Subscribe to Our Emails
To say, as Calvinism does, that even as infants we are guilty of Adam’s sin — and are in a lost spiritual condition because of what Adam did — is to make a cruel joke out of Ezekiel’s statement, “The wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.”
Naaman’s obedience certainly did not “earn” him the cleansing of his leprosy. It had no “merit” that would cure him. Nevertheless, if he had not been humble enough to accept the conditions that were stipulated, his leprosy would have remained.
We don’t have the spiritual vision to see any more than the smallest fraction of God’s power; so we see very little of what could be ours if we truly sought Him. For the benefit of our praying, the “eyes” of our understanding need to be enlightened.
God not only loves us; He desires to be loved by us. What He seeks from us is perhaps best described by a word we don’t hear much anymore: adoration. Our praise grows toward perfection when the King before whom we bow is also the Father whom we love.
Is love’s pain to be avoided? I know not what choice others may make, but I shall continue to keep my heart open to love. Even at the bitter end of love’s sweetness, there is no grief great enough to keep me from the clear, pure joy of having loved.
“Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” There is not a purer joy in the world, and no more liberating experience. Yielding to someone else’s dreams will break many a chain the devil has made.
We hold on to this thought in defiance of short-term disappointments: the courage to make right choices will lead us, sooner or later, in the direction of healthy, life-enhancing growth. If we don’t believe this, then we’re dead already.
The discipline of restfulness is one that pays great dividends, not the least of which is that we do better work. It’s only a fool who thinks he can be more productive by never turning the machinery off for maintenance. Wise people know better.
Let’s make this week one of growth in the quality of our conversations with others and about others. If we can diminish the problem of gossip in our daily speech, we will help ourselves and we will help the congregation of which we are members.
Let’s strive for a more sober attitude about the Scriptures. Rather than haphazardly tossing around opinions about the Bible, let’s think about the fact that our souls, and very likely the souls of others, depend on how carefully we study God’s word.
Beginning sometime next year, Lord willing, I will start a “video blog” called Encountering Christ. This will be a series of videos in which I will proclaim the Christ of the Scriptures, inviting people into the Scriptures to meet the Savior who is to be found there.
I had the privilege of preaching at Clarksville, Indiana on January 3. The congregation there is without a local preacher right now, and it was a pleasure to help them kick off their theme for this year, “A Church with a Mind to Work.” They have asked me to return on February 7.