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Point of Reference

    by Fred Price

“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 )
January 15, 2021
Koinonia is one of those Greek words that can be difficult to definitively translate into English; not because its meaning is vague but rather because of its wealth of meaning. It appears 19 times in the New Testament and is translated as fellowship (12times), sharing (3times), participation (2times), and contribution (2times).……  ( Click for more )
     John 9 depicts Jesus healing a man born blind.  Immediately preceding this story is an incident in which Jesus drove his Pharisaic antagonists to near hysterics by claiming to be God, saying “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was I am!”  John 8:58 (See Ex. 3:14 to see why……  ( Click for more )
January 1, 2021
     That’s what Onesimus, Philemon’s slave and Paul’s friend translates as.  It would be interesting to know if Paul christened him that at his conversion, or if Philemon possibly renamed him that upon receiving him back as a “brother” in Christ; or if it’s one……  ( Click for more )
December 25, 2020
     Don’t you just love this time of year?  The family get-togethers, exchanging gifts, playing in the snow and caroling.  Even the charitable contributions we make to the food and gift drives for the less fortunate warm our hearts as we express genuine concern for others.  (The……  ( Click for more )
  Last week we looked at what some consider to be controversial “Old Testament” attributes of God. Syd Brestel writing a powerful book dealing with such scripture and our personal vision of who God is, subtitled, Loving God for who He is… not who we want Him to be. 1   One biblical……  ( Click for more )
Syd Brestel has written a book title, God In His Own Image, subtitled, Loving God for who He is… not who we want Him to be.1  He is a successful preacher, the son of an old-school, fire and brimstone, rules oriented expositor of the gospel.  Syd did not thrive in that environment, his love of God and calling……  ( Click for more )
December 4, 2020
Jesus used parables to convey many of his deepest thoughts, using visual images from rural settings many in his audience lived in and could relate to.  The parable of the sower is a good example of this type of allegorical teaching.  (Mk. 4:1-20)  It still resonates with people today whether they be farmers,……  ( Click for more )
Much is made of the legal decisions and subsequent challenges made by pro-life and pro-choice forces, which amuses and perplexes many who live outside the U.S.  Across much of Europe, protest and counter-protest over abortion is almost unheard of, the same being true in many other countries with left-leaning governments……  ( Click for more )
November 20, 2020
Did the assertions of last week seem at all far-fetched?  An article by constitutional expert and national columnist Nat Hentoff, “Assisted Suicide: Just Say No Thanks”, highlighted the probable progression of ideas into acceptable “fact” which in turn translate into action; finding expression……  ( Click for more )
November 13, 2020

Sure they do. As individuals, we are all inclined to respond to certain situations differently and at times instinctively react to circumstances we are confronted by; but we are just as likely to “act out” at the end of a thought process in response to ideas both familiar and foreign. Going from exposure to new ideas or reinforcement of old ones to participation may take days or mere moments, the smaller the amount of consideration given an “opportunity” usually leading to worse results.

The point here being the distinct possibility – or likelihood…  ( Click for more )

Webster’s defines a disciple as a pupil of another’s ideas and ideals, and a follower as one who adheres to another’s beliefs and teachings. What’s the difference? It’s ultimately a matter of commitment, yet what a difference that can make. It would seem to be significant that the word Disciple is derived from the same word as Discipline: training that develops self-control, orderliness, obedience in thought and deed; making self a part of something – not copying a routine, belief or habit but learning ideas, and developing responses so thoroughly…  ( Click for more )

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