by Douglas Bachorik, director of music studies
Recently my family transferred to a new place in Quezon City. In fact, we are living along Maginhawa Street – one of the best food neighborhoods in Metro Manila, maybe even the world! With so many options, the problem we have now is deciding what to eat. While that is a relatively easy thing to decide (we eat at home most of the time) other decisions in life are not so easy, but are important.
During the process of unpacking books and papers for my home office/study, I came across a helpful article in my wife’s files. Probably written in the 1970s, it offers simple, biblical help in making decisions about the “gray” areas of life – those activities that God has not directly addressed in the Bible. I hope it will be a help to you in your life and ministry, as it has been to me.
by E. Robert Jordan (1925-2009)
Principles to follow:
1. Is it best? I Corinthians 6:12
2. Does it bind? 1 Corinthians 6:12
3. Does it build others? 1 Corinthians 10:23
4. Does it boast in God? 1 Corinthians 10:31
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT QUESTIONABLE THINGS
How often have you heard a Christian say, “Can I do this, can I go there, am I allowed to have this?”, and we soon learn as Christians that the Bible does not speak about everything EXPLICITLY, but it does give principles how to govern everything that comes into your life.
The Bible is not only written in commandments. “Thou shalt not...” Exodus 20, “Go ye therefore...” Matthew 28:19, 20, “Preach the Word...” II Timothy 4:2, and many other such commandments, the Bible is also written in very explicit principles which govern all of the questionable things that come into our life that are not explicitly governed under a commandment in the Bible.
The worldly or carnal have little or no concern at all about obeying the Lord, and even some of the explicit commandments of “thou shalt” and “thou shalt not” do not bother them, let alone the questionable things. They feel that they have a right to do what they want to do and they will do what pleases them.
Then, how does a godly, dedicated, “I want to obey God” Christian judge questionable things, whether they are right or wrong? Let me suggest at least eleven principles by which the godly Christian can judge everything that comes into his life.
ELEVEN PRINCIPLES FOR BELIEVERS TO JUDGE ALL MATTERS ON QUESTIONABLE THINGS
1. DOES IT MAKE ME LOOK, ACT, OR BE WORDLY? I John 2:15, 16
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
2. IS THERE ANY DOUBT ABOUT THE THING THAT I WANT TO DO? Romans 14:22, 23
“Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”
3. AM I BASING IT JUST ON MY FEELINGS? Proverbs 14:12
“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
4. IS IT ONLY BY MY CONSCIENCE? Titus 1:15
“Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.”
5. DOES IT BUILD ME UP IN THE LORD AND MAKE ME A BETTER BELIEVER? I Corinthians 10:23
“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.”
6. COULD IT BE A STUMBLING BLOCK TO OTHER BELIEVERS? Romans 14:13
“Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.”
7. WILL IT HARM MY BODY? I Corinthians 6:19, 20
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.”
8. DOES IT GLORIFY THE LORD? I Corinthians 10:31
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
9. CAN I DO IT IN HIS NAME? Colossians 3:17
“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
10. HOW DOES IT APPEAR TO OTHERS? I Thessalonians 5:22
“Abstain from all appearance of evil.”
11. DO I WANT TO REAP THIS IN MY CHILDREN’S LIVES? Ephesians 6:4
“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
If you really love the Lord, you will want in every way to be a better Christian and to please the Lord. These principles will, I believe, go a long way in answering questions for you regarding questionable things.
[Originally printed and distributed by The Calvary Baptist Press. No copyright or date given. This version contains slight editing. Dr. Jordan was a prominent 20th Century fundamentalist, founding pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, and founder of Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary (now closed), Lansdale, Pennsylvania (USA). The publication of this article does not imply a complete endorsement of those ministries.]
Dr. Phil Kamibayashiyama serves as the director of BJMBC and teaches Theology.
“The LORD has done great things for us; whereof we are glad” (Psalm 126:3). Ultimately, our joy is in the great deliverance that God has shown to all of us who have claimed Jesus’ cross as our only salvation from sin. We also rejoice in what the Lord is doing in our lives and ministries each day. Below are summer highlights that God’s hand is still powerful to work and save.
