There are currently no items in this feed.
There are currently no items in this feed.
Paul didn’t (see 2 Cor. 4:1, 16 HCSB). He didn’t, even though he had greater reason than you probably do for giving up (see vs. 7-15).
What kept him going on and on and on in spite of his trials? He tells you later in the chapter. Even though trials were wearing him out physically, inwardly he was being “renewed day by day (v. 16).”
Now why would God pour strength into him that way? Because he had the proper outlook, for one thing.
Here’s what he said:
What is happening to me is momentary, light, affliction. (v. 17).
How could he say that after all he underwent? He compared it with what was yet to come.
What was that? In contract to each of those three words, he looked forward to
an eternal weight of glory.
That’s what we all need—the belief in what God says awaits those who serve Him.
Peter opens his second letter with these words:
May grace and peace be multiplied to you
He wishes for blessings for his readers using the Greek (grace) and Hebrew (peace) salutations. What a marvelous introduction to what follows!
But how does this come about? Here Peter launches out beyond any ordinary salutation saying,
Through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord
Thereby, he doesn’t leave us a vague hope of sorts—no, he gives direction as well: we can receive grace (unmerited favor, mercy, help) and peace (tranquility and well-being) through knowledge.
Ah . . Christians need knowledge. Probably one of the greatest lacks in our day is genuine knowledge. Too many try to get along with a sheer paucity of it. How much knowledge do you have?
But it’s not just any old kind of knowledge he has in mind—what is in view is knowledge of God and His Son, Jesus Christ. First, the knowledge of the Gospel (how that Christ died for all those who would trust in Him as Savior) and then, knowledge of all the things that Jesus has commanded (Mt. 28: 20).
Have you even checked out the ...
You will keep in perfect peace the mind that is dependent on You (Isa. 26:3)
That’s what you want—eh? Perfect peace—that is, peace that passes all understanding which guards your heart and mind!
You have enough troubles, worries and heartaches—you need peace.
How may it be attained? The passage tells you: it comes to those whose minds (heart—inner being) depend on God!
Fine, but how is that achieved? By faith—listen to the next verse:
for it [the mind] is trusting in You. (v.4 HCSB)
When we cast our cares upon Him in dependent trust, He, Who cares for us, removes the worry and frustration from us. Do you need such peace? Take heed.
Babylon’s time is almost up; her days are almost over.
God has a timetable! Things in our world—no matter how desperate they seem—are not out of hand. He is waiting to deal with the murderous, destructive forces at work at present until the time He has set to remove those who perpetrate them. When that time comes, He will “give rest” to His people (14:3) and cause them to sing a “song of contempt” (14:4) over those cruel, iniquitous oppressors who now have the ascendency over the just.
Take heart. Wait patiently and prayerfully. Remember, God has a timetable! His calendar may even now be in His hand!
Some teach that a counselor must first develop a good relationship with his counselee in order to successfully minister to them. Fine, if it happens, but is it necessary to work at it? To counsel effectively? No.
Those who propagate the idea rarely, if ever, give Scriptural evidence for the view. And, just as seldom do they fail to explain what they mean by the term. After all, don’t we all know? NO!
Let’s consider Jesus’ relationships for a moment. He often had a compassionate relationship to them—healing, feeding and teaching them, as poor sheep who had no shepherd. Then, there were the Pharisees and the Sadducees—to whom He spoke words of woe!
Toward the twelve He sustained a special relationship—spending quite a bit of time with them. Of the twelve, there were the three whom He allowed to accompany Him to the Mount of Transfiguration. And, of course, there was John—the one He especially loved! What different relationships all of these, and many others, were! Surely, with his counselees, a counselor’s relationship would vary greatly.
But that’s not bad—because it is impossible to treat everyone as his John the apostle!
Nor does he need...
We should use hymnals because…
“…hymnals give a a sense of unity as a body. This goes beyond the corporate worship of the local church. When I am able to travel and visit different churches, the hymnal, even if it is not the same one I am accustomed to, gives me a sense of unity with this local congregation and reminds me that I am part of a larger body.” – Brian
“…we can sing every single song in them without ever having known them before. When all we have are words projected on a screen, we don’t know what notes we’re supposed to sing unless we’ve already heard the song multiple times before.” – Nathaniel
“…the level of musicianship in churches has taken a giant slide downwards.” – Celia
“…they are full of rich doctrine.” – Beth
“…it is a visible and physical reminder that Christianity is not something new on the block. There are songs in there that have taught and inspired believers for hundreds of years. So I feel not only the unity with believers around the world, but with believers throughout history.” – Brian
“…the music we use in corporate worship ought to reflect and reinforce the theology which we claim to...
