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Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

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Follow Me! God Calls a Young Prophet

1 Samuel 3

God has a call for all of us. In God’s plan, we all have a place and are part of that plan. It’s important to realize that things never surprise God; He either directs or allows to happen every single event which occurs. The call of Samuel the prophet is no different. God called him before he was even born!

If we go back to 1 Samuel 1 we can read the story of Samuel’s mother Hannah, and her encounter with the priest Eli. Hannah was childless and barren, and prayed so intently that Eli thought she must have been drunk. An aside here, but do we actually pray fervently enough that people think something is wrong with us? His mother prayed this:

“And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.” 1 Samuel 1:11

God listened, Hannah gave birth to Samuel, and just as she promised she gave and dedicated him to the service of the Lord; this is how young Samuel came to him with Eli at the time of our story. Likely, Samuel was a young teen at the time our events take place. Unfortunately, Eli had family issues, and these are important later. It would have been normal for Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phenehas, to have inherited Eli’s place in the priesthood. They, however, had issues. Read about them here. These young men had forfeited their place in God’s work.

So, our story recommences in 1 Samuel Chapter 3. Eli the priest was back on duty at the Temple, and this time the young Samuel was along. Both had retired for the evening, when God spoke to Samuel. Samuel, not understanding what was going on, ran to Eli to respond to the request he thought came from his mentor and teacher.

Finally, after 4 calls form the Lord, Samuel answered God’s call. Why four?

Well, for one thing, God speaking to the people had become rare in those days. The time of the judges was a rough spot for God’s chosen people, and prophecy was rare. “And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision.” 1 Samuel 3:1.

For another thing, Samuel did not yet know the Lord. This may be part of the above confusion, but we see, “Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, neither was the word of the Lord yet revealed unto him.” 1 Samuel 3:7. Most likely it indicates that, even though Samuel certainly knew of God, at this point he did not KNOW God in a personal way.

Some takeaways from this story:

Samuel was ready and willing. Even though he did not yet know the Lord in a personal way, he was receptive and ready for the message. His instant response when he thought it was Eli calling shows this.

Samuel had to know the Lord personally before anything else made sense. Friends, our brains can know everything there is to know about Jesus, but if our hearts are not made right by our repentance, faith and regeneration then it is nothing but a bunch of facts. Facts won’t save us.

Finally, Samuel was ready to do whatever he was commanded to do. The first thing Samuel was asked to do was tell his mentor Eli all about himself. He had to give his teacher the prophecy regarding what was to happen to Eli’s family because of their misdeeds. That must have been hard, but Samuel was willing.

Jesus is calling us each. Are we owners of a mind and heart open to the Gospel? Are we willing to turn to Him and have a personal relationship with Him? Once we have, are we willing to do whatever He asks, even if it seems difficult?

 

 

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Follow Me! A Father in Law Fails His Family

Today, we are going to talk about Lot just a bit. I say just a bit because we could write volumes about Abraham’s nephew Lot, and see a thousand lessons in his story; actually, many people have done just that. But, there is just one incident I want to focus on in this story. We do have to recap Lot’s life just a bit first though, to put this in context. I’ll reference Scripture, and readers can read the recap for themselves.

Lot first appears in Genesis 12:1-4 when God tells Abram to depart Haran and head to as yet undisclosed location.

We see Lot again, when his shepherds and those of Abram quarreled over good pasture land in the area they had gone to. In Genesis 13 we see the selfish decision Lot made in regard to the parcel of land he and his group desired. Lot “pitched his tent toward Sodom.” Verse 12. Looking back, we know this was the beginning of the troubles for Lot.

Our first indication that Lot had done more than just set up camp in the countryside comes in Genesis 14 when there was a rebellion and war among some kings in the Sodom area. The victorious king took the goods and people of Sodom, and because Lot was now actually living in Sodom, he and his family were also taken. “And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.” Verse 12.

