Thursday, April 15, 2021


We celebrated the Lord’s Supper at church Sunday. We had not been at church in person for more than a year, and we rejoiced to be there. The pastor began by saying, “Communion is a serious celebration.” I immediately thought of the words, “solemn joy.”

We do not often use those two words together. But they describe a greater intensity of joy than candles on a birthday cake. The closest picture I can think of for this is weeping for joy, although tears do not cover the entire range of solemn joy. When a mother gives birth to a baby she may weep for joy. A family may weep when their son or daughter returns from battle alive and well. Our nation wept for joy on the first V.E. Day. The war in Europe was over, and our troops were returning from that terrible conflict.

The Lord’s Supper is such an experience. We sense an intensity of joy over the price paid by Jesus on the cross that changes everything in our lives. We joined in that celebration Sunday with thankful hearts. In The Lord's Supper we participate in the trembling joy of our Lord’s presence in our lives. That is the heart of Christian fellowship. We join in the communion deeper than a smile or a hug. This was a serious celebration.



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David Young

Friday, March 19, 2021


God's people need to learn to fear and hate lies.

We live in days of great deception. Believers need to know how seriously God takes falsehood and deception. We seem to think some little lies are okay. They are not. It no longer seems to be a big deal to post a list of things on social media about a politician or public figure you fear or dislike, some of which you cannot verify. Falsehoods are demonic. In John 8:44-46 Jesus spoke pointedly about this to the religious leaders of His day

 “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Years ago my wife and I went with a group on a mission trip. Some of us arrived in the destination country without our luggage. A man among us was fluent in the language of that country. He went up to the airline counter and spoke to the frustrated person working there. He came back and told us that he told the person a lie to get them to hurry up and find our bags. Later he told about lying to the people of the church where he was working to get them to respond to God. That gave me the creeps. Do you think God approves of that sort of thing? Do you think it would help to bring about God’s will?

The weekend after the attack on the U.S. Capitol a respected Christian leader wrote a blog on how wrong the attack was. Someone replied saying he had heard from a friend who lives in D.C. who said, “Don’t believe what you see on T.V. There was no riot. There was no attack. There was no break in.” To believe that, you have to believe the conspiracy included every news outlet, conservative, liberal, and extremist. It would have to include every person in congress including Trump supporters. It would have to include the families of both police and insurgents who were injured or killed in the break in. It would even have to include insurrectionists who were already posting selfies of themselves in the capitol building.

Many of us are guilty of repeating things we read on social media. If we had stopped to think about many of them we would know they were lies. The Soviets said, truth was whatever they said it was. Are we moving in that direction? In these days believers need to know that we do not determine truth by whether it is spoken by a politician that we support or one we oppose. Our witness to the world is at stake here, not to mention the next generation of Americans. Even more serious is our standing with a holy God. Lies are of the devil and we need to run from them. This does not mean that we should stop opposing or endorsing political views. But we will defeat our purposes and alienate ourselves from God if we condone falsehoods in any form. I have addressed this to Christians. I needed to start somewhere, but I fear the viability of our form of government may depend upon an entire nation committing ourselves to absolute honesty.



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Friday, March 5, 2021


I am shocked and grieved at the revelation of the sin of Ravi Zacharias. Ravi was a hero of mine. His demeanor and his teaching had a great influence on my life. I am aware that all of us are broken. We all sin. I am also convinced that what Ravi taught and demonstrated was from God despite the sexual sin that overtook him. But I need to say that so far believing these things has not relieved my grief at all.

The fact that Ravi was evidently involved in these things while he was being used by God flies in the face of nearly everything I believe and have taught about Christian ministry. For many years I have said holiness is the goal of ministry. True and lasting effect in ministry is in the hands of God. Rather than success, we are to seek holiness which depends entirely on our relationship with God.

Several trustworthy people have written or been interviewed about this. I would like to hear what some of them have to say. But I need to seek a personal word from God on the issue before I think about what others have to say. As I have prayed about this, God has faithfully spoken to me. There is still much that I don't have worked out, and some of what I have to say may not deal directly with the issue, but I share these things with you because I have received some peace from them.

The first truth that I can apply to myself comes from John 9:4

John 9:1-4 read,

“As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work.’”

God's glory is the purpose of our lives. God can receive glory from whatever we see happening around us. There are at least three facets to living for the glory of God. They are waiting, watching, and working. We seldom see any good while we are in the midst of tragedy. But Paul’s statement that God works all things together for good in Romans 8:28, includes sin and its terrible effects. If you could have quoted such a verse to one of the disciples at the cross, they would not have understood. They needed to wait for His glory to be revealed.

We also need to watch for God to reveal His glory. If we do not learn to watch and pray we will miss some of the most wonderful things that God does in our lives and on the earth. 

