As a long-term investment in our health and work, Vicki and I let few things interfere with our thrice-weekly workouts. But a few things are more important. Such as a baptism. Yesterday, I baptized a couple we had been studying with, and they chose the best time for the two of them, at 4:30 pm—on his day off, and right after she got off from work, still early enough in the day so that the water was bearable. (It’s wintertime here, and the baptism was done in an outdoor pool.) That caused us to miss our workout, and we were happy to miss it. To help someone move from a state of lostness to receive salvation in Christ is of all things the most important.

“So I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen” 2 Tim 2.10 NLT.

What makes all doctrines plain and clear?
About two hundred pounds a year,
And that which was proved true before
Proved false again? Two hundred more.
—Samuel Butler (1600-1680), in Hudibras. Part 3. Canto 1.

—Treasury of David—Psalm 26

Spurgeon quoted this verse, and nothing else, in his comment on Psalm 26.10, about sinners “who are always ready to do wrong or offer a bribe.” Remember that the pound is the UK’s currency.

Money changes what many people will preach as the truth. The Greek orators took up any argument for pay. That idolatry is found in religion today and in some places even in the church of God.

While we pray that the Lord of the harvest may send more workers into his fields, we pray also that they may be people of integrity and righteousness, people of conviction and loyalty to “the grace of God in all its truth” Col 1.6 (as rendered by the Brazilian NVI version).

The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.
Prov 10.8 NIV

Jesus came to earth in order to do the Father’s will, Heb 10.7. He learned obedience, Heb 5.8. As the obedient Son, “he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him” Heb 5.9.

At heart, the self-named progressives rebel at obedience. They are self-willed and rebellious against the will of God. They are ruthless in removing from the faith the necessity to submit to God’s rule, all the while mouthing nonsense about love, tolerance, and acceptance. Continue reading

King Ahab let his pagan wife Jezebel do all the dirty work. She conspired to get Naboth’s vineyard for him, as he pouted on his bed, face turned to the wall. The Lord sent his servant the prophet Elijah to confront him, at the very moment he was taking possession of the vineyard.

Ahab said to Elijah, “So you have found me, my enemy!” “I have found you,” he answered, “because you have sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of the LORD, 1 Kings 21.20 NIV.

Contrast what Elijah said about Ahab, selling himself to do evil, with what the Lord Jesus Christ did: Continue reading

Just as in the entire world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, so it has also been bearing fruit and growing among you from the first day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, Col 1.6.

The gospel speaks of Jesus. It is content and communication, the power of God for salvation, “the message of truth” v. 5. As communication, the Good News must be heard and understood. Anyone can communicate it. The Colossians learned it from Epaphras, v. 7. One need not be an apostle to transmit it.

On the lips of many disciples, the Good News bears fruit and grows. It is not limited in its extent nor in its location. It does not depend upon huge financial resources nor upon eloquent preachers. It does depend upon everyone speaking and many hearing. Continue reading

We want to see, but we cannot, now, see the Lord Jesus Christ. But we can love him.

We want to touch and feel, but we cannot, now, touch the Lord Jesus Christ. But we can wait for him and believe in his promise to return.

We want to listen, but we cannot, now, hear his voice. But we can hear the words he taught in person on earth and the words he inspired his apostles and prophets to write in Scripture. And we can hope to hear his words of approval and welcome on the final day. Continue reading

The God of our forefathers raised up Jesus, whom you seized and killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him to his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. Acts 5.30-31

Before the Sanhedrin, the high Jewish court, Peter and the other apostles answered, for the second time, for preaching about Jesus. With courage and truth, they made clear the great acts of God, in spite of the actions of the council. Continue reading

And when Jesus came to that place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, because I must stay at your house today.” Lk 19.5

They say that opportunity knocks only once. The phrase means that we have to recognize opportunity when it appears and take advantage of the moment, since we’ll not have another chance.

Jesus shows us another reality. He created his opportunities. He didn’t wait for opportunity to appear. He didn’t wait around for the moment. He by whom the world was created continued creating on earth opportunities to take the Father’s word to people. Continue reading

God sets people free. The freedom he gives is from sin, from its guilt, from its ultimate consequence of eternal punishment. God is not interested in changing a person’s physical condition or social situation. What happens here on earth is for but a short time. His concern is to reconcile us to himself. This is what Christ accomplished on the cross. Continue reading