Sun, Nov 22, 2015
Sometime there are seemingly complex topics which turn out to be surprisingly simple. God’s commandments are frequently like that. Our personal weaknesses sometime blur our vision and we see some of life’s truly simple fundamentals as hopelessly complicated. Israel suffered from this malady and became confused about God’s laws for holy living. To the people of God, the prophet Micah answered their seemingly complex question with a very simple statement: “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and love mercy and walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
The topic of baptism is so simple when we take God’s word for our answers. Two thousand years of meddling with the subject has made it appear very complex. Let’s go back to the basics of the topic and compare contemporary theological ideas with God’s word as we study:
“The Fundamentals: The Who, How, and Why of Baptism”
Sun, Nov 22, 2015
Two things which our culture craves are power and prestige. Of course there are ancillary things which come in like wealth, beauty, fame, etc. and they augment power and prestige but those two primary components usually incorporate other “highly desirable” commodities. Moses, a man with opportunity for both power and prestige, decided against them. Instead, he chose ‘to suffer afflictions with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” (Heb. 11:25) Wow, what a choice!! Too often, when “opportunity knocks” we “temporarily” place God on the shelf (a little sarcasm there) so we can enjoy “the good life.” God will have his turn in our activities after we have enjoyed life. Moses, while in his prime made a choice – the choice of suffering with God’s people. Why? Because the willingness to suffer affliction by doing what is right was far more important than “enjoying the pleasures of sin [and they are abundant] for a short time. “
What was the outcome? It was greater than the prestige he may have gained as one of history’s most notable characters. He served God tirelessly, suffered terribly, and was rejected by the many of the people he served.
Sun, Nov 15, 2015
Repentance takes place in our hearts. Forgiveness takes place in the heart of God. Repentance is frequently accompanied by a strong feeling of relief and joy. We rejoice that we have changed our minds from unrighteousness to righteousness – from evil to good – from rebellion against God to submission to God.
That good feeling is frequently confused with forgiveness because we feel good about it. However, we must remember that forgiveness takes place in the mind of God, not in our minds and we are not empowered to read God’s mind. Instead, we must rely on his Biblical revelation. Changing our minds is not easy to do but it is necessary.
Sun, Nov 15, 2015
Probably nothing symbolizes Egypt better than the Sphinx and the Pyramids. Almost everyone who goes to Egypt is thrilled at the sight of these monuments. When Joseph’s brothers sold him as a slave to a caravan going to Egypt these massive pyramids and the sphinx were already about 800 years old, having been constructed probably about 2500 B.C. Joseph came to Egypt in about 1700 B.C.
The story of Joseph is one of the longest and most love stories in the Bible. It occupies about 22% of the 50 chapters of Genesis. We can learn so much from the life of this patriarch.
Sun, Nov 08, 2015
A Beautiful Relationship May Be Hard to Find.
Life is sweeter, happier, more joyful, and more peaceful when we have beautiful relationships! Home life, work life, community life, friends, etc. all thrive when the relationships are beautiful.
Frequently overlooked is the beauty of the relationship of faith in God and obedience to God. Unfortunately faith and obedience are seen as the “requirements” of Christianity. Yes, they are requirements but much more than that, there is a beautiful relationship between faith and obedience. They bring unspeakable joy, happiness, and tranquility. It is not a formula which says, “Do this, Do this and “Do that” and it will bring happiness, joy and tranquility. No, it is the will to become a different kind of person. Becoming a Christian isn’t just a “five step” process Instead, we vow to God that we will become new creatures according to his plan. It is demanding, not of just of particular behavior but of becoming a new person. When Paul spoke of “faith” he was speaking of “trust.” Coupled with this was his inexhaustible gratitude for what Christ had done for him on the cross.