Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The B-I-B-L-E

Article:  The B-I-B-L-E

“The B-I-B-L-E, yes that’s the book for me.  I stand alone on the word of God, the B-I-B-L-E.”  So goes the words of a popular children’s Sunday school song.  Can you remember singing it in class or at the Sunday school program?  It is a simple song, with a profound meaning that we hope will settle deep in the hearts of our children- reliance upon the word of God, and trust in the God of the word.

In Romans chapter one the Bible tells us that there are crucial aspects of God that may be known through an understanding of His creation, namely His eternal power and divine nature.  These aspects are demonstrated in creation and in the human conscience.  Through the creation we can see God’s power, creativity, ingenuity, design, and precision, while the conscience convinces us that there is a difference between right and wrong.  Not only does the conscience give us an inward nod of approval when we do what is right, but it also brings conviction when we do things that are contrary to the God who made us.

While the creation and conscience speak loud and clear about the existence and authority of God, there is much about Him that we would not know if it were not for His word, the Bible.  The Bible is composed of 66 books, written by 40 authors, over a period of a couple thousand years, using three languages.  All of its histories, poetry, wisdom sayings, and prophecies point to one singular theme.  They point to the coming of God’s Son, Jesus the Messiah, to this earth to love, teach, and die for the sins of the world.

In Christ we see the image of God in human flesh, the word of God spoken to us, the love of God expressed on the cross, and the forgiveness of God guaranteed in an empty tomb.  In prophecy, we see a God who can see and interact with the entire scope of human history, in the Law we learn of a God who has standards.  The Bible’s histories show us how God has worked among His people, and in Biblical poetry, we see the heart-aching beauty of a God who knows and cares about every facet of our existence.

I don’t know if you have ever heard of the “Pledge of Allegiance to the Bible”, but sometimes kids learn it when they go to Bible camp or vacation Bible school.  Its words summarize a heart of gratitude to God for His word, and a devotion to its study.  It goes like this:  “I pledge allegiance to the Bible, God’s holy word.  I will make it a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path, and I will hide its words in my heart, that I might not sin against God.”  Let me encourage you to take some time this week to spend a little time with God in His word.

Northwood Community Bible Church celebrates thirty years of ministry this August.  We are grateful to God for the many opportunities He has given us to worship and serve Him, and to minister to the people of our community and surrounding areas.  Have a blessed summer, and may God draw you ever closer to Him.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

At Graduation

Dear Sons and Daughters,

Graduation is now near.  We are proud of you, and the way you have grown over the years.  We are impressed with your accomplishments and aspirations, and we are anxiously looking forward to hearing of your success in the next phase of your lives.  We are welcoming you into a world that needs your help, your creativity, your ingenuity and your care.

I am sure you are going to hear a lot of good advice in the coming weeks- advice about careers, and wise choices, college and family.  Through all of your upcoming adventures, may I suggest that you are going to need a solid foundation to build your life upon, especially in challenging times.  Consider the following words of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 3...

"... no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.”

God has laid a foundation of grace, upon which we live and move and build our lives.  That foundation is the love of God, expressed through Jesus Christ.  It is upon that foundation that we build in order to bless others and glorify God.  Let me urge you to present yourselves as a living gift to God.  Don’t be conformed to the rest of the world, rather be transformed and let God renew your mind so that you may do His will and allow Him to love others through you.

The world that you are entering is experiencing a great deal of confusion and chaos right now.  Politically, socially, morally, and financially, there are many who find their feet planted firmly in mid-air.  There is an old saying worth noting: “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything”.  Dedicate yourself to a good work ethic, seek to bless your family and community, make the most of the incredible gift of life that God has given you.  And most important, allow all of these things to draw you closer to the God who gave them to you- the God who calls to you, “Come, follow me…”

There is a big beautiful world out there.  Come and make the most of it with us!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


When I was a boy, I used to ride my bicycle all over the place. A whole group of kids from my neighborhood would range across our end of town and beyond to find adventure and fun. I had a little trouble with my bicycle from time to time, as the leg of my pants would often get caught in the chain. Since I was so small, I usually ended up on the pavement scraped and mad at my “stupid bike”.

One day, I rode a few blocks from my house to the park, all by myself. I had a plan, I would turn my legs out from the pedals as they turned in order to avoid the pant-leg pinch. I made it to the park and played, and was riding back home, when I began to think of how awesome my plan was working! I looked down to watch how I was able to avoid the grasp of the bike chain, and I watched in amazement until I slammed into the back of a parked car!

Peter talks about building the wall of Christian character, maturing in the faith by increasing in knowledge, virtue, self-control, steadfastness, brotherly love, and more (2 Peter 1:5-8). He says that if those qualities are present and increasing in our lives we will avoid being ineffective and unfruitful in our knowledge of Jesus Christ. Conversely, he says if we lack these qualities, it’s like we are so near-sighted that we are blind.

Spiritually speaking, when we get our eyes focused on the temporary matters of this passing world instead of the weightier matters of eternity, when we allow fear and doubt to rule in our minds, when we have our heads turned to mourn the sorrows of the past so that we cannot see the beauty that lies before us, we are functionally near sighted or even blind to the blessings God wants to bring to our lives. We become convinced that the demands of the here and now are all there is to think about, and we forget that God is calling shaping us for a much bigger purpose than we can even imagine.

Let us fix our eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, and faithfully press on toward the goal of His high calling.