After final exams, Matt Herbster and Matt Collier of the Wilds Christian Camp and Camps Abroad taught our commencement module class on “The Youth Camp and Counseling Young People.” Later that weekend, they led a two-day E-Camp (evangelistic camp), using the BJMBC students and alumni as staff and counselors. The Lord answered prayer by giving us over 80 campers (besides 20 counselors and 20 staff) and working in the hearts of 30 unsaved teens to make salvation decisions. 20 more teens made decisions for assurance or spiritual growth. Please pray for God’s guidance regarding making e-camps an ongoing ministry of BJMBC. We would like to have a BJMBC mission team go out each semester for a week to a different area of Luzon. They would train counselors, help the church and its youth in evangelizing, and run an e-camp for unsaved teens.
We are also rejoicing in how the LORD has been using the BJMBC students and alumni in church youth camps and DVBS in many places from northern Luzon to Mindanao. For example, one youth camp had 200 campers and many decisions of dedication and daily feeding on God’s Word. The DVBS of churches here in Quezon City not only had good attendance but also definite salvation decisions after the gospel was clearly and thoroughly explained. Praise the Lord for precious souls!
Back in early April, fourteen students graduated, seven undergraduate students and seven pastors from the seminary. All are called to the full-time ministry of God’s Word. This is the reason why BJMBC exists: to train soldiers in the battle for truth in a perishing world. We are excited about the subjects we are offering this coming semester, some of which are Practical Christian Growth, Doctrine of the Bible, Doctrine of God, Biblical Philosophy of Music, Major Prophets, Minor Prophets, Separation, Church Planting, Pastoral Theology, Elementary Greek, Ladies Christian Service, Words and Works of Christ, Systematic Theology 3, Future Events, Matthew in Greek, and Congregational Worship. We are asking the Lord to send us faithful men and women to study at BJMBC. The school year begins June 6.
We are teaching a weekly Bible study for the construction workers at the new BJMBC building construction site. We are going through key passages in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. This past Saturday, our focus was the worldwide flood in Genesis 6-9. Genesis 6:5-8 was our main text. Truth #1: The LORD sees that man’s heart is evil (Genesis 6:5; Jeremiah 17:9). Truth #2: The LORD is sad about sin, and He judges man (Genesis 6:6-7; Genesis 7:23-24; Galatians 6:7-8). Truth #3: The LORD shows grace to some and delivers them (Genesis 6:8; Genesis 8:15-17; Ephesians 2:8-9). Truth #4: The LORD promised to never again destroy the earth by flood (Genesis 9:14-15), but someday, God will destroy the earth by fire (2 Pedro 3:10).
Praise the LORD for His provision of BJMBC’s first lot and building. This past week they formed the beams for the 3rd floor and will pour the slab on June 1. This is the result of many miracles of God’s provision of funds and God’s deliverance from sinful, unreasonable men. Most of all, we are excited to have a place for training faithful men and women in Asia for the truth of the glory of God in Jesus Christ. God’s hand is not shortened that He cannot save and work powerfully today!
By Mr. Doug Bachorik
A few days ago, a student asked if he could borrow a luggage scale to use as he packs. He will be returning to his home country at the end of the school year, and does not want to pay overweight luggage fees at the airport. After telling him I would bring the scale from home, I quickly forgot all about it. The next day he asked again. This time I put the scale on our dining table so that I could put it in my motorcycle box. Then I left for the Bible college ... and the scale stayed home! Yes, age may be a factor here, but am I the only one who sets reminders on my mobile phone, and still forgets? I doubt it. Forgetting is so easy, but remembering takes work.
The Lord, who knows our nature completely, emphasizes the need to remember. In the book of Deuteronomy alone there are 13 commands to remember:
It is important for God’s people to remember, so that we can live fully in the fellowship and blessing of God, grow further into the image of Christ, and be a clear witness of the power of the gospel. Remembering helps us to obey the Lord.
So, what are we supposed to remember? And how are we supposed to remember?
In a sense, the entire of book of Deuteronomy is one huge memo. It reminded a younger generation of Israelites (those who were unborn or under the age of 20 when the 10 spies brought their evil report of the promised land) of all that God had done. It is a reminder to us of powerful truths. Truths about our Lord. Truths about ourselves. We must never forget that:
And, we must not forget God Himself! Have you ever gone through a day and realized at the end that you had not thought about the Lord? You never asked for His wisdom or guidance, never recognized His hand in some event, never praised Him, or resisted temptation because of His conviction? Although all people who have truly been redeemed do have the Holy Spirit in them, they can still forget God. So, we are commanded to remember our God. Solomon, in concluding his meditation on the uselessness of a life without God, tells us to remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth. The apostle Peter stated that we can sometimes forget we are even saved!
