The Apostle Paul said to the Colossian Christians, “I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments (Colossians 2:4).” In this information age, we need this exhortation no less than the Colossian Christians.
We have become a society obsessed with getting attention and support – financial and otherwise – from everyone and anyone. Politicians cleverly use polling data and test verbiage in order to secure a favorable outcome from voters. Websites, app designers, and social media platforms design complex algorithms aimed at stimulating the pleasure center of your brain, so that you keep coming back for more. Continue reading
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
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).
Jesus is the Greek version of the Hebrew name Joshua. What did Joshua do for Israel? God used Joshua to save Israel from her enemies in the promised land.
Let us think about that for a moment. In the days when the angel spoke to Joseph, Israel was under Roman rule. Joseph may have thought this child would one day, like Joshua, save Israel from her Roman oppressors. The angel did not say that. He said, “he will save his people from their sins,” not from Rome but from their sins.
Like first-century Israel we often mistake the hope of the world for geo-political solutions. We say we want someone to save our nation, someone who will stand up for what is right in society, a hero by our standards who will take care of whatever or whoever we think our enemy is. Jesus does not save in this way; his salvation works on a deeper level.
Are you still growing in Christ? In the eighties, a popular book came out titled All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. I mean no disrespect to that book, but a similarly titled book ought never be written about Christianity, All I Really Need to Know About God I Learned in Sunday School. We are to be continuously growing in our knowledge of God. Continue reading
This was orinally written August 28, 2018.
Last week I said that one of the difficulties of our current, polarized political climate is that to speak up on any controversial issue is to be pigeon-holed into a political party or agenda. As Christians our loyalty lies not on a political platform, which will rot and decay, but on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ, which lasts forever. It is important to say this again, before addressing another hot-button topic. Continue reading
Have you ever had a morning when the alarm went off and you hit the snooze button and pulled the sheets over your head, because you knew what lay ahead of you that day? Though I am rarely one to tarry in bed, I have had many mornings when the task list seemed insurmountable, and I was dropping balls faster than I could pick them up. How we start our day can determine how our day will unfold. Continue reading
The Book of Ecclesiastes takes the reader for a ride. You might find yourself lost in all the loops. For this reason, the divinely inspired editor gives a summary statement at the end: “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of humanity (Ecclesiastes 12:13).”
“The Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth (Ecclesiastes 12:10).” What types of words do you seek out? The Preacher in the Book of Ecclesiastes sought words that met the highest standards of both form and content.
The anthropologist Ernest Becker wrote in his Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Denial of Death,” “The idea of death, the fear of it, haunts the human animal like nothing else; it is the mainspring of human activity – activity designed largely to avoid the fatality of death, to overcome it by denying…that it is the final destiny.”