The Cross & The Supper
Scripture: John 12:27-34 The gospel of Jesus is full of positive and appealing features, but it is the most repulsive one that draws us to Jesus. His miracles and teachings are impressive, and the resurrection is exceptional. But the crucifixion is the item that makes Jesus unique and attractive. Without the crucifixion, the rest is just a nice story. The Lord’s Supper makes sure that we don’t forget the crucified body of Jesus. But as we remember the crucified body,…
Be not Dismayed
Scripture: Isaiah 41:8-13 Already in the Old Testament, God wanted his people to be heaven-focused. Many of the blessings announced to Israel would not be enjoyed by those who heard the message, but by later generations. The ultimate fulfillment was eternal. The same goes for Christians. God’s promises hold true even if we walk a rough road in the meantime. Regardless of present circumstances we can still trust God to strengthen us, help us and uphold us.
Attitudes of a Healthy Church
Scripture: Colossians 3:12-17 A healthy church will be solid in biblical doctrine, but also in biblical attitudes. Many New Testaments lists of virtues or graces are actually describing attitudes that should be prevalent in the church. A church without these attitudes will not have the peace or unity that God desires; it will not look like the Lord’s church. When describing the church, the portrait should include compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, forbearance and forgiveness among the members. For a…
Ephesians 4:25:32 Our world is plagued by major evil, but also with daily nastiness. We may not be able to change the whole world, but we can make a mark on our personal world by simple kindness. We should be kind to others because God has been kind to us. Many activities require some special gift or talent than is given only to a few, but kindness is accessible to each one of us. It is something that we can…
In God’s Image
Scripture: Genesis 1:26-28 Genesis teaches that God is Creator and that man is made in His image. A shadow is an image leading back to something of substance. In a similar way, man is made to be connected with God while also resembling Him. In the garden, man is given a place to belong and work to do, though is left to feel his need for companionship. Some needs are met before feeling them; others remain unfulfilled for a time.…
When Sin Is Not Deadly
Scripture: Psalm 19:7-14 Even faithful Christians sin occasionally. That does not mean that we should live in constant fear of going to hell just because we may not have time to repent after the last sin before we die. We do not live each day constantly slipping back and forth from salvation to condemnation. Even though all sins are serious and dangerous, all sins do not lead to immediate spiritual death. Even imperfect Christians can rejoice in the Lord.
Knowledge of God
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…
Spiritual Growth & Sin
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.
Rejoicing in Christ
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.
The Lord Is My Strength
God has his reasons and methods, and His justice will prevail.
God’s Patient Promise
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.”
What’s the Point?
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…
Deep Roots or Withered Leaves
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…
Alone in the Garden
Reduction In Forces
Gideon was a man who was willing to serve God, but he struggled to trust God.
Words To The Beloved
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.