Showing posts from May, 2016

Finding a Good Spouse

When I was searching for sermon illustrations on marriage, I saw in one of my books that the entry on “marriage” was sandwiched between “mark of the beast” and “martyrdom.” 
Now that’s very interesting! In case you thought you made a mistake and you married the wrong person or, worse, the Antichrist, remember what Socrates the philosopher said, “By all means marry. If you get a good wife, you will become very happy; if you get a bad one, you will become a philosopher—and that is also good.” 

Seriously, here’s what God has to say about finding a life partner: “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” (Proverbs 18:22) [1] If you think that it only talks about finding a wife and not a husband, The Message version goes like this, “Find a good spouse, you find a good life—and even more: the favor of God!” 
Getting married is a good thing and a favor from the Lord. The Hebrew word for “favor” means “acceptance, goodwill, or approval.” [2] For our single people, …

Pray for All

What kind of government was present during the time of the apostle Paul? Not only that they were corrupt, they also persecuted the early church. 
According to The Bible Knowledge Commentary, “With Nero’s growing resentment toward Christians—which came to full bloom after the fire in Rome in July, a.d. 64—and the general disintegration of the Roman Empire due to Nero’s profligacy, Christians began to suffer persecution from the Roman authorities.” [1]
Yet, despite of the hostility towards them, Paul urged the believers to pray “for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions”(1 Timothy 2:1b-2a). “All” means all. It excludes no one and includes everyone.  Paul urged the church to especially pray for those in authority. Godless Emperor Nero was on the throne at that time, and yet the believers were supposed to pray for him! Even when we cannot respect men or women in authority, we must respect their offices and pray for them. [2]We have no right to criticize the government if we…

“I Urge”

As far as our relationship to the government is concerned, the apostle Paul gave this appeal to make praying for them our priority.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior... (1 Timothy 2:1-3, ESV)Note that he said, “I urge”. It’s an exhortation or an encouragement. It’s not in the command or imperative form. But that doesn’t mean however that obedience to pray for the government is something optional. According to a Bible reference, the Greek word for “urge” is “an authoritative apostolic plea—more than a request, but less than a command.” We disobey God when we fail to pray for them.

That also means we should pray for the our leaders (“all who are in high positions,” v. 2a) whether we voted for them or not and whether we agree wi…

Pray for the Philippines

In China, religious persecution is not just being mocked for your faith. It could even cost you your life. After a local business wanted to take over the property that Beitou Church in Zhumadian [city] sat on, a government-backed demolition crew was sent to destroy the church. And when the pastor, Li Jiangong, and his wife, Ding Cuimei, stepped in front of a bulldozer, it didn’t stop. “Bury them alive for me,” a member of the demolition team said… The couple were shoved into a pit and covered with dirt… Li manage to free himself. But before he could dig his wife out, Ding suffocated. [1] Sadly, after her death, the authorities recognized their claim to the land. Zhumadian is in the Henan province, “which has one of the largest Christian populations in East Asia.” [2] It is near the Zhejiang province where the government removed hundreds of crosses from church buildings.
Without minimizing the misery of Chinese christians, we should be thankful that we are in a country where we enjoy fre…