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.
My bookshelf is lined with prayer journals covering the years of my life beginning with childhood. Rereading them brings both joy and heartache, but most of all an overwhelming sense that I have had the privilege to bow my knees before my heavenly Father and cry out to Him in the midst of sin, suffering, and service. I’m so grateful that Scripture teaches us how to pray. I especially appreciate Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians for their inner strength and his praise for God’s immense power in Ephesians 3:14-21.
Prayer for Inner Strength
In a few short weeks many of us will gather around a table loaded with food to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends. For many it will be a day of feasting and family fun. For others, they may be too sick to eat, too filled with grief to laugh, or too busy to slow down and enjoy the day. Regardless, all of us should take the time to tell God thank you for our spiritual and physical blessings. And at the top of our list should be giving thanks for the church, an example Paul sets for us in the book of Ephesians.
Alopen and the Missionary Monks of the Church of the East
In 635, Emperor Taitsung (598–649) of China found Christianity so impressive that he wrote: “The meaning of the teaching has been carefully examined; it is mysterious, wonderful, calm; it fixes the essentials of life and perfection; it is the salvation of living beings; it is the wealth of man. It is right that it should spread through the empire.”
Behari Lal Singh and His Vision for Missionary Training
Only one representative from Asia appeared in 1860 at the overwhelmingly British Conference on Missions in Liverpool. It was Behari Lal Singh, who had become a Christian under the guidance of the Scottish missionary Alexander Duff. By then, Singh had been serving in the Scottish Reformed Church for almost twenty years.
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.”
Christians are frequently reminded to “remember the reason for Christmas,” meaning, of course, that we should turn our attention away from the cultural trappings and to the fact that Jesus was born to Mary in Bethlehem. But this Christmas, perhaps we should fix our attention a little more closely, not just on the details of Jesus’ birth, but on the miracle of the incarnation. In so doing, we join a great cloud of Christian witnesses, who have reflected deeply on this glorious mystery.
Reformation Day is drawing near. It provides an annual opportunity for Protestant churches worldwide to fulfil the exhortation of the letter to the Hebrews: ‘Remember your leaders’ (He 13.7). It reminds us that, without in any way falling into the sin of venerating mere men, it is good for us to treasure the memory of those God has used to build the church throughout history. As we do so we ourselves will be edified by the example such men and women have left for the generations that follow them.
The much-loved hymn, ‘I greet thee who my sure Redeemer art’ – included in the Strasbourg Psalter of 1545 and attributed to John Calvin – contains the lines,
Thou hast the true and perfect gentleness,
No harshness hast Thou, and no bitterness
These words have often drawn comment, or been quoted because they point to a divine attribute we can easily overlook.
A Thanksgiving message from Bob Brady, executive director at the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.
Thank you for your support during the ExtraOrdinary Give and indeed throughout the year! Your gifts have a global impact that share the Gospel and encourage and equip the Church around the world. We are grateful for you as we join together to proclaim biblical doctrine in order to foster a Reformed awakening in today’s Church.
Recently, a Reformed brother told me that he was nearly driven by depression to suicide due to years of wrongful, incessant attacks upon him and his wife by other family members teaming up with the government. He confessed if he was an Arminian he likely would have succumbed, but his belief in God’s providence caused him to persevere and survive. If there were no purpose behind and within enduring something, such a notion could cause us to throw our hands up lamenting, “What’s the point?”