Articles

Articles

Within These Joys

Within These JoysJim Elliff It is a time fresh joys have come around.Enwombed, our daughters loosed our newest kinAnd filled their homes and ours with gentle soundsOf gurgling, fussing, laughing, sure to winWorn hearts like ours to pleasures of their love And make the most enfolded of us bright.By their escape to light I think aboveThe greying path that walks us into night. Within these joys Christ’s older ones get eyes,For once entombed, to light we too shall rise! _____Sonnet,…

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…

Dying with Debt

It is a sad proverb, but so true: “The borrower becomes the lender’s slave” (Prov. 22:7). Tossing and turning through the night, the heavy borrower is a depressed soul. He dresses with striped prison clothes every morning and lugs his shackles to work—that job that offers so little hope for setting him free. He dreads the coming of the mail, and has few waking hours without remorse. Serious debtors crave freedom, but often, sadly, borrow even more in their desperate…

Christ’s Headship in the Church: The Neglected First Principle of Decision-making

I may seem naïve and overly simplistic when I say that Christ is the Head of the church and that this one fact, properly understood, will do more to clear up confusion over decision-making in the church than any other consideration. From this truth we are able to deduce that elders and members have one goal in decision-making—to find out what the Head of the church wills for His church. I don’t think most church leaders think this way. Starting…

The Rural Church Dilemma

Some time ago I drove to several small towns in rural Arkansas with my 89 year old father and my siblings, tracking the steps of the ministry of both my dad and his father. The experience was memorable. We visited small towns that even Arkansans might not recognize today: Cotter, Caledonia, Hagersville, Greenwood, LaVaca—twelve in all. These were the places where my father, and his father, labored for Christ eighty and ninety years ago. Much has changed in the landscape…

Five Resolves for Personal Revival

Behold, the LORD’S hand is not so short that it cannot save; neither is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear. Isaiah 59:1-2 (NAS) Do you wish to be an instrument in the hands of God? Do you want to see God’s power at work through you? Do you long for your…

To Obtain the Inheritance

The inheritance for the Christian begins with eternal life, a transformed body, new heavens and a new earth, and extends literally to all there is. We are co-heirs with Christ, meaning all that Christ has received in his ascension, we have received. The realization of all that will not come until later, yet it is ours. We will reign under him over all the universe! Jesus told his disciples to not be afraid of provisional lack because “God has chosen…

As It Is In All the World: Gospel Effects

“ . . . The gospel, which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing,even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf . . .” Colossians 1:5-7 This describes how the gospel came…

Packing for Eternity

I travel a lot for our ministry, Christian Communicators Worldwide. I love meeting new people and facing the challenges of leading them into new dimensions of Bible understanding. Years ago a veteran traveler and Christian statesman, J. Oswald Sanders, told me at about 90 years of age that it wasn’t the ministry he had all around the world that was so difficult, but rather, it was “getting there” that was the most tedious part. This author and former head of…

Give Me Justice!

Jesus was telling the people why they should always pray and not lose heart. A woman, in his story, cried out to the impatient, unrighteous judge for justice from her opponent. She kept asking until he relented and acted in her favor. He tired of listening to her incessant pleas. “Now,” Jesus said, “will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and yet He is very patient with them”. In other words,…

The Abiding Life is the True Christian Life

The abiding life is the true Christian life. Jesus said, “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:6) John 15 gives us the pattern for spiritual growth and effectiveness as believers. In the passage, we are called branches, Christ is the vine, and the Father is the vinedresser. What are the characteristics of authentic branches?…