The Pandemic (Matthew 4:4)

1581954116866_1280x1280

Submitted by Andy McIlvain and originally posted March 2020.

Matthew 4:4

There is a pandemic that has silently moved through the world. It is particularly acute in our region. It is not the Coronavirus or Avian Flu. It is Bible Illiteracy. Continue reading

Is Jesus’ Victory Your Victory? (1 Corinthians 15:14-57)

1 Corinthians 15:14-57

Paul of Tarsus became one of the biggest antagonists of the resurrection message. He persecuted those who believed Christ had risen from the dead, hunting them down and throwing them into prison. But after Paul came to believe it himself, he held on to the resurrection message with his dear life. He even gave his life to tell others about it.  

Continue reading

The Resurrection Message Will Overcome (Matthew 28:11-15)

Matthew 28:11-15

People today no longer look for an alternative historical narrative for the empty tomb of Jesus of Nazareth to try to disprove it. Back then a historical event demanded an explanation.

Continue reading

Hope in the hour of deepest darkness (Matthew 27:57-61)

Matthew 27:57-61

Hebert Fingarette taught philosophy at the University of California for many years. He wrote several books on a range of subjects including death. In his book on death, he stated that you should not be afraid, concerned, or anything about death. You are not going to suffer after you die, he asserted, because you will not exist then.

Continue reading

The Lord’s Supper is a foretaste of a sweeter meal to come (Matthew 26:26-29

Matthew 26:26-29

Knowing the time of his betrayal and death drew near, what did Jesus do? He sat down to have one last meal with his disciples, a Passover meal.

The symbols Jesus used at that meal were common to Passover. This Passover bread was called the Bread of Affliction. Unleavened bread represented the affliction Israel endured as slaves in Egypt and their haste in leaving. Jesus gives this bread a new level of meaning. He would soon be severely afflicted by the breaking of his body to deliver his people from the greater slavery of sin (Matthew 26:26; Romans 8:2).

Continue reading

Distinguishing Marks of the Infant Christian Church (Acts 2:42-47)

Acts 2:42-47

Who does not like a good photograph? Photographs capture the special times in life, the birthdays, weddings, and moments that crystalize what is important in life. Though cameras were yet to be invented at the birth of the infant Christian Church, Luke, the author of the Book of Acts, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote down words that give us photographs of that church. The widest angle shot appears in Acts 2:42-47, after Peter’s Pentecost sermon. There we see what the church was doing in those early years. Those happenings represent what the one, true church has always been.

Continue reading

Is it possible for good to succeed? (Acts 2:23-24)

Acts 2:23-24

The Sri Lankan Bible scholar Anjith Fernando once said: “We are living in an age when many are disillusioned with their leaders and have come to believe that it is impossible for good people, people of integrity, to succeed in life. Most good people appear to them as unsuccessful in life and they wonder whether goodness and success can be combined. To this generation, groping to find a model of success that does not contradict the voice of conscience, we present Jesus: the good person, the perfect person, who started a movement so effective that in three centuries the mighty Roman empire had bowed its knee to him.”

Continue reading

How our Risen Lord speaks your name (Romans 8:34)

Submitted by Andy McIlvain

Romans 8:34

In the book of Job there is a lot of talk in the heavenly realm about humans on Earth. But what has changed is that now at this present moment our risen Lord in his physical self is talking to God the Father concerning his children (all of us), based on his experience as a human on earth.

Continue reading

Being Oddly Good When Violence is the Norm (1 Peter 2:11-12)

1 Peter 2:11-12

For those of us living in modern Western civilization, it is hard to imagine a time when Christians were a minority group. Nevertheless, at the time Peter wrote his First Letter, Christians were verbally berated and sometimes hunted down and killed. They would not give in to all the values and customs of the culture around them and were scorned for doing so. Tacitus, a Roman historian and a near contemporary of Peter, said of Christians, “…an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted […]. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight expired.”

Continue reading

Let Love Bloom (1 Peter 1:22-25)

1 Peter 1:22-25

There is a flower more exquisite than any found on earth. The purity of its white hue, the fragrance of its perfume, the permanency of its bloom compares with nothing else. I speak figuratively of the Christian way of love. It is the fruit of the faith, the hallmark of Christian belief.

Continue reading