Enjoying the Journey

When I was a young man someone told me, “Choose only a date who would make a good mate.” That was good advice. A casual relationship can quickly turn into a serious one. Friendships often become lifelong commitments. There are many choices in life, but few have more lasting consequences that who you will marry. In Genesis 6:1-2 the Bible describes an ancient society where “the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” This would set in motion a chain of events that eventually led to the worldwide flood. Civilization was destroyed because of evil imaginations and carnal desires.  What can we learn from this…

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I often hear it said, “They are good people.” This is a subjective statement, of course, because it is filtered by the person’s standard of goodness. We know from Scripture that “there is none that doeth good” (Romans 3:12). The Apostle Paul, by any measurement, a good man, testified, “In me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing” (Romans 7:18). If there is anything good in any of us it must be Jesus! Only the Holy Spirit can produce goodness in the life of a sinner (Galatians 5:22). Still, we understand what is meant when someone says that a particular man or woman is a good person. They are nice. Kind perhaps. Gracious. But there is an inherent…

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This week Tammy and I are speaking at two different couples’ retreats. It is wonderful just to be together and a privilege to invest in others truth that has been invested in us. Marriage is one of God’s greatest classrooms. In it He teaches us so much about ourselves, about Himself, and about one another. Recently as I read through the Song of Solomon a particular phrase captured my attention. The bride said of her groom, “This is my beloved, and this is my friend” (Song of Solomon 5:16). Of course we know this is a beautiful picture of our heavenly bridegroom, the Lover of our souls, the Lord Jesus Christ. He loves us with an everlasting love and He…

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My favorite traveling companion is the one that God is allowing me to make this journey through life with. Every place is better with her. Every day brighter. Tammy has been for the last nearly twenty five years my best friend, over twenty one of those as my wife. She is God’s best gift to me outside of Christ. Our first date was at a college Valentine banquet in 1995 and she has been my sweetheart every Valentine’s day since then.  When I travel to meetings without her the people always hear about her. It is easy to talk about the one you love. Sometimes people will ask about my wife’s ministry: Does she like to speak to ladies? How…

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In our day of cheap facades, strange additives, and generic substitutes it is appealing when anyone offers something that is completely natural. Entire brands are now built on the idea of being “all natural.” But in this fallen world of ours even that which is “natural” is so often tainted by sin and the curse. This was not the case with Christ. He was the most natural person to have ever lived, and yet the most supernatural. The Lord Jesus was all man and all God at the same time – deity clothed with humanity. As surely as His deity was perfect deity, His humanity was perfect humanity. The “second Adam” was the perfect Man. I have been reflecting recently…

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It has been said that the most beautiful word in the English language is your own name. Even if you don’t care for the name you have been given, it means a great deal when others care enough to use it. Everyone loves to be known. To be acknowledged. Several months ago I was having a meal in a restaurant with a pastor. The owner of the establishment came by the table to say hello. My friend was a regular and kindly introduced me to the restaurant owner. It was a very brief introduction and our meal went on. Nearly an hour later as we were leaving I heard a voice behind me, “It was nice to meet you, Scott.…

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As a boy I heard an older man say, “If you have a handful of true friends in life you are a wealthy person.” At the time I thought it was a ridiculous statement. I had a lot of friends! I planned to make more… Now, at middle age, I am that older man! And I am beginning to understand. There are many casual friendships in life, and even more acquaintances. But, true friends? They are rare, precious, priceless. And they do not come by accident. It is easy to make friends. It is harder to keep them. Some people make friends easily, but true friendship requires work. Someone has to work at it! The same is true for maintaining…

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Recently as I was caring for some personal business the Lord reminded me of a wonderful principle. God’s people should be helping God’s people. The verse that the Holy Spirit brought to my mind was Galatians 6:10, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” I personally do not believe this means you may only conduct business with believers, but I do believe that Christians should intentionally be looking for ways to encourage others in the family of God. One of the buzzwords in religious circles of late has been about the need for “community.” Jesus had another name for it: “church.” This is not some…

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The wisest man who ever lived teaches us that “he that walketh with wise men shall be wise” (Proverbs 13:20).  Friends have tremendous influence.  For many years I have counseled teenagers to choose their friends carefully, not to let their friends choose them.  Standing near the mid way point of life (at least from my perspective) I suddenly have realized that this counsel is not just for youth.  It is for me.  It is for all of us. When you choose a friend, you are choosing the influencers of your life. Look for men who are wise enough to obey God.  True wisdom is the wisdom of obedience.  It is more than knowledge, more than talk.  True wisdom is seen…

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Today is a day for rest and reflection after a very busy week.  We have just concluded our annual Baptist Friends Conference.  This is always a special time of reunion with friends and wonderful preaching.  This year was special. I cannot remember a meeting where the Lord’s presence was so strong.  Day after day and message after message the Holy Spirit worked in our hearts.  It was a deep work – convicting, searching, teaching.  God was among us. As I have thought on what made this year’s conference so special, one thought seems to keep surfacing.  It was all about the Lord Jesus Christ.  It was not the preachers.  This conference was not a preaching competition or a platform to…

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