Archive for April, 2012
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).
I read a sermon by Mark Dever recently in which he recounted a situation that occurred in the life of the famous 18th century preacher Jonathan Edwards. Having led his church in Massachusetts through a time of great revival Edwards was suddenly dismissed from the church over a theological disagreement. We can readily imagine the grief and sadness this must have caused in his life. (more…)
Do you ever pick up the newspaper or your favorite online news source and look at it and wonder “Lord, where are You in all of this? Why do You let these kinds of things go on? What are You going to do about this? What am I supposed to do about this?” If you have ever struggled like this you have an advantage as you begin to read prophets like Habakkuk. Habakkuk didn’t have a newspaper; but he knew enough to know that things were in a mess all around him. (more…)
Louie Giglio in his book The Air I Breathe defines worship in this way: “Worship is our response, both personal and corporate, to God for who He is and what He has done, expressed in and by the things we say and the way we live.” In my opinion that definition hits really close to what we read in the Bible about authentic worship. (more…)
In our study of the prophets (a study I’ve entitled “Profiting from the Prophets”) our special historical helicopter has been hovering over a period of biblical history that is not that familiar to many believers.
• Some of the prophets had their ministries in the time when the Northern Kingdom (Israel) and the Southern Kingdom (Judah) existed alongside each other. They spoke to one or the other or both of the kingdoms, as well as to the surrounding nations.
• Some of the prophets had their ministry after the fall of the Northern Kingdom in 722BC to the Assyrians. So their messages were targeted at the Southern Kingdom (Judah), as well as to the surrounding nations. (more…)
William Randolph Hearst was a great newspaper tycoon in the early 1900s. He was one of the most prolific art collectors in the world. One day he read about an extremely valuable piece of art, which he decided he must add to his extensive collection. He instructed his agent to scour the galleries of the world to find the masterpiece he was determined to have at any price. After many months of diligent searching, the agent reported something surprising to Mr. Hearst. The valuable piece of art that Hearst wanted so badly actually already belonged to him. For years it had been stored in one of his warehouses. He had no idea what he possessed.
“But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20).
On April 1, 2009 at the halftime show of the NBA game between the Toronto Raptors and the Orlando Magic, a fan by the name of Dan thought he had become a wealthy man overnight. He had been picked out of the tens of thousands in attendance to get one shot at a $100,000 prize. All he had to do was to make a shot from half-court. But it would be difficult. He had to do it blind-folded. So at half-time Dan was ushered out to mid-court. He was blind-folded and a basketball was placed in his hand. He turned toward the basket and let the ball fly. Suddenly the crowd erupted into deafening cheers. Dan ripped off his blind-fold and began to jump around the court celebrating. But everything changed when the promoter came out on the court put his arm around Dan and said, “April Fools.” You see the whole thing was a joke. The crowd had been instructed, in Dan’s absence, that whether he made the shot or not, they were to cheer and applaud. Actually, Dan had missed the shot; in fact, he missed the whole basket. Instead of $100,000, they gave Dan a 100 Grand candy bar. And while everyone was getting a real kick out of the prank, Dan was not laughing when he walked off the court. (more…)