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Following Elijah’s stunning victory over the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18, he turns his attention to drought that continued to linger over the land. Back in 1 Kings 17, Elijah had announced a drought on the land because of the apostasy of the people. They had backed into Baalism and paganism. And their failure to remain faithful to the Lord carried the judgment of God removing his word from the people, signified by the lack of rain or dew. This was also a polemic against Baal, the storm god. The Baal cycle would be broken and the LORD would show himself to be God.

"With which person in the Bible do you most identify?" This is a question I have often asked others in the church over the years. Most of us lack even enough self-awareness to able to answer the question. Others among us have a propensity to appeal to the best characters in Scripture.

One of the most important things to maintain, yet one of the hardest, is peace with others. From the time we get up in the morning until the time we go to bed at night we have many opportunities to either be a peacemaker or a peace-taker. What we decide depends on our relationship with God. We are to extend peace to others because Christ “himself is our peace” (Eph. 2:14). Yet even as believers, being a peacemaker isn’t always easy, even with those in the church. Thankfully, Philippians 4:1-9 teaches us what to do when we’re not getting along with another believer.

As I think about my church family, so many older and younger men and women, as well as covenant children, come to mind. I have come to know and love them, and pray for them often. Just like in families, theres a lot that can happen in church families. Behavior isnt always the best, and beliefs arent always accurate, but when the pastors and elders preach sound doctrine and practice godly behavior, the members will likely respond by learning the truth and living in light of it.

Sarah Lanman Huntington Smith – Missionary to Mohegans and Syrians

The idea that many of the Mohegans who lived in her region had never heard the gospel bothered Sarah Huntington (1802-1836) so much that it turned into a source of anxiety. Few people shared her sentiments. She could just imagine someone in her town telling her, “Dear me! if I had nothing more than poor Indians to trouble me, I should be happy.”[1]

 John Ross and the Gospel in Korea

In the autumn of 1874, the Scottish missionary John Ross arrived at a village known as “Korean Gate,” near the eastern border between Manchuria (in north-east China) and Korea. Sent to Manchuria by the Scottish United Presbyterian Mission, he had been working for the past two years to establish a church in Mukden (present-day Shenyang) and a missionary base in Fushun. But he was eager to learn more about the Korean people and their language.

Recently, Christians have agonized over accounts of false devotion to talented but corrupt church leaders. In outwardly successful churches and ministries, leaders have covered up sin, blamed victims, and blocked investigations to protect gifted but fatally flawed pastors and their ministries. To correct our mistakes and restore our integrity, we need the whole of Scripture, including a minor but revealing episode in the life of David that can help us distinguish between wise service to God from foolish service to men.

Command these things

1 Timothy 4:11: “Command and teach these things.”

1 Timothy 5:7: “Command these things as well, so that they may be without reproach.”

1 Timothy 6:3: “Teach and urge these duties.”

The Federal Vision speaks a lot about the objectivity of the covenant.  What does that mean? Doug Wilson puts it somewhat crassly when he says, “It can be photographed and fingerprinted.”[1] For Wilson, the fingerprint is baptism.[2] Baptism, though an external sign, is like that of circumcision.  It demonstrates membership. Now, the question everyone ought to be asking is the obvious.  Is baptism the access point?  Is it what is required for membership?

Hannah Arendt was a political philosopher.  She was the author of several books and was professor at New School for Social Research and was a visiting Fellow of the committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. I have been reading her 1951 book titled, The Origins of Totalitarianism.  It should be required reading for citizens of the United States. The lessons are as profound as they are simple. For instance, Arendt points up two illusions that plague democratically ruled countries.

It is often the case that a minister only begins to really appreciate the value of his books when the time comes for him to part with them. Sometimes it happens when he runs out of space on his shelves and he is forced to thin them out. Or it may be when it comes to his retirement and he is downsizing his house and there simply isn’t the same amount of space in his new accommodation. Either way, he finds himself struggling to decide which ones to keep and which to let go. It begins to dawn on him that these volumes mean more to him than he may have previously realised.

The first question and answer of the Heidelberg Catechism has resonated with generations of people familiar with it.

 

Q. What is your only comfort in life and in death?

Imagine a podcast where kids talk about the people, big events, and amazing stories in church history. The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is excited to announce Kids Talk Church History—a new podcast in partnership with author and historian Simonetta Carr. This one-of-a-kind podcast features kids investigating the history of the Church through their own reading and discussion, interviews with special guests, listener questions, and more.

If Christians are to have any impact on the world, they must think and act biblically!

Alliance Friends provide sound, biblical teaching through broadcasting, events, and publishing. As a Friend you share the Gospel, providing the opportunity for the Holy Spirit to change minds, touch hearts, and help bring change to believers and non-believers alike. Whether it’s through daily devotionals, websites, events, or broadcasts and podcasts—Alliance Friends underwrite trustworthy resources that encourage, embolden, and equip the Church.

As my wife and I anticipate our seventh covenant child (and third daughter) joining us early next year, I told our other children that it is their fault that we’re having another baby!  Because they are all so amazing—so wonderful and so precious, and so we wanted to love another of them in our family and church to impact this world for Christ!  Yes, it is a lot of work to care for them, as the world wants us to worry about in fear, but they are also a great blessing from the Lord to we who fear Him.

The culture in which we live is diametrically opposed to the idea of the family as set forth in Psalm 127. Here, the Psalmist refers to a household, composed of a father and mother who married early and are blessed by an abundance of children, as a direct and wonderful blessing from God.

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