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.

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

Be a Steward of the Truth (John 15:26)

Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

John 15:26

You are the keeper of your story. For as long as God permits you to live you have a responsibility to be morally responsible, virtuous, and truthful. That lifelong process of spiritual growth begins by understanding that what you are in private, what is at the center of your heart is what God sees. Our secret, silent and private sins are hidden from no one. When we think or overtly commit sins, we do two things: we deny God’s omnipotence and we go against his absolute righteousness.

Continue reading

The Blessings of Covid-19 (Romans 8:28)

Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Romans 8:28

As I sit at home with my wife under a stay at home order for our state I am grateful. Just a few short months ago the world went about its everyday routine at a frenetic pace, nothing could affect us (or so it seemed), we were – we thought – masters of our own fate. Now store shelves are empty, many things are in short supply and will become even harder to get. This virus, this disease we now call Covid-19 is seemingly the topic of most of our conversations and the focus of our day. Yet what we have is a forced slow down, a grinding to a halt of all economic and social systems.

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

Fear and the Future (Acts 17:30)

deleteB
Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Acts 17:30

Recently I met a friend I had not seen since the pandemic began. He was not his characteristic confident self. He was fear stricken. Understandably being in his 70’s he must be prudent and safe, but his demeanor was that of anxiety and fear as was our conversation. Continue reading

What Will You Pray For? (Romans 12:12-13)

deleteB
Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Romans 12:12-13

What will you pray for? As this slow calamity unfolds around the world and in America what will you pray for? At some point in the future, we may be able to look back and discern some of what God is doing through this worldwide calamity. But not now. Now we must reflect and pray. Continue reading

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

1583772593378_verse_image

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