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Four Words That Proved A City’s Willingness to Change!

Live Life! God's way

How should a city respond to gospel preaching? The response to Jonah’s five-word sermon (in Hebrew) to Niveneh is summarized in four words.

The Ninevites believed God.

God had sent them a message, a clear message, a message with a fixed timeline to respond. Now they had a choice to make? The clock was ticking.

The leader (king) of the city took the warning seriously. The entire resident population heeded the call and the impending judgment was averted.  Tragically Nahum (a later prophet) records a return to ‘their old ways’ and destruction comes upon them.

Throughout history God has been sending messages, calls to repentance, opportunities to be spared judgment. Read the pages of both Testaments and you will discover plenty of evidence for such an assertion.

Noah is commanded to build an ark, and after 120 years of serving as a ‘preacher of righteousness,’ his congregation amounts to just…

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Hide Thou Me

Live Life! God's way

‘Hide and seek’ is a favourite game to play for children. The challenge is always finding the ‘perfect place’ to hide, isn’t it? The longer you play the game in the same location the more challenging it becomes to find a hiding place!

The Bible uses the word ‘hide’ 76 times throughout its pages. Various individuals are seeking to find shelter in a variety of circumstances spanning centuries. At times this word is built into an urgent prayer where a suffering, struggling saint is desperate for relief.

Today’s hymn, penned by the infamous Fanny Crosby, is entitled ‘Hide Thou Me.’

In Thy cleft, O Rock of Ages, hide Thou me!
When the fitful tempest rages, hide Thou me!
Where no mortal arm can sever
From my heart Thy love forever,
Hide me, O Thou Rock of Ages, safe in Thee!

From the snare of sinful pleasure, hide Thou me!
Thou…

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The Fault In Their (Social) Gospel

Just Thinking...for Myself

https://www.goodnet.org/photos/620x0/26024_hd.jpg


As I compose this commentary, there remain segments within the American evangelical church that continue to advance and propagate the principles and tenets of the “gospel” of social justice. Increasing numbers of evangelical churches, pastors, and ministries are buying into what I consider merely a new presentation of an old soteriology: salvation by social activism.

One such organization, Evangelicals For Social Action, describes itself as “a catalyzing agent for Christ’s shalom via projects focused on cultural renewal, holistic ministry, political reflection and action, social justice and reconciliation, and creation care. Rather than a typical “think” tank, ESA is a “do” tank whose purpose is to mobilize movements for constructive social change.” Conversely, The Evangelical Network lists as one of its missional objectives to “offer a safe place for LGBT people and the evangelical church community to dialogue.”

There are other examples, of course, but I highlight the aforementioned not…

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Dormant Servants?

Live Life! God's way

Have you ever responded to a ‘help wanted’ poster? Probably the largest campaign announcement for procuring help was introduced by Jesus Christ with the words, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few… Pray…’ (Matt. 9:35-38) In the following chapter, in Matthew’s gospel (ch. 10) those who prayed are sent out as harvest workers. Be careful what you pray. You just might be a part of God’s answer! God is not looking for dormant servants.

Today’s hymn reminds those who profess to be Christ followers that there is a place of service for them to fill. If the church is filled with those who have surrendered everything to Jesus Christ (Don’t we sing I Surrender All?), then there should be no shortage of workers. How can we refuse to serve Jesus Christ and His bride the church in the light of everything He has done for us?

Penned by…

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Speaking Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs

Live Life! God's way

“I can’t remember the last time we sang a hymn,” someone recently asserted. Another party to the conversation chirped in with the assertion, ‘That’s all we ever sing.’

For the month of August I want to revert to one of my passions–namely hymns. It’s time to sing!

Ephesians 5:18-21 includes speaking psalms, hymns and spiritual songs as evidence of the Spirit of God’s filling. We should be music-saturated saints and be ready with a ‘hymn in season’ to quote as a word of encouragement, exhortation or example. I think that will require some more memory work! Maybe, like those of the Jewish faith, we should tackle Psalms as a memory project–even better if we have the capacity to recite them in Hebrew!

What is a hymn?

hymn – (noun) =  a religious song or poem of praise to God or a god.

(verb) = praise or…

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The God of History

Live Life! God's way

God is the God of history. He was and is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He was and is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was and is my father’s God. He is the eternal God and yet in His amazing grace, He interacts with people in real time.

As Peter, in Acts 3, responds to the gathering crowd who have just witnessed the work of God in the healing of the crippled beggar, he declares the essential cause of the miracle. God.

What is Peter testifying?

The God of history is at work.

The God of the patriarchs–Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is at work.

This God, who exists in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit has continued the work He began in eternity past. This God, who has ‘pitched His tent with us’ is rightly called ‘Emmanuel’ – God with us.

God…

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Are the Covenant Promises Definite? A Pædobaptist Discussion

Petty France

In the debates of credobaptism vs. pædobaptism in the seventeenth century, a great number of books and pamphlets were produced. These, in turn, have led to a corresponding quantity of secondary literature about the two sides of the debate. When looking at the sides as opposites, one of the features that can disappear from view is the diversity of each side.

It has been my experience (and this is a vague generality) that pædobaptists are often unaware or at least disinterested in the diversity of their own tradition. Baptists are equally liable to this deficiency, but in this post I want to present a pædobaptist speaking to pædobaptists in the context of the credo vs. pædo debates.

Joseph Whiston (d.1690), a Congregationalist (or Independent) minister of Lewes, Sussex wrote several works advocating pædobaptism and criticizing credobaptism. He interacted with Henry Danvers (not a Particular Baptist), Edward Hutchinson, Thomas Delaune, and…

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The Poor You Always Have With You…

Live Life! God's way

During the ministry of Jesus, one of his followers, who mishandled the group funds, criticized Mary who had poured out perfume worth a year’s wages on the feet of Jesus. Judas expressed his great ‘concern’ about such waste, probably frustrated that he would miss an opportunity to personally ‘access’ the funds.

Jesus rebuked the concern of Judas with these words, ‘Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.’ (John 12:7,8)

By the time we reach Acts 3, Jesus has returned to his Father, and his followers encounter another poor person–a lame beggar who was carried daily to the gate of the temple to ask for alms (charity).

‘Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. And Peter directed his gaze at…

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The One Sin You Don’t Think You’re Guilty Of, But Probably Are

via The One Sin You Don’t Think You’re Guilty Of, But Probably Are

Dumb, Dumber, Dumbest Arguments!

Live Life! God's way

Among Christians, there are a variety of topics that generate more than a little controversy. In today’s ‘react’ instead of ‘respond’ social media culture, I often sit on the sidelines watching the missiles being fired day by day. I must confess to having ‘taken the bait’ a few times and entered into a controversy over something trivial! Anyone else want to confess?

Don’t get me wrong. We are called to contend for the faith once for all entrusted to the saints. Just read the impassioned urging of Jude verses 3-4! ‘I felt I had to write and urge you to contend….’ Some of us need little urging to be contentious, but are we really contending for the faith or for our preferences – e.g. Bible version, music style, political persuasion?

Controversy is not new to the Christian faith. As Paul handed off responsibility to his associate Titus, he offers a…

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