Somebody once said that the great leveler is the truth that we all have to sit on the toilet. Somebody else thought it was that we all must die one day.
Christianity is not a matter of spirit rather than flesh. It is rather the subjection of flesh to spirit and the balance of both in relation to God’s laws.
The first letter of John comes as a breath of fresh air to those who are trying to live for Jesus. People around us tell us so much that simply isn’t true. It seems many think if they say something often enough and loud enough that it becomes true! Let’s notice some of the truths that John gives us in the last chapter of this short letter.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death worldwide. It is important to consume a healthy diet and exercise adequately. Those who are at higher risk may have a doctor examine them. Some tests examine the heart from a distance, while others can look right inside the heart while it pumps.
Peace is not merely an inner sensation, but an objective state of being. In the Bible it is, first of all, peace with God. This peace does not depend upon a person feeling that God is near or convincing himself that God is bringing him peace. A person can feel peaceful but in fact be in a state of rebellion against God and not be at peace with the Creator.
The custom of honoring guests and dignitaries by putting a scarf or garland around their neck is strong in Nepal and much of Asia. In the churches, visiting missionaries, as well as Nepali preachers and leaders, and local civic leaders are almost always welcomed by the ceremony of “garlanding.” It is a means of demonstrating respect and showing that they are held in honor. The traditional scarves and flowers are of little intrinsic value, but the act of being shown respect is priceless.
The promises made to faith are so free and sure; the invitations and encouragements so strong; the mighty power of God on which it may count is so near and free,—that it can only be something that hinders faith that hinders the blessing being ours.
It comes in many shapes and forms.
A major U.S. bus line advertised for many years with the slogan, “Leave the driving to us.” I have found that to be a comforting motto when on Nepal’s mountain roads. The local drivers who deal regularly with the narrow, rough, twisting, precipitous roads through the Himalayas and their foothills are far more capable of dealing with dangers than I. I do my best to “cast my anxieties” on them and just let them handle it. I’m not always completely successful (I do worry sometimes about certain stretches) but for the most part I have been much more relaxed and able to enjoy the scenery since adopting that attitude.
Do you long for the beauty of community dwelling in peace? Sick of divisiveness? Many are. What’s the solution? We would do well to take a page or two from the apostle Paul.
Why do Christians at times struggle with each other? Why does it seem we sometimes have more patience and understanding with those outside of Christ rather than with our brothers and sisters in Christ? Could it be that we have our focus on the wrong person?
Paul preached the faith to Felix, Acts 24.24-25. He spoke about what the governor needed to hear: God’s approval, self-control, and coming judgment. No wonder he trembled.
In Jeremiah’s condemnation of Moab, he mentions a number of its cities along the length of the nation, which lay to the east of the Dead Sea. Among them, this one:
Men have thought it possible to have what one politician called “peace in our time.” Many worked in vain to bring together two warring parties. But there is no end to human wars. One ends, only for another to begin. Since the Fall, conflict has always been a part of mankind, on every level — among nations, political parties, social groups, and families.
As Jesus said Paul would “carry [his] name before Gentiles and kings and the people of Israel” Acts 9.15, the apostle preached righteousness to Felix, the Roman governor.The subject of righteousness makes up part of the gospel and should be proclaimed today. See these points from the text of Acts 24.
In the United States, we are entering the season in which we will elect a president. What this means is that for the next year and three months we will hear politicians tell us why they deserve the favor of our vote to elevate them to high office.Before all the hubbub starts in earnest, it might be refreshing to hear another voice ...
Remember the web back in the 90s? Do you pine for those days when spam and bots weren’t a thing? Would you go back to those days and give up all the development that has occurred since then? I thought not.Change is a given. It’s going to happen whether we like it or not. Things and people die, other things and other people are born. It’s not a cycle, but a progression. Time moves forward. We think it may move slowly or rapidly, but it does move. And is reaching toward the End.
In 1960 the legend of Arthur of Camelot found its way to Broadway in Lerner and Loewe’s stage production, Camelot. The second act contains a curious song entitled, “What Do Simple Folk Do?”. Burdened by sin and wearied by life, Arthur and Guenevere wonder what commoners do to alleviate such pressure. Three times Queen Guenevere asks Arthur, “What do the simple folk do” to “escape when they’re blue” or “to pluck up the heart and get through.” “They must have a system or two,” she contends. Arthur answers with simple remedies, they “whistle,” they “sing,” and they “dance.”/1
The world isn’t much concerned with doing right. It prefers to do what feels good. People look for immediate gratification rather than adhere to a standard and enjoy the fruit of righteousness. Opinions then become an individual’s guide and the arbitrator of what is good and right. This explains a major part of the mess the world is in.