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If They Don't...........

One of the most profound parable/stories Jesus ever told is found in Luke 16.  It is simply called, "The Rich Man and Lazarus."  In it Jesus told the story of a wealthy man who apparently had everything he could possibly want, including a sumptuous diet.   The Lord pointed out that this man ate the best available food and enjoyed plenty of it!  While at the same he was gorging himself each day inside his estate, a poor, sick individual by the name of Lazarus lay outside the gate desiring only what fell on the floor from this rich man's table which the text never confirmed he ever received.  Instead, Jesus said of Lazarus that the dogs came and licked the sores all over his tormented body until the day came when he passed away at the gate.  Soon thereafter, the rich man also passed away, perhaps suddenly.

Jesus then said the angels came and carried Lazarus into Paradise to enjoy the very presence of Abraham, the famous OT Patriarch.  Then Jesus said the rich man's bo…

Seeing the World the Wrong Way

If you have ever read Psalm 73, you might understand the title of today's blog.  In fact, one of the reasons I love the Psalms is their ability to speak directly to my particular need.  Some years ago I developed the habit of reading five Psalms each morning beginning with the one matching the calendar date.  Then adding 30 and reading that Psalm, and then repeating that step four times.  Psalm 73 is about Asaph, a song and worship director under King David in the eleventh century BC.

In this Psalm or song, Asaph describes his skewed spiritual perspective of the state of the un-believers who appeared to him to be unscathed by disease, death, money problems, and the normal problems of life.  The songleader reaches the crescendo of his faulty worldview when he says,

All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence. for all day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning. vs 13-14.

Did you get that?  Asaph had come to the conclusion in his envious confu…

Pastors are Waiting!

The bottom line of doing missions is all about training the nationals to reach their own nations for Christ. Why?  Because they already speak the language, know the culture,  and love their own people.
Global Baptist Training Foundation provides theological training to indigenous pastors and church leaders in developing nations around the globe.  As leaders, God commands us in 2 Timothy 2:2 to train other faithful leaders who will in turn train others perpetually.  When we teach one national pastor, that one leader can train hundreds of others who will continuously reproduce themselves. 
That’s why we have created our “Sponsor a Pastor” program.  It allows you to help a pastor by covering the expenses of his training and agreeing to pray for that pastor as he reaches his nation for Christ.  It’s simple yet an incredibly effective strategy!
Go to www.gbtf.net and view the Sponsor a Pastor section.  Here you can see pictures of the pastors in each of the nations where GBTF currently train…

Why Pray?

The Christian life is based on relationship.  It is your relationship with God through Jesus His Son.  When a person trusts Jesus Christ to save him or her from the penalty of sin, that person is born into the family of God and becomes an adopted son or daughter with all the privileges belonging to Jesus Himself.  It is an amazing reality and one which most of us as believers either don't fully understand or appreciate or both!

One of the things that we can do as believers is pray.  Prayer is simply the communication of the believer with God.  It can involve praise, worship, quiet meditation on God, but most of all it involves asking and receiving.

Jesus said,

You have not because you ask not. (James 4:3)

Yes, its that simple, but prayer accomplishes so much more than just receiving things from God.  It also protects us.  Let me explain by pointing out a very familiar verse that we all quote from time to time.

The Lord is near: do not be anxious for anything. (Philippians 4:5-6)

Now…

The Bitterness of the Disobedient Life

Perhaps not everyone can identify with my title, but allow me to illustrate what I mean.  Remember the feeling as a kid when you first did something you knew was wrong, out of bounds, against the rules?  Wow!  It was like the discovery of a planet while still remaining on terra ferma!  Then if that was coupled with the right (wrong) people and a certain song on the radio, the combination could be almost lethal!     I mean of course, lethal to the soul.   Then if you add such things as a bad home life, a divorce, a deceased parent, being orphaned, or any number of other negative combinations, that first time could oftentimes turn into a habit that formed your life character.

That could well be a description of my early life, and, perhaps, it mirrors yours in some way.  My point today is something that goes well beyond the above scenario.  It involves the latter end of the process.  That is the point that comes to all of us as we age and face the certainty of death and the judgement to …

Who are You Competing Against?

I'm presently up in the Triad region of North Carolina visiting my middle daughter's family.  Todd and Amy have three of our eleven grandchildren and having just returned from Africa Sunday, we thought we would make a quick visit before getting back to the race, or should I say races?  The schedule this fall has been daunting and with bouts of health issues related to distance traveling I have struggled to keep my head above water!

As I write this morning I am in a state of recovery from a nasty travel bug that I am praying is nearing the end, not of me, but the illness!  Despite that, we thought the trip was important to make, and every parent and grandparent would agree.  We made this quick trip is to see our two seven year old twins compete in both soccer and hockey this weekend.  They are quick and fast runners and skaters and they absolutely thrive on competition.  In fact, sometimes that competitive bug can get them in real trouble!

In fact, out of control competition i…

What's the Secret to the Christian life?

Have you ever considered that question in terms of successfully navigating the often chaotic waters of your Christian walk?  The world seems to be constantly posing this question about the secret of life in about anything that matters to people.  In our churches today we have a lot of real questionable teaching about what success looks like and how living the victorious Christian life translates into reality in the here and now.  In Africa where I spend a lot of my time teaching, I am constantly confronted with the health and wealth gospel.  Amidst the African poverty which so often accompanies systemic government corruption, the common people fall easy prey to the preacher who promises that God is interested in giving them everything that life refuses them.  That can mean just about anything, but most of the time that means wealth in spite of poverty, health despite chronic health issues such as HIV, AIDS, and a whole slew of common health risks associated with an impoverished lifest…