Today's Little Lift
by Jim Bullington
Soundbites are just that, soundbites. They do not an entire meal describe! They are a small sample of one ingredient that was used in the recipe of one item of a seven course meal! The title of today's message, Religion is Useless is a sound bite; moreover, it is an example of how very wrong we can be when we isolate one fragment of what has been said on a subject and treat it as though it were all that was said!
Here's the text from which this soundbite is taken: “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word ( Click for more )
Dirt isn’t always obvious. Sometimes it hides behind a young boy’s ears; ask any mother! Sometimes it masquerades as wholesome and clean. The biblical writers frequently wrote from a perspective that seems a bit odd to us, especially as we adapt and conform to the world around us. James warned about dirt, dirt that can soil and damage our spiritual existence. The dirt about which he warned was not of the ordinary type, the type that hides behind boy’s ears; the dirt of which he warned was a more insidious type and capable of far greater harm. As we continue our look ( Click for more )
Some biblical texts are richer than others in practical and meaningful applications. For instance, it takes some effort on my part to get a practical lesson from, “Of Ezra, Meshullam; of Amariah, Jehohanan; Of Melicu, Jonathan; of Shebaniah, Joseph; Of Harim, Adna; of Meraioth, Helkai; Of Iddo, Zechariah; of Ginnethon, Meshullam;” (Nehemiah 12.13-16). Don't get me wrong, there is a practical lesson there, but it takes work to see it. Some passages aren't like that; the gems are exposed without so much as a spade to turn over the surface soil! Today's message and the two ( Click for more )
“Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because 'All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, But the word of the LORD endures forever.' Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.” (1 Peter 1.22-25).
Jesus gave commandment to His ( Click for more )
What do you know? What do you really know? Do you know God? Do you really know God? Are you aware that there are several ways of knowing God, but only one of them results in eternal bliss? Today’s message will note a few ways that the Bible speaks of knowing God and distinguish between the futile ways and the true way of knowing Him.
Concerning the Gentile nations, Paul wrote, “For since the creation of the world His [God’s] invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they [the ( Click for more )
We could start this message with the age-old question, “What’s in a name?” Or, perhaps it would be better to just wait and let events reveal the larger question: “Must I let circumstances decide who I am?”
“Now the two of them [Naomi and Ruth] went until they came to Bethlehem. And it happened, when they had come to Bethlehem, that all the city was excited because of them; and the women said, ‘Is this Naomi?’ But she said to them, ‘Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went ( Click for more )
What is the Bible? Is it, as some claim, man’s record of his attempts to find God? Or, is it something entirely different, i.e. God’s means by which He revealed Himself to man?
Surely there is a world of difference in how one treats the Bible based upon how it is perceived. These various perceptions are the basis for the tremendous differences in how we as human beings respond to the Bible. Not so long ago, I worked with a man who was fond of referring to Jesus and His apostles as JC and his boys! As an atheist, he used this phrase for its shock value. However, had ( Click for more )
Here’s a logic test for you. God said, “When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood.” (Isaiah 1.15). A spokesperson for God said, “The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry.” (Proverbs 34.15). Given that both of the above statements are accurately quoted and can be trusted as truthful, what can you know about the people to whom God was speaking in the first passage?
If my thinking is correct, I believe that we can ( Click for more )
How can mortal man comment on such a lofty concept? What can be written that has not already been said in more eloquent or understandable terms? What possible light can a frail one such as I shed on such a gigantic source of illumination? Some passages only beg to be exposed to the heart and mind and let the power of God take it from there. Today’s focus text is one such verse; our efforts will be limited to merely opening the passage before your eyes and allowing God to speak to you through that process.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld ( Click for more )
“And the evening and the morning were the third day.” (Genesis 1.13). Not to be monotonous, but the same can be said for the first, second, fourth, fifth, and sixth days (see Genesis 1 verses 5,8,19,23, and 31)! Concerning creation, details were omitted that pique my interest and some details were included that seem not so important to me. But, I’m not God so it doesn’t matter a great deal what I think about Genesis 1. I have, however, wondered why He said the same thing six times about the evening and the morning constituting each of the six days. Today’s ( Click for more )
“He [Jesus] was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1.10-13)
The word right in the focus text (above) can also be understood as meaning power or ability. The right to become is the power to become. The power to become is man's greatest power. The acorn has ( Click for more )
Freedom to speak is a treasured privilege. As Americans, we pride ourselves in the fact that we are free to speak our minds about any subject as long as we do not cross the line into illegal activities such as slander or libel. However, this does not mean that messages which oppose common decency and goodness should be allowed to stand without opposition. People are free to say what they will, but so are we free to counteract that which we believe to be egregious or evil. Such were Paul’s directions to Titus in today’s focus text.
