Tag: Bible

Thanksgiving everyday

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We have opportunities throughout the day, everyday to either be thankful or thankless.

I heard someone ask the question a few days ago, “Why does God make some people more miserable than others?” I was struck by that. There are certainly some people who have different challenges in life than others do. Continue reading “Thanksgiving everyday”

Scripture and the Reformation: our infallible authority

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500 years ago this month, the history of the church, of Europe, and of the western world were forever changed in the town of Wittenberg Germany. Martin Luther wrote his 95 theses, a list of grievances against corrupt and unbiblical practices within the Catholic Church. The impact of this event continues to ripple throughout the Christian world.

Luther was not the first person to call for reform in the church. Continue reading “Scripture and the Reformation: our infallible authority”

A priest, two goats, and salvation

 

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Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons @fir0002

For observant Jews all over the world, this evening, the Day of Atonement is remembered. The Day of Atonement is the most holy of days in the Jewish calendar. It’s an annual picture of forgiveness that people could have. While Christians don’t celebrate this day, it’s one worth studying because everything about it points to Christ and the gospel.

Atonement refers to God’s work of dealing with our sin. Because of sin, the relationship between man and God has been broken. Continue reading “A priest, two goats, and salvation”

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 “