Peace if possible. Truth at all costs. ~ Martin Luther

Written In the Earth?

written in the earth“Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)

Jesus spoke these words to the 70 disciples whom He sent out on a short-term mission trip, to preach in all the towns and cities where He was about to visit. When they returned to Him after the assignment they were very excited about how God had used them, saying “Even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”

Christians have this tendency to be very impressed with signs and wonders, but Jesus’ response was designed to check that appetite in us. He reminds us that the greatest miracle of all (which in 2014 is happening tens of thousands of times every day all around the world) is when a person comes to faith in Him, and is granted eternal life; their name added to the roll in heaven.

Think of that. We were once laying with the whole world in the lap of Satan (1 John 5:19), but God adopted us as children, translated us into the kingdom of light, and made us citizens of heaven. He raised us up from spiritual death. Every Christian is a miracle.

Now, contrast Luke 10:20 with …

“O LORD, the hope of Israel, All who forsake You shall be ashamed. ‘Those who depart from Me Shall be written in the earth, Because they have forsaken the LORD, The fountain of living waters.’” (Jeremiah 17:13)

Believers’ names are written in heaven. Unbelievers are written in the earth.

Here, then, is the most pressing question of life! … Where is your name written? [Continue reading]

The Problem of Pragmatic Evangelism

Steve Lenon is a dear friend. We met in the late 1990's when we were both pastoring churches in the Devonport area in Tasmania. He's an evangelist at heart. These days we live on opposite sides of the world, and I so miss the face to face fellowship … [Continue reading]

The Ministry of the Ascended Lord

Today is "Ascension Day". Acts 1:9 … “Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.” And what a sight that must have been. The disciples had recently seen their crucified … [Continue reading]

Missed It By That Much! How Humanistic Preaching Gets the Gospel Wrong

Browsing through the latest issue of “Preaching” Magazine this week (always at least 1 or 2 helpful articles), I was troubled again to read the page of suggested illustrations for spicing up sermons. Here’s an example: “Have you heard of any of … [Continue reading]

I Find No Fault in Him

“Pilate then went out again, and said to them, ‘Behold I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in him.” (John 19:4) History has not been kind to Pontius Pilate. He was prefect of Judea from AD 26-36, but ultimately was … [Continue reading]

“Eating Up the Lights”: The Challenge I Saw in a Painting

The painting featured at the top of this post is entitled “Eating Up the Lights” by artist Gary R. Lucy. The story behind it is remarkable. (Click on the image to get a bit closer look.) I came across this painting recently when I traveled with my … [Continue reading]

5 Simple Keys to a Regret-Free Marriage

Tomorrow, Alli and I will celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary. I am so very grateful for our life together. It’s wonderful, and that’s largely because Alli is the best person I know. I feel like I cheated the rest of the world to nab her. (But I’m … [Continue reading]

Stress Is Harmful? Maybe Not So Much After All [Video]

We've all been told repeatedly that stress is bad for us. Deadly in some cases. But Health Psychologist Kelly McGonigal presents fascinating new scientific evidence that challenges this idea that stress is the big bad ogre. Studies now indicate … [Continue reading]

Some Things Are Worth Fighting For

“And when there had been much dispute …” (Acts 15:7) Isn’t this a little embarrassing to be included in the Bible? Paul and Barnabas arrived back in Jerusalem to get answers from the other apostles. There had been a growing debate about the new … [Continue reading]

“The Renegade Pastor” by Nelson Searcy [Book Review]

This book review is, I guess, of most interest to my colleagues in ministry (although it would make a great gift for your pastor!) By my count, The Renegade Pastor, is Nelson Searcy's 12th book in print, not including scores of other ebooks and … [Continue reading]

Overcoming the Death Grip of Bitterness

"So Haman went out that day joyful and with a glad heart; but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate, and that he did not stand or tremble before him, he was filled with indignation against Mordecai ..... so he had the gallows made."  (Esther … [Continue reading]