And Jesus clearly said we must do the work that God sent Him to do. God’s work does not begin with our initiative. In John 8:28 Jesus said He did nothing on His own authority. To do the work of God we must spend time with Him learning to hear His voice.

Jesus said we must join Him in His work while it is day. I strongly suspect that we are coming into the terrible times prophesied for the last days. Even if I am mistaken, God and my doctors have been telling me my time is short. I need to keep my head down and do the work given by God to my Lord and through Him to me. 

I have come to see that even though Ravi's sin dishonors God and that his world wide ministry is likely to collapse, God will yet use these things to bring glory to His name.



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Thursday, February 18, 2021



You may be familiar with the I AM statements of Jesus. These are powerful declarations of the divinity of our Lord. Their original source is in the Old Testament with God appearing to Moses at the burning bush.

Exodus 3:13,14 reads,

Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

The I AM statements of Jesus are not confined to The Gospel of John. In the account of Jesus walking on the water all four gospels record Jesus using the words “I AM” to comfort His disciples who were terrified in the storm. Mark 6:50 in the English Standard Version reads,

“They all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said,

‘Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.’”

The English wording in all the Gospels is, “It is I,” or something like that. But in the original language the wording is, “γώ εἰμι,” “I am.”

Several of the most crucial I Am statements of Jesus are in John 8. Two of them are stunningly translated into English. John 8:12 reads, “I am* the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” This is not a difficult linguistic construction. And although many scholars across the years have recognized this as one of the I Am statements, it is possible that Jesus did not intend this as a reference to Exodus 3. John 8:58 is much stronger. It shows us something of the eternal presence of Jesus, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am*.”

Two other examples are not easily translated into English. John 8:24 in the E.S.V. reads, “Unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” In the original language this simply reads, “If you do not believe that “I AM*” you will die in your sins.” The other is in verse 28. In the E.S.V. it reads, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he.” But again the wording in Greek is, “I Am*.” His crucifixion proved who He was. Even the Roman Centurion at the cross said, “Surely this was the Son of God,” Matthew 27:54.

In the words I AM, γώ εἰμι, we see His Divinity, His Eternity, His Authority, and His immediacy. Do you believe?

*Italics mine



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Friday, February 5, 2021


Some years ago I was fellowshipping with a group of pastors. One of them spoke of a common belief that I did not think could be found in the Bible. As a joke I said, “Do you have a favorite Scripture on that?” He had a great answer. “I think that is in the same place that teaches the freewill of man.” And you can look throughout the Bible and not find a direct statement of the freewill of man. However, there are some Scriptural arguments for the free will of man. 

We can start with the command to Adam and Eve. They were clearly given a choice to obey or not to obey what God told them. They did not obey. The Bible teaches that their sin brought great calamity upon the earth. This also points out that free will is not unlimited. We do not have the ability to unmake some decisions. I can choose to jump off a cliff. But once I have jumped, I cannot decide not to fall. Their decision could not be undone once they had disobeyed.

All the commands of scripture depend upon the ability to decide to obey or not. There are many examples in Scripture where people were rebuked for making foolish or evil decisions. This would be meaningless if people had no choice in these matters. Believing in Christ and yielding to His will clearly demands a decision. We must choose to give our will to Him. This makes great sense to us as well as being obvious in Scripture.

However, the Bible presents this as more complex. And while this complexity is often repugnant to us, it fits human experience. We cannot overcome sin in our lives without God’s intervention. Simple decisions and will power will not keep us from stumbling. And coming to God at all requires God’s help. Let me point out some things Jesus said. In John 6:37 He said, “All that the Father gives me* will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” In John 6:44 He made a stronger statement. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him*.” This is not the only place Jesus spoke words like this. This seems to indicate that our believing is a work of God. I cannot answer all the questions related to this. But while our will is always involved in turning to God. The will to turn to God is complex. People are foolish to speak of freewill as if such decisions were made in a vacuum. Spiritual, emotional, and worldly forces bombard us when we struggle with coming to Christ. There are decisions that we cannot flippantly decide to make. We are bound by sin. In John 8:34 Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.” Even as believers we continually need God to free us from sin’s bondage. Without God working in our lives we can never even want to turn from our selfish sinfulness. Those of you who are offended by the concept of predestination spoken of in Romans 8:29 and elsewhere, need to recognize that God is above time. He knows all things, and even hears and answers prayer from eternity past present and future. I am always uncomfortable when people speak lightly of freewill as if there are no parameters. We must make decisions. But many of them are not simple. This includes most spiritual decisions. 

*Italics mine



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Wednesday, December 23, 2020


I love the miraculous appearance of the Angel of The Lord in Luke 2:8-14.

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 

“Glory to God in the highest,

    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

The angel still shocks me out of the ordinary pursuits and problems of life with good news of great joy! 

