A few weeks ago I went to the bread store near our house to pick up quite a few items for breakfast, since our son and family were going to eat with us. I grabbed a little basket from the stack. Inside the second basket underneath the one I picked up was a wad of bills. I saw a R$50 and a R$20 among others. There may have been as much as R$200, although I didn’t bother to count.
The wife of the store owner was at the register. I explained what I found and tried to give her the bills. She said since I found it, it was mine. I told her it wasn’t mine, and that somebody might come looking for it. So I insisted she take it. One lady witnessing our conversation congratulated me.
I picked up the items I’d gone for, paid for them, and left. I forgot about it. Continue reading
Who prays for me? A few I know,
But many must hasten to heaven’s gate
Whose names I’d never guess—they go
To God on my behalf—up straight
Their intercessions rise.
I know because the angelic horde
Protects, defends, and circles ’round
Against the earthly, airy lord—
His fiery arrows fall to the ground—
Gabriel’s army flies.
The Master spared me many a hurt,
His mercy a sure reply to prayer—
Else I’d lay prone, face-down, in the dirt,
If not for a righteous multitude’s care—
Faithful, hidden allies.
People around me know I talk until I’m blue in the face about the importance of reading and studying the Scriptures. You can’t be a faithful disciple without giving regular, constant, unceasing attention to the Bible. Some people are limping spiritually because they don’t do it, but don’t seem to see the connection. Jesus cannot be Lord, however, unless he is heard and obeyed. And if he is not Lord, then he is not Savior.
As necessary as the place of Scripture is in a Christian’s faith, it must be read properly. Personal aspirations and cultural expectations often bend the true meaning of the Bible into an unrecognizable message. When this happens, people reject God’s plan. They miss what he is doing and oppose the true will of God.
It happened to the Jews of Jesus’ day and still happens today. Continue reading
Seven spirits, searching eyes,
Wheels spinning, whispers blowing,
Dwelling, changing, dwindling passions,
Filling with joy, to fight the demons,
Words of comfort, willing partner,
Peace descending, pain receding,
Holy Spirit to heaven leading.
2 Kings 2.1-18
Elijah moved from place to place, and with him,
Faithfully, his man Elisha. Prophets
Said along the way the Lord would take him.
Elisha cried before the wind and chariots.
By sin or silence, let us never block
The light of Christ! The world is lost in blackest
Night! Let burning lamps be set on high
For all to see, the church shining on the hill.
Inspired by an article by Joe Slater.
In 2 Peter, the threat to the church comes from within. False teachers were bringing false doctrine and immorality into the church. Peter wants to warn the saints away and strengthen them against such people who have risen among them.
How to do that? He starts off by saying the saints need to make extraordinary effort to grow spiritually, 2 Pet 1.5-11. Much needs to be added to faith for it to be effective and saving. Faith that just sits there doing nothing goes nowhere, certainly not to heaven. Neither will it be able to resist false teaching when it appears.
For such intense effort, how is one to keep from discouragement? By focusing on God and his power. Continue reading
Post an article on doctrine, and especially on one of the brotherhood’s favorite subjects, and our people will flock to it. Post one on prayer, evangelism, the Christian virtues, or some other practical aspect of our faith, and watch it cry for attention. This tendency has been noted over and over again in the various sites published by Forthright/GoSpeak.
If there is a solution to this problem—and it is a serious one—only God knows. (He does know the solution: it’s called repentance. How to get our people to repent is another issue.)
If the Lord Jesus requires obedience to his covenant, let us be obedient in all things. Let us teach all his will, and practice it as well. Continue reading
A need may go for years unmet,
Desires may never find their goal,
But no one constant in prayer should fret,
For God will meet the thirsty soul.
This article was written in simple English for an international magazine. We’d like to share it here with you.
Only one God exists. There are not many gods. The one true God created the entire universe. He himself is not created, but he created all things. All other things that are called gods are nothing but idols created by man. Human beings should not worship things they have created.
The one God has revealed himself to mankind. He gave his favorite creature free will. This is the ability to choose between different options and to act according to his choices. The first two people created were Adam and Eve. They chose to disobey God. This choice brought death to them and to all mankind as a result.
Today, no one lives according to God’s will. This is sin. Sin is rebellion against God. Sin separates us from God. We need someone to restore us to God’s glorious presence. Continue reading