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

The Sacrifice that Cleanses (Leviticus 4:1-5:13)

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Leviticus 4:1-5:13

God understands sin more broadly than we. We might think of sin as breaking one of the Big Ten. However, for God, sin is insidious. It engenders every action, thought, and attitude that is contrary to God’s flourishing design for this world. Sometimes we sin without even knowing it. Continue reading

Help in Reading the Bible – Part 1 (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

Do you read your Bible? I mean really sit down without distractions and read it? We call it “The Holy Bible” because it is God’s Word set apart from all other books. Continue reading

The sacrifice that celebrates peace (Leviticus 3)

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Leviticus 3

The Hebrew word for “peace” surpasses most notions of peace today. Some think of peace as the absence of political or international conflict. Others of the absence of pain or presence of tranquility. Some think of relational harmony. The Hebrew concept of peace includes these things, but it goes further. It includes health, wealth, joy, and wholeness. But there is more. The peace that makes all other peace possible is God’s peace established between God and humans. Continue reading

It was the Best of Times; it was the Worst of Times (Lamentations 3:22-23)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Lamentations 3:22-23

In his book A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens has given the literary world one of the greatest statements of all time. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…” This so aptly describes our age and our world.

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Oh time, where did you go? (Psalm 90)

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Psalm 90

An interesting thing happens when raising children. You will not need to teach a child to say, “mine.” As soon as the child understands the concept, everything is “mine.” That firetruck, “mine.” That sippy cup, “mine.” That book, “mine.” Everything is “mine.” But do you know what you will need to labor repeatedly to teach a child? To share with his or her sister. Continue reading

Have You Not Heard? (Isaiah 40:28)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Isaiah 40:28

We must not forget Christmas is about celebrating the Incarnation of God, Jesus fully God and fully man. Before he was born, the Ancient of Days thought about being born. The form God chose to enter and experience his creation was an infant that grew and matured and was born in the same way as you and I. Somehow God’s infinite power was contained within a fragile infant. Continue reading