CHRISTIAN LIVING

Do I Have To?

Do I have to? Those four little words frequently crossed my mind and sometimes my lips in response to my parents’ directives during the formative years of my life. The inevitable consequences and pressure to conform…

From the Editor Jul/Aug 2017

Every Wednesday, we have chapel at The Friends of Israel headquarters. It’s a wonderful time when we pray together, hear a brief message, and sometimes connect via Skype with one of our workers overseas who…

A Trail of Carcasses

Camped at Sinai for 12 months, the fledgling nation of Israel received God’s Law, constructed His Tabernacle, and established the Levitical priesthood. It had great dreams and high expectations of entering a land that flowed “with milk and honey” as it set out from…

Fiasco at Kadesh Barnea

After traveling through the desert from bondage in Egypt, the children of Israel embarked on the last leg of the journey to their new home: the land of Canaan—the land God had promised them. With the end of the trek in sight…

Rebels Without a Cause

It didn’t go well for Korah and crew when they complained against God. In fact, the ended up in what people today might call a giant sinkhole. Anyone who knows a little Yiddish probably knows the word kvetch. It means complain and whine habitually.

The Covert Conspiracy

Many things happen behind the scenes that affect our lives and the history of nations. The Israelites fell prey to the enemy’s devices, and it cost them dearly. If you think you know everything going on around you, think again. Life is not always what it seems. Sometimes circumstances are orchestrated…

The Desert Complaint Department

A lesson in what NOT to do–even though God is always faithful. Complaining is a flaw of sinners. It is part of humanity’s sinful condition. It is part of humanity’s sinful condition. We grumble about long lines, prices, people…

A Minister’s Encouragement

1 Thessalonians 3:1–5: Birthing is not easy. That’s why it’s called labor. Paul felt personally responsible for the Thessalonian church, which he had birthed through his ministry. He cared for the babes in Christ there with the gentle love…

Hide-and-Seek

I recently heard someone sarcastically compare man’s relationship to God to a cruel game of hide-and-seek where God supposedly hides slightly out of reach and demands to be found. Man is “it”—seeking the ever-elusive God but never able to find or please Him.

Who is This Person?

What if you looked in a mirror and were unable to recognize yourself? Unfortunately, this type of thing happens. Sometimes traumatic brain injuries or diseases make it difficult for people to recognize faces, even their own. The condition is known as…

Ministering With Affection

1 Thessalonians 2:7–12The church is a family. People enter it by being born into it spiritually. And, as in a family, all members have responsibilities; and their commitment to and love for one another are necessary to create…

Open the Door!

Years ago, young people were always afraid of being picked last. The humiliation of standing alone while your peers pondered which team was going to be stuck with you was devastating. Even being picked second to last was…

From the Editor Jan/Feb 2017

This year marks the 75th anniversary of Israel My Glory, and we plan to run vintage articles by Victor Buksbazen, the first editor of the magazine and first executive director of The Friends of Israel.

Inside View Jan/Feb 2017

Sitting around a table in Warsaw, Poland, last summer, I listened as our Friends of Israel staff there shared how God worked in their lives to bring them to faith in Christ and eventually into Jewish ministry.

Tapestry of Grace

Why did so many people in the Bible do such bad things? Was it okay that God’s people had multiple wives?” a newly saved young mom asked me. I told her the Bible portrays humanity’s sinfulness honestly, but its record of such behavior does not…

The Man Whom God Knighted

There is no other biblical personality that has been made more the butt of harsh and unfair criticism than that of the patriarch Jacob, one of the ancestors of the Jewish race. He is depicted as the cunning supplanter…

Ministering with Integrity

1 Thessalonians 2:1–6: The apostle Paul’s abrupt departure from Thessalonica brought accusations that he was a religious charlatan preaching for financial gain and personal honor. If the accusations went unanswered, they…

God is Up to Something

The scattered stones and ruins of the ancient city of Philippi silently lay in the bright Grecian sun. Standing there, as I scanned the landscape around me, the organized rubble seemed to shout, “This is the place! This is the place…

Corrie’s Courage

A pastor’s visit to the Ten Boom house reminds us how the faith of one Christian family preserved many Jewish lives during the Holocaust. We were in the last room on our tour through the Corrie ten Boom Museum…

Didn’t Know Who You Were

The wonderful Christmas season will soon be here. It’s a time to celebrate the divinely supernatural, when God did something for humanity that is so spectacular it has to be experienced personally to be understood.

