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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Examining 2 Chronicles 7:14

Hardly a day passes that I don’t receive a call to pray for our nation based on 2 Chronicles 7:14. I appreciate the concern and the call to pray, but the people this verse addressed, the situation it described, and the promise it offered do not apply to Christians.
In 2 Chronicles 7:14 God addressed the Israelites who joined King Solomon in the dedication of the temple. In the extended context He promised to bless His people, the Israelites, if they obeyed His commandments and observed His statutes and judgments (verses 17-18). But He also issued a warning. If His people, the Israelites, turned away from Him, failed to keep His statutes and commandments, and became idolatrous, He would devastate their land (Israel). Drought, an infestation of locusts, and pestilence would be His messengers of judgment (verse 13). Also, according to verse 20, He would uproot His people, the Israelites, from the land (Israel).  
Furthermore, the promise we find in 2 Chronicles 7:14 was conditional. God would restore His people, the Israelites, and their land, Israel, if they would do three things: (1) pray; (2) seek His face; and (3) turn from their wicked ways.
Clearly, 2 Chronicles 7:14 was not addressed to Christians in the United States, and the situation calling for an appropriate response was a physical devastation of the land.
I find it disappointing that Christians fail to interpret 2 Chronicles 7:14 in context when they call for prayer on behalf of the United States. I also find it interesting that they focus on the need to pray but fail to mention the need to “turn from their wicked ways.” Carving up Scripture by taking only what one wants is really an act of butchering Scripture, isn’t it?
Please don’t get me wrong. We Christians should pray for our nation. It needs a spiritual overhaul, but let’s base our reason to pray on instructions given to Christians in the New Testament. Here is one of those instructions: “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority” (1 Timothy 2:1, 2a). It must not have been easy to pray for hostile, ungodly first-century Roman political rulers, but the reason to pray was clear: “that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness (v. 2b).
 So, let us pray!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Where Should We Look for Hope and Change?

Conditions in Judah had reached an all-time low when Isaiah entered the temple in Jerusalem. The hostile Assyrians were eyeing Judah as a vulture eyes a dying animal.  To make matters worse, Judah’s moral and spiritual strength had dissipated. Isaiah depicted the nation as corrupt, hypocritical, rebellious, and ignorant. It resembled a diseased body covered from head to heels with festering wounds, welts, and open sores.
Where could Isaiah look for hope and change?
He couldn’t look to King Uzziah. He had recently died.
He couldn’t look to Israel, Judah’s neighbor to the north. She was far down the slippery slope that would lead to destruction at the hands of the Assyrians.
He couldn’t look to the people of Judah. They were helpless.
But he could look to the Lord; and that’s what he did. In the year that King Uzziah died, Isaiah glimpsed the Lord sitting on a throne, “and the train of His robe filled the temple” (Isaiah 6:1). It was a life-altering moment for Isaiah. The lord cleansed him of his sin and commissioned him to carry His message to the nation—a message of hope and change.  The Lord promised to pardon and restore all who would turn from their sin and trust in Him. He would not abandon His people. Chapters 40—66 spill over with hope of a new day based on the Messiah’s substitutionary suffering (Isa. 53).
The United States has entered an uncertain period of history. Morally and spiritually we are adrift, and hostile nations would like to see us collapse. So, where should we look for hope and change? If we look only to the man who will occupy the White House for the next four years, we will be disappointed. However, if we look to the Sovereign of heaven and earth, the One to whom Isaiah looked, we will find hope and genuine change.
Soon, we will cast our ballots for the next President of the United States. Let’s choose wisely and put our utmost confidence in the One who holds the future in His hands.  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Few Words About Words

We can’t avoid hearing cuss words and vulgar language, but we can avoid using them The Bible commands: “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God” (Exodus 20:7a), and teaches us to regard God’s name as hallowed  (revered) [Matthew 6:9]. Further, the Bible instructs us to guard our speech (Proverbs 13:3). It should be “always full of grace, seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:6).
James taught that the sinful use of the tongue “corrupts the whole person” (James 3:6), and he questioned how praise and cursing come out of the same mouth. “My brothers, this should not be,” he wrote (verse 10).
With that brief background, I want to appeal to my Christian friends on Facebook not to use cuss words. Perhaps they have crept into their vocabulary by osmosis. I’m sure the longer a person is exposed to the cussing he hears on TV, in the movies, and in the workplace the easier it is to become immune to it and the more likely he is to let cussing and vulgarity slip into his speech. But we are called not only to a high standard of conduct but also to a high standard of speech. So, let’s honor the Lord in all our social contacts, including those we maintain on Facebook.
Feel free to call me a prude, but please don’t use a descriptive cuss word with the word “prude.”

