Hosanna!

Merwin VanDoornik

READ : Mark 11:1-11 We think of “Hosanna” as a shout of praise, but the basic meaning of this Hebrew word is “Help!” It is an SOS cry. That appears to be the way the first Palm Sunday crowd used it. Having heard of Jesus’ ability to feed an army with a school boy’s lunch and His recent accomplishment of bringing a dead Lazarus back to life, they were convinced He was a candidate for the monarchy. “Jesus, Help! Expel …

Hope to See You Soon!

Merwin VanDoornik

READ : 3 John 1:13-14 Thank God for letters and postcards and greeting cards, E-Mail and fax messages. Business could not be conducted and friendships would wither apart from such contact. But even more important than the phone or mail is the face-to-face contact: conversation laced with humor and tears, sharing of joys and concerns, handshakes and hugs. So John was eager to have “eyeball-to-eyeball” contact with his “dear friend Gaius.” God acted in similar fashion when He sent Jesus. …

The Ministry of Encouragement

Merwin VanDoornik

READ : 3 John 1:12 Demetrius was as much a friend of the Truth as Diotrephes was opposed to it. And John was quick to praise and commend him. Apparently John was not afraid that Demetrius would get a big head or fall into the sin of pride. Most of us are impressed with the “spectacular” ministries of a few believers: the ministry that establishes orphanages and soup kitchens or a “Teen Challenge” for drug addicts; the person who prays …

Imitation

Merwin VanDoornik

READ : 3 John 1:11 We humans are great imitators. Notice the neighborhood kids playing “Follow the Leader.” Notice your preschooler stating with emphasis: “I want to be just like Daddy!” Notice your kindergartner dressing up in Mom’s clothes, shoes and makeup, or your teenager adopting the styles and language of a sports hero or rock star. John wrote clearly: “Do not imitate what is evil but what is good.” Paul made it more specific: “Be imitators of God” (Eph. …

Holy Boldness

Merwin VanDoornik

READ : 3 John 1:9-10 It is better to say too little than too much. Most of us have regrets for the times we spoke too hastily when we should have listened first, or spoke in judgment before gathering the facts, or spoke as truth what was only our opinion. “Lord, fill my mouth with worthwhile stuff and stop me when I’ve said enough” is a valid prayer for all of us. Other times our timid tongues could use an …

What a Compliment!

Merwin VanDoornik

READ : 3 John 1:3-8 Gaius had welcomed the genuine traveling teachers who were preaching Jesus, the Truth. So John commends him as one who is faithful to the truth and who walks in the truth. Six times in this short letter John uses one of his favorite words: truth. One of my favorite stories about the truth happened in 1961. (This is a true story!) Douglas William Johnson, a 50-year-old unemployed janitor, turned in $240,000 that had fallen from …