Focus
Williamsburg Christadelphian Foundation
by Paul Zilmer
6d ago
Led by the reading plan I’m using this year, I’ve just finished reading Judges. It’s a book that presents a number of challenges. It can help a little bit if we understand the structure. The first 16 chapters relate the history of this period. Then chapters 17-21 present two example incidents, both of which occurred early in the Judges period. The account of Micah, the Levite and the Danites illustrates a fall into idolatry masked by a veneer of honoring the God of Israel. (We know it’s early because it turns out the Levite is Moses’s grandson—18:30.) The account of the Levite and his concubi ..read more
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Reluctant
Williamsburg Christadelphian Foundation
by Paul Zilmer
2w ago
Many of the people we encounter in the Bible, called by God to serve in some way, responded positively, even eagerly. Noah and Abram both obeyed without complaint when the Lord’s command turned their lives completely upside down. Hannah eagerly gave her son to the Lord’s service. David volunteered wholeheartedly to face Goliath. Nehemiah volunteered to rebuild Jerusalem. Isaiah said, “I’m here, send me!” Mary said, “I’m the Lord’s servant. Let it be for me as you say.” But there were others who weren’t so eager, were in fact reluctant to answer the call. Moses pleaded he was inarticulate. Gid ..read more
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Occupation
Williamsburg Christadelphian Foundation
by Paul Zilmer
3w ago
Adam was a farmer. So was Noah, at least after the flood. Abraham was a shepherd, after he was called out of whatever he did in his urban life. Isaac and Jacob continued in the same occupation. Joseph was an administrator, and fed a whole region. Moses was a shepherd after running from Egypt. David was a shepherd, then a military commander and court official, then king. Jesus was a builder. (Very likely your version says Jesus was a carpenter. As you may be aware, the Greek word for his occupation is tekton, which means an artisan of any sort. The only usages of related words in the New Testa ..read more
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Tired of doing good
Williamsburg Christadelphian Foundation
by Paul Zilmer
1M ago
I’m sure I’ve written on this before.  It’s something we, as the Lord’s disciples, need to remember—and more than that, put into practice.  Just look around, and it’s clear that human beings in general adhere to it sporadically at best.  Here it is: Let’s not get tired of doing good.  (Galatians 6:9) We all know, or at least know of, people whose whole lives are dedicated to doing good.  Many make no claim to be followers of Jesus Christ.  I admire their dedication.  For now though, let’s look at why Paul would write this encouragement specifically to beli ..read more
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Feeding
Williamsburg Christadelphian Foundation
by Paul Zilmer
1M ago
After Jesus feeds the crowd of 5,000, the next day members of the crowd chase Jesus down looking for another free meal (John 6:22-26). The Lord rebukes them sharply for it. Then he adds some of the most difficult teaching of his entire ministry, saying they have no life unless they eat his body and drink his blood (verses 41-60). This disturbing image is so revolting that many stop following Jesus. The most loyal don’t understand it, but they stick with Jesus when he asks if they will leave too. As Peter puts it, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (verses 66-68 ..read more
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One thing
Williamsburg Christadelphian Foundation
by Paul Zilmer
1M ago
Matthew, Mark and Luke all record the incident when a rich young man asks Jesus what he needs to do to inherit eternal life. The man says he’s kept the commandments Jesus names. Jesus then replies, “You just need one thing…” (Mark & Luke), or “If you would be perfect…” (Matthew) The one thing is that the man must give away all his possessions. He’s very sorrowful over this, and goes away. Then Jesus expounds on how extremely hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom. This incident is disturbing in a couple ways. First of all, I can’t imagine the Lord telling me I’d be perfect if I just ..read more
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Tassels
Williamsburg Christadelphian Foundation
by Paul Zilmer
2M ago
Maybe there are people who don’t need memory aids. I’m definitely not one of them. Apparently our Creator figures that most of us, maybe all of us, do need tangible things to help us remember—because He has supplied a number of them. Here’s one I recently was reminded of: The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them and not prostitu ..read more
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Principles of giving
Williamsburg Christadelphian Foundation
by Paul Zilmer
2M ago
On his third journey, the apostle Paul collects donations made by the churches he visits, to help out the believers in Jerusalem.  Various representatives of those churches travel with Paul.  Think about a time without credit cards, checks, or even paper money.  Money at this time means metal—silver and gold coins.  It takes numerous people just to carry it, and a large group would deter thieves. Why are these contributions needed in Jerusalem?  Those who became followers of Christ were thrown out of the synagogue (John 9:22).  This meant they were shunned, unemp ..read more
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Kiss
Williamsburg Christadelphian Foundation
by Paul Zilmer
2M ago
In the parable, when the father sees his prodigal son returning home, he runs to meet him and kisses him (Luke 15:20). When Jesus is invited to eat at Simon the Pharisee’s house, the Teacher rebukes his host for giving him no kiss (Luke 7:45). When Paul says goodbye to the Ephesian elders, they kiss him (Acts 20:37-38). Four times Paul exhorts his readers to greet one another with a holy kiss (Romans 16:16, 1 Corinthians 16:20, 2 Corinthians 13:12, 1 Thessalonians 5:26), and Peter says the same (1 Peter 5:14). There are quite a number of similar instances in the Old Testament as well. Clearly ..read more
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What I want to be
Williamsburg Christadelphian Foundation
by Paul Zilmer
3M ago
Here’s what I want to be: Thankful, joyful, thoughtful, peaceful, faithful. Loving, praising, giving, forgiving. Patient, gentle, strong, prudent, content. A sympathetic listener, an active doer, a willing servant. How about you? Bet you can come up with some additional ones that I’ve forgotten to mention. Some of those things I am, to some extent. Not near enough to be satisfied with. To my shame I’m the opposite of some of those things, to some extent. Are we fools to aspire to be so much better than we actually are? I don’t think so. Look at the beatitudes. Especially, “Blessed are those w ..read more
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