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Devastating Hail

Last night, June 6, hail by the cartload bombarded Colorado Springs. Visibility was nearly zero; creeks and streams overflowed; roads and streets flooded; trees lost many leaves; and flowers forfeited their bloom. This morning, as I walked our dogs in the neighborhood, I lamented the fact that so many beautiful flowers had succumbed to the hail.  I can scarcely imagine the devastation enormous hail will cause someday, when God shakes the earth, collapses corrupt economies, and hurls hailstones “about a hundred pounds each” on unbelievers (Rev. 16:21). The devastation then will be far greater than what I witnessed this morning.
You may know I am preaching every Sunday at Faith Evangelical Free Church in Louviers, Colorado. Louviers is a village of 300 between Sedalia and Highlands Ranch, just west of Highway 85.  For the next two months, I will be speaking on prophecy at the 10:30 A.M. service. The congregation and I would love to welcome you.
Further, two books bearing my name are available now. A Guide to the Bible has been published by eChristian Books and is available at, and Straight Down the Middle: Meditations for Golfers (Circle Books) is available on Amazon.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Prophecy Series

I consider it a privilege to serve a congregation that is searching for a permanent pastor, but I have to realize I may not conclude a sermon series. At the request of one church, I did continue to preach for a while after a permanent pastor was in place, but that phenomenon occurred only once. So I choose not to preach through a lengthy book of the Bible or embrace a topical series that spans more than twelve weeks. Since September 2011, I have been preaching at Faith Evangelical Free Church in Louviers, and will conclude an exposition of Galatians in a couple of weeks (Lord willing). Because I haven’t heard that the arrival of a permanent pastor is imminent, I expect to begin and conclude a series of prophetic messages as posted below. If you live close to Louviers, a small village just southwest of Highlands Ranch and northwest of Castle Rock, please feel free to visit Faith Evangelical Free Church and listen to one of these messages.

Obviously, viewpoints on future events vary widely, so I want you to know I respect your right to hold a different one from mine. However, I will try to explain clearly from Scripture why I believe what I believe, and in the process you won’t encounter wild speculations and date setting.

Here are the topics and dates:

Planet Earth’s Future and Yours

May 20 Are We Living in the Last Days?

May 27 What’s the Rapture All About?

June 3 Will Christians Experience the Future Seven-Year Holocaust?

June 10 Picking the Antichrist out of the Lineup

June 17 Israel in the Crosshairs

June 24 When God Displays His Wrath

July 1 The King Is Coming

July 8 Who Will See Earth’s Golden Age?

July 15 Conditions on Earth When Jesus Reigns

July 22 The Devil’s Final Gasp

July 29 Where Will You Spend Eternity?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Back to the Past

Sixty years ago I obtained my chauffeur’s license so I could drive bread trucks in the summer, a job I held until I graduated from college. One truck was an electric stand-up-and-drive vehicle. It ran quietly, economically, and efficiently as long as I charged it overnight. Now that gas at the pump costs about $4 per gallon, talk about electric vehicles is common. I can only wonder why technology didn’t move forward 60 years ago so our cars today could whirr and click on electricity instead of guzzle expensive gas.

And wouldn’t our churches be better off if Christians recovered what was good about the past? First-century Christians were taught the importance of relying on the power of the Holy Spirit for effective living and witnessing (Acts 1:8; Galatians 5:16, 22, 23; Ephesians 5:18). In our quest for cultural relevance, have we abandoned the power of the Spirit that is available to convict sinners and to draw them to the Savior? Are we relying on entertainment instead of biblical preaching to accomplish what only divine power can accomplish? If so, let’s recapture what was good about the past. If we don’t, by comparison the cost of driving a thoroughly modern church may make $4 per gallon gas look like a bargain.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Cross and the Resurrection

The cross on which Jesus died had been prepared for Barabbas, a criminal. Like the other two criminals nailed to the crosses beside Jesus’ cross, he deserved to be punished. However, Pilate set Barabbas free and sentenced Jesus to die on Barabbas’s cross. Yet, Pilate could find no fault in Jesus. So Jesus, who was innocent, died in the place of Barabbas, who was guilty.