He brings to us a message of Personal joy. “Unto you is born a Savior.” The angel could have spoken to theologians or historians. He could have said to all mankind. He could have said to men and women and children. He could have said, “to every language, people, and culture to the end of time.” But to a hand full of unknown shepherds and to me he said, “Unto You.”

He brings to us a message of Present joy. The angel did not say “Unto you is one who will become a savior.” Nor did he say, “One who is and has always been savior.” He said, “Unto you is born This day.” I have known many people who have said, “I used to be religious.” or “I want to be religious.” or even, “Someday I will listen to God speaking to me.” He speaks to us today.

And he brings us a message of Wonderful joy! This is not government aid. The angel did not introduce a self-help book. He announced a Savior who is indeed Christ the Lord!



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Friday, October 23, 2020


"I have been all over the world.

I have seen many religions 

and heard many philosophies.

How can I know that this is the truth?"

Years ago several of us visited an army captain whose wife attended our church. He welcomed us into his home and allowed us to talk with him about Jesus. When we asked if he would like to accept the forgiveness of Jesus and devote his life to Him, he politely asked a difficult question.

He said, “I have been all over the world. I have seen many religions and heard many philosophies. How can I know that what you say about Jesus is the truth?”

I said, “If God sent his son to die for you, that is surely important. I suggest that you ask God Himself to show you if this is true or not.”

In chapter 5 of The Gospel of John in the New Testament, Jesus dealt with this very question. Beginning with verse 31 He said if He alone bore witness about Himself His testimony could not be deemed to be true. But He said, “There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that his testimony is true.”

Jesus first mentioned John the Baptist. John said Jesus was the son of God. John the Baptist may have been the most impressive man to walk the earth in those days. Jesus called him a burning and shining light. He noted that they rejoiced for a time in his light. There are many today who will tell you that you can personally experience Jesus in your life. Some of them are impressive people. Astrophysicist/astronomer, Hugh Ross of the University of California is one who comes to mind. I also think of preachers like Tim Keller, and Ravi Zacharias who died earlier this year. Billy Graham also died this year. Years ago the church that I served was starting home-churches in a mountain valley that did not have a church. In house after house where we were invited to lead Bible studies people brought up Billy Graham. Everyone seemed to be impressed with Billy. He indeed bore witness to the truth. But people, no matter how impressive, are not the great witness Jesus spoke of. Jesus said He did not accept human testimony. He mentioned John so that the people might be saved, but He said there was a greater witness yet.

Jesus next spoke about the works that he was doing. His miracles were a powerful witness about him. God continues to show us his mighty works today. The more we know about the Earth, and life, and the universe the more astounded we become. Is it rational to believe that the most complex things we know anything about, including life, eyesight, human consciousness, and intelligence, and even the universe itself happened by accident? 

Of course, admitting that there had to be a Creator, does not make Christianity true. But the miracles of Jesus can still be seen to this day. I have heard people accuse Christianity of perpetuating slavery. And they are right. In the 19th Century some people actually used the Bible to justify slavery. God forgive us. However, it should be noted that slavery has been prevalent in every part of the world. We do not know of a time in history when human bondage did not exist. And no other philosophy, no other influence besides Christianity ever abolished slavery from whole nations or from human approval and law.

Angola prison in Louisiana was once one of the most dangerous prisons in the United States. Because of a Christian witness, that whole prison has been turned around. Despite the fact that some of the most violent criminals in our country have been incarcerated there, almost all violence has been eliminated within its walls. Is there any example in the entire world of anything else turning a prison around like that? 

A large hospital in the city where I used to live is dedicated to scientifically curing people of alcohol and drug addiction. They saturated the city with advertisements about their treatment plan. According to their own statistics, only 20% of their patients were still alcohol or drug-free three years after their treatment. 20% is certainly better than nothing. And I will admit that the statistics this hospital provides are better than many other treatment centers. However, Christian treatment programs are much more effective. I have a friend who began an outpatient treatment program in the same city. After 20 years more than 60% of those who have gone through his program are still alcohol and drug-free. Nothing else changes people like the message of Jesus Christ.

But Jesus does not quite say that the works that He accomplishes are the testimony about which He referred. He says that by those miracles which still take place God himself to testifies about Jesus. If you are considering these things I would encourage you to ask God to show you if this is the truth. You might pray something like, “God, if there really is a God and if you really care about me, show me if this is the truth, and help me understand what you show me."

Early on a Sunday morning several weeks after we visited the Army officer that I began by telling you about, he came to our church dressed in fatigues. He had duty that day and could not come to the service. But he told me he had not been able to forget the prayer that I had suggested to him. In the next 10 years God did a number of stunning things in that man’s life. And he eventually gave his life to Christ. I am still in regular contact with him even though I live in a different state. For nearly 30 years now he has been one of the strongest leaders in the church that he joined.

My new novel, EARS TO HEAR , 

will soon be released! 

Some of you know that I recently published the collection of short stories, THE GATHERING OF OUTCASTS

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