Singing to the Firing Squad

I trusted in the Lord when I said, “I am greatly afflicted.” Psalm 116:10

Two men convicted of drug trafficking had been on death row for a decade. While in prison, they learned of God’s love for them in Jesus, and their lives were transformed. When it came time for them to face the firing squad, they faced their executioners reciting the Lord’s Prayer and singing “Amazing Grace.” Because of their faith in God, through the power of the Spirit they were able to face death with incredible courage.

They followed the example of faith set by their Savior, Jesus. When Jesus knew that His death was imminent, He spent part of the evening singing with friends. It’s remarkable that He could sing under such circumstances, but what’s even more remarkable is what He sang. On that night, Jesus and His friends had a Passover meal, which always ends with a series of Psalms known as the Hallel, Psalms 113–118. Facing death, that night Jesus sang about the “cords of death” entangling Him (Psalm 116:3). Yet He praised God’s faithful love (117:2) and thanked Him for salvation (118:14). Surely these Psalms comforted Jesus on the night before His crucifixion.

Jesus’s trust in God was so great that even as He approached His own death—a death He had done nothing to deserve!—He chose to sing of God’s love. Because of Jesus, we too can have confidence that whatever we face, God is with us.

God, strengthen our faith in You so that when we face trials, or even approach death, we can sing with confidence about Your love.

How sweet is the sound of God’s amazing grace!

By Amy Peterson 


It has been said that our songs are essentially our sung prayers. After having been severely beaten and unjustly arrested, Paul and Silas “were praying and singing hymns to God” in prison! (Acts 16:25). In Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church he exhorts them to “[sing] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and [make] music to the Lord in your hearts” (Ephesians 5:19 nlt).

Are you going through a difficult time? Ask God to encourage you as you sing your favorite hymn or song.

K. T. Sim

The Path of Compromise

1 Kings 11:1-13

Bible stories aren’t just interesting accounts of ancient people and events; they contain critical principles that apply to us all. For example, King Solomon’s life helps us see the progression of compromise and its disastrous results. Solomon began his kingship with devotion to God and righteous priorities (1 Kings 3:5-9). So what happened to change his desires and direction?

“King Solomon loved many foreign women” (1 Kings 11:1). Although this was an accepted practice for kings of that era, God had instructed His people not to intermarry with other nations (1 Kings 11:2) and had specifically prohibited Israel’s kings from taking multiple wives (Deut. 17:17).

“His wives turned his heart away after other gods” (1 Kings 11:4). Instead of holding fast to the Lord in love and devotion, Solomon let his wives lead him toward foreign deities.

“Solomon went after [their gods]” (1 Kings 11:5). At first he merely allowed his wives to worship their gods, but soon he was joining them in idolatry.

“The Lord said to Solomon, … ‘I will surely tear the kingdom from you’” (1 Kings 11:11). Because the king ignored reproof and continued to disobey, Israel experienced a civil war that divided the nation.

Compromise begins when we ignore God’s instructions and follow the world’s practices. Then we start loving people, activities, or things more than we love God and soon find ourselves pursuing what He has forbidden. If we don’t heed His discipline, we’re in danger of losing what He intended for our lives. But if we refuse to compromise, we’ll remain devoted to Him.

The Universe Teaches

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.” (Psalm 19:1-2) 

This familiar psalm, extolling God’s creation (vv. 1-6) and God’s Word (vv. 7-14), begins with a beautiful summary of the testimony of the physical universe. “The heavens” and the “firmament” are synonymous (Genesis 1:8), both being equivalent to our modern scientific concept of space. The “glory of God” refers to His infinite power, or energy, and “his handywork” implies the infinite variety and complexity of physical systems, or matter, in the universe. This interaction of matter and energy occurs everywhere throughout space, but also has to operate and be understood in the context of time, “day unto day” and “night unto night.”

The entire marvelous complex of space/time/matter/energy is continually “uttering speech” and “showing knowledge,” teaching men and women of all times and places that there is a great Creator God who made it all. “The invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen” (Romans 1:20).

