When I was a young boy faith seemed natural. God was there. Mother said He was and that settled it. I could even feel it when she would read to me from the Bible. It brought a holy hush to my curious young mind. There was no reason to doubt. Sometimes she would take us to a church and there I could feel it too. In that sacred, quiet place the intimidating outside world could not enter. In those days, I just knew God was looking down on us. I hoped He would be happy with my personal presence, but of that I wasn’t too sure, as I usually did not live a very ‘holy’ little life. But at night when the lights had gone out I did my very best for God by saying long prayers for everybody I could think of. Aunts, uncles, the maid, the dog and the cat, everybody would get his or her turn before God. God was there and He would hear… Was thatContinue reading »

I love Paul’s writings above all other Biblical writers. His words breathe life into my heart and it swells with joy. For someone who began his relationship with Christ as an enemy to Jesus and His disciples, Paul, to me, clearly and passionately brings truth to light, dragging, if necessary, the resistant. He loved God’s people, lived to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, and brought the light of truth to many of the old ways as well as slamming the door on so-called freedoms in Christ that were in error. In 1 Corinthians Chapter 8, he is speaking about eating meat sacrificed to an idol when invited to dinner. As Christians, we know that an idol is just a piece of wood or stone, no more able to do anything than is a kitchen table. In this sense Paul says, you may eat anything that is offered, but if another brother or sister in Christ is present who does not understand this freedom that Paul is speaking of andContinue reading »

The steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord. Psalm 37:23 He orders my steps. I need not fear what is up ahead because He orders my steps. He counts the hairs on my head. He knew me before I was born. He has numbered my days. Our prayers need not be long and fluid, flowing from one spiritual word to another. Our prayers don’t need many words and lofty phrases. God looks on the heart and He sees us and He knows the desires of our heart even before we do. He has planned my life with all its twists and turns, failures and triumphs, joys and sorrows. He orders my steps. David said in Psalm 37:23 that “the steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord.” In prayer, I speak these words, You order my steps… Before I can even get to the word “so,” He stills my lips until the words “You order my steps” hang in the air. It is enough, HeContinue reading »

When I first saw him coming down the street I was tempted to look away. He was ugly, dirty and he was asking for money. He was bad news. If I would just look the other way he would be gone in a jiffy and I would not have to deal with him. But somehow I kept on looking. Nobody was giving him anything and he looked utterly lost. I had a bit of a rough day myself. I was living in France at the time, raising support for a missionary project by selling books, but it was going bad. I had not even been able to cover the costs yet, after several long hours in the hot sun. It was one of those hard days, and my selfish, carnal nature wasn’t about to share the little I had. “Come on,” I heard a still, small voice in my heart. “Why don’t you give him something? It will encourage him.” Obviously God looks at people in a different way thanContinue reading »

“Heaven and Earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” -Mark 13:31, Matthew 24:35, Luke 21:33 With these words Jesus established the enduring authority of the Christian faith. Upon these words rests the authority of the Apostolic community and the families of Christian religions that have emerged through the centuries. It is the words of Jesus Christ which form the powerful foundation of belief systems which have lasted over 2000 years.These are words which were validated by the atoning death on the Cross which He endured for us. These words find new life in the Resurrection, in which the Kingdom of God was now opened to us by the breaking of the power of Sin and Death. He paid the price for our sins, redeeming us now and forever in the eyes of God. His words are eternal as are the effects of the Cross and Resurrection, and is our Redemption. Politicians have authority which are attributed by society. The wealth and power which they seek areContinue reading »

According to the Bible pride isn’t really a virtue. Of course when you accomplished something important, or finally reached a goal after many struggles, a certain sense of pride and satisfaction and a good feeling about yourself is only good and proper, but that’s not the kind of pride the Bible condemns. Our human, inborn selfish nature has a tendency to elevate itself above others, and before we know we say things like, “I thank thee, O God, that I am not like that sinner over there.” That kind of arrogancy inevitably leads to a fall. Pride was ultimately what caused Satan to fall, and we therefore do well to recognise the symptoms so we can actively fight against it. Pride is a formidable foe and we should not underestimate its dangers. When the pastor was ill, the elders asked the youth pastor to take his place and deliver the sermon that Sunday. The young, but inexperienced young man was elated. Finally he could show the world what he wasContinue reading »