He wrote: “For there are many ( Click for more )
Jesus Christ is not a lesser god; He is God with no qualifications! The New Testament repeatedly affirms this proposition. Today's focus text is one of many clear passages which teaches this truth. It reads as follows: “But to the Son He [God the Father] says: 'Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.'” (Hebrews 1.8). Our message today will note some marvelous implications derived from this verse.
First, let me say that I do not claim to understand all the mysteries of the Trinity. However, the fact that I ( Click for more )
“Curiosity,” it is said, “killed the cat.” When O. Henry wrote Schools and Schools in the early 1900's, I doubt that he knew that his original expression would be altered and carried forward as a common proverb. Regardless of his intentions, the cat and curiosity have been inextricably linked for all time. However, cats are not the only curious creatures that God made; humans also have their share of the population that is almost willing to die just to find out a bit of hidden information. Today's message deals with curiosity from a biblical perspective.
“And ( Click for more )
Is it possible to be wrong while exercising a right? Today's message responds to this question.
Speech is a gift. The ability to speak and the right to speak are privileges we frequently take for granted, especially here in America. These rights are guaranteed by the first amendment to our constitution; it reads: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. ( Click for more )
The Bible claims to contain messages that were not authored by mere men; it claims in thousands of places that God authored its words and transferred them to men in a variety of ways. To cite one such passage, the book of Hebrews begins this way: “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son...” (Hebrews 1.1-2). This is one of many claims. However claims are just that; proof is something entirely different.
What assurance do we have that the words that are contained in ( Click for more )
A New Year – it is mine (and yours) to do with as we please. Though I don't really consider the content of this article to be a “New Year's Resolution,” I couldn't think of a better one to make.
The beloved apostle wrote, “I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father. And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This ( Click for more )
NOTE - THIS WILL BE MY FINAL ARTICLE UNTIL JANUARY 4,2010. HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
Is America a Christian nation? That question is being batted about in many quarters and by many people today. Usually arguments regarding the subject matter center around the intentions of our national forefathers and the documents which they originated and/or signed. However, I think the question is far more complex than that; today’s message will look at the question from a different perspective.
At the outset, let me attempt to satisfy the verbal purists that might be reading this ( Click for more )
An old adage: Politics make strange bedfellows. I don’t know who first coined this phrase (and probably don’t want to know). However, history has proven the accuracy of the observation. The history of which I speak is not all recent history either. The tendency to such behaviors is as old as government itself. Today’s message will examine one such biblical event from the middle of the first century AD and then draw some lessons from it.
“Now Herod had been very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; but they came to him with one accord, and having made ( Click for more )
Some people will do almost anything for celebrity access. Some will breach the strictest of security measures to have the briefest of encounters with someone who they think can help them in some way. Today's message is about some folks who sought to use a common name to gain access to Jesus.
“Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the [Passover] feast. Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, 'Sir, we wish to see Jesus.' Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus. But Jesus ( Click for more )
Fulfilled prophecies are powerful arguments for the inspiration of the Bible. It is impossible to conceive how the prophecies of the Old Testament could have been fulfilled apart from Divine guidance controlling the hands of the authors as well as controlling the events of history. Isaiah was one of the prophets that spoke frequently and vividly of Messiah and His work. Read on!
“Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased! I will put My Spirit upon Him, And He will declare justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel nor cry out, Nor ( Click for more )
Attitude isn’t everything, but it cannot be replaced by anything! I don’t know who said this, but whoever it was, I agree with her/him one hundred percent. Before you jump to conclusions about today’s message, I’ll tell you it isn’t what you think! It is not about Esau’s attitude, the man being spoken of in the focus text. Rather, it is about our attitude toward God’s word and the attitudes of those who handle it in critical capacities.
I invite you to read carefully the following four excerpts from today’s focus text (Hebrews 12:17). ( Click for more )
I heard about a special prayer meeting that was called at a particular church. Specifically the members of the small country congregation were called together to pray for rain in view of the severe drought that had besieged the farming community. An atheist that lived nearby stopped one of the members as she was walking back to her house. As they chatted, the “believer” proudly announced that she was returning home after a specially called meeting to pray for rain. The atheist, having an analytical mind, remarked, “Well, I guess that is all well and good, but I am ( Click for more )
“The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: ‘Hosanna! “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!” The King of Israel!’ Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written: ‘Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold, your King is coming, Sitting on a donkey’s colt.’ His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these ( Click for more )
Solomon wrote, “I, the Preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. And I set my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven; this burdensome task God has given to the sons of man, by which they may be exercised. I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 1.12-14). A materialist is someone who believes that “... physical matter is the only or fundamental reality and that all being and processes and phonomena can be explained as manifestations or results ( Click for more )
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