As we fast forward to Genesis 19, we see that Lot is deeply entrenched in the business and culture doings of the sinful city of Sodom. The angels sent by God to extract Lot and his family from the imminent destruction of the city found Lot at the gate, with the other prominent businessmen of the city. He was entrenched deeply. “And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;” Verse 1. 

Like we have done in others in this series, let’s talk about the call of Lot. Was he? Well sure he was. We know this because God sent angels to save him out of the destruction. The Holy Spirit revealed that also to Peter as he wrote one of his Epistles. “And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexeyld his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)” 2 Peter 2:7-8. So, yes, this one easy, God Himself through His Word tells us that, despite himself and his actions, the Lot was a called and righteous man.

All this makes one incident in this story all the more amazing, and sadder than sad. The two angels briefed Lot on what was to happen to his city, and Lot began to gather and inform his family. This happened:

“And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.” Genesis 19:14

That seems completely nuts, doesn’t it? His sons in law literally laughed at Lot. Clearly, this was the first time they had heard any talk of God, or sin or judgment…EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE MARRIED TO HIS DAUGHTERS! Let’s not let his girls off the hook either; even though righteous themselves(they were saved from the destruction,) they obviously had never mentioned those issues either.

We can sit here a few thousand years later and talk about how this sounds crazy, and waggle our fingers at Lot for allowing such a thing to happen. But, friends, when we do we need to make sure we aren’t being big hypocrites when we do. I can testify personally to dozens of people who profess to belong to God, yet never mention his name in their own families; this would include parents who profess Christ, yet never expose their children to the Gospel.

Here is a quote that might put this issue into perspective:

“I’ve always said that I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and a hell, and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward—and atheists who think people shouldn’t proselytize and who say just leave me along and keep your religion to yourself—how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?

“I mean, if I believed, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that a truck was coming at you, and you didn’t believe that truck was bearing down on you, there is a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that.”

Who said that? Some famous evangelist or noted preacher? Some great commentary writer? Well, no that’s a quote from atheist Penn Jillette, of the magician duo, Penn & Teller. (and a pretty funny guy honestly)

That’s awkward, isn’t it?

Follow Me! A Prophet Rebukes a King

2 Samuel 12

“And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man…” 2 Samuel 12:7

Nathan the prophet appears several times in Scripture. Clearly, he was a trusted advisor to King David; seems we might even call him David’s pastor if we wanted to equate his role with us today. He first appears in 1 Kings 12, when David wants to inquire about building a Temple for the Lord. He appears later, in 1 Kings 1 as David was nearing the end of his life when Adonijah was attempting to upset the roral succession and usurp the throne from David’s son Solomon. Nathan was instrumental in foiling that plot.

It seems Nathan was just doing that a good prophet does, and that is going where he is called to go, proclaiming God’s Word the entire way. In our story today, Nathan was called to a different role. While he had seemingly been called to advise the King, or to even cover his back in rough times, today Nathan is going to be called to be brutally honest with David and to rebuke him.

We all know the story I suspect. David had committed his great sin with Bathsheba, murdered her husband and all of the rest. Nathan came to David and told him a story: of a rich man who had taken the dearest possession of a poor man, his little lamb. Once David got his dander up in anger about the man in this story, Nathan quickly pointed out to David that HE was that man. Ouch, right?

There are just a couple of quick thoughts here. First, the question sometimes arises as to why David has not killed himself for his sin; he had committed adultery and murder after all.  Didn’t Jewish law demand his death? Well, it certainly did, had his indiscretion been witnessed by two or three. Many probably knew what David had been up to, but nobody really “knew,” as fact. Also, God gave that law to the people to govern themselves; God can do what he wants. But, as Nathan predicted, David certainly did not escape unscathed from the earthly consequences of what he had done.

Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.  For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.  And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.  Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die” 2 Samuel 12:11-14

Things would not go well for David for some time. He would lose his child, his family, almost his Kingdom; the entire world would know why all of this was going on. God simply let the natural consequences of David’s actions to unfold before the world.

