Posts by Jim Elliff

Posts by Jim Elliff

Preparing to Be an Amazing Old Man or Woman: Six Motivating Suggestions

Like it or not, if you continue to live, you’ll get old. As you look around at all those ancient people in the grocery store, the golf course, the retirement village and the nursing home, don’t be smug — you’ll be there soon enough. It will do you well to prepare to make those years the best they can be for the glory of God. It’s not uncommon for God to use older people. Take Caleb who fought giants as…

Do Hurricanes Just Happen?

Though some postulate that hurricanes are spawned merely by natural causes, this answer is one “cause” too short. The Bible teaches they are first decreed by God. The Psalmist wrote: “Whatever the Lord pleases He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deep places. He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth. He makes lightening for the rain; He brings the wind out of His treasuries” (Psalm 135:6-7). “Is it not…

Music in the Church: How Special Should We Make It?

You could put the entire teaching about church music in the New Testament in a paragraph or two. Add to this teaching those spirited illustrations of corporate singing in heaven displayed in the last book of the Bible, when angels and throngs of people fill the air with thundering six to eight line choruses. When it comes to intentional instruction about music, however, there are really only four passages in the New Testament: Speaking to one another in psalms and…

Spiritual Inventory for Pastoral Visits

Name_______________________________ Date_____________ Spiritual Inventory for Pastoral Visits For systematic pastoral visitation of church members____________________“Warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all men.” 1 Thess. 5:14 “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly, nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the…

This is WHAT Day the Lord Has Made?

This Is WHAT Day the Lord Has Made? Jim Elliff When we quote or sing “This is the day the Lord has made,” we aren’t saying that this very day, the day we are in presently, is the day the Lord has made. That is true, of course, but it isn’t what Psalm 118: 22-24 is about. Rather, something much more important is being said. Read it closely: “The stone which the builders rejectedHas become the chief corner stone.This is…

Say What You Love About God

May I suggest something of value for you to do that has great returns. It is so simple, yet profound and effective. We all can do it. Here it is: DESCRIBE SOMETHING YOU VALUE ABOUT GOD TO OTHERS. I mean by this to thoughtfully tell somebody what God is like. Portray as colorfully as possible a characteristic of the Father, Son, or Spirit that you value and think is worth being known. A believer who could learn to do this…

Thirty-five Questions for Maturing a Christian Marriage

The following questions are not intended for short answers such as a mere “yes”, but are a means to meaningful discussion between a man and a woman who have vowed to love each other “until death do us part.” Take your time to talk them over. Let the conversation flow. You may answer these questions in any order you wish, or all at one time. Two rules apply: First, be painfully honest. Nothing much has happened to improve marriages without…

The Law of Love: New Covenant Primacy

The Law of Moses and the Prophet’s admonitions are all fulfilled in the law of love. “Treat others the way you would have them treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Mt. 7:12). The New Covenant responsibility for the believer is similar: “Bear one another’s burdens and thereby fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal 6:2). Or, put another way, “Do not look out for your own personal interests, but for the interests of others” (Phil 2:4). Love…

Seven Laws of the Race

The motif of the Olympic race was dear to the Apostle Paul. Did he sit in the stands in Athens or Corinth? Perhaps so. Regardless, parallels between “the games” and the believer’s race in life were often on his mind. He (along with the author of Hebrews) gives us seven laws for running the race. 1. Run to win “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such…

We Must Live With This: Anathema

“Let anyone who has no love for the Lord be accursed.” (1 Cor 16:22, NET) This verse seems to dangle there with no immediately apparent connection to what precedes it or follows. Paul placed this thought in the very last handful of sentences in the first letter to the Corinthians. He’s given the readers some final punctuated reminders to end up his long epistle. It has a strength there, even if all alone. But maybe it’s not totally alone. It’s…

A Common but Misguided Perception

It is misguided and a dangerous misconception to base God’s acceptance of you on your worthiness, or attempt to comfort others with the concept that, “underneath it all, you are actually beautiful in character, and therefore truly deserving of God’s love.” Why? 1. You aren’t, and the Bible makes that very clear. Though all people are created in the image of God, all of us are sinful, abusing our status, both by nature and behavior and are therefore deserving of…

Jesus and Joseph

Like Jesus, Joseph was the special son of his father, beloved; like Jesus, Joseph was hated because his father loved him and because of his words and predictions of future authority; like Jesus, Joseph was plotted against; like Jesus, Joseph was stripped of a wonderful tunic, made bloody; like Jesus, Joseph was sold for silver; like Jesus, Joseph was taken to Egypt; like Jesus, Joseph was falsely accused; like Jesus, Joseph was given authority after humility; like Jesus, Joseph began…