Posts by John Staiger

Standing in the Assembly of the Righteous#4. “Stand your ground!”

King David led Israel’s army from the front. He was a true warrior-king. With him were his “Mighty Men;” all men of renown. One of them, a man named Eleazar, was among “The Three Mighty Men.” His fame was forged in battle with the Philistines at the Battle of Pas Dammin. It was there that the Israelite army retreated before the Philistines, but “Eleazar stood his ground.” Kingdoms were established by the skill and bravery of men like Eleazar. When…

Standing in the Assembly of the Righteous#3. “Churches must stand up!”

There was a high school student who wasn’t always motivated to study and did his best to come up with questions to delay the start of classes. On one occasion, as his history teacher was about to begin class the student asked, “Sir, is it true that man is doomed to repeat history?” The teacher, knowing a distraction when he saw one, said, “Yes, especially if he flunks it.” Churches have their fair share of the distracted too. But left…

Standing in the Assembly of the Righteous#2. “Lest ye fall.”

If the average First Century Roman was even aware that Britain existed, they would have laughed to think that it would one day rule a world empire that would make their own small by comparison. But like the mighty Roman Empire, the British Empire is no more. Add to these The Assyrian, the Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, and the Greek Empires, and we see a common trend: Empires rise, and empires fall. From their inception, empires believe that their expansionist policies…

Standing in the Assembly of the Righteous#1. “By the power of the same God.”

If any three men on earth were personally invited to an assembly of the righteous, it was Peter, James, and John. Before them, during an exhausting night of prayer on a mountain with Jesus, appeared Moses and Elijah with the transfigured Christ (Matthew 17:1-13; Mark 9:2-10; Luke 9:28-36). But this divine marvel did not cease there. Suddenly, the Father spoke from heaven: “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him” (Mt.17:5). If…

Understand what the Lord’s will is#8. “Get on with it!”

Ironically, Jonah would be happy that people remember him more for his sojourn inside a ‘whale’ than for what he really was: An incredibly effective preacher. This is the man who converted the whole capital city of a ruthless empire with a one simple eight-word sermon: “Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown” (Jonah 3:4). From the first instant, Jonah knew that God was sending him on a successful mission. So, when Nineveh repented, Jonah couldn’t help but have…

Understand what the Lord’s will is#7. “Worth Keeping.”

The celebrity news of the 1960s and 70s overflowed with gossip about the turbulent marriages of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton (they were married and divorced twice to each other). In 1969, at the height of Burton’s career, he bought his wife a 69.42 carat diamond for $1.5 million. What many admirers did not know was that she had had a $2800 replica made for all but her most prestigious public appearances: lest the original be stolen from her. Though…

Understand what the Lord’s will is#6. “Part of the cure.”

“I am entering upon the history of a period rich in disaster, gloomy with wars, rent with seditions.” As current as these words may sound, they were actually penned 2000 years ago by the Roman historian, Publius Cornelius Tacitus. They immediately brought to mind Solomon’s words: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Whether the times in which we live are to be chronicled…

Understand what the Lord’s will is#5. “As some understand slowness.”

A Guru took his cat and moved into a remote cave. He loved his cat, but so as not to be disturbed by it during meditation, he put a little collar on it and tied it to his bed. When he died, his many disciples agreed that they too must move into caves, and each must also acquire a cat. Then, in their zeal, they spent days arguing over the particulars of the cat. They debated its breed, size, colour,…

Understand what the Lord’s will is#4. “Fathom the mysteries of Christ.”

Noël Coward eventually became a very famous playwright. But at one of his early plays, the audience thought it so bad that they began to mock and to throw their scrunched-up programmes onto the stage. Never one to take himself too seriously, he later said, “I didn’t want to look out of place, so I joined the crowd in their mockery. Then I turned to the man sitting next to me on the balcony and said, “Who do you think…

Understand what the Lord’s will is#3. “Arm’s length Faith.”

In my youth, I met a brother who could be described as nothing short of impressive. He cut a fine figure as he sat proudly with his family in church on Sundays. Add to that, good looks, a tailored suit, and an effective Bible teaching style, and, by all appearances, you had a man to be looked up to. Tragically, everything proved to be but a façade. His true character surfaced, and we all witnessed his faith, family and fellowship…