His Hour

In his God-given wisdom and by the direction of the Holy Spirit, Solomon wrote a wonderful and poetic discourse on God’s use of time. He begins, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven…” Then, after listing several “times,” the Preacher extols God’s use of time, saying, “He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11).

As we consider the gospel of John, it is interesting to note the multiple references to a particular “hour” in Jesus’ life. In all but one case, the hour under consideration would seem to be the hour of His death. He knew that this hour would come; He came into the world for this hour. Let’s notice these texts.

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If Jesus Were On Facebook

A search on Facebook reveals a number of groups and fan pages that have been set up to focus on Jesus Christ. You can “Like” and “Follow” Jesus on Facebook, but you can’t “Friend” Him. He doesn’t have an account. Why then are we speculating about what He would do if He were on Facebook? Well, that’s not really our aim. Many of His people are on Facebook. All Christians must be careful how we use Facebook, for what we do will reflect upon the Lord and His church.

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Spiritual Hydrological Cycle

Hydrology is the science of water distribution through the earth. consider a simple description of the cycle:

  • Rain falls to the ground, nourishing plants, supplying drinking water, etc..
  • Water seeps into the ground or runs off into creeks and rivers if the ground is saturated.
  • Creeks, rivers and groundwater flow into large bodies of water (lakes, seas, oceans)
  • Water returns to the sky from these large bodies through the process of evaporation.

With the water back in the sky, the cycle begins again. Certainly there are more details we could give, but that is the basic cycle.

The prophet Isaiah used the hydrological cycle to tell us about the working of God’s word. Consider:

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The Bible And Racism

by William J. Stewart

The form of prejudice commonly called racism has always baffled me. Bigotry based upon skin colour makes as much sense as bigotry based upon eye or hair colour. And yet, racism is likely the most common form of prejudice worldwide today, and perhaps in every generation. It is sad to see this hideous attitude in the world, but even worse to find it among our brethren.

First, I want to suggest that the word “racism” is erroneous. There are not multiple races of mankind—there is only one race. The human race has been divided

…according to their families, according to their languages, in their lands, according to their nations… (Genesis 10:5, 20, 31)

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Other People’s Mail

by William J. Stewart

Have you ever received someone else’s mail? There have been times when we’ve received envelopes addressed to the former occupant of our house. Of course, the accepted practice is to write “Return to Sender” or “Not at this address” on the envelope and send it back through the postal system. Hopefully, through time, the stray items no longer show up in the mailbox.

I want us to consider the idea of reading other people’s mail. “What!!!???”, you might exclaim. Allow me to explain. Years ago, I was fortunate to hear an excellent lesson on being “Led By The Spirit,” taught by brother Marty Pickup at the Florida College lectures. Throughout the lecture, brother Pickup reminded us that when we open the Scriptures we are “reading other people’s mail.” The thought has stuck with me, and I believe expresses an essential approach to correctly study and understand the Bible.

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To Everything There Is A Season | Ecclesiastes 3:8

We have come to the end of Solomon’s “a time to” statements in Ecclesiastes 3. As we look at verse 8 today, we will deal with strong emotions, societal interaction, and our relationship with God.

A Time To Love, And A Time To Hate
In any language, love and hate are doubtless the two most intense emotions which man can have. The Hebrew word here for love is ‘ahab. It can be used of brotherly affection we might have for one another (Leviticus 19:18, 34) or of the more intimate relationship shared between lovers (Song of Solomon 3:4). The word can refer to our yearning for things such as food, drink, sleep or wisdom (Genesis 27:4). It is also used of man’s love for God (Deuteronomy 6:5).

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To Everything There Is A Season | Ecclesiastes 3:7

Again we turn our attention to wise Solomon’s statements as found in Ecclesiastes 3.

A Time To Tear, And A Time To Sew
The word “tear” primarily appears in Scripture when one has torn their clothing, through grief, distress, anger, etc.. Though it is not a custom of our culture, we can understand through the abrupt nature of this action the great turmoil and distress which is involved. It is a strong expression of sorrow or of displeasure.

Jacob, mourning the apparent death of his son Joseph tore his clothes in grief (Genesis 37:34). When the people of Israel chose to follow the bad advice of the other spies sent to Canaan, and in the process turned from the LORD, Joshua and Caleb tore their clothing (Numbers 14:6). Recall, when Jonah went to Nineveh, we read that all the residents of that place, from the king to the least of them, put on sackcloth (which often accompanies or parallels the tearing of one’s clothing) and sat in ashes, repenting of their wickedness (Jonah 3:4-6).

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To Everything There Is A Season | Ecclesiastes 3:6

Among the topics touched on by Solomon’s poetic verse is finance. Today we’ll consider some rudimentary instruction from Ecclesiastes 3.

A Time To Gain, And A Time To Lose
At least two extreme positions exist with regard to the Scriptures and money. Some believe that every faithful child of God should be extraordinarily wealthy, as God is the owner of all things, and we, as His people are heirs to all things (Colossians 1:16; 1 Timothy 6:17; Hebrews 3:4; cf. 3 John 1:2). Others will go to the opposite extreme, affirming the danger of riches (1 Timothy 6:10) and citing the Lord’s command to some that they sell all (Luke 18:22; Matthew 19:21). As with many cases, the truth is not at the extremes, but between them.

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To Everything There Is A Season | Ecclesiastes 3:5

Again we consider the words of wise Solomon from Ecclesiastes 3.

A Time To Cast Away Stones, And A Time To Gather Stones
As a child, I knew much about casting away stones. Year after year, I would labour in my grandparents’ garden, and among the duties delegated to me was to get rid of the stones. As much as I had cleared the land of stones the previous year, sure enough, “a time to cast away stones” came again.

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To Everything There Is A Season | Ecclesiastes 3:4

by William J. Stewart

Among the innate features of humanity is the ability to experience and display emotion. As we continue to look at Solomon’s instruction from Ecclesiastes 3, we consider some of these God-given traits.

A Time To Weep, And A Time To Laugh
No one looks forward to times of grief and affliction, but they inevitably will come. Job lamented in his sorrows with these words, “…affliction does not come from the dust, nor does trouble spring from the ground; yet man is born of trouble, as the sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7), and again, “Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble” (Job 14:1).

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