READ: “In the same way, let yourlightshinebeforepeople, so thatthey can seeyourgooddeedsandgive honorto yourFatherinheaven” Mt 5.16.
THINK: Our light is the light of God in us. We don’t want to appear, Mt 6, but rather God’s presence in us. So we do not hide ourselves. We want others to see God’s power and love in us. In this way, they will glorify him instead of being impressed with our performance. Light represents the holiness, truth, and majesty of God, Isa 60.1; 1 Jn 1.5. Continue reading →
Years ago, a friend’s son got confused and called me a mercenary instead of a missionary — in Portuguese. My friend thought it was hilarious; I, not so much.
The words are similar enough in both languages, and I’ve used them together on occasion. You’ll see others doing it, too, since their meanings offer a sharp contrast in motivations.
Today, I read an article with those two words in the title. The author noted how Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s staff are real believers, so much so that many of them continued working for his presidential campaign after money was short and salaries went unpaid. Continue reading →
As impressive as it is, the human mind is extremely limited. In recent years, man has sought to understand better the mind. One hears frequently how it has such a huge, unused potential. But how we are easily distracted! How quickly the mind forgets! How many things escape its notice!
Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.
Matthew 10.29 NET
Nothing escapes God. He sees and controls all.
The context of this verse is the sending of the Twelve to preach the Good News. The principles of the limited commission apply to the Great Commission. If we give priority to God’s work, he will give priority to caring for us.
The contrast of the verse with v. 28 does not clash in the ears of Jesus: “fear the one who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” We must balance the fear of destruction by God with his love as Father. These are two essential truths about God that we must take into account.
The argument of the verse is from the lesser to the greater. If Father God cares for that which is less important, in his great divine plan, certainly he will care for those — his children — who are most important to him, v. 30.
The framing of this verse is familial. God is Father. We are children in his family. His fatherhood indicates the divine love and his loving care of us. If he includes us in his great mission, certainly he will give us what we need to fulfill it and will protect us in carrying it out.
The objective of this verse is to inspire confidence in God, so that the disciples may fulfill the mission. “So do not be afraid” v. 31. Thus, we will not be afraid of our adversaries, v. 26. Here we have every motivation needed to dedicate ourselves body and soul to his work.
The field of activity of this verse is the will and omniscience of God. Nothing happens without him knowing. God takes care of the minutest details. The phrase is literally, “without your Father.” The biblical versions added several terms in order to clarify: will, consent, permission, knowing. The field of activity is the Godhead himself. God knows, guides, supervises, protects, provides.
“Christians should take this attitude to heart, that we have a mission to accomplish, serving God and bring others to Christ, and we should be [willing] to do whatever it takes to accomplish that mission. Nothing should stand in our way because nothing is as important as helping people get to heaven.” via Accomplishing the Mission | MTN Ministry.
A number of Americans, apparently unhappy with the direction of the country, have asked me what kind of country is Brazil. Happened again recently. I even wrote a post last year encouraging Americans to move here. So here’s another swipe at the same idea. I slightly tweaked my reply to today’s querist.
Chapter 11 of the book of Revelation begins and ends with the temple of God. In v. 1 it seems to represent the church in its service to God, but in v. 19, the heavenly habitation of God.
Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.
Revelation 11.19 ESV Continue reading →
Today’s youth sprinkle their speech freely with superlatives like “awesome” and “amazing.” I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, a sign of sensitivity to the powerful manifestation of God in the world or an impoverished vocabulary among a generation bereft of real education. You be the judge. Continue reading →
Just think how much more individuals and some congregations could do if they would just spend as much time thinking about the growth of the kingdom as they do planning their vacation or where to set the thermostat during worship. via MercEmail (06-20-12)
Great thought by Steve Higginbotham on the parable of the shrewd steward (though he forgot to change the title). Jesus seems wistful when he says, “For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their contemporaries than the people of light” (Luke 16.8 NET). Continue reading →