All Articles For Slopsema, James D

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“Be careful for nothing; but in everything 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 Worry! Anxiety! Paralyzing fear! Sleepless nights! How often is not this the dreadful experience of God’s people? The Word of God addresses this. “Be careful for nothing.” The meaning is, do not worry about anything. Easier said than done, as we know. But here is the prescription for worry. “In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your...

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My friendship with Rev. Bekkering goes back to the mid-1960s when we worked together at a local grocery store. Interestingly, that is also where we both met our spouses. Rev. Bekkering and I attended Calvin College together, as well as the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Then we served together in the ministry of our churches for nearly four decades. Rev. Bekkering served churches in Randolph, WI; Houston, TX; Jenison, MI (Faith); Pella, IA, and finally as missionary in Ghana, Africa. For the most part our contact with each other was limited to our work on the broader ecclesiastical assemblies. For a...

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Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. John 20:17 These words were spoken by Jesus to Mary Magdalene at the tomb on the day of His resurrection. Mary Magdalene had come to the tomb earlier that morning with several other women to anoint Jesus’ body. To their complete surprise the stone had been rolled away from the opening of the tomb. While the other women entered the...

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Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Psalm 119:11 Psalm 119 was written by a young man who was being persecuted for righteousness’ sake. We do not know the identity of the psalmist or when in Israel’s history he lived. It is apparent from the Psalm, however, that it was a time of departure for the nation of Israel. The result was that the psalmist was being persecuted for his godliness. This persecution came from the highest levels of the land. He was being opposed by the rulers. He was imprisoned, facing...

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Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins. Proverbs 10:12 Is there a great deal of strife in your life? Are there others with whom you are constantly contending and arguing? Do you find that you have a running battle with certain individuals? Perhaps it is a spouse, a family member, a coworker, or a fellow student? The proverb (wise saying) that we consider for this meditation speaks about this kind of strife. It tells us that strife is stirred up by hatred. This hatred and strife are contrasted to love. Love does not stir up strife. Love, rather,...

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Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Hebrews 6:19-20 Forty days after His resurrection Jesus was taken by God from the earth into heaven, where He resides in glory until He will come again at the end of the world. Many churches of the Reformed tradition will soon gather in public worship to commemorate this glorious event. The ascension of Jesus is described in the...

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Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. I John 4:11-12 Beloved! What an appropriate way to address the saints of the church. This is especially true in light of what the apostle John has just emphasized. “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him” (v. 9). And then the next verse,...

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But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. Ephesians 5:3-4 We live in a time of great prosperity. The standard of living in the U.S. far exceeds any other nation, past or present. With this great prosperity has come an alarming increase in wickedness in our land. The principle here is that the more the Lord gives a wicked nation, the more they have with which to sin, so that they abound more and...

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For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Ephesians 5:31-32 Paul has just instructed husbands and wives how they are to behave toward each other in marriage. Wives are to submit to their husbands in all things, even as the church submits to Christ. Husbands are to love their wives, even as Christ loves His church. In that connection, Paul explains the great love that Christ has for His church....

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Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. Proverbs 20:1 Drunkenness has been a problem of major proportion throughout history. It was a problem in Bible times both in the pagan community and in the church. The first recorded incident of drunkenness involved Noah, who walked with God. Drunkenness abounds in our own society and is a terrible scourge. It is a major contributor to failed marriages, broken homes, ruined lives, and early death. The sin of drunkenness is also a problem in today’s church. That brings us to the proverb we...

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