As one friend use to say, we have bad ‘rememberers’.
How can we remember? The Lord gives us at least four means of recall in Deuteronomy. RWTS: Read, Write, Talk, Sing.
First, the Lord has given us His word to READ. Deuteronomy, and the rest of the Bible, was written to be read: thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing (Deut. 31:9). Daily, attentive reading of God’s word fills our minds with truth, reminding us of who God is, what our relationship to Him is, and what we are to think, say, and do. And these are things we often forget. The more you read God’s word, the more it inhabits your mind, and is used by the Holy Spirit to remind you of important truths at just the moment you need to remember them.
Connected to this, of course, is to WRITE. We already know that when we write things down we have a better chance of remembering. The physical act of writing, the thinking, the seeing, the re-seeing of what you wrote – all of this helps you remember. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thine house, and on thy gates (Deut. 6:9, 11:20). Even the future kings were to write copies of God’s word: ... he shall write him a copy of this law in a book (Deut. 17:18). Write verses from your daily Bible reading into your planner, or on an index card, or in a journal – that will help you remember the truth you learned. Keeping a prayer journal where you list your prayer requests, and then enter God’s answer, continually serves as a reminder that God hears and answers prayer.
Have you ever noticed that when you ask someone to help you remember something, you usually remember it without their help? TALK will help you remember. Deuteronomy 11:18-19 emphasizes the importance of talking – in the home, in public worship, every day, everywhere. Tell someone something true about God, and you will remember it better yourself.
Lastly, SING! Did you notice the huge song near the end of Deuteronomy? In chapter 31 (verses 19 and 21), the Lord commanded Moses to write and teach a song to Israel. As the Jews sang it, they would remember everything else in the law. Singing is a unique and powerful way to drive information into our very being. God commanded that we sing so that the word of Christ can dwell in us richly (Col. 3:16). Recently, BJMBC musicians and several church choirs spent months practicing choruses from Handel’s MESSIAH. Now, all of us are hearing in our minds the glorious truths of Christ’s first coming, His sacrifice, and his future, glorious return. These truths will not ever leave us.
I started out by saying that remembering is hard and forgetting is easy. Maybe remembering is not so hard after all. God told us to remember and He told us how. Just remember: RWTS!
From Dr. Ina Bunyi: A former Bible Clubber’s tribute to her modern day heroes of faith.
In His Sovereignty God knew I would need to know Christ as my Savior early in life and used this loving couple's compassion and burden for the souls of neighborhood kids to make sure I did.
It was during one of those Saturday Bible Clubs when I heard about the Savior’s love for me and accepted His gift of everlasting life. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
“Whosoever” surely meaneth me, surely meaneth me
Oh surely meaneth me!
“Whosoever” surely meaneth me – “whosoever” meaneth me!!
Who can resist such a gift that included me? I am very thankful God gave me wisdom not to!
In 2007 (30 years after I last saw them) God allowed me to visit the Hufstetlers and to personally thank them for being my spiritual parents. I am indebted to the people God used for the blessed reunion where once more I saw Uncle Chuck's mischievous grin and enjoyed (my favorite) Mom Jo's cookies that I too now prepare and share on occasion to Bible clubbers in the neighborhood where I now live.
It was during this time that I learned that before I met them, they were ready to retire from their work in Marinduque (another province) in order to take charge of another work in the States, but God sent them on a "detour to Manila." I know now I was one of the reasons why.
Uncle Chuck and Mom Jo were a couple who let the light of God's love so shine (Matthew 5:16) before others that they saw God in all their good works, heard Him in their words, and even in their silence when they knew speaking out their mind may not be of help or may offend.
I am only one of those many children (in the early 70s) and adults (this past decade when we were reunited) who benefited from their godly light.
In their eyes I saw His care
I could see His love was there
They have been so faithful
And I saw Jesus in their lives
Mr Ron Hamilton's "I Saw Jesus In You" rephrased
They knew that as much as they did it to the least of my brethren (Matthew 25:40), including tiny Filipino kids, they were doing it for the Lord!
To love unconditionally and non-selectively...to prefer God's will over their own is a great blessing and challenge to me.
For years, even to the very end of conscious life they prayed for my husband Dan and me. If they knew you and your need, I am sure they prayed for you too.
