Christians suffer as exiles in this world (1 Peter 5:12-14)

1 Peter 5:12-14

At the end of the letter of 1 Peter, the Apostle Peter sends greetings to his recipients from “She who is in Babylon (1 Peter 5:12).” This is an odd phrase, especially when one considers that the city of Babylon was little more than a byword, when Peter wrote. However, this brief phrase speaks volumes to those who suffer in Christ.  

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Racism and Our Distorted Image (Psalm 17:15)

Submitted by Andy McIlvain

Psalm 17:15

Racism is as old as mankind. It is a sin and an attitude that finds its roots in our pride. We as Christians should be offended by it at the least and do whatever we can within our sphere of influence to keep it from happening.

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Do You Know The Ten Commandments? (Matthew 5:17-18)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Matthew 5:17-18

There was a time in the American culture when children and adults knew what the 10 Commandments were. They memorized them and attempted to apply them to life. Unfortunately, most Christians today cannot name them. Continue reading

Why did Jesus keep his ministry a secret? (Mark 1:29-34)

The Gospel of Mark
Mark 1:29-34

There was a peculiarity about Jesus’ ministry that may surprise you in today’s content-driven, media-crazed culture. Throughout most of his earthly ministry, Jesus kept his identity under wraps. If social media had existed in Jesus’ day, he would not have used it. He would have been the person at the party saying, “No photos online, please!” Continue reading

A Commitment Whose Benefits Far Outweigh its Cost (Mark 1:16-20)

fishers of people

Photo by Ari Koess on Pexels.com

Mark 1:16-20

Commitment is waning in our society. Sociologist Peter Berger once said, “The modern mind is distinguished by this: to the modern person, our needs and our own fulfillment is more real to us than any other obligation.” Berger is saying that if it comes to choosing between fulfilling our own desires or fulfilling our commitment to another – say a child, parent, boss, our membership in a group, etc. – we have a greater tendency to choose fulfilling our own desires than we did several decades ago. Many sociologists say this trend has only gotten worse since Berger said this. Continue reading

The Mission of God’s Kingdom (Mark 1:14-15)

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Mark 1:14-15

The Gospel of Mark, and Jesus’ mission on earth for that matter, can be summarized in one verse: “‘The time has come,’ Jesus said. ‘The Kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!’” (Mark 1:15) Continue reading

What is the church? (Acts 2:42-27)

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Acts 2:42-27

As a pastor, numerous people have told me that if they were to walk into our church building, the roof would cave in. I jokingly reply, “It has not caved in on me yet.” Continue reading

Tikkun Olam (Proverbs 27:1)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Proverbs 27:1

I like to fix things. Most people do. It is a facet of our humanity that we create and repair. Life is short. And in our short sinful imperfect lives we are called by God to be co-regents, to participate in the restoration of the Kingdom of God in the here and now. So how do you and I repair/restore the world together; how do we repair ourselves, the people in the complex and paradoxical world in which we live? Continue reading

A Splinter in the Mind (Mark 3:11)

 

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Mark 3:11

Ever had a splinter? A splinter is a small thing. It can be biological, usually wood or bone, or sometimes non-biological like glass, metal or fishhooks. A splinter is a small thing that can cause great distress in your finger or wherever else it may be. It hurts and throbs and distracts you. Some splinters have led to amputations and death. Continue reading

A Riddle to Ourselves (Isaiah 55:8)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Isaiah 55:8

Riddle me this is a synonym for a demand that the listener solve a conundrum (something puzzling).

That conundrum is you and me. We are a riddle (a mystifying question) to ourselves within the paradox (apparent contradiction) of the Christian life. Continue reading