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Weightless Words

The Bible states, “Do not take to heart all the things that people say [about you]” (Ecclesiastes 7:21). And these days, with everybody saying all kinds of things about everyone else on social media, this timeless principle may be more important than ever before. The biblical context of this verse clearly has in view the typical opinionated chitchat and conversational commentary that has gone on between...

Hope Misplaced: Herodians

Some people don’t like things to change. They are happy with the status quo and will do anything to keep it that way. Jesus encountered a group like this when he came to earth...

Hope Misplaced: Zealots

In our world there is a growing distrust and dissatisfaction with the government. But this is nothing new in history. Throughout the centuries kingdoms have risen and fallen on the backs...

Hope Misplaced: Pharisees

We’ve all heard about the Pharisees. The religious leaders of Jesus’s day who clung to the letter of the Law and placed heavy, over-reaching rules on the people. What is interesting is that...

Hope Misplaced: Sadducees

When Jesus came to this earth, he faced a lot of opposition. Different groups were vying for power and one of those was a religious group called the Sadducees. We first hear...

Tumultuous World

We live in a violent and tumultuous world—for now. Surprisingly, it’s one of the byproducts of grace. Had God chosen to destroy every sinner at the moment of his or her sinful intent, our world would indeed be free from all the horrible headlines, but it would also be unoccupied. Instead, God graciously and mercifully provides...

Getting It Right

Rightly understanding and properly responding to the gospel is of paramount importance. Nothing could have broader or more profound consequences than being right or wrong about the content and demands of the message that determines our placement in eternity. While that seems

Sin and Reproof

We intuitively like to think that what we do is right. “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,” the Bible says (Proverbs 21:2). But when we honestly reflect on our lives we know that we are not always right, and what we do is not always what we should do...

Prayer & Evangelism

Prayer and evangelism go hand in hand. Many of us hope that our lives will be used by God to lead people to the place of repentance and faith in Christ. But if we learn anything from the example of the evangelists in the New Testament, we learn that this is not likely to ever happen unless

Training

Accomplished athletes make their sport look easy. But for all of us who have tried to advance in a sport, we know there is nothing easy about reaching a level of proficiency in athletics. Some people can make godliness look easy. They seem to effortlessly love God and do what is right. But the Bible is clear that like athletics, reaching a level of proficient godliness requires a lot of hard work. Paul wrote, “train yourself for godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7). The word that

Juicy Morsels

There is little debate that “there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins” (Ecclesiastes 7:20). Even the most godly Christians are quick to concede that “we all stumble in many ways” (James 3:2). Thankfully, when it comes to imperfect people engaging in imperfect fellowship the Bible tells us “love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). Unfortunately though

Easy Answers?

We all like easy answers. Yet the Bible tells us that “It is the glory of God to conceal things” (Proverbs 25:2). That may appear to be a cruel portrayal of God, who is lauded for stealthily hiding important matters from his creatures. But think for a moment about how loving parents routinely and strategically choose to refrain from simply handing over the answers to their children’s homework questions. Parents and teachers alike intuitively recognize

Why Me?

“Why me?” That’s a question we usually mutter in bad times, but it’s actually a great question to ask when things go well. Of course the theological answer is easy and concise – namely, God’s grace. But beyond that, asking “why me?” when you are blessed may have practical and more specific answers that are worth discovering. In the Old Testament the question was asked

Humble Prayer

The Bible tells us that the prayer of Solomon “pleased the Lord” (1 Kings 3:10). It’s a simple phrase that we can read without giving it a second thought. But we ought to. Consider what a big statement that is. The content of Solomon’s prayer evoked pleasure in God’s heart. To imagine that something we ask for can have an impact on the way the Almighty God feels is a remarkable

Scripture Twisting

Occasionally when reading the words of Christ we come across some jarring statements. For instance, in Revelation 2:6 Jesus says to the church in Ephesus, “You hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.” Sentences like that should slow us down to consider the powerful concern motivating such strong language. Think of it, “hatred” in this case was praised as godly when directed toward the behavior of a group of

