Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Importance of Reading

Proverbs 22:17-21 gives the importance of reading and studying the best books, especially the Word of God.

“Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, and apply your mind to my knowledge;  for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, that they may be ready on your lips. So that your trust may be in the Lord, I have taught you today, even you. Have I not written to you excellent things of counsels and knowledge, to make you know the certainty of the words of truth that you may correctly answer him who sent you?” (Proverbs 22:17-21, nasb)

C. S. Lewis wrote to a friend (as published in The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis):
“I myself always index a good book when I read it for the first time noting (a) Linguistic phenomena. (b) Good & bad passages. (c) Customs: meal times, social classes, what they read,  etc. (d) Moral ideas. All this reading, though dedicated ad Dei gloriam [to the glory of God] in the long run must not be infected by any immediate theological, ethical, or philosophic reference. You first job is simply the reception of all this work with your imagination & emotions. Each book is to be read for the purpose the author meant it to be read for: the story as a story … .”

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Is our land (UK, Europe, Canada, and USA) covered with the blood of the unborn?

Daily (hourly) thousands of unborn babies are killed, aborted legally, but not morally.

The psalmist in describing the sins of his people wrote, “They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons, and shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and their daughters, Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan;  and the land was polluted with the blood” (Psalm 106:37-38, nasb).

Is our land covered with blood?

Monday, August 27, 2012

“Throw the bums out!”

Harry Reid, head of the US Senate, has not allowed the senate to pass a budget for several years. As this is not legal, the question is, “What is he hiding?” and “Why does he not do his job?”

In the 1930’s and 40’s, Will Rogers, an entertainer from Oklahoma and cowboy, was known for many of his saying about those in Washington D.C. One famous saying of his was, “If they are doing a good job, then throw the bums out!”

Friday, August 24, 2012

Answering is Simply Common Courtesy

Have you noticed the rudeness of people these days?  You say “Hello” to people and they don‘t even acknowledge;  they just kind of grunt and move on.

I am a missionary working with needy pastors worldwide and one of our ministries is receiving permission to print evangelical theology books to help pastors and Christian workers in their study, preaching and teaching the Word of God.  When I write many publishers and authors to ask and obtain permission to reprint their books, I probably received an answer only 10% of the time.  We write pastors throughout the United States, UK, Canada, and other countries asking if their church would sponsor a pastors conference for needy pastors in the Philippines, India, or Africa and send them to be main speaker.  Again, most never answer.

However, I recently received a very gracious letter (not an email) from Pastor Charles Swindoll of Insight for Living and pastor of a church in Texas.  He very graciously explained why he could not travel to the Philippines at this time and after a few other remarks, he apologized.  He sent a very encouraging letter. 

The question is , “Why can’t others do the same and be like Swindoll practicing the gracious art of Christ-like communication to the glory of God?”

Thursday, August 23, 2012

God Rules All History

 by Doug Nichols.

When I was discouraged recently, and praying over the US situation with so many of our political leaders uttering and living in deceit,  my wife Margaret shared with me what she had just written in her personal devotions that morning, “God rules all history (His-story) – the coming and goings of kings and rulers, the rise and fall of empires and nations, the beginning and ending, and usefulness of organizations and missions.”

 “…as I have planned; so shall it be; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand … this is the purpose that is purposed concerning the whole earth and this is the hand that is stretched out over all nations. For the Lord of Hosts has purposed and who will annul it?  His hand is stretch out, who will turn it back?” (Isaiah 14: 24, 26, 27).

“Our God rules in the individual lives of people on earth.  In my life …, ‘I cry out to God most, to God who fulfills His purpose for me’” (Psalm 57:2).

Whether individuals acknowledge God or not, He is controlling each or their lives – for righteousness, good, or for judgment.  “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand!’ (Proverbs 19:21).

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Where two or three are gathered for “discipline!”

by Dr. and Pastor, Eric Bargerhuff

Here then is where our often misunderstood verse finds its proper context. After establishing the church’s authority and heavenly sanction to take such action, Jesus promises his presence in a unique way. Here then is the passage in its entirety:

Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them. (Matthew 18:19-20)

Jesus is saying that whenever the church is pursuing and is involved in a reconciliation process with someone who has refused to repent, they can rest assured that God’s blessing is with them in their efforts. In other words, as the church renders judicial decisions on matters of right and wrong that are based on the truth of God’s Word, they should be confident that they are doing the right thing and that Christ himself is right there with them, spiritually present in their midst.

After all, he is the God of reconciliation. And he is the one who has commanded them to be agents of reconciliation as well. The church is acting on God’s behalf, and therefore has divine sanction as it seeks unity and asks for God’s blessing in something that is surely difficult. This then is the true meaning and context for the phrase “where two or three are gathered.” It is all about God’s presence in judicial matters of reconciliation.

The Most Misused Verses in the Bible by Eric J. Bargerhuff (pages 51-52)