Scripture: Hosea 4:1-6 Hosea not only had to preach gloom and doom, he had to live it in a marriage with a harlot named Gomer. He traces the infidelity of Israel to a “lack of knowledge.” But this lack of knowledge was more than not knowing the commandments in the Law of Moses. Israel didn’t know God. He was knowable, but they had replaced him with idols. They paid no attention to his works, even his blessings on Israel. Those…
Scripture: 1 John 1:8-2:1 Christians are called to grow, should try to grow, and should expect to grow. Spiritual growth will include increasing success against sin. We should expect to sin less as we mature in Christ. The “good news” does not produce a defeatist attitude where we “sin all the time.” Outside of Christ, we were fighting a battle against sin that we could not win. In Christ, we are equipped by God to fight a winning battle.
In Romans and Galatians, we are assured that salvation is by what Christ has done for us rather than what we have done for him.
To be good news, the gospel must offer forgiveness, peace, and godly lives, without producing complacency.
God has his reasons and methods, and His justice will prevail.
Rather than denying it or being afraid of it, God’s faithful people can look forward to the “coming of the day of the Lord.”
Far beyond the story of the big fish, the story of Jonah is one of the most complex short books of the Bible.
Scripture: 2 Peter 1:16-21 False teachers dared to contradict the eyewitnesses of Jesus, even while those witnesses were still alive. Before exposing the false doctrines (2 Peter 2 & 3), Peter reminded his readers of his credentials as one who had seen the most powerful demonstrations of the majesty of Christ. Because of what he had seen when Christ came the first time, he was a reliable guide in preparation for the second coming. On top of that, his testimony…
Scripture: Psalm 1 The difference between spiritual life and death is a matter of choice. We must – and invariably will – choose between the counsel of the world and the counsel of God’s word. Only “the law of the Lord” provides the resources necessary to thrive in righteousness. Spiritual survival requires that we limit our exposure to the counsel of the ungodly, and “meditate day and night” in the word of God. The start of a new year is a good time to commit to the spiritual disciplines that sustain godliness.
Scripture: 2 Peter 1:1-11 Faithful Christian living is not easy, but it is possible. We might think that had we lived in the 1st c., had seen and heard Jesus or the apostles, it would be easier to live godly lives. Peter does not agree with that thinking. He assures us that if our faith is in the righteousness of Jesus, and not in ourselves, we are all equally enabled by God to live lives that please Him. All Christians…
Gideon was a man who was willing to serve God, but he struggled to trust God.
Scripture: Jude 17-23 Jude is one of the least studied books of the NT, and it has some intriguing, mysterious statements in it. But overall, the general message is clear. People had slipped into the congregation and taught things that promoted immorality, denied Christ and denied judgment. Jude encouraged the faithful to be vigilant, and affirmed that judgment for ungodly living is real and terrible.