Category: <span>Walk, for Christians</span>

Not always, but occasionally, “over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go,” sadly detours us onto unfamiliar routes. Sometimes these alternate routes are well marked and eventuate easily to the more familiar paths — But then, maybe not. We wish for a safe and clearly defined trail, one with landmarks along the way. However, this day we go down a ‘never-before’ gone road, and to add to the suspense, it is turning twilight, soon to be fully dark. Apprehension bids us: should we stop, ask for directions, pray, or all of the above? We may find ourselves just short of panic. Let’s pause. As much as we disdain the thought of these real-life detours, they occur. Jesus teaches his disciples in  Matthew 7:13-14: “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many…

The truth revealed in the real world has not yet come completely. The thoughts and intents of men’s hearts and minds provide an unparalleled guessing-game to the rest. We grope for understanding yet are thankful for the hiding place for our own inadequate understanding. In short: Romans 8:19  tell us “…the earnest expectation of the creature waits for the manifestation of the sons of God.”  And also  ” …we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now.” verse 22 The metaphor is of a mother in labor with child; father and siblings wait expectantly to see the baby. Mother is patient but anxious perhaps. The birth will be painful, traumatic, revolutionary. A big event. In the mean time, the creature views life through a glass darkly and only then, face to face. We must be honest, only those who have the earnest of the Spirit…

” Contrary to popular expectation, Christianity offers no simple solution to man’s problems or to the integration of his personality; it does promise the abiding presence of Christ…..There is no offer of ease, but the promise of grace for the experience.” Morris A. Inch from his book, “Psychology in the Psalms.” As an illustration of this premise I thought of the story of Jesus, walking on the water. Matthew 14 records this for us. “Immediately (Jesus)  made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.”  “And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, “ The disciple were sent on ahead. The crowd which Jesus had been teaching were dismissed. Jesus went alone to be with His Father. The excitement of being with Jesus…

On one occasion when Samuel Brengle was introduced as “the great Dr. Brengle,” he noted in his diary: “If I appear great in there eyes, the Lord is most graciously helping me to see how absolutely nothing I am without Him, and helping me to keep little in my own eyes. He does use me. But I am so concerned that He uses me and that it is not of me the work is done. The axe cannot boast of the trees it has cut down. It could do nothing but for the woodsman. He made it, he sharpened it, and he used it. The moment he throws it aside, it becomes only old iron. O that I may never lose sight of this.”.  Quote is from J. Oswald Sanders in his book, “Spiritual Leadership.” The name “Paul” meant “small” and “Peter” was the “rock.” Both Men were given new…

Psalm 22:6 “I am a worm.” “The Crimson worm [coccus ilicis] is a very special worm that looks more like a grub than a worm. When it is time for the female or mother Crimson worm to have babies (which she does only one time in her life), she finds the trunk of a tree, a wooden fencepost or a stick. She then attaches her body to that wood and makes a hard crimson shell.” “She is so strongly and permanently stuck to the wood, that the shell can never be removed without tearing her body completely apart and killing her.” “The Crimson worm then lays her eggs under her body and the protective shell. When the baby worms (or larvae) hatch, they stay under the shell. Not only does the mother’s body give protection for her babies, but it also provides them with food – the babies feed on…

We meet a lot of precious people who hold high standards for their life. Many of these good people rely on their track record of goodness and good deeds to determine their self-image — its mostly a good one. Nevertheless, these fail at glorifying a holy standard which magnifies the only One to be exemplified, Jesus Christ. Yea, this “fine point” of discernment remains the most critical, indeed it divides the Christian from the world. Who was this Christ? Some Bible words which characterize Him: Meek and lowly of heart, having no place to lay His head, through His Poverty we are made rich. Didn’t He do many good works? Yes, as He followed His Father, Father led Him to work miracles, healing lepers, delivering children, even raising dead people. Friends, sadly our current secular culture demands “good” works — but these good works cannot compare to the deeds produced…

Isolation manifests itself the fatal flaw, when we examine the fallen man’s soul.  God Himself , before the fall, proclaimed in Genesis, “it is not good that man should be alone,” and for this cause God made him a helpmate. Ecclesiastes teaches us: “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.”  For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falls; for he hath not another to help him up.  Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? Ecclesiastes 4:9-11 In Exodus 18:14 Moses father-in-law corrected Moses for single-handedly hearing all counseling complaints and issues alone. Jethro introduced to Moses a system of delegation. Numbers 11:14 speaks of the same instance, ” I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is…

What lacks in a contemporary person who finds themselves outside of Christ? They have no expectation of the daily blessing which Our God has for his children. They have no realistic expectation of Christ’s soon coming return. Hope deferred makes their heart sick. In the story of Ruth chapter 1, Naomi finds herself bereft of husband and two sons. Her comment to her daughters in law goes, ” If I should say I have hope, even if I should have a husband this night and should bear sons, would you therefore wait till they were grown? Would you therefore refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, for it is exceedingly bitter to me for your sake that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me.”  Ruth 1:12-13 A life without hope is a frightful proposition. Job 14:7  teaches us “For there is hope for a tree, if it be…

2 Corinthians 4:1  “Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;” Romans1:5  “By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:” Hebrews12:28  “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” “Let us keep on having grace.” Folks, to serve God acceptably, to have a ministry, to obey God — these are not human endeavors. In contrast Paul speaks often of “grace” and “mercy” received and held on to — without which he, or none of us, could love, show compassion, forgive or show mercy to those least deserving. And this comprises the calling. Miroslav Volf,  a celebrated theologian, relates a story in his work, “Free of Charge,” a book on forgiveness. “I was one then and my five…

“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God”, Hebrews 4:14 I’m listening to a song entitled “Almost Home.” Yes us believers are almost home. However, Jesus is passed into the heavens, already. Oh, our Savior and destiny-carrier is seated in Heaven at the Father’s right hand. We, in Him, are there with Him. Nevertheless, we must put on our helmet, “the hope of salvation” — because we still must endure hardship as good soldiers of Christ down here. “Let us hold fast our profession.” The verse completes itself with, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities;” Isaiah 63:9 reiterates,  “In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them,…