Second, I say kudos to Nathan. First, he did what had to be done. That must have been difficult, and taken some courage, to confront David with his actions. It would have been hard even though God had called him to do it; he would not have been the first person to ignore God had he made that choice! We need preachers like that, who are willing to confront issues head-on, even when doing so may put their position and standing at risk. Actually, we just need people in general willing to do that. Also note that even though this must have put some strain between David and Nathan, Nathan never quit having David’s back. The story with Adonijah shows that.

Some kudos to David too in this. Clearly, David didn’t eject Nathan from his court because the prophet confronted him; the story with Adonijah shows that also. In other words, he did not retaliate when Nathan spoke the truth about him. Friends, this is Biblical. We are to forgive and restore, even when difficult things have happened.

Sometimes we have to have hard conversations, yet, we don’t have to let them divide us. We certainly can’t do that, but God can; and, by the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we can also. If we want to, that is.

Follow Me! A Soldier Does the Right Thing

This is probably a good time to explain what I am trying to accomplish with this Follow Me! series. The answer is: I really don’t know. As I read here and there, I read about some character(whether major or minor,) and something comes to mind. There you have it: the random workings of my mind, and hopefully the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Read 2 Samuel 11 here

“But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and went not down to his house.  And when they had told David, saying, Uriah went not down unto his house, David said unto Uriah, Camest thou not from thy journey? why then didst thou not go down unto thine house?  And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing.” 2 Samuel 11:9-11

We all know this story I suppose. King David was hanging around the house while his armies were off fighting the enemy; he wasn’t really being where he was supposed to be. He observed Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, bathing and was tempted. He acted on that temptation, committed adultery with her, and she became pregnant. Uh oh, right? Wait, there’s more. We know the more. David attempted to cover up his own indiscretion by bringing Uriah home to be with his own wife; that failed and David had to go to Plan B. Sadly Plan B involved the murder of Uriah. This is all very sad.

Why did David’s plan to hide his adultery with Bathsheba fail? It was a great plan, really. All that had to happen was for Uriah to sleep with his own wife, and the entire world would think her baby was his!

Uriah was a pretty special guy, apparently. We know he was special enough that getting a personal invitation from King David was seemingly not an unusual event. We know he was included in the list of David’s Thirty Mighty Men in 2 Samuel 23; these were 30 particularly heroic and trusted warriors in the King’s army. In our text story, I think we see the most heroic thing of all.

Uriah was just a man doing his duty. In his mind, this was no more or no less than that. I would even say it was so ingrained in him that he could do no less; after the initial failure of his plan, David tried again by getting Uriah drunk and hoping that would make the man slip up. Even drunk, Uriah had the presence of mind to know and do what was right according to his own conscience.

Now, there’s a lesson right there. David was NOT where he should have been when he should have been there. We all know the horrible and generational chain of events THAT set in motion.

On the other hand, we have Uriah the Hittite. He was just doing his duty when and where he should have been doing it. That’s all it took to keep him out of trouble. Well, I suppose getting murdered was a spot of trouble; then again, sometimes doing the right thing doesn’t necessarily provide temporal rewards. That would be another lesson.

 

 

Follow Me! Hey! How’s That Pulse Doing?

This is actually a rerun of a rerun; I am cheating big time and slipping this one in again. I was actually going to write about Felix and how he told the Apostle Paul that he would call for him later and a more convenient time. I recalled mentioning Felix in a blog post, so I looked. So, here you have it. This fits with our Follow Me! series. It’s about God calling folks and their responses. He is calling YOU; what is YOUR response?


A while back in a post or a comment(I don’t remember where exactly), my friend ColorStorm, asked a question along the lines of: “Hey, how’s that pulse doing?” I sort of hijacked the phrase, stole it if you will, and now I use it fairly often. It has, as I was told, a certain shelf life.

So, what’s the point?

