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SIMPLIFIED JOURNEY (8): Taking the Land

Near the end of Deuteronomy (chapter 31), Moses named Joshua as his successor to lead the people  into the promised land. Moses gave a charge to Israel and to Joshua:

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the LORD swore to their forefathers to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you, Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” – Deuteronomy 31:6-8

When God called him to lead Israel, Moses had worked as a shepherd in the Wilderness of Sinai for forty years. Joshua was one of two men in the Israelite camp who had walked through the promised land Continue reading

Jesus Begins His Ministry – Matthew 4:12-25

None of the four Biblical accounts of the life of Jesus, nor all of them together, give a complete record of His life. Each of the four writers of the gospels, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit selected material appropriate for his own purposes.

Matthew is not arranged in strict chronological order, though there is a rough chronology. Events from the final week do not appear in the early chapters and vice versa. Similar material, such as His miracles or parables, are together. He gives, in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5 – 7), the most complete arrangement of Jesus’ teaching. This “sermon,” though, when read consecutively, is only a few minutes in length. It is an important summation of His teaching about how to live in the Kingdom of God.

The few verses just before it, Matthew 4:12-25, provide a transition from His baptism and time of temptation in the wilderness to His public ministry Continue reading



Communion Meditation…

So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. Then he went to her, and the LORD enabled her to conceive… Boaz the father of Obed, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David. – Ruth 4:13, 21b-22

Why is the short book of Ruth in the Bible? It is a beautiful romance, but Continue reading

QUESTION: Are Christians Forbidden To Eat Pork?

Note: The following question came to me via The Question Box on our congregation’s website, http://www.Plymouth-church.com, where I answer questions.

Are we as Christians, still forbidden to eat pork? I just watched a preacher say on T.V., that we should not eat meat forbidden by God. I thought that was done away with and all meat was fit for consumption.

It is interesting to me that many people still measure their spirituality by Continue reading

DIFFICULT PASSAGES: Mark 8:22-26 – Why Did He Do It Like That?

They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When He had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”

He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.

Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes wee opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t go into the village.” – Mark 8:22-26




Mark provides us with the only record of this miracle. In some ways, it is the most curious of all Jesus’ miraculous signs. The story is simply told, but not as easily understood. Continue reading

QUESTION: Re the Lord’s Supper & the Fellowship Meal

I received the following question in a comment by Linda on an earlier question answered here. That question, which was about the propriety of having cinnamon sugar on the communion bread, elicited a couple of comments that mentioned a fellowship meal in connection with the Lord’s Supper.

We use the store bought wafers as a matter of convenience because our group is so large. And we also only offer it Sunday morning. I know some people have a problem with this but it seems there are no Sunday night only people and everyone gets there in time now. I guess that leaves out the content of the Lord’s Supper to no one’s interpretation and it remains consistent each Sunday. Can you enlighten me about the “fellowship meal”.? I dont think I’ve studied that before.

It is not surprising that you have not studied the fellowship meal, for its roots are in the Old Testament, which many congregations of the Church of Christ have effectively cut out of their Bibles. Continue reading

QUESTION: Do Faith, Hope & Love Represent Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and God?

The following question came to me via our congregation’s website’s QUESTION BOX where I answer questions, and have for almost four years now.

First Corinthians 13:13 speaks of FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE. Can you tell me if faith represents JESUS; hope, the HOLY SPIRIT; and love, GOD?

I do not see anything in the text or its context to suggest that Faith, Hope, and Love represent anything other than Faith, Hope, and Love.

I am glad you asked this question, however, because it gives me an incentive to Continue reading

The Power of the Word of God

We often talk about the power of the simple Word of God to touch the hearts and souls of people who come to it with open minds.

Here is the story of how God’s Word touched the life of Alexander Propochuk, also known as Sasha. Through him, God’s Word has touched and transformed the lives of many more of his Ukrainian countrymen.

The story begins when he was attending the Communist schools in the days when Ukraine was a part of the atheistic, communist Soviet Union. He says that in those schools, they constantly Continue reading

SIMPLIFIED JOURNEY (7): Wilderness Wanderings

Man can never accomplish God’s purposes without faith. This was true of Moses, who led Israel out of Egypt. “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to what would be said in the future” (Hebrews 3:5). Because Moses was faithful over God’s house, he was honored.

This was also true of Jesus, the Christ. “But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast” (Hebrews 3:6).

This, however, is not the usual relationship between men and their God. Accordingly, Hebrews goes on to speak of those whom Moses led:

Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief. – Hebrews 3:16-19
The years of wandering in the wilderness occurred because of Israel’s unbelief. Had they trusted God when they left Sinai, they could have entered Canaan within two years Continue reading


Communion Meditation…

Then the LORD raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. – Judges 2:16

In Caanan, Israel repeatedly wandered away from the LORD. The nations around them were always a temptation to them, that they adopt other gods and live as the heathen live.

God loved His people, and always wanted to bring them back to His loving care. Yet, when they Continue reading

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