Too Heavenly Minded?

By , November 17, 2018

“For me to live is Christ and to die is gain”
Philippians 1:21 (NIV)

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There is an old saying that is still used occasionally and it goes like this: “He is too heavenly minded to be any earthly good”. The statement sounds interesting to the uninformed person. However, a brief look at the history of the church contradicts the idea that people who are “heavenly minded” cannot have much to contribute to this life.

Those who have read the history of England will tell you of many evangelical Christians who did so much to transform their society.

John Howard, who lived in the 1700’s was a wealthy man who spent much of his fortune to give relief to the suffering of prisoners. He spoke to the British Parliament about the abominable conditions in the prisons and was honoured for his tireless labours.

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What’s that you say?

By , November 16, 2018

“…they will…flog you…When you are persecuted
in one place, flee to another.”
Matthew 10:17-23 (NIV)

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The photos were all very graphic and when I saw them it disturbed me greatly. The photographer had visited a Communist country and was able to take photos of bodily evidence of the government’s torture of Christians. The scars left by the tormentors was revolting.

I found it difficult to imagine how one human being could do such horrible things to a fellow human. We need to confess that there is a dark side to all of us, call it what you want. Scripture calls it iniquity. Iniquity refers to the inner twist of nature that pushes people into sin. In Psalm 51:5 we read the words, “…I was shapen in iniquity.”

What Jesus is trying to say to His followers in our verses today is that if you will follow Jesus you will find yourself persecuted in various ways. Those who wish to believe in Jesus and follow Him need to sit down and realize that our Lord never said that any of His followers would find the way of truth easy to follow. In fact Jesus said the opposite.

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“Work Hard and Cheerfully”

By , November 15, 2018

“He did not spare his own Son,
but gave him up for us all…”
Romans 8:32 (NIV)

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When my children were young I always told each one as they left for school, “Work hard and cheerfully.”

I had a great desire that they would put their best effort into whatever they did. I also wished them to get satisfaction out of their day’s work. I am happy that all five of my adult children have a good work ethic.

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The Journey or the Goal?

By , November 14, 2018

“…I press on to take hold of that for which
Christ Jesus took hold of me.”
Philippians 3:12 (NIV)

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Over a thousand years ago Arabs used something called a Kamal to try to guide their ships from harbour to the destination and then safely back to the port from which they left. Various other instruments that also measured latitude were created over the succeeding centuries for marine navigation.

Polaris, our north star, was much used as a fixed point from which to refer in the night sky. However it took centuries to figure out longitude at sea and so many ships were lost.

Nowadays we have the GPS systems in our vehicles to help us navigate our way to a new destination. Even when I know where I am going in another city or town, I usually put the address into my handy GPS so it will tell me where to turn, how far I have to the destination, and my estimated time of arrival.

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Which Jesus?

By , November 13, 2018

“…we would like to see Jesus.”
John 12:21

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In the mosaic of religious society today there are many different presentations of Jesus. Someone looking in from the outside might wonder which Jesus to consider. Also there might be the question of why there are so many differing theories of Jesus from which to choose.

An interesting book crossed my desk recently that was co-authored by a theologian and a psychiatrist. Fascinating things may happen when biblical scholars have people from other fields of study assist them in understanding the Bible. As I read the book I affirmed what the theologian said about the biblical witness to Jesus. When the psychiatrist added comments from his discipline I was amazed.

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