“And now you say, ‘Go, tell your master, “Elijah is here.” ’ He will kill me!” (1 Kgs 18:14)
Have you ever been “between a rock and a hard place” – caught in the middle whether you take, or don’t take, a particular course of action? Obadiah faced this dilemma when he was commissioned by Elijah to announce to King Ahab that Elijah was back. It was understandable why Obadiah was reluctant to tell Ahab about Elijah’s whereabouts, because he could be killed by Ahab if Elijah disappeared again. Continue reading
And the Syrians had gone out on raids, and had brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman’s wife. Then she said to her mistress, “If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy.” (2 Kings 5:2-3)
“It was because of her!” said Naaman. You could imagine the surprise on the faces of those who knew Naaman, on discovering with their very own eyes he was healed and Naaman retelling the story.
Unlike some characters in the Bible, for whatever reason, her name was left out. We don’t have a name. But we do have facts. She was a young girl from the land of Israel. She was captured by the Syrians, which meant Naaman was the enemy. She was supposedly taken as a slave, which also indicates that she had no freedom. She could not go where she wanted. She could not do what she desired. She was to attend to her mistress’ needs. Whether she wanted to or not, this girl had no choice in the matter. Continue reading
These verses in Luke 10 have left a deep impression in me.
Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves.” (Luke 10:2-3)
Harvest is referring to non-believers. Laborers are referring to believers sent out to preach to the non-believers. Sending you out as lambs among wolves means that it is not going to be easy when you go out to preach. There will be persecutions and all will not be smooth sailing. This made me think of my challenges in preaching. Continue reading
Water baptism in Christianity is not a straightforward matter. There are some who believe that it is important for salvation. Yet there are some people who do believe it is sort of important. They believe if you are not baptised then you will still be saved because the criminal also crucified beside Lord Jesus was saved since he believed and yet was not baptised (Lk 23.39-43). To these people we will need to let them know that when Lord Jesus was on earth He had the power to say to this person or that person their sins are forgiven (Mk 2.10). But after Lord Jesus ascended into heaven, how was He to forgive our sins?
One way of explaining is through the example of Paul.
We know that Paul did not believe in the Lord Jesus until he met Him on the way to Damascus. For up to that point, Paul was persecuting the church. But when the Lord Jesus appeared to Paul, he was told to wait in Damascus and that he would be told what to do (Acts 9:6).
Subsequently, the Lord Jesus sent Ananias to Paul and it was through his servant that Paul knew what Jesus wanted him to do. Ananias said to him, “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). Continue reading
Deliver those who are drawn toward death, And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Surely we did not know this,” Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds? (Prov 24:11-12)
On reading this proverb, you can’t help but think of how closely it is related to the saving of souls through evangelising. It can also be applied to pastoring fellow believers who are needing our reminders when they are graduallly deviating away from the teachings of the gospel.
Paul was a brother in Christ, a worker of God, and indeed a sincere servant. Whenever he saw something was not right, he felt a deep compulsion to tell people where they were going wrong and how they should correct their ways. It was not that Paul was self-righteous and perfect. Though Paul tried really hard to pursue after righteousness, he never once felt that he was completely righteous and perfect before God. Continue reading