I will eternally be grateful God sent Uncle Chuck and Mom Jo so that I would get to know about the love of Him who sent Christ His Son on the cross so that whosoever, including you and me, would believe on Him would not perish but have everlasting life!
How can I repay them and God for their loving kindness? It is not the "sacrifice" of a written tribute nor a well meant recording of a song that I sent for her Memorial Service (made possible through the kindness of friends) that pleases God but of a life that is broken anew and made contrite by the example of this well loved couple who were themselves only fired up by God's everlasting and sacrificial love.
The light, in Mom Jo's corner where I belonged, was dimmed by her recent home going (and that of Uncle Chuck in 2009). If I am really thankful, I can pay their goodness forward to others by doing my best, through His strength and for His glory, to brighten the corner where I am.
Will you pray with and join me as I ask God's help to see beyond myself a world that is lost in the darkness of sin and in need of our little lights to shine brightly in our corners so that they may through us see the greater Light of the Savior.
I Saw Jesus in You
by: Ron and Shelly Hamilton
When I enter heaven's glory
And I see my Saviour's face,
I will offer Him ten thousand years of praise.
Then I'll find that special one
In whose life I saw God's Son,
And through tears of joy with trembling lips these words I'll say:
I saw Jesus in you,
I saw Jesus in you,
I could hear His voice in the words you said-
I saw Jesus in you,
In your eyes I saw His care,
I could see His love was there,
You were faithful,
And I saw Jesus in you
When I stand before my Father
To receive my life's reward,
And my soul is bathed in God's eternal day
When this race on earth is run,
And God sees the works I've done,
More than anything I long to hear my Father say:
I saw Jesus in you,
I saw Jesus in you,
I could hear His voice in the words you said-
I saw Jesus in you,
In your eyes I saw His care,
I could see His love was there,
You were faithful,
And I saw Jesus in you
by Dr. Joel Arnold, Faculty in Bible
It sounded plausible at the time. “Hey honey, why don’t I just take the boys over there and get them a treat, while you’re checking out” I said naively one day in a crowded Manila mall. “It’ll give Zach a chance to run.” Sounds great. No problem. I got this one.
Actually, all things considered, he did reasonably well. Zach at that point understood “come” and a decent majority of the time he obeyed. But 18 months is still 18 months. And in my son’s case that’s a really fast version of 18 months. He always obeyed when I told him to come but the shiny displays and fancy flashing lights were just too much for his attention span. Our trajectory looked something like this:
And that reminded me of biblical thinking. Ok, give me a chance and I’ll make the connection.
I’m regularly shocked by the things that get called biblical. I’ve read people arguing that biblical thinking tells us (no joke) we should not be seeking, striving, and working to be more righteous. I regularly read comments claiming to be biblical on topics that have absolutely nothing to do with the Bible. And I’ve had people call specific wording unbiblical that actually turned out to be exact quotations of the Bible. If the Bible isn’t biblical, nothing is.
I think this kind of confusion happens because we throw the word around like a hashtag. The positivist philosopher A.J. Ayer once suggested (wrongly) that morals are just our way of giving approval or censure. To him, the statement “stealing is wrong” just means “Stealing: Boo!” or morals meaning “Faithfulness: Hurray!” And for too many believers that’s how “biblical / unbiblical” works too. To say “X, Y or Z is unbiblical” is to say “X, Y or Z: Boo!” Or putting it another way, we’re already pretty sure we’re right, so we try to pull the Bible in on our side.
And the problem, of course, is that the ideas just come from our own brains, not the Bible. I’m afraid, sometimes, that because whole generations of us grew up knowing all the Bible stories backwards and forwards, we go into life with the unspoken assumption that “if I’m pretty sure it’s right, it’s biblical.” But in reality, whether I think something is true or whether it even sounds really Bibleish is completely irrelevant; what matters is if it accurately represents the truth of the eternal God.
Consider three foundational notions for biblical thinking:
Every morning you get up and walk out the door to a world that is anything but neutral. All day it’s shouting in your ear. All day, a very much fallen part of your heart answers to that call and loves it. And only by actively fighting back will your thinking stay on track. Coming home and opening your Bible is the start of setting things straight again—correcting thoughts that went astray and restoring your thoughts back to the life-giving standard of truth.