That substitution extended far beyond Jesus’ dying in Barabbas’s place. Because the name Barabbas means “the father’s son,” we see that our Savior, another Father’s Son, died in the place of all the sons (descendants) of Adam, our first father. As the apostle John pointed out in 1 John 2:2, Jesus was the sin offering for the whole world. He died not only in Barabbas’s place but also in your place and mine.

Further, Jesus voluntarily died for us. No one took His life; He freely laid it down for us, according to Galatians 1:4. Although His subsequent resurrection was supernatural, so was His death. He did what no one else can do: He dismissed His spirit (Matthew 27:50).

The hymn, “The Old Rugged Cross,” communicates wonderful truths, but perhaps we should rethink one of its statements: “And I love that old cross.” Our love should not be directed to the cross but to the One who died on the cross. John proclaimed, “We love Him, because He first loved us.”

Three days after dying on the cross for our sins, Jesus arose bodily from the tomb, proving that God accepted His shed blood as full payment for our redemption and justification. Consequently, all who trust in Jesus as their personal Savior enjoy forgiveness, peace with God, and the assurance of eternal life. Because He lives, we too shall live.

May the wonder and hope of Jesus’ death and resurrection fill your heart with joy this Easter.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

TV Commercial

In case I am asked to do a TV commercial . . .

In 1939, at the beginning of WW2, my parents brought me from Scotland to North America. I became a United States citizen in 1966, and consider myself a patriot. I hold four academic degrees, and I have spoken to congregations in Canada and throughout the United States. I have authored 19 books, more than 50 curriculum courses, and hundreds of articles. When friends tell me I should retire and take life easy, I tell them I am still too young to retire. I enjoy playing golf and taking long walks. I am a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a best friend to three little dogs. My name is Jim Dyet. I am 76 years old, and I am a Christian.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Golf at Fort Carson Army Post

When asked where I play golf in Colorado Springs, I respond, “Cheyenne Shadows.” Actually, I play wherever I am invited to play, but Cheyenne Shadows seems to top the invitation list.

Located on the Fort Carson Army Post, near the base of Cheyenne Mountain, Cheyenne Shadows Golf Course is accessible only to those who pass through security at Gate 5. Presenting my driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance is a required procedure, as is the ritual of popping the hood of my car, opening the doors, and lifting trunk lid.

After clearing security, I pay a modest green fee at the clubhouse, meet my buddy, and together we load our clubs onto a golf cart and fall into a line at the first tee, where we are often paired with young soldiers. Before long, we tee off, and the adventure begins.

Although Cheyenne Shadows is a military course, we don’t hit our golf balls left, right, left, right, left, right—at least we try not to.

One day, two young soldiers—one from Pennsylvania and the other from West Virginia—joined my buddy and me. They had recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq and will return to Iraq in six months. Neither soldier complained about having to serve in Iraq, and neither soldier said he wished for an easier life.

Just a gentle reminder—Christians are soldiers—soldiers of the cross—yet many of us want to serve God only as advisers. A far-too-prevalent attitude seems to be, “I’m not available for any ministry that involves personal hardship or takes too much of my time or runs the risk of being unappreciated and unrewarded.” Such soldiers are what C. T. Studd called, “chocolate soldiers.” They melt when the heat rises.

One soldier’s golf game fell apart at the fifth hole, and he became so frustrated and discouraged he retreated to his golf cart and pouted. Only the tactful encouragement of his soldier buddy persuaded him to resume play at the eighth hole. I’m happy to report the despondent soldier played well once again.

Another gentle reminder—soldiers of the cross can become frustrated and discouraged. Some may become so discouraged they drop out of Christian service. However, we can encourage them to “get back into the game.” A pat on the back works far better than a callous rebuke.

“Let us encourage one another,” Hebrews 10:25 admonishes. Let’s spread encouragement around wherever we Christians interact with one another. As soldiers of the cross, we need to buddy up in our constant conflict with evil.

—From Straight Down the Middle by Jim Dyet, © 2010 Circle Books

Straight Down the Middle is available at or you may obtain an autographed copy from the author at