At such a time as this has God
placed you where you are, to act
on behalf of his people. Many will scoff
and scorn you. Silence is not an option.
Speak surely and firmly, with love,
the Word of God on your lips, arising
from your heart full of goodness.
Jeremiah’s group has room for more,
a lonely prophet with meager results,
among a stubborn people with eyes wide shut.
The Lord may start again through you.
Doubt not his power. The Kingdom seeds will sprout
where least the world expects. An open heart,
a will of flint for God’s devoted service,
this fertile earth will bear a hundredfold.
Patience! Be whom you ought, do what you must,
and let the Spirit rain upon your planting.
He blows at will, you cannot see his work,
just when you think he’s left your field of sowing,
the ground breaks, the tender shoots appear,
harvest promise gladdens and strengthens faith.
God does not string you along,
but tests you, proves you, burns
away the dross, prepares your soul for better things.
Keep on, keep on, that day is coming.

PerseveranceCollege students know that, in order to receive a diploma, they must complete their course of study. Giving up at the last hour throws away all that has been accomplished up to that moment. Without finishing the work, without reaching the end, there will be no reward.

For you need endurance in order to do God’s will and so receive what is promised.
Hebrews 10:36 NET Continue reading

Trust GodWhat to do when things don’t seem to go as we’d hoped, when everything points to God’s promises not being fulfilled?

This is what the LORD says,
“Promote justice! Do what is right!
For I am ready to deliver you;
I am ready to vindicate you openly.
The people who do this will be blessed,
the people who commit themselves to obedience, …
Isaiah 56:1-2a NET

The people of Israel doubted God’s action on their behalf and asked what use it was to worship him. The church today must learn from their lack of faith, to discard the possibility of God not fulfilling his word.

Stay the course! Keep serving the Lord! Remain strong!

God is faithful. You also be faithful.

_oO¥Oo_

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Twice in as many days God’s good servants have asked me and others about the integrity of their works, after receiving criticism or so-called suggestions that called into question what they were doing.

My first reply to them both was a single word, “Pshaw!”

Yes, we should consider whether a criticism has merit. Yes, we should recognize we can always do better. Yes, we can always spare a moment to reconsider our approach. Yes, yes, yes.

BUT. Continue reading

How many do we help or hinder by our actions? A false step can throw many off the path, can keep multitudes from finding the way. The right word and the good example may well be the signposts for myriads of souls to enter the Kingdom of God.

• I wrote today on Facebook: “You couldn’t overcome, because you hid your struggle, perhaps in shame, but by doing so, shut yourself away from help by fellow saints.” I was thinking of an old friend, now distant.

• Special times, like holidays, reveal how much of a priority is one’s faith. When they preempt spiritual commitments, faith is not first. But when even special moments can’t budge one from faith’s commitments, then the disciple has truly set Jesus as Lord of his life. Continue reading

Combine harvestSomebody on a Bible forum needed ideas for a five-minute talk to college students. I remembered our Portuguese teacher in the US making us memorize Galatians 6:7-10, thinking it important for our teaching in Brazil (and it is), so I went there and, starting with verse 6, came up with five points, college-student style.

First, the text:

6 One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches. 7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Now, the points: Continue reading