Article by Dr. Les Hollon, Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

The Bible is God’s storybook.  God wants us to know His story …

 

Not because He thought everyone would love Him because of the stories, though that was His hope.  Not because He thought everyone would get it, though that was His aim.  Not that he thought everyone would live better lives because of lessons learned from the stories, though that motivation moved Him.

 

Rather, He had the stories recorded because they give witness to His glorious acts of salvation and that whosoever had “eyes to see and ears to hear” would personally experience salvation by the stories delivered.

 

Acts is filled with good news stories, like Saul becoming Paul.  Saul, the terrorist, became the Apostle Paul who shared God’s open promise of salvation for all seekers.  On a walk to remember, towards Damascus, he was converted and called.  His call gave him his nickname, Apostle to the Gentiles.  God would use his life experiences to shape his future opportunities of service.

 

The same is true for you and me. Read More »

Posted on 15 March, 2010 in Inspirational Stories, Spirituality
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Article by Dr. Les Hollon, Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

Doubting Thomas is what most people call him.  The nickname “doubting” stuck to the Apostle because three times, at key points in Jesus’ ministry, he asked Jesus to explain himself.

 

Does asking God to clarify Himself mean that we lack faith?  Maybe.  It can be our way of stiff-arming God to keep Him at a distance, and our commitments to Him at a minimum.  Or, asking questions can be our faithful response of wanting more information, insight, and instruction so our faith in God can be best applied.

 

Which was it for Thomas?  Which is it for you?

 

Doubt expressed from the lips of Thomas came from his heart of faith.  Doubts formed in the mind of Thomas caused him to be more certain in his faith.

 

Thomas placed his doubts in the hands of God so his own hands would not be unnerved by what the future would demand of him.  He knew that the stakes of following Jesus were as high as heaven, and costly as the cross. Thomas shows us how to use doubt in the service of faith.

 

First, after questioning whether Jesus really wanted to put his life at risk by going near Jerusalem in order to help His friend Lazarus, Thomas said – upon seeing Jesus walking in that direction – “Let us go also, that we may die with him.” (John 11:1-16).

 

Secondly, after Jesus told the Apostles to not let their hearts be troubled because they would know the way to be with Him after His death, Thomas said, “Lord we do not know where you are going, how can we know the way?”  Thomas’ question set up Jesus to give the most powerful response, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, one comes to the Father through me.” (John 14:1-6). Read More »

Posted on 11 March, 2010 in Inspirational Stories, Spirituality
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Article by Dr. Les Hollon, Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

Zacchaeus was a seeker who wanted to become a believer.

 

The importance and urgency of his quest came together when he heard that Jesus was walking through his hometown of Jericho.  The “time” was now and he needed to get himself to Jesus.

 

But how?  As a short man he would not be able to see Jesus if he stood among the crowd.  So he saw a sycamore (fig & mulberry) tree as his way to Jesus.  With a short trunk and broad limbs this tree was easy for Zacchaeus to climb.  When Jesus saw him in the tree, he looked into Zacchaeus’ soul and saw a person who was living in public desperation.

 

Zacchaeus’ ached to live out the meaning of his name, “pure.”  He had heard Jesus say “blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”  Zacchaeus wanted to heal the disconnect between who he could be and who he actually was.  Every seeker knows this ache.

 

So when Jesus called out to invite Zacchaeus to come down from the tree, He walked with him through the crowd and into his plush home … and Zacchaeus jumped to run into the changed life Jesus was offering him. Read More »

Posted on 2 March, 2010 in Inspirational Stories, Spirituality
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Article by Dr. Les Hollon, Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

There was a Matthew behind the Gospel of Matthew.  Matthew, a person much like us, wrote the Gospel which bears his name.  Like us, he knew the stress of fear and the power of hope.  He felt the anguish of guilt and the joy of forgiveness.  He cried and laughed.  And his life came together on the day Jesus called him to the ultimate adventure, “follow me.”

 

Those words were the invitation of a lifetime.  And by saying “yes” to the offer, Matthew walked into eternal salvation.  Such is the gospel’s power to transform us when we:

 

Accept our need for Christ;

Believe in Christ;

Commit our life to Christ. (Matt. 9: 9-13)

 

When Matthew arose from his tax collector’s table to follow Jesus, he became a first-hand witness to the world’s most amazing story.  Feeling responsible, he wrote an account of what he had seen and heard so future generations could know the events of Christ’s virgin birth, messianic ministry, atoning death, and victorious resurrection.

 

Forty years went by after Christ’s resurrection before Matthew wrote his account.  Then under God’s inspiration, he penned the tale that is told the world over.  The last verse of his twenty-eight chapters climaxes not only the Great Commission but his entire Gospel.  It’s the promise of Jesus never to abandon us, “and surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Read More »

Posted on 25 February, 2010 in Spirituality
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Article by Dr. Les Hollon, Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

The disciple John is the one and same person described as:  John the Apostle; brother of James; fishing partner of Peter & Andrew; son of Zebedee and Salome; the beloved disciple.

 

I believe the Apostle John is the same John who received “the Revelation” that became the New Testament’s closing book and became a respected leader in Ephesus who disciple many people in the Christian faith.  John was the closest disciple to Jesus and can give us a closer look into the inner Messiah.  John shared the relationship of what Jesus said and how those words shaped what He did.

 

John was as common a name in Jesus’ day as it is in our day … which is meaningful because John means “believed by God.”  John the Apostle was referred to in the New Testament as the beloved disciple because he lived out the meaning of his name.  John beautifully loved Christ which enabled him to love people as Christ loved people. Read More »

Posted on 20 February, 2010 in Spirituality
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