Over the last two weeks, I have asked one of the key questions of our time, “how do you detoxify a situation that you do not have the power to change on your own? I answered that question by saying, “you align yourself with someone more powerful who can” (1 John 4:4). I then gave some basic practical tips that could help those who trust in Christ shine his light into darkness and season society with his flavoring (Matthew 5:13-16).
These practical tips included: greet those you meet, return wrongs with rights, beautify your tongue – by which I meant speak words of blessing and not of cursing, kill with kindness, don’t say everything you think needs saying on every topic, take your cues from Christ and not the world, and finally leave room for God’s vengeance.
These seven tips represent a sampling of the Bible’s teaching on Christian living. While many hail the teachings of Christ in these regards, anyone who has taken them seriously will tell you they are near impossible. How did Jesus himself practice what he preached?
How do you detoxify a situation that you do not have the power on your own to change? You align yourself with someone more powerful who can (1 John 4:4). These basic practical tips continue the list offered in last week’s article.
Don’t say everything you think needs saying on every topic.” Jesus cautioned his disciples about sharing wisdom. While we ought never to shrink back from speaking the truth (Ephesians 4:15), we ought to realize that some people are not ready for the truth. Give those around you just enough truth and wisdom as they can endure and no more. “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you (Matthew 7:6).”
How do you detoxify a situation that you do not have the power on your own to change? You align yourself with someone more powerful who can (1 John 4:4). These basic practical tips can help you shine Christ’s light into darkness and season society with Christ’s flavoring (Matthew 5:13-16).
The Apostle John said: “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” (1 John 4:20)
There is a direct correlation between loving God and loving our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is absurd to say that we love God, while holding hatred in our heart toward our brother or sister. Continue reading →
The Apostle John says, “We love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19).” I remember a scene from a movie. I cannot recall the title, nor do I recall the movie being very good. But I do remember a particular scene. The movie is about a daughter who had grown up in a loving family with every opportunity to thrive. But she gets caught up with a friend. The two girls begin sneaking out at night, causing mischief, doing drugs, and many other things that need not mentioning. The mother in the movie watches her sweet, innocent daughter transform. Continue reading →
In the recent documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor, Mr. Roger’s wife, Joanne, shares some of his last moments dying of stomach cancer. Fred Rogers frequently read Matthew 25, where the Son of Man comes in glory and gathers all the nations before him. The Son of Man, who is Jesus Christ, separates them one from another, like a shepherd separates his sheep from the goats. The Sheep inherent the Kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world, but the goats are cursed and sent to everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels. As Fred would read this, he would ask Joanne, “Am I a sheep?” Continue reading →
Pastor Alister Begg tells a story about the late playwright George Bernard Shaw. In the days when radio was relatively new in the British Isles, the playwright gave a talk on the peculiarities of the English Language. During his talk, he said there were only two words with the “sh” (s-h) sound but not spelled with a “sh” at the beginning of the word. One listener took it upon herself to write to the playwright and correct him. The only word meeting that criteria was “sugar,” she said. According to the story, Shaw replied with a postcard. Only one sentence was on it: “Madam, are you sure?” Continue reading →
“Beloved, since God loves us in this way, we also ought to love one another,” said the Apostle John (1 John 4:11, author’s translation).
Last week we looked at how lavishly and selflessly God has loved us. He chose to send his one and only Son into the world as an atonement for sin so that we might live (1 John 4:9-10). We long to comprehend and practice this type of love in our lives. Yet, this love does not arise naturally from within us. Continue reading →
Poets write about it. Song-writers sing about it. Actors and actresses portray it. It seems wherever you go people are talking about love. But, though love is talked about, thought about, and sung about, how often is it defined and comprehended. Continue reading →