The boundless space, the endless time, the infinite energies, and the innumerable complexities of the matter of the universe all unite in irrefutable testimony to the God of creation. The most fundamental principle of science, as well as the most universal rule of human experience, is the Law of Cause and Effect, stating that no effect can transcend its cause. Thus, the great cause of the universe must be infinite, eternal, omnipotent, and omniscient. And since we as living, feeling persons are able to think about all this, that cause must also be a living, feeling, thinking person. This is the great lesson engraved on the textbook of the universe for all to read and learn. The whole creation, indeed, declares the glory of God. HMM

Let no man glory in men

1 Corinthians 3

1 Corinthians 3:1

Being more carnal than spiritual because so weak in grace.

1 Corinthians 3:2

The deeper doctrines cannot be received by the weak, and it is wise to teach such the simpler truths only.

1 Corinthians 3:3, 4

Every one thinks his party has the kernel, and others only the shell; whereas they all are apt to let the kernel alone and dispute about the shell, as if that were the kernel.

1 Corinthians 3:7

We must not rest in the best of men, or make idols of them; they are instruments in God’s hand, and nothing more. Let us look above the servants to their Master.

1 Corinthians 3:12, 13

Whatever work we do will be tested, by present opposition, by the lapse of time, by the advance of light, and especially by the judgment of the last great day.

1 Corinthians 3:15

Being a good man he shall be saved, but having wasted his life in mistaken work he will lose the fruit of his pains; and having unwittingly caused injury to others, he will himself barely escape.

1 Corinthians 3:16, 17

The doctrine of the indwelling of the Spirit is very wonderful, and also very solemn. What condescension on his part to dwell in us! How reverently should we entertain such a guest!

1 Corinthians 3:18

A sense of folly is the doorstep of wisdom. It is needful to leave the world’s wisdom if we would know the wisdom of God.

1 Corinthians 3:21, 22

True Christian teachers, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, Luther or Calvin, Wesley or Whitfield, belong to the whole church, and every member of the church derives benefit from their teachings. Thus the mind is expanded beyond party limits into a true catholicity.


How vast the treasure we possess!

How rich Thy bounty, King of grace!

This world is ours, and worlds to come:

Earth is our lodge, and heaven our home.


All things are ours; the gift of God,

The purchase of a Saviour’s blood;

While the good Spirit shows us how

To use and to improve them too.


Better Not Misuse the Bible

Which they… wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. (2 Peter 3:16)

I believe that everything in the Bible is true, but to attempt to make the Bible a textbook for science is to misunderstand it completely and tragically!

It has become a fairly popular practice for Bible teachers to claim to find in the Scriptures confirmation of almost every recent discovery made by science. Apparently no one noticed that the scientist had to find it before the Bible teacher could, and it never seemed to occur to anyone to wonder why, if it was there in the Bible in such plain sight, it took several thousand years and the help of science before anyone saw it.

In recent years, the Bible has been “recommended” for many other purposes from the one for which it was written. The purpose of the Bible is to bring men to Christ, to make them holy and prepare them for heaven. Any manipulation of the Scriptures to make them speak peace to the natural man is evil and can only lead to ruin!


Open Door of Communion

“I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.” Rev. 3:8

Saints who remain faithful to the truth of God have an open door before them. My soul, thou hast resolved to live and die by that which the Lord has revealed in His Word, and therefore before thee stands this open door.

I will enter in by the open door of communion with God. Who shall say me nay? Jesus has removed my sin, and given me His righteousness, therefore I may freely enter. Lord, I do so by thy grace.

I have also before me an open door into the mysteries of the Word. I may enter into the deep things of God. Election, Union to Christ, the Second Advent — all these are before me, and I may enjoy them. No promise and no doctrine are now locked up against me.

An open door of access is before me in private, and an open door of usefulness in public. God will hear me; God will use me. A door is opened for my onward march to the church above, and for my daily fellowship with saints below. Some may try to shut me up or shut me out, but all in vain.

Soon shall I see an open door into Heaven: the pearl gate will be my way of entrance, and then I shall go in unto my Lord and King, and be with God eternally shut in.


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