Archives For God

“King Solomon was wiser when he was young than when he was old.”   Dr. Ron Smith

Considering Solomon to be a major contributor to the book of Proverbs is a sobering thought.

Solomon is famous for asking for wisdom when God granted him any wish. He received great wisdom, loved the Lord (1 Kings 3:3), and even had God appear to him twice! (1 Kings 3;5, 9:2)

But right before his love for God was recorded, we see him entering into a marriage alliance with the Pharaoh of Egypt. This was the beginning of the end for Solomon, culminating in 700 wives and 300 concubines.

How could a man with so much experience with God and wisdom, end up this way?

I’ve recently had the privilege of teaching the book of Proverbs. Here are a few things we can learn from the fact Solomon had wisdom but failed to finish well.

Charis by Preston Sprinkle

January 5, 2015

I picked up a free copy of Charis: God’s Scandalous Grace for Us by Preston Sprinkle. As you know, if there is a book on grace, I want to get my hands on it.

I had never heard of Preston Sprinkle before. I have no idea what his views on other topics are. But, what I read in the pages of Charis, blew me away. This is one of the best books on grace I’ve ever read.

Sprinkle is a PhD and seminary teacher. He runs in academic circles. He brings great historical background to so many passages. But, unlike most academics who can only be understood by others with higher degrees, Sprinkle speaks the language of the people.

Charis is an overview of grace in the Bible with an emphasis on the Old Testament. Some “grace” teachers reject the Old Testament outright, even saying the Bible Society’s decision to include the Old Testament was a huge mistake. Charis proves them wrong.

One man’s mission field is another’s land of opportunity.

I realized this in a fresh way as I was interacting with some immigrants to South Africa from Malawi.

They were telling me about their home nation, Malawi. The common descriptions were of a lush, green, and beautiful nation which was peaceful.

They left their homeland for South Africa, also a beautiful land. But on the day I was having this conversation, we were bracing ourselves though near gale force winds blowing sand through every opening on buildings. You could hear their longing for home in their voices.

And, they remarked often how they had left safety for crime. These immigrants left home to live in shacks in an impoverished, crime ridden community.

A community which I consider to be a part of my mission field.

Why you ask?

Urban Hope

The Signs of Christmas

December 20, 2014

What are the signs which point to Christmas coming?

In every culture there are different visuals which alert us to the coming of this holiday season.

When I first moved to South Africa, Christmas snuck up on me because I did not see the normal American signs. Once I learned the new signs, I could anticipate its approach.

Here are a few signs which pop up in virtually any culture.

1. Things appear. Things which are unable to be found for most of the year, begin to appear around Christmas. Certain music, different types of food, and of course decorations. It is the time of year some people appear in church for the first time all year! Each nation is different, but all have things which appear.

Grace Has No Shelf Life

November 14, 2014

Someone asked me the other day, “How long have you been teaching grace?”

It caused me to consider the message I’ve shared for so long. I don’t grow tired of it and certainly have not exhausted the applications it brings to my life.

So many things in our lives have a shelf life.

Any 2 liter bottle of Coke or soda gives you about 2 days before it becomes flat.

Banana’s routinely turn brown and mushy before we get to them.

Bread, in many countries, starts growing interesting colors of mold after a few days.

The only thing out there which seems to have no shelf life is McDonald’s food. This goes to show, the healthier you eat, the more you consider shelf life.

Grace has no shelf life.

Grace doesn’t go flat, get mushy, or grow mold.

Grace even lasts longer than McDonald’s.