Month: August 2012

Highighting christ or oblitering him

Posted on Updated on

There is a convenient Bible highlight marking system that is really great for helping you find topics in your Bible. It is taught in a class format and the name of it is Sharpening The Sword. The system uses different color highlights for different topics, such as blue for salvation, green for judgment, red for sin, etc. But I started thinking about it this morning and just wondered if sometimes we don’t get our highlighters mixed up with just plain old markers.

If our example is not pure we are not highlighting Christ. Instead, we are obliterating Him.
There are many ways to spiritually “pick up the wrong pen” and mark Him out instead of showing Him in our lives…forsaking the assembly when the saints meet, not reading and studying the Bible in private times (we may be the only one who knows this)  not fellow-shipping with the church at every opportunity, not being a pure example in word and action.

Yes, there’s a big difference in high-lighting pens and plain old markers…hopefully they are not ‘permanent markers’  though, and we will come back to Him for forgiveness.      


Posted on Updated on


If you want something so badly and you pray for it diligently, but don’t believe it will ever happen….do you think you will ever  get it?   James 1: 6-7 “…But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.   For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.”
In the context, we know it is talking about asking for wisdom in this Scripture, but it also says “any thing.”
We had worked for 21 years to convert my dad, after we learned the truth about the gospel of Christ…but we were so anxious that we really made him bitter against it.  My dad was a good man and he believed like so many others today…that you just be ‘good’ and you would go to heaven.  Dad had heard the word “God” used so much in bad language, which he detested hearing… that he wouldn’t bring himself to call God, God.  He always referred to Him as  “The Good Lord.”  Now even that is being used in a vain manner.
One of Bobby’s old family friends came by one day selling Bibles and a program on Successful Soul Saving.  It was a real eye opener for us. It taught, among other things, the concept of believing you get what you are praying for…and it starts with imagining that you have it.  That is a very Biblical concept that we have over-looked in the past in teaching someone the gospel.
We know that Jesus was speaking to His disciples here, and that this was still the era of miracles, but the concept of believing what we pray for is still true today…as we saw in James 1:6-7.    Matthew 21:-23  Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
The part that grabbed my attention was the instructor saying to concentrate on the one person you are most concerned about teaching the gospel.  Of course it was my dad.  The instruction was to imagine the person obeying the gospel several times a day as you pray for them to understand the truth. Imagine them walking down the aisle or whatever scene you think will be involved in it. 
Pray several times a day and imagine them making the confession of Christ and submitting to baptism.  Imagine it so strongly, that you even “see” the clothes they are wearing. Well I did this…and it wasn’t but a few months and it happened! The strange fact about this….After I had followed these instructions for just a little while…I couldn’t even imagine my dad NOT obeying the gospel. 
I had a dear friend who had cancer and a few weeks earlier, I had told her about this system and in about a month her dad obeyed the gospel.  He had been very bitter against the church. Just a while later, she was in the hospital for the last time and some of us were taking turns sitting with her.  One night when I was with her, I wanted so badly to know if she had used what I’d told her about, because her dad had obeyed the gospel so soon…but I hated to ask her when she was so sick…but I did.  She looked up and smiled and said, “Yes, especially the prayers and imagining the clothes he was wearing.”
That’s the two that SSS was used on that I am aware of…and that makes 100 %…but it is hard now to concentrate on one person.  I need to try to do that again though.  I just imagine it would work even if you were concentrating on several.  Just wanted to share this and I hope it helps many who are trying so desperately to teach their loved ones.  As you can see, it is a Biblical concept.
Note:  Another speedy answer to prayer.   Our son came by my dad’s on his way home one weekend and invited my dad to come to our house with him and he would come in the next week and take him back home.  While my dad was there I wanted to start up a conversation with him about obeying the gospel because we had studied with him before.  We were the first ones up and drank coffee together just us every morning.   Every night when we went to bed, I was really motivated to speak to him the next morning…but every morning, I just wasn’t motivated to bring up the subject.  The last night he was there, I was again motivated and lying in bed, I prayed that I would feel that way in the morning too…my last time alone with him and my last chance that visit, to bring it up.  Well!  Not only was I motivated to bring it up, that visit…but my dad brought it up himself!  God meets us more than half-way and we would do well to not forget that. 


Posted on Updated on

Sometimes we find it difficult to be thankful when we are enjoying peace and prosperity, and the many good things we have received from God.  But something that is even more difficult, is to be thankful when we face trials and troubles, when we suffer the loss of our health, or of a loved one, or of material possessions.  We all have to face these difficulties from time to time, yet, we are told in 1 Thessalonians 5:18,  “…give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

It is truly difficult to be thankful in times of suffering, but we should keep in mind the words of James as he wrote in James 1: 2-3: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”  As Christians we need to understand that even the trials that we are called to face can become an avenue in which God blesses our lives.

I am reminded of a young man  I met a few years ago.  He had been injured in an auto accident and paralyzed from his waist down.  Later, because of his depression, he had taken a gun and shot himself in the temple.  His head was badly disfigured, but he survived the suicide attempt.  When I met him he was in a nursing home, and had lost his will to live.  He would not eat and his weight had dwindled to less than 85 pounds.  I began to visit with him every week and we began to study the Bible.

After several weeks he was baptized into Christ.  He took on a renewed interest in life.   He began to eat and to gain weight.  He looked forward to Sunday when we would pick him up and take him to the morning assembly.

One day when we were talking, I expressed to him my sorrow for his condition and how I wished he were able to walk.  He told me that he was glad for his injuries.  He said that he had lived a very ungodly life before he was injured and had he not been injured, he would have never been interested in hearing the gospel message and becoming a Christian.

This young man had the faith to look beyond his trials and see the way God had used his trials to bless his life.  That is the kind of faith to which we are called.  No matter what the circumstances, let us be joyful and give thanks to the Lord.     -Wendell Ingram