Articles (Page 4)

Articles (Page 4)

Identity Theft: Losing Our Christian Self-Consciousness

When whimpering Gideon hid himself from the Midianites in the winepress while threshing his wheat, the angel of the Lord appeared to him with this striking greeting: “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” Man of valor? In Gideon’s mind, nothing could be further from the truth. But the angel continued, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites.” Gideon squeaked out a lame response, “O my Lord,…

Ministry Report From Colombia, March 2016

I just returned from a 3-week trip to beautiful Santa Elena, Colombia where I was teaching at the Instituto Bíblico Reformado Nueva Providencia. The teaching format was kind of a cross between a Bible Intensive Retreat and The Muller Center for Biblical Studies in which we studied the books of Titus and Mark for a full 11 days. The official title of the class was “Inductive Bible Study Method – New Testament”. There were 17 students, mostly between the ages…

On Your Knees: Missions Work Thousands of Miles Away

A man once spent twenty minutes and twenty seconds of his life one day looking at two different emails. The first email was from a local store that shared all of its weekly deals. He studied it in detail, not only hoping to find a great offer, but also to see what was new in the world of technology. He took 20 minutes to do this, although he thought often throughout the rest of the day about what he discovered. The…

The Word Was In the World: Doing What?

He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.” Jn 1:10 We know that the “Word was made flesh and dwelt among us” (v 14), and that He “explained” the Father (v 18), but what was the Son doing before all this? I believe, properly understood, that John 1 teaches that He was in the world. He was, in fact, God (“the Word was God,” v 1), so He was…

What to Ask Myself Before I Teach the Bible

The results of our teaching are entirely God’s business. But it is our business to be as prepared as possible. This not only means that we must know our subject, but that we must be spiritually-minded and intentional. The following are questions to ask yourself before you teach others: Have I prayed? Do I consciously and desperately need the Spirit? Do I believe that my hearers must hear what I have to say? Am I attempting to live by the…

Reclaiming Your Eyes from Pornography

I used to watch my dad brand cattle. I still remember the awful smell. The bovines would wail at the momentary pain, and the smoke from singed hair and burnt cowhide would rise into the afternoon sun. One by one the cattle would file through to receive the mark of our farm. Once branded, the cattle bore our mark forever. We owned them, and they had the scar to prove it. Sin is a like a brand, etched in our…

Reading Scripture Rightly

When reading a section of Scripture, we will find that a passage almost always comes across weighted on one side of an issue or another. I mean this: a passage is written intended to drive a certain point home, aimed at a particular audience, for a specific reason by an author who knew what was needed. He drives his nail to the heart. That passage should stare at us, disturb us and call us to action and faith. We should…

God’s Purpose Isn’t Ruined by Unbelief: Don’t Be Discouraged

  It isn’t “The Parable of the SOILS” in Mt 13:1-23, but The Parable of the SOWER, as Jesus himself called it (v18). The importance of this title is to show that it was CHRIST’S word, or the gospel, that is sown and that it is HIS intention to sow seed on the soil (people) who will NOT believe, as well as on those who would. Jesus is unambiguous. He clarifies that the gospel is able to be understood by…

A “Whew!” Christmas

I’m looking forward to a stress-free Thanksgiving to Christmas season once again. We all know that gift-giving is the thing that brings on the pressure. Finding “just the right gift” can be daunting, especially for people who already have everything they could possibly want already. We enjoyed years of Christmas gift-giving as a family, and I don’t regret it, nor do I have any criticism of those who do it, even extravagantly if they can afford it. Love can be…

For Better Conversations

Good conversation went fugitive with the invasion of electronic media. Yet you long for it, and so do those in your circle of acquaintances. Believers in Christ ought to be excellent at it. Even our non-believing friends ought to leave us saying, “That was the best conversation I’ve had for months.” There is an art to develop in conversation, granted, but we should be committed to the process. In my view, it is attainable by any of us. Hint: Self…

Thirsty Church Leaders in Hosanna, Ethiopia

We are back in Addis Ababa, grateful for a safe arrival to the big city. Before we left Hosanna today, I was thinking about Paul’s mission to the Gentiles as he describes it in Ephesians 3. A phrase in verse 8 was especially meaningful: “To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” It’s that phrase “the unsearchable riches of Christ” that struck…

What happened at Gohatsion, Ethiopia?

Thank you for praying for our first weekend of ministry in Gohatsion. We are tired, yet happy to be back in Addis Ababa for a night of rest. However, we hit the road again tomorrow for a ministry trip to Hosanna. Usually our ministry trips are spread out, but not this time! We’ll be back in Addis Thursday night. Here are some random happenings from the past few days: We traveled the 186 kilometers to Gohatsion and back to Addis…