151 results for tag: Front page


18 Prominent Biblical Passages – and Why

  Recently I was asked to provide a list of my top ten verses in the Bible. The request specified that each of the ten selections be restricted to just one, or at most, several verses and no more. I tried, but I could never boil my list down to just ten brief passages, so I decided to respond by expanding on the original request. I set out to make a list of top ten passages. At first I thought that I could come up with my top ten passages in the Bible if I allowed for "passages" to be more than simply a verse or two but a chapter or even an entire book of the Bible. But then, after working on that plan, I was still stymied. I couldn't ...

What is True Fellowship?

  What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you read or hear the word fellowship? Within a Christian context the word usually calls to mind something to do with companionship and community. For some people fellowship is just another religious thing they have to do or (so they believe) God won't be happy with them. In many cases, fellowship means going to places to spend time with others who are also members of their church. Fellowship has also come to signify a spiritual atmosphere that will soothe and secure a person from the life they live. Given this meaning, fellowship can become something like "hot-tub religion"—a place ...

No to Wrath and Yes to Love – Pt 2

  "You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to ...

No to Wrath and Yes to Love – Pt 1

  For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing but to those who are being saved it is the power of God…—1 Corinthians 1:18 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.—1 Corinthians 2:2 Many, if not most, Christians when they are asked, "Why did Jesus die on the cross?" will give an answer something like this: To die for our sins. This of course, as far as it goes, is a biblical answer. But the answer doesn't end there. Most Christians will continue to explain why Jesus died on the cross by parroting back phrases they have been taught, such as: •...

Name It and Blame It

  Many churches and ministries today claim that God heals everyone who requests relief of physical afflictions, as long as they ask in faith. This assertion is made on the assumption that Jesus' death on the cross, his atonement, was for both "spiritual" and "physical" sins. Further, some even claim physical healing is a "right" that one who is doing all of the things that God commands and demands might "claim" from God. Some call this claim a "prayer of positive confession." Others who have reservations about this practice believe it to be naive and perhaps superstitious and thus call the practice "name it and claim it." Of course, ...

A Lion and A Lamb

  Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, "Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?" But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals." Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, ...

A Great Grace Give-Away

David asked, "Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan's sake?" Now there was a servant of Saul's household named Ziba. They summoned him to appear before David, and the king said to him, "Are you Ziba?" "At your service," he replied.  The king asked, "Is there no one still alive from the house of Saul to whom I can show God's kindness?" Ziba answered the king, "There is still a son of Jonathan; he is lame in both feet." "Where is he?" the king asked.  Ziba answered, "He is at the house of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar." So King David had him brought from Lo Debar, from the house of Makir son of ...

How Far Will God Go?

  Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own ...

Grace = No More Scorekeeping

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.—1 Corinthians 13:4-5 Keeping score is one of the fundamental predispositions of human beings. Keeping score is the way we operate, it's the way we gauge our progress and that of others and it is one of the primary ways in which our culture motivates us. I learned to keep score at an early age via two of my passions—sports and music. The first score-keeping experience I had in sports was with the game of baseball. As I recall, I was about ten years ...

The Not Yet Kingdom Pt. 3

He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: "A voice of one calling in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all people will see God's salvation.'"—Luke 3:3-6 As John the Baptist preached he quoted from the prophecy in Isaiah, which spoke both of his own ministry preparing for Jesus' ministry and Jesus' central message—the kingdom of God. ...

The Already Here Kingdom Pt. 2

Have you ever had the experience of frantically looking for your keys only to find that they are in your pocket, or in the ignition of the car or hanging from the lock on the back door—just where you left them? You may have looked all over the house for your hat, only to find it sitting right there on your head. As you searched and searched, it was there, on your head, all the while. Just where is the kingdom of God? In Mark 1:15 Jesus said "the kingdom of God is near." In Luke 17:20-21 he says, "the kingdom of God is in your midst." So is the kingdom near, but not here? Is it here, but we just don't know where to look? The Interpreter's ...

The Already Here Kingdom Pt. 1

Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is in your midst."—Luke 17:20-21 Larry's boyhood dream was to fly. He joined the Air Force, but never became a pilot, so when he became a civilian, he settled down near the Los Angeles International Airport, so he could sit in this backyard watching jets take off and land. One day Larry had an idea. He decided that it was time for him to stop being a spectator, and become a participant. Larry decided that ...