Jeremiah 36 gives us a detailed picture of how God’s words given to Jeremiah and written down by Baruch are preserved. These words are ruthlessly rejected and apparently destroyed by King Jehoiakim. This comes at a critical point in Judah’s miserable final years before exile as Judah faces judgement through the instrumentation of the Babylonians. But, the King’s rejection of God’s Word is not the end of the story – for the king is to be punished and God’s words are to be re-written. This is a great account of the triumph and preservation of God’s Word.
Read Jeremiah 36 (The Whole Chapter!)
This text has all sorts of details, lessons, and applications. I want to focus specifically on what we can learn about the Word of God itself. It is very important to have a firm belief and an accurate understanding of the nature of God’s Word. This Word...
“Thus says the Lord:
Stand in the ways and see,
And ask for the old paths, where
The good way is,
And walk in it;
Then you will find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”
— JEREMIAH 6:16
If you have traveled “on land” for any distance, you may have had this experience. You are traveling and you think you are going in the right direction. But, you find out at some point that actually you are not on the right road or path at all. The question is, will you seek direction? Will you ask someone who knows the right way to go, listen to what they say, and then follow their directions?
How long will it take before you admit that you are actually lost and need help?
The imagery in our text is familiar. It is as if God’s people are traveling on a journey. They are instructed to stop at the crossroads and to ask for the right way to go. Indeed, God Himself is giving his own people...
Scripture: Mark 14:1-11 (NKJV)
Sometimes we may think that what we do for the Lord doesn’t really matter. What we do may not be appreciated by some people, and it may be misunderstood by others. It is possible to be weary in well-doing, and if that is you today, I have an encouraging word for you. What really counts in our daily lives is what Jesus thinks about what we are doing, as we will see. On the other hand, it is possible for our devotion to Christ to lose its passion, its fire, its focus. There is also a lesson here from the Word of God for those who may need the fire of devotion rekindled.
A meal is being served in a home. A simple and yet sacrificial act of devotion takes place — an anointing with oil. This was not uncommon in those days. But, as we will see, this act of appreciation and love took on a very special significance. It became part of a much bigger story with a message to be proclaimed.
Jesus will soon be arrested, He will be tried, He will...
“….Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18a).
Reading: 2 Peter 1:1-11 These opening verses of 2 Peter are the focus for our message, but the theme is summarized in the closing verse of this Epistle, 2 Peter 3:18a.
INTRODUCTION: “Real men ……” Real women……” “Real Christians ……. grow!” To be more precise (according to the Apostle Peter) a real knowledge of Christ and a real experience of His grace will lead to growth in Christian character. This is the Apostle’s “thesis” as he exhorts his readers in 2 Peter and confronts false teachers and teaching.
Let’s consider how Peter addresses this matter of Christian growth in the first part of his Epistle. We will consider three fundamental truths related to Christian growth. There is much more to this subject than we can cover at this...
Read Joshua 14:6-15, 15:13-19 (ESV)
Few would question that faithfulness a very important attribute or quality. We know that our Lord is forever faithful, and we praise Him for that. One of my favorite hymns is “Great is The Faithfulness.” Starting with His daily mercies towards us, continuing with His faithfulness throughout the seasons of life, and concluding with the many blessings He has and will provide, this hymn helps us celebrate our God’s faithfulness.
At the same time, we are called to be faithful, and especially faithful to the Lord Himself. Faithfulness can be described as a PERSONAL CONSISTENT CONTINUOUS COMMITMENT to a person or community in relationship. Faithfulness can be spoken of in relation to a responsibility received, in relation to a pledge made, in relation to a practice or lifestyle undertaken, or...
Just for a few minutes, I want us to think about one statement, one claim that the Lord Jesus Christ made about Himself. It is found in one of the four gospels, John’s gospel, John 8:12 (NKJV):
Then, Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
Let’s remember that the writer, the Apostle John, clearly states the purpose of his gospel, “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31). The Apostle has selected his material carefully, which includes the various powerful claims that Jesus made about Himself. We have just read one of those claims.
Let’s think about this claim, especially in the broader context of John’s gospel. Jesus is speaking in the immediate context to people including religious leaders who were constantly...
Read Revelation 5:1-14
To get a better handle on our situation on earth, it helps to get a fresh vision of what’s happening in heaven. We don’t do this to escape our responsibilities, we do this to gain a better perspective, a better picture of God, and greater courage to face the present challenges of our world. Having only an earth-bound perspective can lead to pessimism and even despair. Ultimately an “earthbound” perspective is limited and inadequate. Biblical truth helps us to gain the right perspective and to gain strength in the Lord to be “overcomers,” to be victorious Christians as we face the very real challenges of our day.
So, come with me as we let the exiled Apostle John, himself a victim of persecution, give us a vision beyond the limits of our world. We will not only see things beyond our limited understanding, but we will enter into the worship and wonder of heaven. Indeed, we will join in the...
Dear Friend of Olford Ministries International,
Greetings in Jesus’ Name!
I am happy to announce that we are scheduling two Institute events for the last quarter of this year, 2020.
The first is our “Essentials of Expository Preaching and Teaching” Institute. This is scheduled for Tuesday through Friday, October 20-23. This will be a time for practical training and spiritual encouragement.
The personal, practical and spiritual aspects of the preparation and delivery of Biblical Expository messages will be our focus. This event will be held at GMF’s Stephen Olford Center in Memphis, Tennessee. The facilities here will be ready for those who come. We will follow whatever guidelines are recommended at the time. Our numbers will be limited to provide adequate social distancing.
This event will provide instruction, interaction, fellowship, and spiritual enrichment. There will be a workshop session where participants will discuss two passages of...
Dear Friend of Olford Ministries International,
Greetings in Jesus’ Name!
I just returned home late last night from a ministry trip. As I write this email, I am reflecting on my time away and the devotional on Job 28 being sent out this week. I think almost everyone wants “wisdom” to handle the difficulties, the trials and the sufferings of this life.
There are many lessons from the Book of Job but certainly a primary lesson is - you gain a better perspective on suffering if you have a better personal knowledge of God Himself. That’s how the Book of Job ends. Unanswered questions remain but Biblical wisdom begins with God’s revelation of Himself. That revelation may not “take the pain away” for us, even though Job experienced a reversal of circumstances. So, what help do we have as we suffer or experience the pains and weaknesses of this life?
One of the messages I delivered while away was based on Romans 8:26-27, the...
TEXT: “But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?” (Job 28:12 ESV) “From where, then, does wisdom come? And where is the place of understanding?” (Job 28:20 ESV)
INTRODUCTION: Those who suffer personally can struggle to understand why they are suffering and they may feel that they have no access to God to plead their case. This was the experience of Job revealed in the Biblical book by his name, Job. We certainly have gained a fuller understanding of suffering through our Suffering Savior and His Cross and Resurrection. But, there is still the need for wisdom as we live in this world filled with suffering. Indeed, it is after addressing the issue of trials that James instructs and encourages his readers with these words: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God…….” (James 1:5). Ultimately, as we will see, Job 28 will point us in the same direction.
The 28th chapter of Job contains a poem on...