal misfortune, immediately exerted himself to extinguish the conflagration which had been kindled, and sent a letter to Alexander and Arius by a trustworthy person named Hosius, who was bishop of Cordova, in Spain.

The emperor greatly loved this man and held him in the highest estimation. It will not be out of place to introduce here a portion of this letter, the whole of which is given in the life of Constantine by Eusebius.

Victor Constantine Maximum Augustus to Alexander and Arius

I am informed that your present controversy originated thus: Read more about Theology Thursday - Emperor Constantine on "Vain" & "Unimportant Matters"

From the Archives: Three Invaluable Time Management Principles

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American Time Use Survey (2012), the average working person between the ages of 25-54 spends 2.5 hours per workday in leisure and sports (is Facebook a sport?).

That’s 12.5 hours per week, about 50 hours per month, and roughly 600 hours per year. And remember—that does not include weekends! While we certainly need rest and recharging for the many tasks God provides, perhaps we can ask ourselves what we are doing with that 600 hours per year.

Consider some of these estimates: Read more about From the Archives: Three Invaluable Time Management Principles

How to Deal with Being "Crazy Busy"

Image of Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem
by Kevin DeYoung
Crossway 2013
Paperback 128

I’m sure that every single reader of Sharper Iron has time management issues of some kind. We are all busy—and many are busy beyond juggling family, work, and ministry while trying to nurture one’s own physical and spiritual health and well-being. We are stressed, overwhelmed, and downright cranky. 

My story probably doesn’t sound much different from anyone else’s. I’ve been a stay-at-home homeschooling mom for over 20 years, caring for an elderly mother with Alzheimer’s, organizing activities at church, leading a homeschool support group, writing for my blog, and hey—let’s not forget handling registrations for Sharper Iron. I sometimes don’t know how I got it all done, and then sometimes I didn’t. The laundry piled up, we ordered pizza for dinner, and I figured floors were just supposed to look like that, ‘cause they are, you know, floors.

I thought it would get better when my mom moved out into a nursing facility, and two more kids graduated from our homeschool. But as any workaholic will tell you, we just find ways to fill those gaps. I took a part-time job as an administrative assistant at our local Chamber of Commerce, and started writing a book.  Read more about How to Deal with Being "Crazy Busy"

Making a Covenant with Abraham (Part 8)

Isaac Blessing Jacob - Govert Flinck, c. 1638

Read the series so far.

Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob (Parts 2 & 3)

The sequel has Isaac making a pact with Abimelech after which the God of Providence gave him water. Since there had been quarreling over water sources the conflict was resolved by covenant (cf. Heb. 6:16), Isaac named the new place “Beersheba,” meaning “well of the oath.” God’s blessing came in conjunction with an oath which was clearly understood by both sides. The chapter ends by noticing Esau’s marriage to two pagan wives and the grief it caused to his parents. Notwithstanding, when it came time for the aged patriarch to pass on the mantle, his intention was to give it to Esau (27:1-4). It was only the subtlety of his brother, with the collusion of his mother, that prevented Isaac’s wishes from becoming a reality (27:11f.). Read more about Making a Covenant with Abraham (Part 8)

New Year Thoughts on the Meaning of Life

A study by LifeWay Research several years ago found that 75% of the general population agreed with the statement, “There is an ultimate purpose and plan for every person’s life.” That number still seems surprisingly high to me. The same study found that 50% of those who never attend church services said there is no purpose or plan for human lives.

Though Christians are usually clear that there is purpose and meaning in life, many seem confused as to what exactly that purpose is. So my aim here is to answer what is really a pretty simple question:

What is the meaning of life? Read more about New Year Thoughts on the Meaning of Life