Thump, thump

We are all born, and we all die. As the saying goes; Nothing is certain but death and taxes. We all hope to live a long, happy, and fruitful life. We also know that is not always the case; tales of unexpected, sudden death are all around us. How many times have we heard the phrase:

Oh…it was just so UNEXPECTED!

Of course, it’s rarely expected, It is, however, coming. Do we know when? What are some things God’s Word has to say about the timing of our passing from this world?

Job 7:1 Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling?

Proverbs 27:1 Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.

James 4:13-15 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

Thump, thump

Many will say: “Well yes, life is short and can end unexpectedly, but death is just all my cells ceasing to function. As long as I made the most of what I had, it’s all good”

Thump, thump

But, we are not just a collection of cells. Read how we were created:

Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

We are a living soul; we are a living soul which will live eternally. We were created by God to exists in joyful fellowship with him forever. God was so close with His creation, Adam and Eve, that he walked with them in the cool of the day. God wanted to exist with us in eternal love and fellowship; however, He did not force this love upon us. He gave us the free will to choose love, or rebellion.

Satan showed up in the Garden that fateful day, spouting his damnable lies.

Hath God said?

Ye shall not surely die

It was all downhill from there, Eve ate; Adam ate.  Because of their sin and rebellion

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Furthermore, sin has a penalty, a penalty which must be paid, for the wages of sin is death.

Thump, thump

That’s the bad news. We have all sinned, and we are all under the penalty of sin, for which the only payment possible is death, physical as well as spiritual. We saw that above, but that was not the whole thing. Here is the rest:

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Thump, thump

God has promised us eternal life through the atoning work of His Son Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. It is available to us all; repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ is all that is required. All we have to do is agree, and ask.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Here is the problem. There are no do overs. The only chance for us to make the decision regarding our eternal destiny is here, and now, and in this lifetime. Once we draw the final breath, we have no more chances.

Thump, thump

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

2 Corinthians 6:2 ……now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation

In the book of acts we see the stories of two men, Felix and Aggripa, both of whom the Apostle Paul shared the Gospel with. they had the following to say.:

Felix: Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.

Agrippa: Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.

What we never see, no matter how hard we read and study, is any record that anything ever changed for those two men. They wanted a more convenient season, they were almost persuaded.

Oh…it was just so UNEXPECTED!

It may be expected; it may be sudden. It will, however, BE. The death rate among the general population is 100 percent.

But the choice is ours. We can accept the Grace of God and the payment Jesus Christ made on our behalf….or we can reject it. But, now is the time. There may not be a later.

Thump, thump

Thump, thump

So…..How Is that pulse doing?

 

Follow Me! A Pharisee Comes at Night

Nicodemus is an unusual character in that he only appears in the Gospel of John; in fact, the Gospel of John is actually the only real reference we have to this man. There aren’t even any reputable extra-Biblical sources that tell us anything about him. So, who was he?

We know he was an important Pharisee: “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:” John 3:1. This seems to indicate that Nicodemus was a “somebody,” among the Jews. We see more support for this later in John Chapter 7, as a group, presumably the Sanhedrin, sent a crew out to arrest Jesus(which we will see shortly Nicodemus objected to.) Finally, in John 19 we see Nicodemus coming along with Joseph of Arimathea to seek Jesus’ body for burial. The quantity of burial spices Nicodemus brought along sure seems to indicate he was a man of some wealth.