‘For My Name’s Sake’

I am Charlie Perry’s great grandson. That fact may not mean much today, but in my small hometown many years ago, it meant plenty. Charles H. Perry was a man of impeccable integrity…

The Thessalonians’ Testimony

1 Thessalonians 1:9–10: When the Thessalonians received Jesus Christ as their Savior, they experienced a thrilling transformation. They were completely delivered from the darkness and depravity of paganism and anxiously…

7 Things I Learned About Dealing with Officials

I was fully prepared to breeze over a July 14 article in theguardian.com headlined “Ghostbusters in line for China ban due to supernatural theme.” But I read it, and I’m glad I did…

From the Editor Sep/Oct 2016

Have you ever heard of the Yazoo land scandal of 1795? Apparently, it is considered “the most corrupt deal in American history,” according to  historynewsnetwork.org…

The Peter Principle

What do you do when the Bible says one thing and the government says another? Follow the principle the apostle Peter gave us. A significant parade of years has passed since my grammar school days…

Rejoicing Over Salvation

1 Thessalonians 1:5–8: The apostle Paul did not preach on the power of positive thinking to the Thessalonians. He did not use skillful oratory, philosophical arguments, clever expressions, or…

Recycling History

Israel’s wise King Solomon, with years of world-watching behind him, concluded, “That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun” (Eccl. 1:9)…

Thankful for the Thessalonians

1 Thessalonians 1:2–4: When kindness is shown to someone, the usual response is to say thank you. No New Testament writer other than Paul expressed thankfulness to his fellow Christians…

Liberty, Love, and Life With Christ Conclusion

During its formative years, the church was entirely Jewish, as Jewish people by the thousands recognized Jesus as their long-promised Messiah. But by the end of the apostle Paul’s first missionary journey…

Liberty, Love, and Life With Christ Part Four

Christians are to honor God’s holiness by keeping His commandments. But what about gray areas where the Bible is silent? In those cases, followers of Jesus must not offend their consciences or those of other believers…

God’s Way

Youcef Nadarkhani, 38, is an Iranian-Christian pastor. He spent three years in prison and was sentenced to death by hanging on charges of apostatizing from Islam and evangelizing Muslims. Although released in September 2012, he was…

Why We Believe

Every year Christians pause to remember an event that changed history. Whether you call it Easter or Resurrection Sunday, it is a day of rejoicing, when we gather together in churches around the…

The Twisted Cross

I was in 10th grade U.S. History class when we got to the chapter on World War II and learned about Hitler and the Nazis. To me, the Second World War was just a misty history that happened…

Liberty, Love, and Life with Christ Part Three

Christian liberty is a gift from God. Scripture says Christians are free to practice whatever God’s moral absolutes do not prohibit (Gal. 2:4; 5:1), providing they do not violate their own consciences (Rom. 14:22–23)…

Vessels of Clay Romans 9:1–29

Four thousand years ago, God called Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees (southern Iraq) to the land of Canaan (Israel) and made him an awesome promise…

A Plea From a Millennial

A few miles from my boyhood home, just off a dusty country road, sits a little orange brick church. The tattered curtains sway in and out…

Confronting Church Conflict

3 John 5–14: Third John focuses on three men, two of whom—Gaius and Diotrephes—were church leaders. Gaius was a committed servant, full of love and truth, and given to hospitality…

Liberty, Love, and Life With Christ Part Two

Christians should live according to God’s universal guidelines of conduct through the power of the Holy Spirit. Part one examined the first guideline. Here are three more.

How to Walk and When to Stand

Since June 26, when five Supreme Court justices issued their majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, the millennia-old idea of religious freedom in America has…

He Still Seeks and Saves

Tears streamed down Sandy Yao’s face as she stood by her mother’s bed. God felt so far away. She had trusted His Son as her Savior. She believed God had opened the door…

A Beloved Servant

3 John 1–4: Churches are like families: full of members with differing personalities, dispositions, and temperaments. Some members are friendly, loving, truthful, generous, and hospitable…

Inside View Sep/Oct 2015

Do you ever feel like you want to do something to help Israel in addition to praying? That was how we felt when we started the Israel Relief Fund many years ago.

From the Editor Sep/Oct 2015

A few months ago, the husband of one of my dearest friends died of a heart attack while eating lunch. One minute he was alive; the next, he wasn’t. My friend told me the ambulance arrived…

Psalm 121: Our Security

Imagine a Jewish father singing to his children, “My help comes from the Lᴏʀᴅ, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber…

Psalm 125: Our Protector

Mayhem is everywhere. This motto is used by one of America’s biggest insurance companies. The television commercial portrays “mayhem” in the form of a man running amok…

Psalm 127: Our Provider

Situated at the midpoint of the Psalms of Ascents, Psalm 127 is didactic, or instructional, and is attributed to King Solomon. Confronting the reality of daily existence, it motivates readers to…

Psalm 128: Our Source

A steady stream of families paraded across the stones and steps that marked the path to the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City. I sat nearby as they carried canopies, banners, and balloons…

Psalm 129: Our Guardian

From their sojourn in Egypt to their days in Europe during Hitler’s Third Reich to today, the Jewish people have been afflicted. Yet against all odds, this tiny group of people…

