Husband and Wives, Part I (Colossians 3:18-4:1)

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Colossians 3:18-4:1

“Wives, submit to your husbands (Colossians 3:18),” is likely one of the most misunderstood and abused passages in the Bible. It might be tempting to write it off completely as culturally irrelevant for American families today. However, that would say more about our tendency to submit Scripture to our tendencies, rather than submitting ourselves to God’s revealed Word. This exhortation has roots in the overarching Biblical account of God’s reconciling work in the world. Continue reading

Let This Peace Rule in Your Hearts (Colossians 3:15-17)

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Colossians 3:15-17

The Apostle Paul said, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace (Colossians 3:15a).”

We often think of peace as the absence of conflict and the presence of harmony. This is true. However, how is such peace secured? For the first century Jew, peace would come through the end-time Messiah, who would usher in God’s kingdom on earth. Such peace was thought to come through a warrior king, who would defeat the enemies of the Jews. For the first century Roman, peace would come through imperial proclamation and military pacification. In a phrase, it would come through the “Pax Romana,” the Roman Peace. Continue reading

Don’t Forget to Put on the New Clothes (Colossians 3:12-14)

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Colossians 3:12-14

I recall an article written shortly after the untimely death of the late mayor of Boston Tom Menino that included some advice given to him. Following his first mayoral campaign win, someone close to him told him to go out and buy half-a-dozen or so new suits. The mayor-elect did just that. He needed new clothes to go with his new identity as Boston’s mayor. Continue reading

The Ascension (Hebrews 4:14-16)

 

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Hebrews 4:14-16

Christ was raised from the dead.

His life, death, and resurrection are historical facts corroborated by numerous sources outside of the Bible and were seen by many eyewitnesses. Continue reading

Resisting the Old Way of Life (Colossians 3:5-11)

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Colossians 3:5-11

The Apostle Paul said: “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourself of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” (Colossians 3:5-11)

When I was a youth, our youth group had an annual fall retreat. Part of this retreat included a half-hour hike up to a mountaintop overlook we called “The Ridge.” Continue reading

The First Religious Ceremony on the Moon (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain. 

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

July 20, 2019 marked the fiftieth-year anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon. I vaguely remember, as a 13-year-old on July 20, 1969, watching the landing with my family, in a home in Pasadena, Texas. Most of us, however, were unaware that Buzz Aldrin, a Presbyterian elder, became the first person to hold a religious ceremony on the Moon, when he privately took communion. Continue reading

So Heavenly Minded to Actually Be of Earthly Good (Colossians 3:1-4)

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Colossians 3:1-4

People say Christians are so heavenly minded they are of no earthly good. While this sadly may be the case for some Christians, it ought not be so. Rather, it is the reverse. Christians are to be so heavenly minded they are actually of earthly good. Continue reading

The Life of Your Mind (Ecclesiastes 2:1-3)

 

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Ecclesiastes 2:1-3

“Our whole life is an Education — we are ‘ever-learning,’ every moment of time, everywhere, under all circumstances something is being added to the stock of our previous attainments. Mind is always at work when once its operations commence. All men are learners, whatever their occupation, in the palace, in the cottage, in the park, and in the field. These are the laws stamped upon Humanity.” These were the words of Edward Paxton Hood in his Self-Education: Twelve Chapters for Young Thinkers, published in 1852. Continue reading

What Did Jesus Teach About Marriage (Matthew 5:27-30) – Sermon on the Mount Series, Part 2

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Matthew 5:27-30

The authors of a popular marriage book say we grow up believing the romance myth. We believe that if Cinderella happens to meet Prince Charming, they will live happily ever after. However, if friction arises or a couple “falls out of love,” they believe they married the wrong person and are destined to live “unhappily ever after” or need to get a divorce. In such a culture, marriage becomes a whimsical ideal rather than an accessible reality. Continue reading

Ghosted by God? (Romans 1:20)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Romans 1:20

In our popular culture being “ghosted” means to cut off all communication with someone without explanation. Many people feel they have been ghosted by God. So where is God? Have you looked for him? Why is he hidden from us? If he is sovereign and all powerful and loving, would it not be wise to reveal himself more readily to humanity? Continue reading