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Encouragement in Prayer

David’s trust in God as his Protector and Deliverer enabled him to overcome seemingly insurmountable difficulties. When his son Absalom became his greatest enemy (2 Sam. 15-18), David turned to God for encouragement. Psalm three is a lament for the increased troubles and discouragement of the deposed king (Psa. 3:1, 2; cf. 2 Sam. 16:7, 8). But David’s lament turns to praise as his trust in God lifts him above one of the darkest hours of his life. From Psalm…

Trusting in the Lord to Overcome

The treachery of his son Absalom (2 Sam. 15-18) occasioned David’s writing the Third Psalm. While this psalm has special relevance to a particular time in the life of King David, it also serves as a great inspiration for our faith as we endure the trials and tribulations in our own lives. David began this psalm highlighting the in-crease of troubles and the great discouragement that was cast his way: “Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are…

The House of The Lord

People often travel to faraway places and visit the ruins of kingdoms and empires that once were. But imagine witnessing ancient Egypt during the age of the Pharaohs or walking through the city of ancient Babylon during the days of Nebuchadnezzar. Even more awe-inspiring would be attending the gladiatorial games at the Colosseum or the chariot races at the Circus Maximus. Or what could com-pare to witnessing the grandeur of Trajan’s Forum with its shops, vendors, library, law courts, and…

The Leadership of Nehemiah

Moses, Joshua, David —these are men who come to mind as great leaders in the Old Testament. From the Judges we would add Gideon and Samuel; considering the prophets, we would look to Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, and perhaps Amos. But at the heart of Hebrew History is a man who must stand as one of the great leaders of his age —Nehemiah. Nehemiah’s leadership was neither military nor political. He was no prophet or lawgiver. As a leader he encouraged,…

HELP… Wanting

“For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee” (Titus 1:5). We are familiar with the sign HELP WANTED, but the present condition of the church at Midtown may better be represented by the notice: HELP…WANTING. Writing to Titus, Paul noted “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are…

What Do You See That is So Valuable?

An American tourist in Paris who purchased an inexpensive amber necklace in a trinket shop was shocked when he had to pay quite a high duty on it to clear customs in New York. His curiosity aroused, he decided to have it appraised to discover its true value. After looking at the object under a magnifying glass, the jeweler said, “I’ll give you $15,000 for it.” Greatly surprised, the man decided to have another expert examine it. The second jeweler,…

A Little Encouragement Goes A Long Way

One morning a man opened the door to get his daily newspaper. Prepared to walk to the curb he was surprised to see a little dog sitting at the front door, tail wagging with the newspaper in his mouth. At first he was a bit taken back and even thought of scolding the dog for “messing with my newspaper,” after all “that dog could have ripped this paper to pieces,” he said to his wife. However, on reflection he realized…

At the Beginning

“And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning” (Acts 11:15). An important characteristic of the New Testament church that is often underemphasized can be found in the account of Cornelius’ conversion in the simple phrase “at the beginning.” Have you ever wondered what it was like at the beginning of “the last days” (Acts 2:16, 17); at the beginning of “repentance and remission of sins” (Lk. 24:47); at the beginning…

An Unloving God?

“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of…