Posts by Jim Elliff (Page 6)

Posts by Jim Elliff (Page 6)

Do We Still Need the Local Church?

The down-the-street local church is not the only show in town anymore. We are able to enjoy faith-building messages, listen to the latest Christian music, and explore the rich diversity and variety found in the most noted Christian gatherings, all with the click of the mouse or the touch of a button. Many local church pastors now say, “The world is my parish,” just as did the horseback-riding evangelist, John Wesley. But they mean this without ever going out of…

But I Don’t Feel Thankful

“But I don’t feel thankful.” I can hear this perfectly logical complaint coming from my kids when I make them say “Thank you” for some act of kindness done toward them. Should we really act grateful when we are not? But perhaps the better question is, “How could we be so blind to all that God has done that we would ever be ungrateful?” When the Pilgrims ate the first Thanksgiving meal in 1621, they were being thankful even though…

Book Tribalism

A tribe was exposed to the Bible for the first time in its own language. For fifteen to twenty years, this was all they had. If there were questions about practices or beliefs, the Bible alone was studied by the elders until a clear view emerged. The people memorized it, read it aloud to each other, enjoyed its language and encouragement, and heeded its rebukes and challenges. They taught the Bible to their families and in their church as if…

Sanctifying Reason

Note from Jim Elliff: Here is a chapter from my little book entitled Led by the Spirit on the important subject of the use of reason in decision-making. It is a practical guide that will give most any believer help regarding any decisions they might need to make. The book also deals with illuminism found among believers, that is, the practice of constantly receiving “a word from God” in a more or less direct way. I recount some of my earlier…

Women in Your Ministry Context: An Appeal for Male Christian Leaders to Choose Male Assistants

A fine young pastor and his family take a small church in a rural area, or perhaps in a tired part of an otherwise thriving city. It’s their first opportunity to lead a church, and they have dreams of something deep, growing, and lasting. There is little money given by the church to hire anyone else other than this single leader. Well enough. It can’t be other than it is in the beginning. But right off the pastor is in…

Shadows of Hell: Fear and Emptiness Before Death

This poignant note came to a faithful friend of mine who is suffering from life-threatening cancer. It concerns a woman in the nursing home who has been a “good church-goer only.” The note reads: “It is sad beyond words to watch mom’s health failing and see her fear and anxiety or detached numbness as she faces each day. She wavers back and forth. It is all sad and full of despair. There is no longing for glory, no hope of…

Cremation or Burial?

There is no sin in cremation, that is for sure. And there is no inability on God’s part to raise a cremated body from the dead. But is cremation, a practice most often seen in Eastern religions, the best for the believer in Christ? It is clarifying to note that burial was God’s preferred method of disposing of the body of Moses. God had the power to cremate Moses’ body on the spot, but rather, this gentle and loving phrase…

Hard Work: The Spurgeon Way

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the renowned preacher of London in the 1800s, was not only a gifted leader, but was a hard worker. By the time most pastors write a few emails, wrestle with the dates for VBS and read the junk mail, Spurgeon would have completed a mountain of tasks. For instance, each week he preached several times (often 10), trained pastors in the pastor’s college, wrote several hundred letters (“I’m immersed to my chin in letters.”), led an elders’…

Children Obey Your Parents? But How?

If you are a child, read this to your parents so that you can train them well. If you are an adult, then you may wish to read this together with your child. First of all, kids, it is YOUR parents you are to obey. It is up to your parents to tell you which other adults are to be obeyed. Probably they will want you to obey teachers, policemen, some church leaders, babysitters they chose, and your grandparents. If you…

Returning To Your First Love

But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.” Revelation‬ ‭2:4-5‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Are you and those who are with you dangerously close to experiencing this judgment? Is the Light of God’s presence dim, almost imperceptible? Do you have form without power…

The Rationale for Wrath

A cartoon depicted Noah’s ark surrounded by desperate people drowning in the water, begging for help. The rains were coming down hard while Noah and his family were safe inside. On the outside of the ark was a “smiley face” with the words, “Smile, God Loves You.” Are you sure God loves everybody? John the Baptist didn’t think so. He said, “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not…

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…