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Point of Reference

    by Fred Price

Last week we looked at the possibility of using Paul’s challenge to the Corinthian church to, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith, be men of courage, be strong.”; as part of a Christian standard of living. Some may see these attributes as aggressive, even confrontational, though Paul sought to……  ( Click for more )
In speaking of Winston Churchill’s influence over his British countrymen, America and indeed the world during WWII, George Bernard Shaw noted, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world, the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.” (People with strong personalities……  ( Click for more )
Academic philosopher, atheistic author and anti-religion activist Sam Harris enthusiastically criticizes and energetically campaigns for at least the restriction if not the outright abolishment of all religion. He does give a nod to those of us who are not wise enough to see things as he does and persist in seeking……  ( Click for more )
  Have you ever found being a disciple of Jesus Christ challenging? Have you ever found it difficult to genuinely live a Christian life? Have you ever been hard put to witness and testify – in word and deed – because of the words and actions of others? Probably not to the extent of early believers who……  ( Click for more )
When Jesus started His earthly ministry, He called fishermen and challenged them to become “fishers of men.” (Mk. 1:16-18) The idea was that they were to be intentional and diligent in seeking the lost. (One difference being that fishermen catch living things that die, while fishers of men catch……  ( Click for more )
“Shallow preaching that does not grapple with the terrible fact of man’s sinfulness and guilt results in shallow conversions; and so we have myriads of glib-tongued professors today who give no evidence of regeneration whatever. Prating of salvation by grace, they manifest no grace in their lives. Loudly declaring……  ( Click for more )
June 4, 2021
As a result of recurring “contractions” in our economy, deep budget cuts are often proposed that hurt most those least able to cope. (The most memorable being the “Great Contraction” of 08-09, until the most recent precipitated by the Coronavirus pandemic.) From youth programs to education, housing……  ( Click for more )
  Although this question was used by Cain to challenge God when He inquired as to his brother Abel’s where-a-bouts ( Genesis 4:9), it could go much deeper than that. Do we have a responsibility to care about and respond to our “brothers” who are in need? How do we define what help is and who deserves……  ( Click for more )
Two easily overlooked verses of scripture recently attracted my attention because of their potential to speak to our own time and circumstances. That could be said of all scripture, these two seemingly out-of- the-way verses spoke more powerfully to me because of their unexpectedness. One comes from the Israeli history……  ( Click for more )
May 14, 2021
The ability to find contentment even in the midst of hard times is a character trait that every Christian should and can possess. I’m not talking about being resigned to our fate and making no effort to improve our circumstances, but cultivating the ability to recognize what we legitimately can and can’t……  ( Click for more )
A conversation between Jesus and a rich young man has particular significance for all ages and people, none more so than today. “‘Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life? …Obey the commandments. ….I have… What still do I lack? If you want to be perfect, go,……  ( Click for more )
“For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Mat. 7:13, 14 I must admit that this scripture has at times bothered and confused me. Jesus said, “…God……  ( Click for more )
April 23, 2021
People struggle with the concept of grace in all its manifestations. Spiritually speaking, the Christian understanding of God’s grace is that of divine favor – unmerited forbearance and mercy. But scripture also promotes the idea of gracefulness and graciousness where we mimic God and thereby attract……  ( Click for more )
“…rather than what we think it is or want it to be.” So challenged Sheila Suess Kennedy, a public policy expert and law professor at IUPUI a few years ago. Carol Rogers, Director of Indiana University’s Business Research Center concurs, noting a trend that has rapidly increased……  ( Click for more )
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God…” Rom. 1:1 Considered by many to be the greatest missionary of Christianity and it’s foremost theologian, writing thirteen books of the New Testament while being a focal point of much of the Book……  ( Click for more )
So warned Simeon as Mary and Joseph took their new son to the Temple to be “consecrated to the Lord.” Simeon, a devout man, had been promised he would not die till he had seen the Messiah. Having done so, he prophesied that Jesus was, “…destined to cause the falling and rising of many in……  ( Click for more )
Last week we looked at a number of Old Testament scriptures that Jesus may have used to explain his life and ministry to two unsuspecting travelling companions on the road to Emmaus. (Lk. 24:13-35) In considering a number of prophecies from Genesis to Isaiah, we began to discern a significantly different……  ( Click for more )
Within days of Jesus’ resurrection, two disciples were on the road to Emmaus discussing all that had transpired during the past weeks. Along the way, an unrecognized third traveler met them and joined their deliberations. Finally, he scolded them for their lack of understanding and explained, “ …beginning……  ( Click for more )
Historical allusions in sermons and songs never fail to pique my interest. ‘You are my King’1 with its reference to a loving, self-sacrificing ruler is no exception. That image is hard to comprehend in most societies; rulers – past and present – tending to take advantage of their positions……  ( Click for more )
How important is it for us to control our tongues? Before you answer, think back on how much hurt, frustration and anger you’ve experienced or seen in church, school and work as a result of what someone has said. The good and bad achieved through the spoken word is at times surprising, prompting James to lament……  ( Click for more )
February 19, 2021
     The concept of first place is graphically dealt with by Jesus in Mat. 19, but should not be confused with where we place in a contest or race.  In this scripture, a rich young ruler came seeking eternal life, to which Jesus gave a rather startling requirement, “…obey the commandments.”……  ( Click for more )
February 12, 2021
     Some of you are away from home in a way never before experienced, others are enjoying a continuation and broadening of freedoms gained only in the last few years, still more have been out and about for a while but still face the uncertainties of life that afflict us all, regardless of age; let me……  ( Click for more )
February 5, 2021
     Redemption isn’t merely a matter of divine accounting.  God feels intense sorrow for the lost and celebrates the saved.  Jesus revealing that, “…there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”  Lk. 15:10  Peter reinforcing……  ( Click for more )
  But what about condemnation from the world? History, and scripture, assures there will be. But why? Primarily because the value-systems of the world and Christians are – or should be – so markedly different; causing tension, discord and strife. ( John 15:18-20) So why can’t we just mind our own……  ( Click for more )
Paul’s approach to prayer followed a fairly well-established pattern, one we would do well to emulate. But how do we keep it from becoming routine and obligatory? A brief examination of Paul’s practice of prayer demonstrates how that can be achieved.   To begin with, Paul’s prayers were ……  ( Click for more )
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