Tag: Bible

A Sinner’s Guide to Repentance

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Repentance is sincere remorse or regret for an action. Theologically, repentance is associated with the idea of turning away from sin and turning to God.

James 4:7-10 gives what’s almost like a “how to” guide for repentance. It’s not exhaustive, but he says five things that are important to repentance.

1. Repentance involve submission to God

Repentance isn’t just about moralism. It’s about an actual desire for God.

It’s not “well I’ll just drink less” or “get control my temper better.” It’s not just “don’t do that,” but it’s a turning to God. It’s recognizing that God is greater than your sin, that he is better. That his ways are better. That turning from sin is turning to a better way. Continue reading “A Sinner’s Guide to Repentance”

Wisdom is as wisdom does 

There are two ways to go. The way of the wise and the way of the fool. This is based off of the wisdom tradition of the Old Testament. Which often talks about these two roads.   

In James 3:13, he asks a rhetorical question, “Who is wise in understanding among you?”

Who’s wise?

James has much to say about wisdom. 

There’s a difference between wisdom and knowledge. Knowledge is knowing facts. Wisdom is living out a life that is applying what God has revealed.  

Knowledge is knowing that you have brownie mix in the pantry. Wisdom is making brownies.     Continue reading “Wisdom is as wisdom does “

Blessed are the persecuted? 

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

-Matthew 5:10

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus begins the sermon with a section called The Beatitudes, 8 statements, most of which seem counterintuitive at first glance. But these are much deeper than pithy statements. They point us to the ethics of Jesus. 

The final beatitude is in Matthew 5:10, while verses 11 and 12 elaborate on it. 

Blessed are the persecuted.  Continue reading “Blessed are the persecuted? “

Only you can prevent forest fires: the destructive force of our words 


I was in Florida several years ago and Florida was having wildfires. Some areas were evacuating. If a person smoked a cigarette, they were told that they couldn’t throw it on the ground or it would start a fire. 

Something so small, such a small amount of smoke, could start a huge fire. 

With our words, the tongue, a relatively small part of the body, can be hugely destructive if a person isn’t careful. 

James uses fires as an illustration for the destruction that our words can cause. “How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!” (James 3:5).  Continue reading “Only you can prevent forest fires: the destructive force of our words “

Can a person have faith without living it out? 


Vegans. 

When you’re a vegan, you don’t eat meat or use animal products. Being vegan is a lifestyle.

Now if I said that I was vegan and invited you over to my place for dinner, and you said what are we having “surt and turt….we’re having some fish and steak” and then I was washing it down with a glass of milk, and my kitchen table was on a bearskin rug, and I was eating the meal with ivory handled silverware while wearing a fur coat, and we were facing my trophy wall that had deer heads….” You might start to think “you’re not vegan.”

Continue reading “Can a person have faith without living it out? “

You can’t love God if you don’t love people 

W.H. Margetson

James says If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well” (James 2:8).  points 

Royal Law is an interesting phrase. That’s the only time it’s used in the entire Bible. James follows up mentioning this royal law by saying “you shall love your neighbor as yourself” which seems to be what he’s referring to as the Royal Law.  Continue reading “You can’t love God if you don’t love people “

The importance of the Old Testament to the New Testament

Bible
Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons @freaktography
I recently had a friend ask me a question about a verse in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Paul will have passages where every verse seems to have different possible interpretations and where they can seem impossibly difficult. As I was researching this complicated passage, I couldn’t help but think “The Old Testament is so much simpler!” Continue reading “The importance of the Old Testament to the New Testament”