97 results for tag: blog


Jesus: More Than a Man – by Greg Albrecht

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" (Matthew 16:13-15).        More than two thousand years ago, Jesus asked his closest disciples the same question that he has asked humans ever since. Who do you say that I am? The answer his disciples gave then, and that you and I give today, radically determines the direction of our lives.        Even those who have been skeptical ...

A Jesus Kind of Church — by Greg Albrecht

"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." —Luke 4: 18-19 No Country for Old Men Out in the endless, desolate desert of west Texas, a hunter looking for antelope stumbles on a crime scene. Abandoned cars and trucks are pock marked with bullet holes, and a half dozen or so dead bodies are scattered around.   In that odd and somewhat glib euphemism used by the media, it's apparently a drug deal "gone wrong" (if indeed there was ...

Bitterness and Resentment – Greg Albrecht

Remember the older brother, the third major character of the parable of the prodigal son? As he witnessed the extravagant love and forgiveness of his father, lavished on his younger brother when he came home from wasting his inheritance, the older brother was eaten alive by jealously, envy and bitterness. The older, unforgiving brother refused to join in the festivities and celebration. The older, responsible, hard-working brother felt that he was a faithful and diligent son, always trying to earn his father's favor. But the celebration and festivities—the barbecue, the music and the dancing—were not in honor of all his hard work. ...

Which Religion is Right? Greg Albrecht

In our postmodern society, it seems that every belief system is afforded equal weight. Well-meaning wishful thinkers like to point out that world religions share many things in common—and if everyone would just focus on these commonalities, perhaps we could "all just get along."   Yet even a brief survey of world religions reveals huge contrasts and contradictions. How can so many contradicting ideas, philosophies and doctrines all be right? Of course, logically, they can't all be right. But then how can we know which one is right? And further—if Christianity is the only right "religion"—will only Christians go to heaven? The answer to ...

No Carry-on Baggage Allowed – Isaiah 46:1-4 – Greg Albrecht

Bel bows down, Nebo stoops low; their idols are born by beasts of burden. The images that are carried about are burdensome, a burden for the weary. They stoop and bow down together; unable to rescue the burden, they themselves go off into captivity. "Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you." —Isaiah 46:1-4 If you have flown commercially lately, for business or pleasure, you know ...

What’s So Bad About Cults? – Greg Albrecht

If PTM.org wants to get lots of letters from readers, all we need to do is publish an article explaining and defending Christ-centered-Christianity against some wrong teaching or biblical misinterpretation.  Defending and explaining biblical doctrines is called apologetics. An apologetic article in The Plain Truth or CWR magazine usually results in a tidal wave of letters and emails, pro and con. The cons often go something like this:  "Why are you so critical of other Christians? Why don't you just leave other people alone and let them believe what they want?" Most Christian denominations were originally formed because they disagreed with ...

Grace at Church – Greg Albrecht

KEYNOTE SCRIPTURE:  To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: "God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.   But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, "God, have mercy on me, a sinner."  I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home ...

God Really LIKES You! by Greg Albrecht

"We desire to connect with God; we desire to know God and be known by God. God has created us with a desire for connectivity." - Greg Albrecht Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no ...

The Commands of God and the Traditions of Men

So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, "Why don't your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?" He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: "'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.' You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions." —Mark 7:5-8 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, widely regarded as a 20th century martyr, put to death by the Nazis just before the end of World War 2 because of his faith in ...

When Your Dreams Wind Up in the Pit – Greg Albrecht

Keynote Scripture: GENESIS 37:19-36 "Here comes that dreamer!" they said to each other. "Come now, let's kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we'll see what comes of his dreams."  The background to our story involves a 17-year-old boy named Joseph. He lived with his father Jacob and his ten brothers in the land of Canaan. Joseph was Jacob's favorite son. Showing favoritism to one child is a huge mistake for any parent, but it is the stuff of real life, is it not? The ongoing story of the family of Abraham given to us in the book of Genesis reads like a soap opera. This specific ...

Son of a Preacher Man – Greg Albrecht

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?" —Matthew 16:24-26  The passage in Matthew that forms the basis of our message talks about losing your life so that you might gain it. At first it may seem to you that Jesus' assertion amounts to little more than theological double-talk. But this teaching begins to make profound spiritual sense when ...

The Pearl of Great Value – Greg Albrecht

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.—Matthew 13:45-46 We turn our attention to one of Jesus' parables about the kingdom of heaven. In the Authorized King James Version the parable is called The Pearl of Great Price. As I normally use the New International Version, we'll refer to it by the title given to it in that translation, The Pearl of Great Value. Here's the widely accepted Christian interpretation of this parable: The merchant is you or me. We decide to look for Christ, and finally, after much effort, we find him. ...