Enjoy these entries - we hope they make you think.


Pray and Don't Worry

Monday, June 03, 2024

Clown World is in full swing these days, and craziness abounds everywhere. It’s easy to feel like the world is coming apart, our social fabric is ripping, and we can trust no one.

We have seen politically motivated upheavals at unusual levels over the past few decades. Rioters have burned cars and shops in some of our major cities, commandeered sections of those cities, swarmed the capitol building as elections were being counted. We have seen unrest on many major university campuses as young people protest the war waged by Israel against Palestinian terrorists.

We see injustice, and we cry out against it. It hurts our souls. We might say, alongside Solomon,

“When the righteous increase, the people rejoice,
but when the wicked rule, the people groan” (Proverbs 29.2).

Our hearts groan deeply, and we hear the cries around us.

“He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous
are both alike an abomination to God” (Proverbs 17.15).

Moses wrote:

“You shall appoint judges and officers in all your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality, and you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous. Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” (Deuteronomy 16.18–20)

When we see leaders and people in power who seem to blatantly disregard the rule of law and execute end-runs around the truth, we want to pull out our hair. We cry foul, but who is listening? Who cares?

The good news for Christians is we don’t have to worry about it. It is right to be upset about a travesty of justice, but we don’t have to worry in the sense of despair. God gives His people a peace the world cannot understand and a joy that cannot be stolen. How can we enjoy this supernatural peace? It is anchored in the knowledge of our God (Eph. 3.14–21), that He loves us and is for us and will never forsake us (Rom. 8.31–39). We don’t worry because our Father holds all things in His hands. We don’t worry because our Elder Brother is King over all nations. God reigns over Clown World.

Our little nation could crash down around us, cities could burn, the United States could become the Divided States, yet our Father and our King will always remain sovereign. They still love us. They still hear us. They still act on our behalf.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4.4–7)

So let us ask God for His help in all these things. Ask Him to judge all the injustice and to keep His people in the palm of His hand. This is the way to eliminate anxiety and be at peace.

Are You Confident in Your Salvation?

Sunday, May 05, 2024

"Why are you confident in your salvation?"

If you answer, "I am not confident in my salvation," that needs to be remedied! God wants you to be confident. Read 1 John 1.1-4, and see that God wants your joy to be full. You should "know that [you] know Him" (2.3), and you should "know that [you] are in Him" (2.5).

But allow me to address those who are confident in their salvation. Why are you confident?

Are you confident because of your church or your minister?

"I'm a member of the right church, and my preacher preaches the right doctrine."

Let us immediately dismiss this, for no person or body of men can ever save a soul.


For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written:

    “As I live, says the LORD,
    Every knee shall bow to Me,
    And every tongue shall confess to God.”

So each of us shall give account of himself to God. (Rom. 14.10-12)

Are you confident because you follow God's laws?

Does your assurance come from having been baptized (in the correct way and for the right reasons)? Does your confidence swell each first day of the week as you assemble with the saints and correctly partake of the Supper of the Lord? "I'm obedient."

Every Bible preacher under both Old and New Covenants preached, "Repent, and bear fruits worthy of repentance." The fruit of a changed heart surely should be seen in us, giving us a level of confidence as to our position with the Lord. However, the fruit is merely a sign of our salvation and not what causes it. The good works we do may reveal that we have been saved, but the works themselves don't save!

"He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy..." (Titus 3.5)

Are you confident because of your inward repentance and faith?

"I know my heart is right."

Please don't depend upon some attitude of your heart, some inherent internal goodness. Can you be saved without faith and repentance? Hardly! But these, like the good works above, only expose the fact that you are saved!

If we are honest, we know we are not worthy because the intents of our heart continue to hold traces of evil motives and weaknesses to temptation. When is faith ever strong enough? When is repentance ever full? We might believe our latest repentance came from complete and utter brokenness, but in a few more days our weaknesses resurface again! O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

From Where Does True Confidence Come?

Our confidence, ultimately, comes from Jesus Christ, the One whose word never falls to the ground, whose promises are never broken. He exists, He lives, and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Our confidence should never be in our seeking but in the One Whom we seek! Christ is our Yes and our Amen.


"For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee." (2 Cor. 1.20-22)


Brothers and Sisters, rest confidently in this, that God saves in Christ, not because of works we accomplish but because of THE WORK Christ has done and the work the Holy Spirit continues to do in us.

In Christ do I trust. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Gal. 2.20).

Thinking about Heaven

Monday, July 10, 2023

Do we believe that heaven will be worth the trouble and tears, the sorrows and struggles, the toiling and pain? Do we believe we will enjoy it better than this life? Are we looking forward to what God has prepared for us?

Perhaps our good days present the greatest threat to our faith: the days we feel excellent and energized, like we are masters of our own destinies. Our good days can make us lose focus on spiritual reality. As a young man before marriage, I really hoped Jesus didn’t return right then because there was so much I wanted to do and experience in this life. Do you feel that way sometimes? Is this life so captivating and pleasurable that you don’t want it to end?

The more trouble we experience, the greater a Christian’s hope becomes in a life beyond this one. In a sense, then, pain and trials are gifts of God which increase our character and our faith. “We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Rom. 5.3–4). Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Another danger to our faith is our fuzzy expectation for what lies beyond the veil. What will we experience when we cross the Jordan, when we sleep the sleep, when we descend into Sheol? What does our resurrection promise? Where is our hope?

Barley fieldWhat is your picture of heaven? Do you fully expect it to be awesome?

Dear Christian, in Christ Jesus you have eternal life! “And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life” (1 John 2.25). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3.16). “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6.54).

This is the HOPE of every Christian. “…having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Tit. 3.7). This kind of hope is an expectant certainty of gaining the promise of God. This is not the “I hope I win a million dollars in the lottery” kind of hope. It’s the “my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness” kind of hope. We hope by faith in the sure word of the Lord.

God wants you to KNOW you have eternal life:

And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5.11–13)

God create this life for us, and there are so many wonderful, beautiful, thrilling aspects to it. And this is the world under the curse of sin! How much more wonderful, beautiful, and thrilling will eternal life be, in which there is no sorrow, pain, or tears? A contemporary song explores the idea of what it will be like:

Surrounded by Your glory
What will my heart feel?
Will I dance for You Jesus
Or in awe of You be still?
Will I stand in Your presence
Or to my knees, will I fall?
Will I sing hallelujah?
Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine… (by MercyMe)

I think we should imagine. It’s going to be real for us in the not-too-distant future. It’s already real for those who have gone on before us. I have loved ones who have crossed the Jordan already; I’m sure you do, too.

God tells us He will one day destroy this current world with fire and create a New Heaven and a New Earth (2 Pet. 3.10–13; Rev. 3.12; 21.1, 10). I don’t know how He will do that or what it will look like, exactly, but the promise of a New Heaven and a New Earth does not sound like floating around on clouds strumming harps for eternity. No, I am looking forward to a robust economy with fulfilling work to do, amazing food to eat, and glorious fellowship.

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” (Rev. 21.5)

We are told we will have a body like Jesus’ new body (1 Cor. 15.49; Phil. 3.20–21). There won’t be any marriage, but we will be like the angels of God (Matt. 22.30). We will have real bodies, and we will recognize and know one another. And we will be with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit forever! God once walked with Adam and Eve in the garden; He will do that once again with us. I’m looking forward to a new city with a river running through it. The Tree of Life will be bearing fruit constantly on the banks of that river (Rev. 22.1–2).

And we shall reign with Christ forever and ever (Rev. 22.5; 2 Tim. 2.12).