One common mistake many people make when they talk about the Holy Spirit is that they almost always only associate him with speaking in tongues and all the weird stuff that come with it. The extent of their knowledge revolves around a controversy and that’s about it.Continue reading The Works of the Holy Spirit
When God lambasted the Jews in Malachi 1-2 for offering defective animal sacrifices, many Christians raised their collective eyebrows and thought to themselves, “At least we’re not required to offer animal sacrifices in the New Testament. We’re fine, thank you very much.”Continue reading Stop Giving God Your Leftovers
Have you ever wondered why worship is such a big deal in the Bible? If you attended a Victory service last Sunday, that would be the question that should bug you this week. Our sermon on Malachi tackled the confrontation between God and Judah regarding offerings and sacrifices.Continue reading Why Is Worship Such a Big Issue in the Bible?
You know that a relationship is in trouble when one party demands proofs of love. You can almost guess there’s a brewing problem. One person is sorely disappointed and that person is reconsidering if the relationship is worth fighting for.Continue reading Five Proofs That God Loves You
One of the chilling scenes Jesus described at the Sermon on the Mount is the coming judgment day when many people will call him “Lord, Lord” but will eventually be turned away. These are people who honestly believed they would be admitted into the kingdom of heaven because they prophesied, cast out demons, and performed many mighty works in Jesus’ name. They came to judgment with a swagger and an air of confidence that they were getting in. Jesus said he never knew them and then he cast them away forever.Continue reading 7 Lessons from the Sermon on the Mount
Before the Apostle John wrote about the miraculous healing of the nobleman’s son in John 4:46-54, he made a quick reference to the first miracle of Jesus when he turned the water into wine at a wedding in Cana. Why did he do that? The Bible is known for its economy of words —only what is absolutely necessary must be included. Why the reference? James Montgomery Boice gave us a very good answer: because these two miracles are meant to be read together.Continue reading The Gospel for Weddings and Funerals
Few sentences in the Bible generated as much controversy in our day as Ephesians 5:22’s text on marriage. In it, Paul commanded Christian wives to submit to their husbands. Some writers say this verse was so controversial that it helped launch the women’s liberation movement of the 60’s. Never mind that the verse has more words attached to it. And never mind that there is a wider context to Paul’s words. Or that Paul actually had more to say to husbands. The word “submit” was just too much for many people. In their minds, the word is synonymous to oppression, subjugation, or dominance.Continue reading Wives, Submit. Husbands, Die!
I preached on Psalm 8 last Sunday and the one question that automatically came to mind when I prepared the sermon was, “What’s the practical use of seeing the glory of God in nature?”Continue reading Why Looking at the Night Sky is the Cure to Our Pride
God didn’t show his face to Moses because he knew humanity would be tempted to make visual representations of His face. He spoke and gave written words instead. The fact that God revealed himself through speaking and writing should give us a pause. We live in a time of audio visuals. We are tempted to think that the effectivity of the gospel lies in slick PowerPoint presentations and cutting edge video clips. The Bible tells us otherwise. God came to us through the spoken and written Word. No matter how technologically advanced we are, the medium by which God reveals himself to us is still through Bible reading and listening to sermons.
Many would say this is boring and primitive but this is actually where the second commandment makes more sense. God— the concept of God, the attributes of God, and the nature of God— can never be truly depicted with our lame visual aids. Our artistic expressions will never suffice. This is the reason why our concept of God has to rise higher than mere pictures and arts and videos. To know him, we need to go to the Word, and this Word-based intimation of God requires the highest order of thinking. This means that the posture of knowing God is that of hard work and concentrated effort, not laid back and slouchy.