As it turns out, that 18-month old running through the mall is me. 18-month olds don’t end up anywhere good without someone walking in front, constantly telling them which way to go. If I stop actively, obediently listening to the voice in front of me, I’ll last about 6 steps on my own before I’m headed off to the nearest blinking light or shiny looking package. I’ll probably even figure out a way to slap on the biblical label and call everything else erroneous or too liberal or too legalistic. Or a combination of all three at the same time.
Biblical thinking doesn’t just happen. It’s always a miracle, starting with the resurrection of a heart that was dead in sin, and continuing lifelong by the corrective power of the Word of God. Or to put it even more biblically:
“We all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord,
are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.
For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18).
Wise spiritual mentors heed the example of the master mentor, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Gospels’ records concerning the Lord’s preparation of the Twelve Apostles provide many valuable principles on how to help people mature in faith and be prepared for a life of service. This article discusses two such principles.
Focus on the Heart
Throughout His earthly ministry, the Lord primarily addressed people’s hearts. His Sermon on the Mount radiates with emphasis concerning the internal aspects of human life (Mt. 5-7). Christ taught His disciples that the heart is the fountainhead of “evil thoughts” and all kinds of sin. What is in the heart will eventually become manifest in life-defiling actions (Mt. 15:19-20). In several instances, Jesus denounced the hypocrisy of the Scribes and Pharisees before His disciples (Mt. 15:1ff; 23:1ff; Lk. 11:37ff; 12:1). He also affirmed that the two great commands were to love God and man (Mt. 22:37-40). Christ warned against covetousness (Lk. 12:1, 14-15). Ministerial competence—theological knowledge and practical effectiveness—must not satisfy pastor-mentors. They must ever aim for the heart, seeking to cultivate love for God and man, and integrity in the lives of ministerial students.
Emphasize Scripture-Based Life and Ministry
The Lord Jesus prepared His disciples in a manner that emphasized living and ministering according to God’s Word and will. As the gospel accounts confirm, He exhibited an exceedingly high view of Scripture and the Father’s will. Christ taught that the Word of God always takes priority in importance and authority over man’s traditions and commandments (Mt. 15:3, 9). He also instructed them concerning the necessity of possessing a right kind of heart—one that is “honest and good” when receiving God’s Word (Lk. 8:4ff; Mt. 13:3ff); lives are changed only when one shows an appropriate response to divine revelation. For the Lord, hearing and keeping God’s Word is a more blessed condition than Mary’s privilege to be an instrument in bearing the Messiah (Lk. 11:27-28). Christ viewed the fulfillment of God’s Word and will as necessary (Jn. 9:4). The Lord’s firm obedience to drink the cup of suffering demonstrated His utter commitment to the will of the Father.
The Lord’s commitment to God’s Word and will affected all the facets of His earthly ministry. For instance, divine revelation and the Father’s will dictated Christ’s goals and purposes. His meat was doing the Father’s will (Jn. 4:34). He remained faithful to His mission to preach the kingdom of God (Mk. 1:38; Lk. 4:43). He came down from heaven not to do His own will but the will of the Father (Jn. 6:38). What Christ accomplished on earth was the work which the Father had given Him to do (Jn. 17:3). Christ’s pursuit of God’s revelation and will also determined His actions. He kept the Father’s sayings. In a remarkable statement, the Lord said, “I do always those things that please [the Father]” (Jn. 8:29). By the Lord’s ministry, the Father did His work (Jn. 14:10). “As the Father gave Me commandment, even so I do,” Jesus said (Jn. 14:31). In addition to His purposes and actions, Jesus’ message was also permeated with Scripture and submission to the Father’s will. He said, “My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent Me” (Jn. 7:16-18). “As [His] Father hath taught [him],” the Lord Jesus spake “these things” (Jn. 8:28). He uttered that which He had seen with His Father (Jn. 8:38). Additionally, He said that the Father “gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak” (Jn. 12:49). He did not speak from His own initiative and authority (Jn. 14:10).
Pastors must instill in the hearts of future pastors the priority of God’s Word for life and ministry. Ministerial students must understand that Christian ministry is essentially a ministry of the word, a kind of endeavor that must be completely governed by Scriptures. Obviously, this aspect of mentoring can be done only by pastors who are practicing Biblicists. It is a sobering reality that the level of commitment to Scriptures in current ministers will have a significant effect on the ministry philosophy and practice of succeeding generations of pastors.
