Update: My Work, My Writing, the News

Stephen Nielsen

I bought these Petunias to brighten up my apartment.

My Work

Lately I’ve been staying busy, more than I want to be. For some reason I have gotten a lot of calls for jobs this year. I’m a house painter. That’s what I have been busy with. Though I am retired, I just keep working. But I’m not complaining—too much. The main complaint this year is the terrible heat. We are having a lot of 90-degree days.  Too hot to paint!

My latest book, The Tribulation

I’ve written a few books on prayer, a few books on bible prophecy, and my memoir. Now I’m back to bible prophecy. I’m just getting started on this book on the Tribulation. I’m excited to know how it will turn out. I’ve done some research, but I know I will do more as I go along. I do have an outline, so I know…

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Making a Decision for Christ – Matthew 7:13-14

Stephen Nielsen

Matthew 7:13-14

“Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. 14 “For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.

If you have been following along you know that I have been using D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ sermons from his Studies in the Sermon on the Mount as my reference. Hence, the main points and teaching are from his book (which are his sermons); and then I bring some of my own ideas into it. This sermon is much like the previous one, using the same text, but we go deeper into the meaning of it. In these two verses of Jesus’ sermon, we will discuss now the meaning of entering into the Christian life, based on His description here…

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The Narrow and the Wide Gate – from Matthew 7:13-14

Stephen Nielsen

Beginning in Matthew 7:13 and 14 we come to the application of Jesus’ Sermon. The main part of the sermon ends at verse twelve, and here in verse thirteen Jesus begins to point to the application—how we are to apply it.

“Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. 14 “For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.

So Jesus tells us that there are two different applications, or ways we can proceed: through the narrow gate or through the wide gate.

Well, Jesus beckons us to go through the narrow gate, because, He says the wide gate leads to destruction, the way most people are going. But the narrow gate, though it is difficult, leads to life.

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Why Prayer Is Necessary: #2 – For Spiritual Growth 

Stephen Nielsen

Prayer helps in these four areas of spiritual growth:

1. Growth in understanding God’s ways.In James 1:5 it says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally…” It seems from this verse (and the previous verses), that wisdom, which is really an understanding of God’s ways, is gained through prayer as well as through experience; for as we encounter various trials (verse 2), we pray and ask God for an understanding of what to do (verse 5). Therefore, both experience and prayer are needed.

Experience (including all the trials we go through) keeps us in touch with reality, and prayer keeps us in touch with God, who in turn helps us understand all that we experience—which is wisdom.

Experience allows us to grow in endurance as we encounter various trials, and prayer keeps us trusting and in touch with God—who is…

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The Tragic Results of Not Following the Golden Rule

Stephen Nielsen

The verse we are following today is Matthew 7:12:

Therefore, however you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

There are certainly tragic results of mistreatment on both sides: others mistreating me, as well as my mistreatment of others. And that mistreatment affects not only the one being mistreated, but also the one who is causing the mistreatment.

For this post today, I want to write on how others, as well as myself, have been mistreated. I will start with myself. I couldn’t have been more than seven years old, first grade. My dad had helped me make a boat, really an old clipper ship. It was a great project. We carved it out of a four-by-four block of wood, then we gave it three masks made of dowels, we made sails made of white cloth, and then we tied…

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Why is “therefore” placed before the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12)?

Stephen Nielsen

In Matthew 7:12, we first encounter the word, “therefore.”

Therefore, however you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. NASB

As a rule, that word “therefore” tells us that what is to come is a summary, or a conclusion of what has previously been said. At first glance, it may be difficult to see it. But it is there. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, in his commentary, points it out quite well. Let me explain as he does.

Verses one through twelve are tied together in two groups, and verse twelve is a concluding statement.

  • Verses 1-6 deals with judging others wisely.
  • Verses 7-11 is a reminder to us that we need His grace in order to correctly deal with and judge others. We need to know how to pray for wisdom.
  • Verse 12 is a concluding verse for the entire section (verses…

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Jesus and the Pharisees: from Matthew 22:34-46

Stephen Nielsen

This is our fourteenth study. Please click HERE for an intro to this study. Today we see how Jesus turned the tables on the Pharisees—how He tested their weak faith.

Matthew 22:34-46

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?”

“The son of David,” they replied.

43…

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What we think about

Stephen Nielsen

I suppose we could say that each person thinks on the things that he does each day. We think about what we do, or what we plan to do, or what we hope to do. And along the way we are forced to think on the decisions we will make; will I do this or that?

For those of you who have a job, you are forced to think about what you do in your job. And for you who work around machinery, you’re thinking process had better be clear. And for you scientists, we all hope that your decisions are well thought through.

And for all you who are not working, and retired, you are freer to think what you want. You are not so restricted; that is, no one is telling you what to do, how to think. That is where I am. I do a few painting…

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When thinking is necessary

Stephen Nielsen

Just a few minutes ago I wrote a blog entitled No thoughts. But on my way home from Perkins, where I was having breakfast, I drove through a yellow arrow. I was supposed to yield to the cars coming from the other direction, but I wasn’t thinking. I was still in my no thoughts mode.

So, even though I was content on having a no thoughts day, I am now resolved in my mind that there are times when thinking is necessary. I must be prepared to think when I am driving—so I will abide by the traffic rules and be safe. Oh, and now, on my way home I will do some grocery shopping, so I will also have to think on what I need to buy. And then later I will do some reading, so I will have to think on my reading. And everything I do…

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No thoughts

Stephen Nielsen

I brought my writing pad and a pen to my breakfast outing, intending to write a blog post. But as it turned out, I have no thoughts. It reminds me of my earlier days on the farm when I would sometimes sit and stare out into space; and when someone would ask me what I was thinking about I had to say… “nothing.” I had no thoughts. I wonder if that’s possible. I suppose we are always subconsciously thinking.

It’s a terrible thing for a blogger to have no thoughts! But today I feel content to just sit here and eat my food and wait for something to come to me. An inspiration. A message from God. Oh no. My food is almost gone. Panic. I know… I’ll get a piece of caramel apple pie, with whipped cream. That will prolong this “no thought” blog, or it may stimulate a…

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