The Parable of the Sower and the Seed exemplifies a number things that can happen to prevent us from having a place in God's spiritual harvest.
Ronny Graham, recognizing that some of the most poignant and hurtful persecution we experience comes from our own families and extended families, rather than, as some might expect, from embittered members of the fellowship, maintains that we must assiduous. . .
Clyde Finklea, focusing on Winston Churchill's wartime advice, "Never give in," insists that it proved good advice during the Second World War, and it is good advice for us now as we approach the horrible time of the Great Tribulation, when betra. . .
John Reid discusses two forms of patience, showing how we need it to build godly character.
We should cultivate the Heinz Ketchup motto ('The best things come to those who wait'), rather than the Burger King approach ('Your way, right away').
John Reid, focusing on Luke 21:9, encourages the development of patience, perseverance, and endurance in the horrific times ahead, safe-guarding the precious calling God has given us. We have been mandated to endure to the end, processing all the trials an. . .
When we were baptized and gave our lives by covenant to God, we committed ourselves to a lifetime of change. This change would be partly internal ...
Like a marathoner or a soldier fighting a battle, we are admonished to endure to the end, standing firm, holding our ground, and resisting assaults.
Patience, a fruit of God's Spirit and a trait He abundantly displays, is not a passive turning away, but an active effort to control bursts of anger.
Hope is the ability to expect positive outcomes despite current circumstances. Faith, hope, and love are the three elements of the fuel for our spiritual journey.
Affliction seems to be an integral part of Christianity. However, when it is viewed in the context of eternity, it is relatively light.
Noah is an outstanding example of persevering through a dreadful experience. Not only did he persevere through the Flood, but also through 120 years of preparations.
Ted Bowling, reflecting on the potter and clay analogy, reminds us that the Master Potter continually molds and shapes His people. Finding different kinds of clay in the riverbed, he weathers it to the point it stinks (like our own sins), and then pounds t. . .
Patience in the face of trying events is a clear indication that we are developing genuine godliness. We can learn to turn trials into positive growth opportunities.
Clyde Finklea, reminding us that spiritual maturity does not come about without difficulty, asserts that suffering is one of the tools God uses to perfect us. Suffering is part of a process to refine endurance and character. At the onset of a trial, we mus. . .
In the turbulent and uncertain times ahead, we will need extraordinary fortitude and courage. Trials can improving perseverance or active endurance.
David Grabbe, assessing the impact of struggles, pressures, and tribulations of our spiritual journey, reveals that Christ's followers will have to endure afflictions and fiery trials as He prepares them for His Kingdom. Some detractors have tried to preac. . .
If anything epitomizes the futility of trusting in this world, it is pictured by the bankruptcy filing by Detroit last year. The city was once America's manufacturing hub ...
Like with the heroes of faith, our testing will be commensurate with the job God has prepared for us. We must make our relationship with God our top priority.
John Reid, taking a cue from prisoner of war examples, identifies four factors that will boost a person's resolve to endure sore trials: (1) Hope (that the war would end) (2) Faith (in the ability to tough it out) (3) Vision (of being able to escape), lead. . .
In my high school yearbook, quotes were placed under the pictures of each senior. I do not remember the quote that was under my name, but I do remember one of them. It was ...
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on Paul's warning of cunningly devised myths, affirms that Greek and Roman myths were not based on reality, but these fanciful tales nevertheless shaped the world view of much of western culture, including our attitude toward hope. . .
Martin Collins, citing a startling 700,000 assaults ("intimate partner violence" episodes) in 2001, accounting for 20% of felonious crime, suggests that patience and longsuffering are diminishing commodities in modern Israel, while selfishness an. . .
John Ritenbaugh focuses on the remarkable energizing capacity of hope. In the familiar triumvirate (faith, hope, and love) faith serves as the foundation, love serves as the goal, and hope serves as the great motivator or energizer. Unique among the religi. . .
John Reid, focusing upon a diary excerpt of a pioneer woman on the Oregon Trail, asserts that the trait of persistence is impossible without a transcendent and ardent vision (Proverbs 29:18). Having vision prevents us from casting off life-saving restraint. . .
We must develop an active, God-given restraint and constancy in endurance while facing trials and waiting for Christ's return, trusting that God will provide.
Life seems to be one trial after another. However, God has revealed an astounding facet of God's love that should give us the faith to soldier on.
God promises certain Christians that He will keep them from the Tribulation—the "hour of trial." Here are the characteristics of those whom God will protect.
