December 1 - Provocation—The Right Kind
The King James Version of Hebrews 10:24 reads, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.” This version uses the word provoke, a strong word that typically has a negative connotation. I think it was used deliberately in order to make us think. What do we usually provoke from other people? Anger or jealousy. But we are to provoke to “love and to good works.”
The Greek word translated “provoke” is the same word from which the English word paroxysm is derived. Do you know what a paroxysm is? It is an absolutely uncontrollable outburst of emotion, such as anger, or even laughter.
Although the word provoke often suggests something bad, in this context, it is turned to the good, for we are to provoke one another to love and good works. And let me just point out that there are certain people whom you’ll have to provoke if you want them to do the right thing. Moreover, you will have to consider how to provoke them.
This is one of my weaknesses. I don’t like having to consider people’s personalities. With a military background and a rather logical mind, it is sufficient for me just to tell the person to do something. But the Bible tells us to consider how to tell them, because if you want the right result from one person, you have to tell him in quite a different way from the way in which you might tell another person. Anybody who has children knows this is true—you cannot treat them all the same. You can scold one child and get the right result. But if you scold another child, you might just discourage or defeat him.
Thank You, Lord, that You help me to love others. I proclaim that I consider how to provoke others to love and good works. I shall consider others. Amen.
By Derek Prince
Enjoy our most recent upload of our Short Courses series on The Ten Parables of Jesus. This lesson is on The Parable of The Five Foolish Maidens.
The Parable Of The Five Foolish Maidens
Here is the link to the active quiz for this current lesson. The lesson is on The Foolish Maidens.
The Parable Of The Five Foolish Maidens.
October 01 - Placed on the Altar
In Genesis 12:2–3, we read God’s original promise to Abraham when He told him to leave Ur of the Chaldeans and go to another land:
I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you. (NIV)
The Jewish people are the touchstone by which all other nations are going to be judged. Scripture gives us a warning in this regard: “May all who hate Zion, be put to shame and turned backward” (Psalm 129:5 NASB). Any nation that opposes God’s purpose for the restoration of Zion will be put to shame and turned backward. Nations determine their destinies by how they respond to the restoration of God’s people.
A beautiful and familiar promise of blessing for those who align themselves with God’s purposes for Jerusalem, for Israel, and for God’s people is found in Psalm 122:6: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee” (KJV). We cannot merely take a neutral attitude and say, “Let’s see what happens.” We have to actively align ourselves with what God is saying in His Word and what He is doing in history.
The primary way in which we can do this is through our prayers. We can pray for the peace of Jerusalem and for its restoration—for Jerusalem to become all that God has declared in the Scriptures that it shall be. To those who pray and are concerned, this is the promise: “They shall prosper that love thee.”
Thank You, Lord, for the blessing You promise to those who love Israel. I proclaim that those who pray and are concerned about Jerusalem will prosper. I pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you.” Amen.
September 24 - Doubly His
Here is a parable I told to a group of Maoris, who are great wood carvers, to illustrate the price Jesus paid to redeem us from our sins.
There was once a boy who carved a beautiful little wooden sailboat. One day he took it down to the ocean to sail, but the wind changed and carried his boat out to sea. Since he could not recover his boat, he went home without it.
The next high tide brought the boat back again, and it was found by a man walking along the seashore. He inspected the boat and saw that it was beautifully made, so he sold it to a shopkeeper who cleaned it up and put it in his window, priced to sell.
Some while later, the boy passed by the shop and saw his boat. He knew immediately that it was his, but he had no way to prove it. So, if he wanted it back, he knew he would have to buy it.
He set to work to earn the money by washing cars, mowing lawns, and other tasks. When he finally raised the necessary funds, he walked into the shop and bought back his boat. He took it in his hands, and, holding it to his breast, said, “Now you’re mine! I made you and I bought you.”
Picture yourself as that boat. You may feel inadequate or worthless; you may wonder if God really cares. But the Lord is saying to you, “Now you’re doubly Mine—I made you and I bought you; you’re fully Mine.”
Thank You, Lord, for Your work in me. I proclaim that I am doubly the Lord’s because He made me and He bought me. My Father has made me. Amen.
( Derek Prince, Author )
I am working to update our FBC catalog at this time. It hasn't had a full update in a year or two, and needs to be made current. I hope to have the update finished by the end of August. I trust it will be available for the upcoming school year.
About a month ago we started a daily devotional on the website homepage. We hope you are taking advantage of the encouraging word, and getting some nice insights for your daily walk with Christ.
We are wanting to catch up on our last Short Courses series to bring it to culmination. A change in software, etc.. has cause some difficulties. However, we should be able to finish the editing and start posting the recordings Dr. Vossen finished a month ago.
Dr. Vossen has had some challenging health issues the past few months, which has culminated in surgery to correct those issues on July 1st. Please keep Dr. Vossen in your prayers as he recovers from that surgery.
We trust you had a great July 4th with families and friends.
In His Grace,
Reverend Kenneth Phillips, Associate Minister
Covenant of Grace Ministry & Fellowship ( Omaha, Nebraska )
I am sorry my blog posts have been very sparse of late. Since late February I have had some real challenges physically and I have been in the hospital on a couple of occasions. Basically, confined to a bed for two of those weeks. Nevertheless, God has been gracious and I am doing much better, and will have surgery sometime in June to permanently resolve some issues at hand. I thank the Lord for your prayers, and for the grace of God at this time in my life.
I know we all have had our challenges with Covid, Church Services and Ministry. However, as I have talked to many pastors and friends of FBC, I am encouraged by their faithfulness and devotion to the cause of Christ. May we all see these times as temporary setbacks, and an opportunity toward renewal in our ministry. Challenges like we are facing come and go, but God's faithful love never forsakes us. His plans don't change, but the methods do.
Like any battle we face in life we may have to change tactics, or reassess where we are placing our resources. Nevertheless, the victory is already our's, as we are destined for success. For He who has begun a good work in us will finish it, and accomplish what He has sent us out to do. Amen.
In closing, I wanted to share with you an ancient christian thought on the Holy Spirit, and encourage you in this season of Pentecost. May God use you and bless you in a profound way in the days ahead.
God bless you,
Dr. Vossen and Dr. Boer, along with the entire FBC Staff welcome you to the FBC Blog