When the apostle Paul wrote this letter to his young student Timothy, he taught him some profound truths that I often apply in my life. I suppose when Timothy received these instructions, he was about my age – a young man still developing his skills at evangelism, teaching and instructing.
We live in a day and age that everywhere we turn, there's a "self-help" theory. Books, videos and dvds, websites, world-renown speakers, you name it — all dedicated to helping us "feel good about ourselves". Yet somehow, still many of us struggle with self-consciousness, even as Christians!
The Biblical feast of Pesach (Passover) has ended, as once again, those who celebrated recalled the deliverance of the Jewish people from the land of Egypt where they had served as slaves. The word for slaves in Hebrew is "avadim", which, interestingly, is also the same word for "servants."
We are called to be servants, are we not? Well, what does a servant do? He (or she) carries out the will of his master. A servant doesn't tell his master what to do — he performs whatever tasks the master requests of him. A servant doesn't choose what days or times it's most convenient to serve his master. A servant's function is simply to follow and obey his master’s instructions. A servant does not develop a vision for the master either. The master is the one with the vision — and he wants his servants to be ready and available to carry out that vision and bring it to fruition.
After Mt. St. Helens blew up in 1980, one church needed a great deal of cleaning up. Ash was in the parking lot and all over the inside because of open windows. A woman met the pastor in the hallway on Friday and asked "Why don't we get the High School and College kids to come in and help poor Fred clean this place up?
During his reign, King Frederick William III of Prussia found himself in a bind. Wars had been costly, and in trying to build the nation, he was seriously short of finances. After careful reflection, he decided to ask the women of Prussia if they would bring their jewelry of gold and silver to be melted down for their country. Each piece of jewelry he received, he would exchange for a decoration of bronze or iron as a symbol of his gratitude. These decorations would be inscribed, 'I gave gold for iron, 18l3'.
Chanukah, a time of celebration and rededication, began last night here in the Land and for Jewish people all over the globe. Those of us who are grafted in through the atoning work of Messiah, we who know God, have an opportunity to see the deeper significance in the Jewish holidays and are not only welcome but encouraged to celebrate as well!
Life can get so hectic sometimes — we often try to do too many things at once. But when our schedule gets that hectic, we need to start investing in some quality time with the Lord. The operating word here is "investing".
If you were to visit Paris, you could see the statues of two men, both named Louis.
The first is of Louis XIV, France's absolute monarch. He represents one of the supreme achievements of greatness through power. His philosophy of life was that the whole nation and the world, should serve him.
Matthew 13:34-35 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world. […]
Once there was a king who decided to set aside a special day to honor his greatest subject. When the big day arrived, a large gathering took place in the palace courtyard and our finalists were brought forward.
A large group of European pastors came to one of D. L. Moody's Northfield Bible Conferences in Massachusetts in the late 1800s. Following the European custom of the time, each guest put his shoes outside his room to be cleaned by the hall servants overnight. But of course this was America and there were no hall servants.
In the year 1920, young Oswald Smith stood before the examining board for the selection of missionaries. He had wanted to be a missionary for as long as he could remember, and for all that time had been crying out to God that He might open a door for him to do so. Finally, his time had come. There he stood awaiting his destiny. His long-awaited was about to come…"No."
Most people overlook a very significant part of the parable of the prodigal son, which is – the elder son received his inheritance as well! (Luke 15:12b) According to the custom of the times, the older son's inheritance would have been twice that of the younger son. In that light, his response to his younger brother's initiative, a response of silence…speaks volumes.
It was a stormy night in Birmingham, England, and Hudson Taylor was to speak at a meeting at the Severn Street schoolroom. His hostess assured him that nobody would attend on such a stormy night, but Taylor insisted on going. "I must go even if there is no one but the doorkeeper." Less than a dozen people showed up, but the meeting was marked with unusual spiritual power.
J. Oswald Sanders, a Godly man and former director of Overseas Missionary Fellowship, once wrote about a position he desired. As he contemplated lobbying for the position, at one point, while walking through the city of Auckland, New Zealand, a verse of Scripture came to his mind, "Seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not!"
A noncommissioned officer was directing the repairs of a military building during the American Revolution. He was barking orders to the soldiers under his command, trying to get them to raise a heavy wooden beam.
In the mid 1850's a troubled teenager from Northfield, Massachusetts moved to Boston to try to find work. He hadn't gone to school beyond the fifth grade; he couldn't spell, his grammar was awful and his manners were brash and crude. Thankfully, an uncle took him on as a shoe salesman–on condition that he be obedient and that he attend church.
A wise man once said, "There's nothing more powerful than the heart of a volunteer". Webster describes a volunteer this way — one who renders a service or receives a conveyance or transfer of property without giving valuable consideration.
Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. An old mountaineer and his wife were sitting in front of the fireplace one evening just whiling away the time. After a long silence, the wife said: "Jed, I think it's raining. Go […]