Richard Ritenbaugh acknowledges that although many in God's church have gone through sore trials and tests of sorts, virtually no one has gone through the nightmarish persecutions suffered by the early Christians in Imperial Rome. Because most of us have l. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh, beginning with an apocryphal Jewish tale about Abraham's impatience with a guest, focuses on American's cultural impatience." The whole world now seems über-impatient. If God had the same character traits that we do, we would . . .
Richard Ritenbaugh focuses upon an inspiring incident in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, in which a runner, Derek Redmond, who had previously dropped out of competition because of an injured Achilles tendon, had another setback, a pulled hamstring, causing hi. . .
The Bible abounds in metaphors of warfare, indicating that the Christian's walk will be characterized by stress, sacrifice, and deprivation in building faith.
Acts 27 teaches that we must distinguish among several types of suffering. Regardless of the type of suffering, we must remember that God will deliver us.
Jesus foretells that "the love of many will grow cold" at the end time. Is this happening right now, or is there love that is just difficult to recognize?
With all the military metaphors in the Bible, there can be no doubt that God likens the Christian life to a war against the evils and temptations we face.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the writings of Malachi Martin, suggests that as the Catholic College of Cardinals have a large number of prudent agnostics within their ranks, we also have a great many fence sitters within the church of God, demonstrating a. . .
Faithfulness in a person ultimately rests on his or her trust in God, and if a person is going to be faithful, its because he or she believes what God says.
The type of wisdom Ecclesiastes teaches is not of the purely philosophical variety, but is a spiritual sagacity combined with practical skill in living.
John Ritenbaugh, reiterating that the times we are about to go through will be unparalleled history, suggests that we need to keep our vision before us. We have the obligation to be loyal to Jesus Christ. We cannot, as our forebears did on the Sinai, harde. . .
John Reid, drawing on an example of an exhausted military medic, explores the problem of burnout with the attending symptoms of collapse, callousness, and giving up. The inability of solving mounting cultural and social problems despite advances in technol. . .
Hope conveys the idea of absolute certainty of future good, and that is exactly what the Bible tells us we have upon our calling and acceptance of God's way.
Some of us, facing the stress of the times, may simply be going through the motions but losing every vestige of faith. We must strengthen our convictions.
James Beaubelle reminds us that, if it were not for the ability to change, we could never grow to become like Christ. We may begin our journey on shifting sand, but we must end on the solid mountain. Not all change on our part is productive, especially if . . .
Ryan McClure reflects that the tearful goodbyes at the close of the Feast of Tabernacles often lead to a kind of post-Feast blues. Contemplating the soon-coming Satanic festivals of Halloween, Christmas and New Year's takes the edge off the Feast—an. . .
Clyde Finklea, marveling at how quickly heresies infiltrated the early church, as identified by the warning messages of Paul, John, Jude, and James, asserts that Peter in his second epistle (II Peter1:1-7) provides not only an effective antidote to corrosi. . .
The book of Hebrews provides reasons to recapture flagging zeal, focusing on the reason for our hope and faith, establishing Christ's credentials.
Martin Collins, reflecting on the writing of II Peter, a document composed in prison during a time of intense persecution and a time of false teachings which condoned a virulent sexual permissiveness and moral relativity, asserts that this epistle was used. . .
Martin Collins, describing different reactions of certain substances to fire, uses this variation of reaction as a metaphor of our differing reactions to fiery trials. As Christians, we can be conditioned to rejoice in trials, paradoxically having joy in t. . .
Biblically, patience is far more than simple endurance or longsuffering. The patience that God has shown man gives us an example of what true, godly patience is.
John Ritenbaugh poses the question of whether technology really improves our character or quality of life. Are we really better people because we ride around in cars rather than walk? Technology, because of the spin it puts on expectations, can be a great . . .
We learn from Abraham's experience to trust God even when we have incomplete information. When we attempt to take the expedient way out, we will run into trouble.
Martin Collins, focusing on the designation of six cities of refuge in Exodus 21:12-13, finds a spiritual parallel outlined in God's annual Holy days, beginning with Christ as a refuge for us in the Passover and our making a refuge for others during the Fe. . .
David Grabbe, reminding us that the Days of Unleavened Bread are about leaving one venue (sin and Satan) and moving toward deliverance, warns us that as we leave sin, we do not want to leave our first love, as did the Ephesus congregation as recorded in Re. . .
John Ritenbaugh, referring to the words of salvation (election, calling, regeneration, conversion, sanctification, and glorification), suggests that we are entering the most difficult time of the sanctification process, a time Jeremiah described as a man i. . .
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