Note: “Church work” is my translation of the Portuguese phrase, trabalhos da igreja, literally, “works of the church.” The devotional addresses a potential problem in what Brazilians see as church work.
“Church work” sounds like a good phrase, but too many people use it — men, almost always — for what happens on the podium or at the front of the assembled saints on Sundays.
Men (and, I suppose, women, now that progressive doctrine has invaded many congregations) complain that they aren’t being included in the works of the church. Continue reading “Church work”
Have you ever witnessed people having strange reactions in situations where you expected a very different behavior? Normally, people cry when they lose a loved one. But not the disciples:
So they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.
Luke 24:52 NET
Jesus had just risen into the heavens, leaving the disciples on earth. But they felt great joy because Jesus had risen from the dead. Continue reading “Strange reactions”
Among the several evangelistic studies we’ve produced and used, one presents a chart to show that every move that man makes is but a response to God’s prior initiative.
Hearing and believing are responses to God’s speaking, his Word. “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”
Repentance is a response to God’s holiness. Think of Isaiah’s cry of unclean lips or Peter’s request that Jesus remove himself since he was a sinner. Continue reading “All we do is but a response to God”
A mark of the false teacher is the lack of respect toward authority. The rebellious person must destroy the established authority in order to impose himself upon others.
… who despise authority. Brazen and insolent, they are not afraid to insult the glorious ones, yet even angels, who are much more powerful, do not bring a slanderous judgment against them before the Lord.
2 Peter 2:10b-11 NET Continue reading “They despise authority”
Jesus is the I-Am, he who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. God sent him to save us from our errors. Against those who cling to their own merits and powers, however, he pronounces judgment. Few confess or follow the true Jesus. Lack of faith is epidemic. Jesus is rejected by many, even in his hometown:
And he was amazed because of their unbelief. Then he went around among the villages and taught.
Mark 6:6 NET Continue reading “Next!”
In the streets of large cities, on the buses and subways, in parties and other places where many people gather, we feel the touch of people without giving it much thought. So it was with Jesus as well, surrounded constantly by multitudes, pressed upon on all sides by people who wanted to see him, hear him, and ask of him some benefit. But there was a moment …
Jesus knew at once that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?”
Mark 5:30 NET Continue reading “A special touch”
Many think their works speak for themselves. That they don’t need to defend or explain themselves. Jesus didn’t think like that.
He said this because they were saying, “He has an evil spirit.”
Mark 3:30 NIV Continue reading “Do like Jesus: defend the truth”
The world brings increasingly rapid change. With the means of communication that we have today at our disposal, we know about and often adopt changes in a matter of days or even hours. And not all the changes are good. Often, they aren’t thought through, as we follow the wave of the latest fashion.
In days of old, as well, rapid and negative changes took place.
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are following a different gospel.
Galatians 1:6 NET
Peter discovered how one can change quickly, one moment walking on the water, only to soon be sinking in the storm; or, declaring loyalty to Jesus, only to deny him by swearing a few hours later.
People who yesterday were faithful to the gospel of Christ today are following another teaching. God knows their motives, but there is no doubt that they have changed and that quickly, to follow the newest wave of popularity.
Paul sought to call people back to the gospel. Let us do the same, in order that, by some means, we may save some. For such changes, rapid or slow, are never good.
Every person has a history, both family and social, as a member of a community and country. Jesus also has his history.
This is the record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Matthew 1:1 NET
Jesus had a history, was part of a plan, appeared in the last days, when, according to God’s timetable, the right time had come. The Sovereign did not decide on some pretty day to send his Son into the world. It was the conclusion of a long process of preparation, in order to have the greatest possible success, to fulfill the objective of saving many.
To those who know little of the Old Testament, Christ’s genealogy seems a tiring list of names. To those who understand, however, that the Almighty had been working for generations in behalf of humanity, each name represents an important step toward redemption.
For Christians, that beautiful history is now ours.
Though created in God’s image, man doesn’t know what God thinks. The Lord reveals his thoughts, but he must be consulted. He may be ignored or forgotten, but always to our loss. So it was with David:
And again David asked the Lord what to do.
2 Samuel 5:23a NTL
When King David consulted the Lord, all went well with him. When he failed to consult him, problems arose, such as when the ark was transported wrongly (chapter 6). David learned that “the LORD our God broke out against us, because we did not seek him according to the rule” (1 Chronicles 15:13 ESV). Continue reading “Ask again”