Perhaps you have been in this situation, if not, use your imagination and follow along, I promise to get you back safe and sound. You are in the woods. Maybe you’re camping, maybe a family picnic, or a hiking trip. You decide to follow a well marked trail, but somewhere along the way, something interesting catches your eye and you step off the path and wander into the wood – just a little ways, just to get a look.
You pursue the interesting thing a little farther, then a little more. Suddenly you realize that you’ve wandered too far and turn around to find your way back to the hiking trail. But as you walk, nothing looks familiar and you’re not finding signs of your previous passage. You are completely turned around and have no idea which way to go.
- Photo by iprole @ stock.xchng
At times like this people often say, “I sure wish I had a compass.” Many times people do have a compass, but they left it at home, thinking they would not need it. Maybe they don’t even know where it is, they just know they have one. Who needs it; I have a GPS.
Of course having a compass does you no good if you don’t know how to work the thing. Oh, the basic premise is simple enough; the needle points north – but is the north-pointing part the red end or the white end? And how does that help you if you have no idea in which direction your camp lies?
At this point, you may be wishing you’d paid closer attention as a kid when the Scoutmaster went over all this stuff.
The Bible is very much like a compass. It can be an invaluable tool for finding one’s way. Many people own one, but have no idea how to use it… or where it is at the moment. Some people dismiss it as unnecessary; they can find their own way through the woods. Some scoff at it; just a clever bit of folklore, completely outdated in this age of modern technology and “enlightened” society. Continue reading “Lost in the Woods”
Kindness is often a simple matter, but has so many profound consequences. It reaches into the cracks and crevices of life’s most difficult circumstances. We never know when our Christian influence will extend far beyond our expectation. Most times it happens when we are kind. In the common courtesies of life, we lay the ground work for whatever witness we may offer for Christ. The influence which Jesus has upon our lives is expressed more by our kind and gentle ways than any other aspect of our faith. The love of God can never be promoted in a hateful way. All our loud and prolific pronouncements of Christianity are for naught if there is an absence of kindness. Continue reading “KINDNESS”
If you had lived during the days of Noah would your lifestyle have qualified you for the cruise? Could God have used your kind of commitment to be the father or mother of a great nation as He did Abraham and Sarah? Would your ability to survive adversity have enabled you to pass Joseph’s test? What kind of disposition do you think you would have had on the Exodus journey? Had you lived in later Old Testament days would you have had David’s love for God, Solomon’s wisdom, Elijah’s candor, Isaiah’s insight, and Ezekiel’s dreams? Could you have demonstrated the faith of New Testament disciples, the endurance of Paul, and the future hope of John? Do these and other spiritual heroes of the past give you reason for a more energized life in Christ? Perhaps these questions seem a little strange and yet they focus upon some essential components of our Christian faith. One of the beautiful benefits of studying the Bible from a biographical perspective is that we learn from character association. We identify with ancient personalities. We sense their situations. We take their side and fight their fight. We join them in the faith. To mentally transpose ourselves to some circumstance in the distant past is to sharpen our ethical and moral skills for present situations. To observe as well as to understand ancient behavior gives us hope for our own spiritual survival. Although the leading characters in both Old and New Testament history had commendable qualities their frailties were also obvious. Sometimes we learn from their strengths, and again we learn from their weaknesses. Continue reading “HISTORY LESSONS”