All Articles For DeVries, Michael

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“Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house….” Psalm 128:3a It is rather strange, if not ironic, that an annual “Mother’s Day” is so widely observed in our times. When we examine current trends and projections for the future, we see that for many—both men and women— marriage and family simply are not considered the way to the so-called “good life.” We see more and more people deciding against marriage, as social pressures to wed diminish and women find it easier to achieve economic independence. We see continuing high levels of divorce, low birth...

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“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” Acts 20:28 We recently began a new year of history, another year in the life of the church and in the life of each congregation. For many congregations this has meant the installation into office of elders and deacons, who take the place of those who have finished their term of service. Throughout my years in the ministry I have been thankful to God for the...

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“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15, 16 Time has an unrelenting hold on us. That is evident in our conversations. “Sorry, I’m late!” “I didn’t have time.” “The summer has flown by!” We complain that there just are not enough hours in the day. This is something that touches each of us, young and old alike. Solomon expresses it so beautifully in Ecclesiastes chapter 3, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven….” As we sing...

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“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:1–2 In the closing verses of chapter 2 of Paul’s letter to the Colossians he had been rebuking the congregation for being involved in a form of self-willed worship. If they have died with Christ to the world’s childish, trivial notions, why do they submit to man-made ordinances—touch not; taste not; handle not? Such have only a show of wisdom and only serve to indulge...

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“…build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord.” Haggai 1:8b As our fathers have often expressed it, the faithful church is reformed and always reforming. The work of the church must continue and go forward. We need on-going and renewed zeal and enthusiasm! From this point of view, Haggai’s prophecy is of great significance for us today. His prophecy concerns the church and our calling to do the work of the church. The prophet Haggai prophesied in Judah about fif­teen years after some fifty thousand Jews returned from captivity under...

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“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” II Corinthians 8:9 What is your attitude as we enter another season of Advent? It is very easy to be almost totally preoccupied with the mundane, superficial aspects of the holiday season. We may find ourselves busy with decorating, shopping, and juggling our schedules and finances. Many voice their complaint about the crass materialism and commercialization of the season. How necessary for us to focus on the spiritual riches revealed...

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“… thy children like olive plants round about thy table.” Psalm 128:3b As Reformed believers, we know how tremendously significant the institution of the family is in the church and kingdom of God. We know and believe that God, from the beginning to the end of time, is pleased to continue His covenant from generation to generation with believers and their children. The faithful church will continue, by the grace of God, in the way of each succeeding generation fulfilling its covenant obligation to raise up a godly seed. From the time of the Fall of our first parents into...

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“From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2 As we wend our way through this vale of tears, there are many times when we feel overwhelmed. The stress, the grief, the pain—it is all too much! There are moments when it seems as if our whole world is collapsing around us. At such times we are mindful of our weakness and our helplessness. And we may struggle against bitterness, rebellion, even total despair. Through all of this we seek something...

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“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6, 7 Our lives today are frequently so busy and so complex that we easily forget our dependence upon God. We are inclined to look to ourselves to solve our problems. In foolish pride we are inclined to look to our own resources and our own ingenuity to provide for our needs. But this self-centered, self-reliant attitude takes its...

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Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. Galatians 6:7, 8 Another growing season is winding down in North America. In the Spring, seed was committed to the soil of countless gardens and fields. Many have been enjoying the fresh produce harvested from these gardens. And when each crop is mature, the combines and harvesters roll through the fields bringing in the wheat, soybeans,...

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