Happy Birthday, Gospel Truth!

“Happy Birthday Gospel Truth! By this means many people have been reached, even those in remote areas who can’t access Internet. The Gospel Truth, with full elaborated verses, has helped us reach 5000 to 7000 people.

“It has made many come down to ask for more truth on the Church of God standards. Let’s join hands to pray that Gospel Truth expands more beyond oceans and beyond borders. Long live Gospel Truth!”

—Peter Akweyona, Kenya

 

“It is worth thanking God for sustaining the Gospel Truth publication for these 10 years. Since the inception, it has been a cherished one, serving for studies and evangelical works. It could be seen for us here as if our evangelism is not complete without having a copy to distribute. But most of all is the grace given for the continual publication.”

—Chinwendu Nwachukwu, NigeriaRead more

How to Know the Will of God

It is God’s desire and purpose to commune with His children. He has promised to lead and guide us, and it is possible through the divine gifts and tools of the Spirit to individually know the will of God for our personal lives. It is imperative for spiritual success that we be wise and understand “what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:17).

God Wants To Reveal His Will

Promises of Leadership

The promises of God are sure and applicable to everyone in this generation who meets the conditions. Proverbs 3:6 says, “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” If a child of God will acknowledge God and give Him the right and room to work, He will reveal His divine will and plan. The mystery and questions of life can be answered as Christ has “made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure” (Ephesians 1:9). While the world may scoff and sneer at Christians, saints of God can trust and rest in the Lord, as they are “filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” (Colossians 1:9). What a comfort and strength it is to face the dilemmas and problems of life with the knowledge that God with His infinite wisdom will lead us in a manner befitting our personal capacity to comprehend His will. The major decisions of life can rest in the knowledge and power of God rather than on the wisdom of this world and the flighty whims of feeling and emotion.Read more

Tale of a Cow Shed

I knew a man who was working to take care of poor orphans. The children slept in the dirt and needed many of the basic things of life. My heart was to help these children, but wisdom dictated that I first establish that the man was trustworthy with a little. One day, I was able to get funds to buy the man a milk cow so the children would have milk to drink. The cow needed a shed for protection from inclement weather and from the hot sun. So, per the man’s request, I left plenty of money for a good cow shed to be built. When I returned for a visit, I looked for the cow shed. It was not there.

“Why don’t you assist me?” is a question asked by many people. Answer: “Where is the cow shed?”

As Jesus said in Luke 16:10, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.”

The Purpose of Parables

Jesus used parables to teach a truth or to answer a question. He used real-life situations in His stories to connect with His audience. A lawyer once stood tempting Jesus and asked Him: “Who is my neighbour?” (Luke 10:29). Jesus proceeded to tell the story of the good Samaritan. Jesus then asked: “Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?” (v. 36). The answer was evident in the related story, but it caused the listeners to consider and think for themselves. It elicited truth from those who otherwise might have rejected a declarative statement.

The parables of Christ often reveal the truth in a way that a simple declaration would not. Those who have honest, seeking hearts will hear and understand. The telling of parables is a way to convey and reveal truth in ways easy to be understood as in the above illustration.

Other parables that Jesus told were presented in such a way as to conceal truth from those who were choosing to walk in darkness. “And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?  He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.  Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” (Matthew 13:10-13). The unbeliever may incorrectly understand the primary point of a parable, as it is hidden to those who “hear not.” It was not uncommon for the disciples to return to Christ and ask for a more in-depth explanation of a parable.

Parables are easy to recall for their detailed imagery and hence are useful to remember spiritual truths. They were and remain vital to the preservation of truth for people of all cultures and backgrounds. ■

Preaching Illustrations

Modern illustrations and life stories are valuable in relating truth to an audience. Illustrations can engage the people and make truth relevant in the light of current situations and culture. However, while sharing stories to bring a point can be an important tool in the arsenal of the preacher, the minister of Christ must not become an entertainer or a comedian. Our job is to preach the Word of God. If a story helps, then use it, but do not let the storytelling take precedence over the truth itself.

It is also important when sharing an illustration not to try to make something an issue of truth because it “fits” your example or story. Many a preacher in using an illustration has erred in getting the role of truth and illustration reversed. Something is truth because of the Word of God, not because we tell an engaging story from which we create a truth. ■