Psalm 130: Our Redeemer

If there is one thing we all share, it’s trouble. My Jewish friends often use the Yiddish word tsuris. I remember one day in 2010 that dumped a tremendous amount of tsuris on me. I learned…

Psalm 131: Our Hope

Psalm 131 is a song of humility. This Song of Ascents was composed by King David. Though one of the shortest psalms, it is also one of the most poignant. David composed it while experiencing severe challenges and inner turmoil, perhaps when…

Psalm 132: Our Dwelling

Psalm 132 is the longest of all the Songs of Ascents and focuses on worship, which the nation of Israel modeled after the experience of its greatest king and worship leader…

Psalm 133: Our Unity

Hine ma tov u’ma-nayim, shevet ach-im gam ya-chad. These Hebrew words are familiar to anyone who attends synagogue regularly. “Behold, how good and how pleasant…

Psalm 134: Our Blessing

When God blesses something, He bestows on it life and goodness. During creation, God only blessed living things; He did not bless the sun, moon, or stars. After He created Adam and Eve…

Standing for the Truth

2 John 5–13: All Christians should obey biblical truth and manifest love, as taught by Jesus Christ. The “elect lady and her children,” whom the apostle John mentioned in his second epistle, lived observably according to these commandments…

The Inextinguishable Church

The global campaign to eliminate Christianity and the followers of Jesus Christ is as diverse as it is unrelenting. In the Middle East and Africa, ISIS Islamists have reverted to…

Living Truthfully

2 John 1:1–4: A major problem in the first-century church was the proliferation of false teachers. Under the inspiration and leading of the Holy Spirit, the apostle John…

Humanity’s Rejection of God’s Moral Absolutes

Humanity’s refusal to accept God’s wisdom has led people to reject His moral absolutes. Consequently, individuals engage in practices that violate what God ordained for mankind. They commit…

From the Editor May/Jun 2015

Many years ago I had a wonderful friend who truly loved Jewish people. She was a devout Christian who had come to Christ later in life from a Greek Orthodox background and…

Abraham’s Three C’s

The great American civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but…

Sarah and Abraham

As a child, I had a favorite teacher who skillfully arranged biblical characters on colorful backdrops of desert sand, tents, or a palm-covered oasis. Drawing our attention to…

Abraham’s Faith

Anyone who has read the story of Abraham would agree he was an ordinary man who was made extraordinary by faith. He stands out in Scripture as a stellar figure whom Judaism calls…

A Rock on Which to Build the World

Abraham is the only person in the Old Testament called the “friend” of God (Isa. 41:8; Jas. 2:23). In the New Testament, he is listed as an ancestor of Jesus Christ (Mt. 1:1) and…

The Long Arm of Grace

Reading the biblical account of Abraham’s life is like watching a tightrope walker who steps onto a thin wire to traverse cavernous depths. The slightest misstep can bring disaster. Counted as…

Humanity’s Rejection of Genuine Wisdom

The foundation, or beginning, of wisdom is the fear of the Lord (Ps. 111:10). Unfortunately, large segments of humanity do not fear the Lord and have no true wisdom. Instead…

Inside View Mar/Apr 2015

“To be absent from the body [is] to be present with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8). I thought of that verse when I received word that our beloved and longtime colleague, Zvi Kalisher, had passed away…

From the Editor Mar/Apr 2015

When I was reading the book of Obadiah awhile back, I felt it offered so many good principles for everyday living that I thought you might enjoy an entire issue on it. Many months later, as I was preparing…

The Pitfall of Pride Obadiah 1—4

Obadiah 1–4: When the apostle Paul wrote to his young protégé Timothy to tell him how to pastor the church at Ephesus, he cautioned him not to give too much responsibility to…

Groundless, Yet Deadly

Pride is a matter of the heart. In both Hebrew and Greek, the languages of the Old and New Testaments respectively, the words pride and proud denote an arrogance, a puffing up…

You Reap What You Sow Obadiah 15—16

Obadiah 15–16: Have you ever seen someone revel in another’s misfortune or be smug and self-satisfied when sympathy was called for? There’s a saying, “What goes around comes around.” The Bible…

Victorious in Christ

1 John 5:1–12: The apostle John used the word overcomer more than any New Testament writer when speaking of the Christian’s victorious life in Christ (1 Jn. 5:4–5)…

The Foundation of Genuine Wisdom

The Bible teaches that the foundation, or beginning, of genuine wisdom is the fear of the Lord. Unwise people spurn the fear of the Lord by neglecting God’s moral absolutes…

Recollections of a Friend

In a life spent traveling and meeting hosts of people from all walks of life, I’ve found that few individuals leave an enduring legacy. Such a legacy was left by a person of small stature but…

