If we claim to know the truth, that implies every other perspective is wrong The book of Job is mostly dialogue between Job and his four “friends,” with God having the final word—as he should. The words of Job’s four friends aren’t much help. At one point in Zophar’s monologue he claims that Job said … Continue reading Our Beliefs Are Flawless. Or Is It That Our Beliefs Are Flawed? →
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We can only guess about battles in the spiritual realm, but angels fight for us The book of Daniel contains six stories and four prophetic visions. In Daniel’s final, and longest, vision, we get a glimpse— perhaps metaphorically—of what happens in the spiritual realm and how angels fight for us. Starting with chapter 10, Daniel … Continue reading Do Angels Fight for Us? →
Sunday should not be a day of restriction but a day of freedom and celebration In the book of Exodus, God and Moses have a face-to-face meeting. That is significant. How cool would it be to have a direct conversation with the Almighty? Certainly, we’d remember what he told us and be careful to follow … Continue reading The Sabbath Day →
For Forty Years the Israelites Had a Pillar of Cloud and a Pillar of Fire to Show Them Where to Go After spending four-hundred years in Egypt, the repressed children of God finally get a chance to leave. This comes under the leadership of Moses. We know of Moses’s meetings with Pharaoh to negotiate the … Continue reading What If God Sent a Pillar of Fire to Guide You? →
God instructs Jacob to go to Egypt, but he doesn’t intend for him to stay Just like Cain and Abel, along with Ishmael and Isaac, Joseph and his brothers have problems, too. There are two reasons why Joseph’s brothers don’t like him. First, he’s Dad’s favorite. Second, he doesn’t know when to keep his mouth … Continue reading When God Tells Us to Do Something, Does He Mean Forever? →
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There are many ways to solve family problems, but kicking out your son isn’t one of them. Last week we looked at the story of Cain and Abel. We examined the first case of sibling rivalry. Things escalated out of control with one brother ending up dead and the other sentenced to wander, forever carrying … Continue reading Ishmael and Isaac: Two Half-Brothers Who Don’t Get Along →
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The First Brothers in the Bible, Cain And Abel, Also Provide the First Account of Sibling Rivalry. The first two people mentioned in the Bible are Adam and Eve. The next two people are their sons, Cain and Abel. It would seem these four people should get along. They can’t. The result of the conflict … Continue reading What Can We Learn from Cain and Abel? →
When we talk to others about God it’s critical we teach sound doctrine Paul writes a letter of instruction to his protégé Titus. In it he devotes a lengthy section instructing Titus about how to teach others. Paul opens this passage with the simple direction that Titus must teach whatever’s appropriate for sound doctrine (Titus … Continue reading We Must Teach Sound Doctrine →
The Bible reminds us to pray for those in authority, which includes our politicians In Paul’s first letter to his protégé Timothy, he adds an important command. We can likewise apply Paul’s wise instruction as something for us to follow today. He tells us we are to pray for those in authority. This includes our … Continue reading We Need To Pray For Those In Power Over Us →
Discerning the will of God isn’t hard; the Bible is clear what we are to do As Paul wraps up his first letter to the Thessalonian church, he slips in three quick instructions. These concise commands seem like soundbites. And once he delivers them, he concludes that doing these things is the will of God … Continue reading Discover the Will of God →
Paul affirms Tychicus as a dear friend, faithful minister, and servant of God Tychicus is a character in the Bible who most people don’t know. His name occurs only five times, once in Acts and four times in Paul’s letters. The letter to the Colossian church is one example. Each time Tychicus’s name is mentioned, … Continue reading What Kind of Person Are You? →
How we start doesn’t matter, because what counts is how we finish Paul writes to the Philippian church to encourage them. He shares his personal ambition in hopes they’ll do what he does. He says he pushes himself to reach a goal and to win a prize, an eternal reward. In another place Paul talks … Continue reading We Must Finish Strong and Not Coast Our Way into Heaven →
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Being both honest and kind is how we grow in our faith and mature through Jesus When Paul writes to the church in Ephesus, he tells them to speak what is true with love. This should be our guide in all that we say. While this makes sense, it’s harder to put into practice. Truth: … Continue reading Speak Truth in Love →
Because of God we can anticipate a better tomorrow There are many reasons why I love the Bible, in fact I list thirteen. One of those reasons is hope (Psalm 119:74). The Bible is filled with hope. It’s mentioned 180 times in both the Old and New Testaments. Hope in the Old Testament: The word … Continue reading The Bible Offers Us Hope for the Future →
Paul tells us that faith and love is what matters most In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he opens chapter five with a discussion about freedom and slavery, about following the law and not following the law. He says that in Jesus these things have no value. His explanation of this is a bit confusing. … Continue reading What’s the Only Thing That Counts? →
Living a life for Jesus is living contrary to our culture Jesus often warns his followers to not be hypocrites. As an example of who not to emulate, he usually singles out the religious leaders. This is a sobering thought for anyone on a church staff or who has a following of spiritual seekers. Don’t … Continue reading Jesus Calls Us To Serve With Humility →
Jesus calls us to change and become like little children Matthew tells the story about Jesus asking his disciples, “Who’s the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” The disciples don’t answer. Either they don’t know or they’re afraid to attempt an answer, for fear they might be wrong. Jesus takes a child and places this … Continue reading Do We Take Ourselves Too Seriously? →
Like yeast in a lump of dough, a little bit makes a big difference In the thirteenth chapter of the book of Matthew, we read many parables of Jesus. This includes the parable of the sower, the parable of the weeds, the parable of the hidden treasure, the parable of the pearl, the parable of … Continue reading We Should Live Our Lives to Influence Others →
We should show our gratitude to Jesus for all he has done for us The Bible records many things Jesus did when he was here on earth. A reoccurring action is Jesus healing people from their physical and spiritual maladies. Matthew 8 records several of these instances, and we will focus on one of them. … Continue reading How Do We Respond to Jesus? →
John baptizes with water and Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit The third chapter in the book of Matthew focuses on John the Baptist and makes the transition to Jesus, the star of the rest of the book. This chapter also contains some teaching from John. He quotes Isaiah and calls for the Jewish people … Continue reading Two Kinds of Baptism →