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.
As a mother of four children I’ve heard quite a bit of grumbling and questioning. But as I listen to my children, I’m often convicted at how many times I grumble about a particular circumstance or question why God has allowed something in my life. Scripture reveals that these are serious sins. Oftentimes they lead to anger, bitterness, callousness, and discontentment. But by God’s grace we don’t have to grumble and question. Instead, we can be grateful and trust His plans for us. Such gratitude and trust flow from God’s power at work in us.
If you have been in the stores lately or checked your calendar, you are likely aware that Mother’s Day is May 8. As a mother of four children, I am always grateful to receive words or acts of appreciation from my family, and to have the opportunity to express words of thankfulness to my own mother, on this special day.
Krishna Pal – The First Baptist Convert in India
On November 25, 1800, a 36-year-old Indian carpenter named Krishna Pal slipped into the tank where he was going to bathe, dislocating his shoulder. Having heard about a doctor at the Baptist mission at Serampore, not far from his house, he sent two of his children to ask for help.
Agnes and Margaret Smith and Their Crucial Discovery
Agnes and Margaret Smith lived at a time when scholars were raising new and disturbing questions about the Bible. Is it reliable? Having being copied by hand, how do we know that it is not full of errors or even deliberate variations? And when was the New Testament written? Did the early church read it, or was it the product of later centuries? Soon, the same questions found room in the minds of common people who had until then assumed a smooth, linear transmission of manuscripts from believers to believers.
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.”
Last night I finished my pilgrimage through Augustine’s City of God. Considering it took Augustine almost a decade to finish book nineteen after starting I would say that I made better time on the reading than he did the writing. I wish that I could say all twenty-two books and eight hundred and sixty two pages in my volume were a joy, they were not. However, the end was worth traveling through some of the valleys in between. I thought in celebration of my completing the work I might share some lessons from the last few books.
Philosophy is the love of wisdom. However, as soon as some hear the sound of the word they think of an unbearable heaviness. They immediately think thoughts that don’t often approximate what philosophy really is at its heart. What is more, theology and philosophy have enjoyed a close relationship over the years. The relationship can be a fickle one especially when disorder creeps in but the same could be said for marriage.
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 eighth chapter of Romans has rightly been described as one of the most beautifully rich chapters in all of Scripture. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said that it is “one of the brightest gems of all… that in the whole of Scripture the brightest and most lustrous and flashing stone, or collection of stones, is the Epistle to the Romans, and that of these this is the brightest gem in the cluster.” Indeed, it took Dr. Lloyd-Jones 77 sermons to get through Romans chapter 8 when he preached through the book of Romans!
The second commandment is tricky business. Let me state the matter in the form of a question. Do verses 4-6 of Exodus 20 constitute another commandment, a second commandment, or are these verses simply part of the first commandment stated in verse 3? Roman Catholicism says, no, they are a continuation of the first command. Protestants say, yes, these verses are a second command.
The Spiritual Marriage between Christ and His Church