Showing posts from December, 2019

The Joy of a Clear Conscience

If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? – Genesis 4:7 – These words, spoken by God to Cain, deal with what may well be the single most profound aspect of human experience – the work of conscience.   Cain and his brother each brought an offering to God, related to his life’s work.   Cain was “a tiller of the ground,” and Abel, “a keeper of flocks.”   The Lord was pleased with Abel’s offering, but had “no regard” for Cain’s.   Why?   Because Abel brought his offering in faith and Cain did not (Heb. 11:4).   This difference is intimated in how their respective offerings are described.   It is said of Cain, simply, that he “brought an offering to the L ord of the fruit of the ground.”   But concerning Abel, it says he brought the “ firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions.”   This means, as Cassuto explains, that “whilst Abel was concerned to choose the finest thing in his possession, Cain was indifferent.” [1]      Cain held back the best po

The New Left-Hander’s Study Bible

Nashville  (JNN) – Thomas Nelson, Inc. has announced the publication of a new specialty Bible designed to appeal to left-handers. The  Left-Hander’s Study Bible  is set to come out just in time for Christmas. “I am so happy to finally have a Bible that is sensitive to my needs,” said Amanda Laevus.  “We live in a right-hander’s world, and everything is geared toward them, including the Bible.” “Think about it,” said Thad Armstrong, the key figure behind the development of the new Bible, and himself a leftie.  “The Bible has favored righties over lefties since the very beginning.  It speaks, for instance, of  right  and wrong.  How is this supposed to make a leftie feel?  And this is just the tip of the iceberg.  In our new  Left-Hander’s Study Bible  we have kept the text of the NIV, but have made some modifications so as to be sensitive to lefties.” Here’s a sampling of the kind of changes that have been made: ·     “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is  lef

Faithful are the wounds of a friend

Recently, while preaching through the book of Zechariah, I was struck by a passage in the thirteenth chapter in which the prophet spoke of a time when the Lord would so work in and among his people that they would no longer tolerate the presence of idols or the prophets who served them.   So adamant would they be in this that even the family members of the false prophets would rebuke and discipline them.   What’s more, the false prophets themselves would come to be grateful for this.   Every prophet will be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies.   He will not put on a hairy cloak in order to deceive, but he will say, “I am no prophet, I am a worker of the soil…” And if one asks him, “What are these wounds on your back?” he will say, “The wounds I received in the house of my friends” (Zech. 13:4-6). The genuineness of their repentance would be proven by the fact that they would regard as friends , those who had reproved them and rescued them from their error. The same s