All Posts (Page 4)

All Posts (Page 4)

I Cannot Believe I Did That! : Your Letter From Jim

Some of you will know that Pam and I have often been inspired by reading Francis and Edith Schaeffer’s works. I’ve been thinking of them again today. I believe we have read most if not all of their published works and also watched “How Shall We Then Live” numerous times over the years, plus heard various interviews and teachings online. We have been guided in some key ways by “the Schaeffer apologetic,” like so many others, mainly because his approach…

Thoughts on Improving Baptisms

Since water baptism is so important to the churches, I want to put forward a few ideas that may help churches make more of this important symbolic act. What I’m suggesting is in the way of pastoral advice, not doctrine. You can take or leave these ideas, but in my own experience and through information received from many pastors over the years, these suggestions could make this experience much more memorable and effective. Most of these suggestions will apply to…

This is WHAT DAY the Lord has made?

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 the Yahweh’s doing;It is marvelous in our eyes.This is the…

Cain Did Worse: Your Letter from Jim

Dear CCW family, Several years ago, I watched two angry yard workers in my front lawn screaming at each other. One man got into such a rage that he threw his machete directly at his adversary. He missed, but it came way too close. Then, just as the assailant jumped in his truck to escape, the second man slammed a baseball bat against his truck’s windshield, shattering it. The driver burned rubber as he took off. The man with the…

The Unwitting Preaching of Christ

It may surprise you that some people preach Christ even when they are trying very hard not to. Let me explain. By “preach” I mean, “to share the person of Christ and the message of the gospel with others.” That’s what we should be about as believers. The early Christians, following the stoning of Stephen, did this everywhere they went as further persecution forced them out of Jerusalem. Luke, the author of Acts, reported this succinctly, “Now those who were…

You Should Rejoice — and Israel Also

A first century Jew reading Isaiah 49:6 should have rejoiced in Gentiles being included in the restoration of Israel. So they should today, for it is among the greatest of the promises made to Israel. “He says [of the Messiah, called in Greek, the Christ], ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You A LIGHT TO…

A Simple Bible Discussion Guide: Five Hard Questions

Me? Lead a Bible study with lots of spiritually helpful interaction? The answer is “yes!” This is a simple Bible Discussion Guide for any group. Using this approach, your study can be as deep as you wish to make it, and cover as much time as you are able to give. Most Bible study groups will want to go through a complete book of the Bible, or a well-defined portion of a book, such as “The Sermon on the Mount”…

Intimidation and Evangelism

I wish I could lose an ounce of fat for every opportunity I have missed sharing my faith since beginning my Christian life. Sadly, I can tell you many stories of open doors but I often punt in the most crucial moments. I once sat down in the back section of a Southwest Airline plane to Chicago. At that time, SWA turned some of the back seats around so that six people faced each other. We were packed in tight.…

Confessionism: The Misuse of 1 John 1:9

Do you believe that you must confess every known sin to God? For many years earlier in my ministry, I made statements such as the following: “In order to be restored to fellowship with God and to be filled with the Spirit you must confess every known sin to God.” What am I to think of such instructions now? Sadly, this teaching adds a layer of requirement for our forgiveness not intended by God. And it may lead to confusion…

I GIVE YOU CONTROL OF THESE PERSONS

What if God said: “I give you control of these persons around you. Your attitude will be their attitude; your interest their interest; your love their love. When you look at them, you’ll discover yourself. “You can wish that they would rise above you to inspire you, but it will not happen. They will mirror you. In fact, even those above you will be as you are. You will experience the power of your own influence. “At home, your spouse…

Two Kingdoms: How Christians View Their Citizenship

The greater reality as believers is that we are citizens of the Kingdom of God and of His Christ (Anointed King) and are therefore aliens in the world. This first reality competes with a second one: we are temporary citizens of a country in this world and are not yet physically in the Kingdom of God as it will be when our King returns and sets it in order. We should not be unconcerned for our temporary country where God…