A Tribute to Zvi

I first met Zvi Kalisher in 1977 on The Friends of Israel’s first tour to Israel. We had just arrived in Jerusalem, and that evening Zvi shared an hour-long testimony. I left the meeting saying…

My Dad

I was privileged and blessed to have two believing parents in the Lord Jesus. The most important heritage they gave us was a biblical and spiritual education and guidance…

The Zvi I Knew

Considering all of the difficulties he faced as a Holocaust survivor and a moneyless, unemployed immigrant in a precarious Israel, Zvi Kalisher had every reason to become…

My Memories of Zvi

My wife and I first met Zvi in 1978 at a Friends of Israel (FOI) banquet in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. He was the highlight of the evening. His life story, ZVI, by Elwood McQuaid, had just…

True Christian Love

1 John 4:7–21: If one thing is glaringly missing in the life of many Christians today, it is the expression of Christian love. Throughout the First Epistle of John, the apostle John emphasized…

Contrasts of Wisdom

The Bible calls attention to several problems with false wisdom, which, in reality, is not wisdom at all. After Babylon had manifested great pride in abusing the Israelites during their 70-year…

Up Close Among Suffering Nigerians

“I’m sorry, Mr. Johnson, but your life insurance application was rejected.” When I asked why, the agent explained: “On the questionnaire, your answer about travel said you are going…

Spiritual Discernment

1 John 4:1–6: First-century believers were often inundated with heretical doctrine from people whom the Bible identifies as false teachers and false prophets. At that time…

The Wisdom of God Conclusion

God gave Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar a dream that disturbed he could not sleep. Then God revealed to Daniel the dream’s content and meaning. This article explains…

Loving One Another

1 John 3:11–24: In 1 John 3:10, the apostle John declared, “Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.” These strong words…

The Wisdom of God Part Three

This article provides more examples of God’s distribution of wisdom. Nebuchadnezzar, the crown prince of Babylon, came to Israel’s capital city of Jerusalem in August 605 BC.

Saints and Sinners

1 John 3:4–10: The First Epistle of John teaches that people who are truly born again are children of God and will practice righteousness (2:29), keeping themselves pure from sin…

The Wisdom of God Part Two

Proverbs 2:6–7 states, “The Lᴏʀᴅ gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright.” However, the Bible also reveals…

Behold God’s Love

1 John 3:1–3: God’s redemptive program began with His love for fallen humanity. Those who have been “born of Him” (1 Jn. 2:29) by faith in Jesus Christ manifest this…

The Wisdom of God Part One

Webster’s New International Dictionary defines wise as “discerning and judging soundly concerning what is true or false, proper or improper.” It defines wisdom as the…

Warning Against Antichrists

1 John 2:18–29: At the inception of his epistle, the apostle John declared, “God is light” (1 Jn. 1:5). He said people who walk in God’s light abide in fellowship with Him.

The Grace of God Conclusion

Our previous article showed that the apostle Paul was consumed by the transforming reality of God’s grace. Many times Paul used the word grace in his epistles to the…

Contend for the Faith! Jude 1—4

Have you ever wished you could return to the purity of the first-century Christian church, when there were no denominational differences and all believers were simply called…

Apostasy, Angels, and Judgment Jude 5—11

Apostasy is nothing new. Although it may seem worse today than in previous years, it has been around almost forever; and it reaps God’s judgment. An apostate is one who departs from…

Snapshots of Apostates Jude 12—15

On the evening of January 13, 2012, the luxurious cruise ship Costa Concordia was sailing off the coast of the Tuscan Island of Giglio when, without warning, it struck mountainous…

Essentials for the Faithful Jude 16—25

The short epistle of Jude is a scathing denunciation of false teachers and their immoral doctrines. It portrays them as evil individuals who worm their way into churches even though…

O Be Careful Little Mouth What You Say!

In days gone by it was common for parents to resort to washing their children’s mouths out with soap as punishment for using foul language. Gutter talk, locker-room jokes, bathroom humor…

How to be a Godly Leader

So many churches and Christian organizations are facing crises in their leadership. Godly leadership is critical if Christians are to grow in Christ and glorify Him. Here are four principles of godly…

The Girl Almost Nobody Loved

One of the many wonderful things about the Bible is how full it is of real people and their real struggles. It is not a sterile Book. God clothed His truth in skin through the hundreds of…

Love Not the World

1 John 2:12–17: In this section, John assured his readers of his confidence in their salvation (vv. 12–14); and he instructed them to guard against loving the world and becoming part of its…

The Grace of God Part Eight

We saw that the word translated “testify” refers to “an emphatic affirmation that a thing is or will be so.” The word translated “gospel” means “good news.” A commission is “an authoritative order”…

The Biblical Bottom Line

I was watching a television talk show one evening that centered on a discussion between the host, a well-known skeptic, and a spokesman for the “evangelical” left. Political and social issues…