One of the great desires of my life is to finish well. At the end of my race, I want to be able to say with Paul, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).
3 Aspects of Moving forward When Your World Is Stuck
When the Lord laid a phrase from Philippians 3:13, “Reaching Forth,” on my heart for our church theme in 2020, I had no idea that less than three months into the year, our plans would be derailed by a global pandemic.
One of my favorite Scripture passages in the gospels is found in Luke 18:1–8. The first verse states the Lord’s purpose, “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” The purpose of this parable was to encourage God’s people in the matter of praying; it was also to give them an incentive not to quit praying.
Even a small child knows that a red light means to stop. But what does the word “stop” mean? It seems to be such a simple word, but the word “stop” actually has two inferences that are quite different from each other.
In one sense, any trial that comes into our lives is unplanned and disruptive to our expectations. But some trials last longer than others and are disruptive to everything in our lives. The COVID-19 crisis has, in many ways, been this kind of trial.
From the time the Apostle Paul uttered the words, “What wilt thou have me do?” until a Roman executor severed his head from his body—he was a missionary. The gospel to the entire world was his goal. The Lord Jesus was his passion.
Our recent Journeys of Paul tour was full of highlights for me. But perhaps the most impactful locations we visited were on the island of Crete, where Paul left Titus to “set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city” (Titus 1:5).
I find Caleb to be one of the most inspiring personalities in the Old Testament. At eighty-five years old, he had not relinquished the spirit that had motivated him when he was forty. He still believed that through the help and power of God great things could be accomplished. Mountains could be possessed!
In the midst of Change and Trial, Jesus Never Faltered
It’s amazing how quickly life can change. We live in a fast paced, and the life we live can be very unpredictable. Circumstances can change, people can change, and of course, we all know how quickly the weather can change. With sudden change often comes a sense of uncertainty or insecurity.
This January marks Terrie’s and my thirty-third New Year at Lancaster Baptist Church. A few weeks ago, we were able to host several families from our church who were here when we came or who we were able to lead to the Lord in those first couple years. Their faithfulness over the decades is such an encouragement to us.
For three Saturdays of every year, I am an avid horse racing fan. I am talking about the on-your-knees-pounding-the-floor-yelling-for-your-horse kind of fan. I don’t watch a single horse race the rest of the year, but I absolutely love the Triple Crown!
Staying Faithful Requires a Commitment to God’s Call
When you talk to a family on deputation for the mission field, you sense a lot of excitement. They can’t wait for the traveling to be finished. They can’t wait to board the airplane. They are eager to serve the Lord in a foreign country.
We are frequently told that these are terrible times for the work of God and that little if any progress is possible for those who take a sound and scriptural position. The most we can hope for, some suggest, is to maintain our ministries until Jesus comes.
Early in my ministry, I assumed pastorates where the previous pastor had been involved in ministerial misconduct. In the later years of pastoring, however, I had the privilege of succeeding two men whose lives were characterized by unsullied integrity.
Spiritual Building Blocks for the Christian Life—Part 2
The question has often been asked, “If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” That question should make you think. You cannot earn your salvation by works. However, your works and lifestyle can indicate whether or not you have truly been saved. A person who has been born again will manifest that change in the way he lives.