In May and July, the Lord gave me the opportunity to travel overseas to teach church history in three different countries. Two of the countries were in Africa and the other was a major Asian country. Two of the countries were new places for me to visit. In all three locations, I was in urban settings. In Africa, one city was a population hub of five million. In the other African city, I was located in the industrial center of the country. In Asia, the city I visited has a population of nine million and it is growing. Estimates are that it could reach twenty million in a few years. I saw dozens of new high-rise apartment buildings being erected—row after row of large cranes building thousands of new apartments. In both of these places, the advance of the gospel is going forward not because of Western missionaries but through the efforts of an army of dedicated nationals committed to reaching their people for Christ. As I made my way home from the final week of teaching, I began to think about the opportunities the Lord gave me. Several things occurred to me as I thanked the Lord for significant summer ministry. I want to take a few weeks to share some of...
Yesterday evening, as I was reading The Two Towers with my son, I came across this passage where Sam is asked about the beauty of Galadriel:
“The Lady of Lorien! Galadriel!” cried Sam. “You should see her, indeed you should, sir. I am only a hobbit, and gardening’s my job at home, sire, if you understand me, and I’m not much good at poetry–not at making it: a bit of a comic rhyme, perhaps, now and again, you know, but not real poetry–so I can’t tell you what I mean. It ought to be sung. You’d have to get Strider, Aragorn that is, or old Mr. Bilbo, for that. But I wish I could make a song about her. Beautiful she is, sir! Lovely! Sometimes like a great tree in flower, sometimes like a white daffodowndilly, small and slender like...
The Life of Faith
Central to the life of knowing God and thereby loving him ultimately, is the life of faith. Since we live in the presence of an unseen God, faith is needed. Faith is the medium of exchange between the heart that wishes to know God, and the God that wishes to be known. All this brings us to the matter of of our new natures and our position in Christ. If we love God by knowing Him as we dwell in His presence, what gives us the right to dwell in His presence? What exactly has the Gospel achieved so that we can fulfill the Great Commandment? What must our faith rest upon to keep communing with God in his presence?
A little while ago, the press reported on a couple who had been arriving uninvited at very high-level political parties, one of them held at the White House. This couple convincingly acted the part of invited guests, but in fact they were impostors. Eventually they were caught, and found themselves under investigation. People do not walk into a Presidential dinner uninvited. If that’s true of the President of the United States, is it not true of the Creator of the Universe? Can human beings simply walk into his presence...
First, the congregation is involved in the selection and election of deacons and elders.
Second, the congregation chooses individuals for specific tasks, sends them on their way, and holds them accountable for their ministries
This third and final point is somewhat simple: congregations authorized the inclusion and exclusion of members into and out of their assemblies.
Four passages support this point:
One of the best-known lines from St. Paul is found at the beginning of his letter to the Philippians where he says, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (1:21). I think this was my life verse for at least a few years. In fact, I’m pretty sure I put the reference under my name in a handful of my friends’ high-school yearbooks. The problem, however, is that it’s never been obvious to me exactly what this verse means. I’ve known, of course, that it has something to do with Paul’s commitment to Christ. I just haven’t been sure about much beyond this. After all, Christ isn’t an obvious pair with gain. We’d expect something more like “For to me, to live is loss and to die is gain” or “For to me, to live is pretty good; it’s not terrible. But, to die—to rest with Christ, that is gain indeed.” Why does Paul use Christ here? What’s he trying to say?
The key, it seems to me, is found in the five verses that follow, which suggest that were Paul to continue to live, his ongoing ministry would benefit the Philippians (vv. 24–25...
In recent weeks, I’ve posted a few suggested reading lists in the field of church history. These lists have included broad overviews of church history, books on the history of Christian doctrine, and books that discuss church history in specific areas of the world. In this post, I want to narrow in on the Baptist denomination and recommend a few books related to Baptist history.
The standard Baptist history survey text and the one we currently use at DBTS is H. Leon McBeth’s The Baptist Heritage: Four...
“OK, men, everyone gather around, and let’s get this football season under way,” Coach Paul deTarsus bellowed out.
As the young recruits swaggered over, jostling each other manfully, Coach deTarsus continued gruffly, “This year the school steering committee has asked us to try a totally new approach to the game developed by a new assistant coach they’ve hired for me—Coach Terry Trzwijiasck. He wants you to call him Double T, so do it.” With that, the grizzled old coach turned to a young fellow standing nearby: “Double T,” he said, “They’re all yours.”
As one, the recruits turned to give their attention to Double T.
The new coach smiled winsomely and began speaking. “I know that you’re used to working hard, striving to meet the team’s high standards, and knowing the rulebook and playbook from cover to cover. But this year, we’re trying a new approach,” he said. “And the key to the new approach is to remind yourselves over and again that your coaching staff accepts you no matter what. Win or lose, we accept you. Fumbles or first downs, we accept you. Turnovers or touchdowns, we accept you. And when you’re laying flat on your back...