 For instance, He put the spotlight on the internal motives underlying the sinful acts of murder and adultery (Mt. 5;21-22, 27-28). He instructed His listeners not perform any righteous deeds for the purpose of being seen by men (Mt. 6:1ff). If the heart is right, good works will follow (Mt. 6:22-23). Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible, vol. 5 (Matthew to John) (Grand Rapids: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, n.d.), 150. A good heart “bringeth forth that which is good;” and evil heart produces evil deeds. From “the abundance of [one’s] heart the mouth speaks” (Lk. 6:45).
by Mr. Douglas Bachorik
Life is filled with many activities. Some we choose, some are chosen for us, others just find their way into our lives. Sometimes we don’t even know what we should do, because we feel pulled in so many directions. When that happens, it is time to stop and ask ourselves – what does the Lord expect us to do? The Lord has many expectations of us, and we can find a summary of them in passages like Matt. 23:23.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
This echoes Micah 6:8:
He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
which echoes Deut. 10:12-13:
And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, to keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?
But what, specifically, does God want me to do, today? And tomorrow? One of the best places to look is Revelation 2 & 3, where the Lord Jesus Christ clearly states what is important in the life of a church, and in the lives of believers. He makes 55 commands and commendations, and He criticizes 9 activities. We can organize them into the following 8 ideas - the ‘Revelation list’:
What a glorious calling each one of us has in the Lord – and this has nothing to do with what kind of job you have. These activities are not just for pastors, church workers, or missionaries. They are for all Christians!
When we look at this list, what we see is that we are called to be consumed by our relationship to our Saviour. The Lord Himself told us this in Matthew 22:37:
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Think of something that has consumed or obsessed you in the past. Every waking minute it’s on your mind. You make decisions about your day, your work, based upon the object of your obsession; if it is a person you even start thinking things like – ‘how does he like my hair’ or ‘what is her favorite flower’ or ‘he likes this kind of food so I will learn how to cook it’ or ‘she likes to do this, so I like that too’. We are supposed to be obsessed with God!
Can I suggest you keep a weekly spiritual log to help you see what you are doing? Think of it as a way to do #8 – examining yourself to see if you are on track with the other 7 items on the Revelation list. Each week answer these questions:
Remember, many demands crowd into our lives. If we are going to do the things the Lord wants us to do, we probably need to leave some things out of our busy days. Your list of ‘droppable’ activities and expectations will be as good as mine! Facebook, Internet games, surfing or online chatting, constant texting, often staying up very late at night, just sitting around, videos and TV… What should be on your “To Drop” list? As you look at the year before you, don’t you think it would be great to fill it with the things God wants you to do? Activities that will ultimately bring glory to Him, and make you more like Him in this life, while you wait for Him to take you home.
Dr. Phil Kamibayashiyama
Dr. K is the director of BJMBC, teaching theology, preaching and church history.
The Sexual Revolution, Gay Marriage, Theological Liberalism, The Humanist Manifesto, Postmodernism, Atheism. What is foundational to these views? Evolution!!!
To reach today's world, often we must start at the beginning: the Genesis record. If creation and the flood are false, what else in the Bible is false?
But science does not contradict the Bible. True science supports the Bible.
Learn how to defend your faith with science and use creation apologetics to lead unbelievers to faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Skip Tilton is the founder of From Day One Ministries and supervised the construction of Answers in Genesis' Creation Museum under Ken Ham. He is a creation evangelist who has spoken throughout the USA in conferences, retreats, camps, churches, Christian academies, public schools, and universities. He is also an adjunct speaker for Creation Ministries International.
Monday's "Biblical Worldview Seminar" is for spiritually-minded teens and adults (pastors, Christian workers, church leaders, evangelists, SS teachers, Christian school teachers & administrators, and gospel witnesses).
Tuesday's "Dinosaurs & the Bible" seminar is primarily for high school teens (9th - 12th grade) but intermediate students and college students can attend. Both seminars use many interesting and enlightening pictures.
Each seminar starts at 9 am and has a registration fee of P150 (P100 for lunch and P50 for the seminar). P150 registration deadline is Thursday January 26. After January 26, you may only register for the seminar (P50).
Educators who attend both seminars can avail of a free certificate of attendance to apply for continuing professional education units.
Thoughts from Dr. Phil Kamibayashiyama, Director of BJMBC.
Theologians and philosophers sometimes talk about the problem of evil—if God is good and has all power, why does evil still exist? It’s a hard problem. But for most of us the question is much more basic. When I hurt, does God know? Does He care? Why won’t He take away my sorrow? There are three basic truths we need to remember in such times.