Poor Nicodemus is yet another one of the folks in the Bible that we like to waggle our bony fingers at and judge semi harshly sometimes; much is often made of how this man was “sneaking around,” at night when he first came to meet Jesus. My response to that accusation and my question is this: Why would he NOT be sneaking around at night? He seems to have understood that something special was happening when he told Jesus “Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him” John 3:2. Yet, just as clearly, he didn’t understand all of the details of just what was going on. I think it’s probably true that Nicodemus was hedging his bets just a little bit here; he had plausible deniability so to speak, in that if discovered he could simply claim that he was fulfilling his role as a member of the ruling council to investigate Messianic claims. On the other hand, these confrontations were usually much more public and done in groups. The Pharisees tended to be quite vocal and roam in packs as they confronted Jesus. I think Nicodemus was honestly seeking, yet trying to provide himself with a hedge of protection if Jesus turned out to be a big fat nothing. What’s wrong with that, exactly? I will make the case that this man had absolutely zero responsibility to be bold and open about anything because he was not yet a believer, but merely a seeker responding to the drawing of the Holy Spirit.

So, what happened? Well, we know that story: Jesus instructed Nicodemus in the way in which he must be born again; Nicodemus heard the Gospel. Did he respond? I will go with, “yes,” on that one. The presentation of Nicodemus in the next two appearances he makes is generally favorable. In  John 7, he was vocal about pointing out that the way the rulers were dealing with Jesus was not right nor fair; of course, they all quickly mocked and derided him for that. His appearance in John 19, along with Joseph of Arimathea to bury Jesus seems to be a fairly public and open show of support; the amount of spice he brought(likely a substantial financial offering,) seems to indicate he held Jesus in high esteem. So, yes, I tend to think Nicodemus spent the remainder of his day enjoying his new personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. 

So, let’s lighten up a bit on poor Nicodemus for “sneaking around at night.” How many today, who ARE believers, sneak around as if they are hiding their own faith? How many today would let the haters plot and scheme about Jesus and never utter a word of objection? How many today would publicly offer their service and resources to Jesus, especially if they thought the impact on them would be negative?

It seems that Nicodemus was willing to do all of those things. How about us?

 

Follow Me! A Missionary Couple Plants Churches

We first see Priscilla and Aquila make an appearance in Acts 18:1-3. Paul had left Athens and made his way to Corinth, where he met the couple. They were a natural fit, this couple and Paul, as they were tentmakers just like the Apostle. They were seemingly among the earliest Jewish converts in Rome, and had been driven from Rome as a result of persecution, as we see in the previous passage.

It seems that this couple was quite important to Paul’s early missionary work; in fact, they were dedicated enough to have at one point risked their very lives for the Apostle. Romans 16:3-4. They apparently helped Paul establish the church at Corinth, and housed him in their home during his stay there. After a year and a half at Corinth, Paul packed up and headed to Ephesus, and Aquila and Priscilla went with him. Ultimately, Paul moved on from Ephesus, leaving the couple behind to help with the new church there. Acts 18.

What a great example these two are for the rest of us, especially married couples trying to serve the Lord together!

They were a team; we never seem them mentioned individually. Sometimes Priscilla is mentioned first, and sometimes Aquila; yet, they are always mentioned together.

They were noted for their hospitality and willingness to share what they had in the name of the Gospel. They literally housed and supported Paul during his time at Corinth, and we see references to them opening their own homes to house churches. 1 Corinthians 16:19.

They were willing to give it all up if necessary and move as the Spirit directed them. Obviously, the pair were doing well in their tentmaking business; not everybody can host an evangelist in their home for a year and a half, nor can most host a church in their home. They were not broke and starving. Nonetheless, when Paul packed up and headed to Asia Minor, they were right there with him and did the same yet again.

They seemed satisfied with their supportive role over the course of years. While they are highly esteemed in Scripture, I don’t see any evidence that they were front and center anywhere they were, really. They supported Paul in Corinth. They supported Paul later in Ephesus. After Paul left, they seemingly supported another evangelist who came Ephesus way, Apollos, by helping and even teaching him. Also in Acts 18. When Paul later returned to Ephesus and stayed three years, I have no doubt this couple was right there, just doing what they did. Later, when Timothy came to assume the pastorate in Ephesus, I am sure they were right there as well.

