His Father’s Blessing


Your father’s blessings are greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains. Genesis 49:26, NIV

Missionary John Paton never forgot how his dad accompanied him to the docks when he departed for the South Pacific. Paton later wrote, “His counsel and tears and heavenly conversation on that parting journey are fresh in my heart as if it had been but yesterday. …He grasped my hand firmly for a minute in silence, and then said: ‘God bless you, my son! Your father’s God prosper you, and keep you from all evil!’ Unable to say more, his lips kept moving in silent prayer; in tears we embraced, and parted. I ran off as fast as I could…. I looked back and saw him still standing with head uncovered where I had left him gazing after me. Waving my hat in adieu, I was round the corner and out of sight in an instant. But my heart was too full and sore to carry me further, so I stayed there and wept for a time.”

Paton never forgot the prayers, love, or example of his father.

When we raise our sons and daughters to be courageous, utilizing God’s Word as the standard, they will learn to be resolute in the things that matter most.

The Carnal Mind and Death

“To be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Romans 8:6-7)

This passage defines for us both the carnal mind and the spiritual mind, not with formal definitions, but by giving equivalent terms.

First, the carnal mind is identified as being “enmity against God” (v. 7), a rampant disregard for God’s law. Furthermore, the carnal mind is equated with death, specifically eternal, spiritual death. A physically living person may have a carnal mind, bringing with it a spiritual deadness and eternal doom. This also serves us as a working definition of death—being hostile toward God, or minding the things of the flesh. “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you” (vv. 8-9).

Next, we see that the spiritual mind is “life and peace” (v. 6)—a supreme preference for God and subjection to His will. This state not only leads to eternal life but is life, along with peace, even now. There can be no peace for the carnally minded.

Some would wrongly teach that the physical death of the unbeliever leads to the total annihilation of his body, soul, and spirit. However, this passage teaches that the minding of “the things of the flesh” (v. 5) does not only lead to ultimate physical death, but is death right now.

Death is not the extinction of being but the alienation of that being from Christ. “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live” (v. 13). “If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness” (v. 10). JDM

Jesus Christ Is Our Lord

Romans 14:7-12

Followers of Jesus would agree that whether we live or die, we do so for Christ. But His sovereignty is not limited to those who claim Him as King. The entire world—the whole universe, in fact—is subject to His authority. At the final judgment, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess and praise God.

In the here and now, relatively few people recognize the Lord’s rule and seek to remain in His will. Most refuse to see that all of our human constructs—such as government, culture, and society—thrive or falter in the palm of God’s hand. Moreover, nonbelievers resist Christ’s sovereignty in their own lives. People who won’t surrender their will to the Lord’s great purpose assume control of their own destiny. However, the Lord’s supreme reign cannot be thwarted.

It’s common for men and women today to believe that there are no consequences for rejecting the lordship of Jesus Christ. You may have heard people say things like, “That Christian stuff works for you, but it’s not for me. I’ll live on my own terms.” Yet Jesus’ parable of houses built on either solid rock or sand offers a different perspective (Matt. 7:24-27). Only those who make their abode in the Lord can withstand the upheavals of this world.

Kneeling before Jesus Christ as the Lord of your life is the wisest decision you can make. The sovereign Ruler of the universe loves you and desires to bless all of your days. Make your eternal home in the safety of His kingdom, and forever delight in Him.

Where Is the Awe?

But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. —Isaiah 41:8

Yes, Abraham was lying face down in humility and reverence, overcome with awe in this encounter with God. He knew that he was surrounded by the world’s greatest mystery. The presence of this One who fills all things was pressing in upon him, rising above him, defeating him, taking away his natural self-confidence. God was overwhelming him and yet inviting and calling him, pleading with him and promising him a great future as a friend of God!

This is God’s way and God’s plan. This is God!

As we examine the nature of believing faith in our day, we find ourselves asking, “Where is the mystery? Where is the reverence, the awe, the true fear of God among us?”

Where, indeed, Oh Lord, is the awe and fear of Your power? Restore it to Your people and bring us to our knees before You, we pray. Amen.

Are You Occupied with Praise

They rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty. (Revelation 4:8)

It is surely an erroneous supposition for humans to think or to believe that death will transform our attitude and dispositions.

This is what I mean: if in this life we are not really comfortable talking and singing about heaven and its joy, I doubt that death will transform us into enthusiasts! If the worship and adoration of God are tedious now, they will be tedious also after the hour of death.

I do not know that God is going to force any of us into His heaven. I doubt that He will say to any of us, “You were never very interested in worshiping Me while you were on earth, but in heaven I am going to make that your greatest interest and your ceaseless occupation.”


Perhaps, but in the heavenly scene John describes, the living creatures crying “Holy, holy, holy!” rest neither day nor night. My fear is that too many of God’s professing people down here are resting far too often between their efforts to praise and glorify the living God!

To give to others is but sowing seed for ourselves

To give to others is but sowing seed for ourselves. He who is so good a steward as to be willing to use his substance for his Lord, shall be intrusted with more. Friend of Jesus, art thou rendering him according to the benefit received? Much has been given thee—what is thy fruit? Hast thou done all? Canst thou not do more? To be selfish is to be wicked. God forbid that any of us should follow the ungenerous and destructive policy of living unto ourselves. Jesus pleased not himself. All fullness dwells in him, but of his fullness have we all received. O for Jesus’ spirit, that henceforth we may live not unto ourselves!