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Absolute Truth

Truth is always true. Even so, it is amazing how many people seem to think it’s up for grabs. While we can reasonably reach an impasse as to which restaurant has “the best” Mexican food, when it comes to what you had for lunch yesterday there is a right and wrong answer. That’s the thing about “truth”...

Count It All Joy?

It is admittedly a challenge to “count it all joy, when you meet trials of various kinds” (Jms.1:2). But if we start by understanding that “counting it joy” is not the same as “enjoying” or “feeling good” about the painful situations in our lives, it may help us...

Life and Death

Death is a really big problem for us. The resurrection of Christ advertises to us the availability of the ultimate solution. Many misguided philosophers prefer to speak of the accounts of Jesus’ resurrection as metaphor...

Imaginary God

Often we struggle with a variety of verses in our Bible reading because they grate against our preconceived ideas about who we believe God to be. That would never happen if...

Fleeting Life

Talk about perspective! The lyrics of Psalm 39 boldly prompt the worshipper to consider the brief nature of his or her time here on earth...

Trusting God

God wants us to trust him. The Bible goes so far as to say, “without faith it is impossible to please him” (Hebrews 11:6). Trusting God to forgive us, and having confidence in Christ to save us from the penalty of our sins is just the beginning (as the rest of Hebrews 11 goes on to illustrate). We face important opportunities to trust God when

Act Like a Child?

For people who prefer to think of themselves as intelligent, competent, and self-reliant (which is just about all of us), the following words of Jesus likely come as a shock: “Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it” (Mk.10:15). No one likes to be considered childish...

Right Side of History

These days we often hear cultural pundits speak about the need for everyone to get “on the right side of history.” Now there’s some media commentary I can get behind. I am all for it! In a fundamental sense, calling people...

Sober Up

There is a kind of sober, vigilant, circumspect mindset that the Scripture consistently promotes and calls his people to maintain. Paul rebukes the Corinthians both metaphorically and literally: “Wake up...

Disparaging Words

It is almost impossible to get through a week without hearing one Christian disparage another. Unless we are personally invested in the conflict, we usually stand by feeling uncomfortable, while passively allowing our friend to “vent.” But the Bible tells us...

Help Wanted

God tells us in 2 Corinthians 9 that when we serve, sacrifice, or give for the good of his church there is a cascading series of positive effects that should encourage and motivate us to keep at it. He begins with...

Very Funny?

We all enjoy a good laugh. And God is quick to affirm the benefits of a cheerful heart and the appropriateness of laughter (Pr.15:13-15; Ec.3:4). However, he also found it necessary to warn us about the way that some types of humor can...

Careless Words

There’s no doubt that our internet culture has provided an increased sense of anonymity, which has prompted an onslaught of abrasive and even savage words that would rarely be uttered in person. Face-to-face communication has always...

Living Sacrifice

After an extended and detailed explanation of the amazing transaction that obliterates our debt before God, and graciously grants us the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ, Paul calls for a simple yet profound response: “present your bodies as a living sacrifice” (Rom.12:1). How strange and extreme it must have sounded...

Church Attendance

The Bible is very clear about God’s expectation regarding “church attendance” – to use our modern terminology. Christ commissioned the establishment of churches, the Holy Spirit inscribed instructions about how they operate, and God requires that our...

Forgetting the Past

The Apostle Paul’s mindset in his sanctification was to always be “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead” (Phil.3:13). When we think about the advantage to our spiritual progress in “forgetting the past,” likely the first things that...

Generosity

We all love generosity—that is, when others are generous to us. Christians, of all people, should appreciate the value of generosity, being the recipients of the most extravagant and undeserved generosity from...

Payoff of Holiness

With so much in the Bible about our call as Christians to live holy lives, I find that we often focus on the challenge and the obligation, but forget to ponder the payoff. Even when we hear the word “payoff” our minds tend to...

Who’s a Pharisee?

When the modern Christian finds himself under conviction in a conversation that has turned into a disagreement, he can usually get quick relief from his Bible-quoting “opponent” and call checkmate on the whole dispute, simply by calling the other...

Shrewd Evangelism

One of the most important and timely observations concerning the record of Paul’s evangelism in first century Athens, is to take note of the distinctive way the gospel was presented. Unlike previous scenes in...

Live for Christ

Peter motivates his readers to pursue godliness and holiness by reminding them that the world’s enticing temptations are a part of a value system that God has promised to destroy. He poignantly describes the complete decimation of the current...

Cultural Pressure

Falling to the temptation to be “conformed to the world” (Rom.12:2) rarely had such an immediate judgment as it did when the newly inaugurated King Jehu set up a sting operation, and called together all those who wanted to continue in the status quo of worshipping the false god Baal. In his ruse...

Sacrificial Love

When we read the word “love” in the Bible we should always be careful to remind ourselves that it bears little resemblance to what passes for love in today’s world. When the people of our culture speak of “love” they are usually referring to something that impulsively springs from feelings of happiness, warmth, attraction, affection or pleasure. But the Bible uses the word...

Spiritual Famine

God spoke to a spiritually declining nation through the prophet Amos, predicting a terrible disaster which was fast approaching the borders of Israel. It was not an earthquake, flood or storm, but rather it was the worst kind of calamity that could ever befall a people. His forecast called for...

Where Do I Fit

To maintain a proper view of God we have to work to regularly affirm God’s sovereign and authoritative role as the King and Shepherd of our lives. We cannot think accurately of God without consciously adjusting our view of ourselves. If God is the exalted Director and Guide, then we must purpose...

Christianity Attacked

It seems that almost daily we Christians have to endure a new barrage of attacks against the Christian faith. Tirades on websites, new books pitted against the Bible and angry dissenters continually grabbing microphones and keyboards to unleash their latest arguments against the Christian God.

While their presentations are delivered in intellectual terms...

God’s Justice

If God is not just, God is not good. If God does not respond justly to the unrighteous decisions of his creatures, then God cannot be holy, good or righteous. In the same way earthly judges cannot be good while perverting justice in their courtrooms, the perfect Judge cannot be perfect if he ignores sin. His perfect love does not negate...

Distracted Prayer

We live in a “noisy” world. It seems that every waking hour is filled with an onslaught of clamoring sights and sounds that relentlessly bombard our eyes and ears. Around the clock, something is always vying for our attention. New Testament times weren’t as different as you might think, particularly for Jesus. Luke records that he had to...

Wishing vs Truth

Whenever we study the Bible we have to do our best to let the text speak for itself. The goal is to excavate God’s message, ascertain God’s values, and comprehend God’s perspective. We may have many ideas and expectations about what we hope to uncover and what we wish to find, but the Bible has to be approached with...

Worship

A.W. Tozer was right when he observed that “a low view of God is the cause of a hundred lesser evils everywhere among us.” It makes sense that our specific view of God will determine the quality of our Christian life. If we view him as casual about sin, then we probably won’t care much about it either. If we...
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