Trust in God gives us a feeling of peace, rest and general well-being. And when you are peaceful and confident you cannot help but show it to those around you. Others feel it and pick up on it. Considering the sad state of this present world, it seems like radiating peace and faith is an enormous service to the world around us. There was a big public hospital at the edge of the jungle, somewhere deep in the heart of Africa. It was well equipped and had plenty of beds to help the poor and the sick. But strangely enough, it turned out that there were many sick people who preferred to go to a small hospital deep in the jungle, many hours away. The place was run by some missionaries and was not at all easy to reach. And yet that hospital helped more sick people than the big one at the edge of the jungle. Why was that? Why would the people suffer a strenuous journey with theirContinue reading »

It is natural for those of us who live in Western culture to want to excel. We grew up listening to quotes like this one attributed to Abraham Lincoln, “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle,” or this one from an ad, “You can dream about your goals all you want, but you won’t ever reach them if you don’t do anything to achieve them.” We are almost brainwashed into believing bigger is better; the more the merrier; climb the corporate ladder; be all you can be; it’s hard to soar with the eagles when you hang with turkeys; if you don’t have a plan, you’ll be a part of someone else’s plan. Then, there are quotes about goals and success: Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars. ~Les Brown The important thing is to strive towards a goal which is not immediately visible. That goal is not the concern of the mind, but ofContinue reading »

The two soldiers were carrying a huge, steaming pot of soup around and were stopped by the first lieutenant. “As an officer, I would like to taste what my men are eating,” he said and he demanded a bowl of the warm liquid. The soldiers protested and tried to tell him that it wasn’t a good idea, but that only infuriated the officer, who felt the poor soldiers didn’t show him the proper respect. “Quiet, you scumbags; don’t you know who I am? I am your overseer and if I say I want soup, I expect to be obeyed!” After these words, he rudely grabbed the ladle and slurped up its contents. For a moment, it was very quiet and then the lieutenant broke out in an angry howl. “This soup is absolutely terrible. It tastes like dishwater!” “Yes, Sir,” answered one of the soldiers while he was shaking in his boots. “That’s what it is. It is dishwater. We still tried to warn you.” Everyone needs peace and rest.Continue reading »

The central point of the Christian faith is Jesus – crucified for our sins, raised from the dead, our gateway to God. The Bible says to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,” (Hebrews 12:2) not on the Catholics or the Baptists or Methodists and the perceived error of their doctrines compared our personal denomination. Let’s wake up and see this for what it is, just another smoke screen from Satan to keep us running in circles chasing “truth” while the world is going to Hell! When we compare ourselves to others, and find them lacking in our sight we are doing exactly what got us kicked out of the garden in the first place! God gave Adam and Eve everything good, everything pure, including their undefiled hearts. And what defiles our hearts? Evil. They had no knowledge of evil, only good. Until the serpent came along, convinced Eve he was her new BFF and said, “Hey, Eve, you know God is just holding outContinue reading »

Some time ago a businessman was having a visit from an important investor that had the potential to greatly benefit his company. In the middle of their discussion they took a coffee break, and the investor started to discuss some personal problems. He got quite upset as he was relating a business deal that had gone sour and started to curse profusely. “I am sorry,” said the other man, “but what you just said, really hurt me. I am a Christian, and I believe dearly in the God that you just ridiculed. Please don’t say these things in my presence.” The investor looked stunned for a moment and suddenly roared: “What do you think, man? I am a Christian too. I even teach Sunday school.” The first man shook his head and quietly said: “Maybe so, but it’s hard to believe. You certainly don’t act like it.”Right away a little voice in his head whispered, “Nicely done; you just ruined the deal. Congratulations.” A month later the investor came back.Continue reading »