Friends, we need great preachers and great evangelists; there is no doubt about that whatsoever. Yet, we can’t minimize the role of the ones who are simply in the fight day in and day out extending hospitality, supporting those who preach God’s Word and personally making disciples. Preachers come and go, but part of the real backbone in any local assembly is those families who are there year after year, just faithfully working away.

Follow Me! An Evangelist Preaches to “Those People”

Acts 8

Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.  And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.  For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.  And there was great joy in that city.” Acts 8:5-8

There are few men named Philip in the Bible. King Herod the Great had two sons named Philip, and we aren’t talking about them today. Of course, there was Philip the Apostle, and we may talk about him later. Today, we are going to talk briefly about Philip the Deacon, or Philip the Evangelist.

This Philip was one of the seven men chosen by the Apostles the be the first Deacons in the church, back in Acts Chapter 6. We can see from reading that at least two of these men, Stephen and Philp, did far more than serve and take care of widows; they each went on to become great and enthusiastic evangelists.

Led by among others, Saul of Tarsus(later Paul the Apostle,) there arose a great persecution of the church in Jerusalem. Many of the Jews scattered to the four winds, preaching as they went. “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.” Acts 8:4 Philip was one of those who did this.

A lot is made of Peter preaching to Cornelius the Roman Centurion, and much is made of the Apostle Paul being the Apostle to the Gentiles. It’s worth noting that Philip did his own share of reaching outside of mainstream Judaism in his preaching! “Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.” Acts 8:5 Many were saved, and all rejoiced. Later, we can see that Peter and John also came down to take part in this work.

This is a fairly astounding thing, as we all know that there was no love lost between the Jews and the Samaritans; in fact, the mutual hatred ran deep. To the Jew, the Samaritans were no more than no good half breeds, and Samaritan feelings in return we not much better. Jesus, of course, sent the example and the expectation Himself when He witnessed to the Samaritan woman at the well. Philip would have likely been personally aware of what happened there.

Friends, there’s just a good lesson in this story. Even today, in our own nation, there are groups of people we just don’t like; in fact, we are either trying to keep many of them out of our country or get some already here to leave. We consider some to be undesirable, and the threat to our security quite real. It may be real, but this post isn’t about that.

As believers, we ought to know that only one thing can truly change the heart of any human, and that is when that heart is regenerated by the saving grace of God. If we are that concerned about, “those people,” and the way they act, why don’t we do like Philip and tell them about the Lord Jesus Christ?

Follow Me! A Blind Man’s Parents

John 9:18-23

“But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue,” John 9:21, 22.

First, did God call the parents of this blind man? Well, yes, He did. He called them the same way most of us are called; another believes and tells us the Good News of the Gospel. Their reaction is telling. It also teaches us a lesson about how we may be living our own lives as believers.

The world, in case readers have failed to notice, has become an increasingly hostile place for believers in Jesus Christ. Every day we see belief being pushed from displays in the public sphere; even worse is being a believer forced by public pressure or legislation to accept and even rejoice in things God’s Word clearly condemns. On the other hand, some never experience any pushback from the world and live a perfectly peaceful Christian life. Why that happens is worth exploring.

We can see why this happens to some, simply, by a quick reading of our story here. The reaction of the parents of the formerly blind man illustrates the point perfectly. They knew this was their son; they knew he had been blind for life and now could see; yet, when asked about it, they declined to answer to what was quite obvious! “Ask him!” they said.

They refused to answer because they “feared the Jews,” and feared being “put out of the synagogue.” No one is suggesting that believers need to be reckless or careless in how we share our faith with others. In that regard, each person’s calling is not alike. Yet, we might want to ponder this question. How many today live perfectly peaceful Christian lives with no negative repercussions whatsoever because of our fear of what will happen to us if we only speak up and tell others what we clearly know to be true?

Now, back to Mom and Dad. Their son believed and told them all about it. How did it end for them? Well, we aren’t told that, but we never see that they came to believe themselves. Many, even when presented with the truth, and solid evidence for it, still choose to reject it. That’s just sad, isn’t it?

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