- Written by Michael Green
I was perusing the internet this morning and came across an interesting story. It was the story of a tree. A tree growing alone in the desert. Abused by the sun, sand, heat and wind the tree stood nonetheless. A passing bird found rest in its boughs and inquired of the tree why it bothered to grow in the dead misery of the desert. The tree told the bird, "For you." The bird did not understand. The tree simply explained that were it not there, the bird would have nowhere to sit and would himself be alone and useless in the desert.
You have a purpose. It may not be clear to you, or anyone around you, what that purpose is — but by your mere presence you offer purpose and meaning to others around you. You may be the lone tree in the desert of life that gives another reason for being here or the hope of respite from the unrelenting agony of life. As Mordecai told Esther, "And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14 ESV) Be someone's tree today.
- Written by Dee Bowman
Death is indeed sad. To watch a death scene is an event not easily erased from one’s catalog of memories. I saw a friend die one time. It was a slow death–so slow in fact that he didn’t even know it was happening. I saw it coming. I warned him. Others did likewise. But it was all to no avail. He just finally died. May I take a few moments of your time and tell you about it? It could save your life.
- Written by Marc Smith
Christians from the very beginning have had to decide whether or not to honor the holiday observations of religions other than that of Christ. That first generation of Christians, being Jews, were confounded by the insistence of some that they continue to observe the “laws and ordinances” of the law of Moses. But this was soon answered by the apostles (Acts 15:24-31; Ephesians 2:15; Galatians 5:6) who plainly defined the old law as dead. Therefore the observation of special days and practices under the old law were now only matters of indifference.
- Written by Edward O. Bragwell, Jr.
I often hear people say that the Bible cannot really be understood. One reason some give is that the Bible is a mystery that no one can understand. As proof, they point to the fact that the Bible sometimes refers to itself as a mystery. Now it is true that in many passages the Bible does characterize the things within it as a "mystery." The question that must be asked is if these things continue to be a mystery. Let's first look at what is meant by the word mystery. A mystery is "something unexplained, unknown, or kept secret" (Webster's New World Dictionary). The Greek word "musterion" (moos-tay-ree-on) which is translated mystery in the New Testament literally means "to shut the mouth" and means "a secret" according to Strong. So the things that are contained in the Scriptures are things that at least at one time God kept His mouth shut about or kept secret. But the question is whether these things are a mystery or secret any longer or has God made His will known to us so that we can understand. A careful consideration of a few Bible passages should give us the answer to this.
- Written by Ernest A. Finley
Men often evidence their lack of understanding of Bible teaching in the fields of authority and expediency. When my brethren protest the use of mechanical instruments of music in the worship of God on the ground that there is no authority for them, they who use them reply that we should not bother ourselves with objecting to their unauthorized practices when we do many things in worship for which there is no authority. "Where," they ask, "do you find authority for a song book, or song director in worship?" Further, they ask, "Where do you find authority for a collection plate?" They ask likewise for our scriptural authority for benches, church buildings, and electric lights.