Time

The Bible makes a sweeping and comprehensive point when we are rhetorically asked, “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Corinthians 4:7). Consider the magnitude of that question. Scripture goes on to definitively clarify that the Source and Purpose of all the things we tend to feel

Motives

What an amazing experience to have been a follower of Christ during his earthly ministry. Imagine sitting in the crowd listening to him teach, counsel and correct the world in which you lived. Consider the enormous privilege of being able to ask your specific questions and having God’s perfect wisdom delivered to you by the mouth of Christ himself. But even with all of that, Judas proved to be a traitor

The Great Commission

When Christ’s redemptive work was complete he gathered his disciples and, with “all authority in heaven and on earth”, commissioned them (and every subsequent generation) to get serious about their job of propagating the gospel (Matthew 28:18-20). The central verb of this passage is straightforward and notably uncomplicated: “make disciples!” Between the two advents of Christ

Mindful of God

The Christian life is a life that is lived mindful of God. The crux and catalyst for sin is frequently described in the Bible as thoughtlessness or forgetfulness of God (Judges 8:34; 1 Samuel 12:9; Jeremiah 2:32; et al.). Godly living, on the other hand, is prompted and motivated by a chronic remembrance of the presence of God (Deuteronomy 8:18; Proverbs 5:21; Hebrews 4:13; 1 Peter 2:19; et al.). For us as Christians

God’s Calling

When we read of people in the Bible provoking God to anger we ought to take note – especially when the people making God mad are his own children. The last thing we should want is to follow in the erring footsteps of our elder brothers and sisters. One such cautionary incident took place on the day God called Moses to lead Israel’s exodus from Egypt.

God’s Goodness

When joy gives way to sadness and light of good days fades into a dark season of personal pain it is common to hear God’s people questioning the goodness of God. That may be a natural response to our discomfort, but it is not the right...

Conflicting Voices

One of the unpleasant things about being a Christian is the experience of being perpetually bombarded by conflicting “Christian” voices trying to convince us of what God would have us think and do. All these instructors will claim to be

Apologetic Discussions

In a culture where our cognitive attention span is sadly being reduced to a series of sound bites, and important arguments are perceived to be settled with witty one-liners, it is increasingly difficult to

Grace and Sanctification

Unfortunately, there are many these days who have come to believe that as it relates to our sanctification, God’s grace and personal effort are mutually exclusive. They unwittingly, and in some cases intentionally, conflate their understanding of justification with their practice in sanctification

Words

When reading through Proverbs one can’t help but perceive a handful of predominant and recurring themes. One of the most persistent sets of exhortations relates to our chronic tendency to say too much. Over one hundred seventy inspired proverbs seek to impress on our hearts that fools are “babblers” and the wicked are “rash” with their words, but the wise “restrain their tongues”. We are warned in dozens of ways that “When words are many, transgression is not lacking” (Proverbs 10:19).

Moses

When God called Moses to be his representative during a dark hour in Israel’s history, Moses’ response was less than compliant. We might sympathize with his reluctance to stand before Pharaoh and deliver what was sure to be an unpopular message, but God was not so sympathetic.

Defending Truth

First Peter 3:15 commands all Christians to stand up for the truth and defend the hope of the gospel. It also commands that this be done with “gentleness and respect.” Unfortunately, there is something about defending the truth that can

Empty Promises

While the world holds out the promise of happiness, fulfillment and satisfaction, the Bible warns us not to believe it. We live in a world’s system that tries desperately to convince us that if we just had a little more of what the world offers

Intelligence vs Wisdom

There is a big difference between intelligence and wisdom. There are many intelligent people who are utterly devoid of wisdom and many wise men and women who didn’t fare well on the SATs. Wisdom is described in the Bible as

God Hates Pride

While it may not be vogue to ponder the things God says he hates, it would do us well if we are to be people resolved to please him. It should not be hard for most of us to recall the repulsions at the top of God's list. For the Creator has repeatedly
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