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
“So what did you think of the Word?”
Many people would answer that question with something like, “Well, I was reminded of the love of God, that I need not worry, and that God is in control. I realized I should just let go and let God.”Continue reading The Gospel is Not a Cute Reminder
When there are simple, straightforward jobs to be done, and you are full of sadness, and tears are flowing easily, go ahead and do the jobs with tears. Be realistic. Say to your tears, “Tears, I feel you. You make me want to quit life. But there is a field to be sown (dishes to be washed, car to be fixed, sermon to be written).”
The best kind of life that you could ever have is not in the hoarding of money and in rising to the highest position in your company or in getting prestige for a job well done. They are all good but they are not the greatest. The greatest, according to the Bible, is knowing Christ and living according to his will. So build your life on Christ. This is the only kind of life that has the capacity for real greatness.
—Baccalaureate Address for UE Caloocan
Evangelicals are not heretics, at least not consciously. If we ask whether the Bible is the authoritative and inerrant Word of God, most will answer affirmatively, at least if the question is asked in traditional ways. Is the Bible God’s Word? Of course! All evangelicals know that. Is it authoritative? Yes, that too. Inerrant? Most evangelicals will affirm inerrancy. But many evangelicals have abandoned the Bible all the same simply because they do not think it is adequate for the challenges we face today. They do not think it is sufficient for winning people to Christ in this age, so they turn to felt-need sermons or entertainment or “signs and wonders” instead. They do not think the Bible is sufficient for achieving Christian growth, so they turn to therapy groups or Christian counseling. They do not think it is sufficient for making God’s will known, so they look for external signs or revelations. They do not think it is adequate for changing our society, so they establish evangelical political groups and work to elect “Christian” congressmen, senators, presidents, and other officials. They seek change by power politics and money.
—James Montgomery Boice
I may never understand the hidden purposes of God in suffering but I don’t think that I need to. I can only understand that perfumes are made by crushing the choicest of flowers. The only way to separate gold from impurities is by making it pass through extreme heat. In the same way, Christians come out pure by passing through the fires of suffering.
Your smartphone pushes you to evade the limits of embodiment.
We try to break through the boundaries of time and space, and we end up ignoring the flesh and blood around us. In reality, we are finite. We assume that we can drive cars and read and write on our phones all at the same time, but we are weaker than our assumptions.Continue reading Evading the Limits of Embodiment
“Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.”
We must never think that godliness will insulate us against pain. Love does not make us numb; it makes us feel losses all the more. We are wrong to think that submission means no tears, no breaking of the heart, no inward struggles, and no troubling questions. Job did not tear his clothes and shave his head merely out of custom. He tore his robe because his heart was torn to pieces. He cut his hair because all his hopes for his children were cut off. Can you imagine what it would be like to bury all your children in one day?
—Terry Slachter, Joel Beeke: Encouragement for Today’s Pastors