We don’t know half of what God is doing.
In the middle of trials we often find ourselves asking “why?” If we knew of something good that came from out of it, we could make some sense of what happened. Even unbelievers use clichés like “everything happens for a reason” out of a desire to find purpose in the pain.
But the most painful struggles aren’t easily dismissed for just that reason—there are no simple, happy outcomes. Sometimes an obvious greater good never presents itself to us at all; our suffering seems completely unnecessary and gratuitous. Rather than search in vain for a reason beyond this, we should know that more is going on than we can possibly comprehend.
Scripture has occasional hints of this fact. One window into the workings of heaven is absolutely startling. It’s an angelic conference before the throne of God and Satan is in attendance (Job 1-2). The story develops into a showdown between Satan and God as to whether Job really loves God or simply returns the favor for prosperity. In the end, Satan destroys Job’s life in an attempt to shame the Almighty (though he can go exactly no further than God allows). After Job struggles for an unknown length of time, God eventually restores and even increases His prosperity. But interestingly, there’s no sign that Job himself ever knew of the heavenly contest. Job may well have finished his life never realizing what was at stake or why he suffered as he did.
I would never flatter myself to assume my life ranks in debates before the throne of God. But Job wouldn’t have either. There is, we discover, far more at stake in the lives of believers than any of us would dare imagine. And before thinking that God has fallen asleep at the cosmic wheel or that He simply doesn’t care, we ought to know that He works on our behalf in ways we cannot comprehend.
A simple comparison might help. At 1 1/2, my daughter is terribly frustrated that I won't let her run in the middle of a busy street at rush hour. Add to that the fact that I make her eat healthy food, put her to bed at a reasonable hour, don’t buy her every toy she wants, and require her to obey me. These are the biggest frustrations and limitations of my daughter’s life, but every one contributes directly to her long term well-being.
Except she doesn't get that fact at all. My child still doesn’t understand why I won’t let her run in traffic. It’ll be a long time before she does. How many other things do I constantly take care of that never even enter into her mind? And I wouldn’t want it any other way—why should she carry the burden of knowing that life involves more than cookies, toys and her blanket?
In the meantime, she has no choice but to simply trust what she does know of me—my love to her expressed in other ways and the fact that I regularly act in her best interests. Facing the limitations I’ve imposed on her, this can’t solve her problem, but it certainly helps.
God Himself has entered our sorrow.
In a certain sense, every religion or viewpoint must answer why evil exists.* In fact, the problem of evil is not a particular weakness of Christianity but one of its unique strengths, because only Christianity teaches that an omnipotent God has Himself endured our suffering (Heb. 2:9). Jesus experienced the ordeal of birth, the frustrations of childhood and uncertainties of adolescence, the drudgery of physical work and constant pain of life on a fallen planet. But Jesus’ suffering was not merely equal to ours. What Jesus carried on the cross was the distilled essence of sin’s horror, agony and curse. Sin is sorrow. Carrying the weight of the sins of the world, Jesus also carried its sorrow. His dying cry, “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46) distills the agony of humanity across the ages. In that moment, Jesus experienced what it is to be condemned, guilty, cut off from God and consigned to torment. If sorrow is the galling experience of mankind because of sin, God Himself has shared it.
And so we face the pain of life on planet earth, but not alone. Joining in the experience of that sorrow is One who bore all the consequences, though He never sinned. Knowing that all will be restored through Jesus’ cross, we wait together with Him for the final victory over sin, suffering and death.
We await the final victory over all.
In the final analysis, there are no simple, pat answers for the problem of evil. The ultimate answer is epochal and cosmic—as big as the history of the world. If suffering entered the world because of sin (Rom. 5:12), only by the eradication of sin will all things be restored. In other words, the omnipotent God is in the process of working. He is restoring all things as they ought to be. (Isa. 65:17–18; Isa. 66:22–23; 2 Pet. 3:10–13; Rev. 21:1). The problem of evil, though real, is a temporary one. The victory is coming—the great and final victory of Jesus Christ over all.
* Even atheism must answer how we can legitimately designate anything as evil. Without a standard of ethics, the problem of evil simply becomes why anyone should care about human suffering. In fact the logical conclusion of atheism is far worse—evil and human suffering are utterly meaningless or even good because they are just the struggles of biological machines experiencing natural selection.
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