Becoming a mature Christian

“We proclaim him by instructing and teaching all people with all wisdom so that we may present every person mature in Christ. Toward this goal I also labor, struggling according to his power that powerfully works in me” (Colossians 1:28-29 NET).

Do we want to be mature as Christians? I believe that is a goal that all Christians desire and should be working towards. But how do we become a mature Christian? Continue reading “Becoming a mature Christian”

Can we understand the Bible?

Women often complain that the man they’re with does not communicate. “He must be the strong silent type,” they will say. “I wish he would talk. He talks all day at work, but he doesn’t talk with me.”

Of course, if a man (or a woman, for that matter), wants his partner to do something in a certain way, he might consider using actual words to communicate this. Continue reading “Can we understand the Bible?”

One thing you should know about the Bible

This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:21).

A recent article told how people can acquire more clicks on their websites by using “listicles.” Listicle is a newly coined term that refers to the trend of framing articles around lists. The titles often sound like this:

  1. “Four things you need to know about”
  2. “Five reasons why is the best site you’ll visit this week.”
  3. “Three websites you must visit right now (hint: you’re on one now).”

Continue reading “One thing you should know about the Bible”

The church’s education

“Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly” (James 3:1).

We can’t just decide on the basis of ignorance or prejudice what a church’s educational program should look like. We will have to ask what the Bible says about the process and aims of such a program. As it turns out, the Bible places a great deal of emphasis on this subject! Continue reading “The church’s education”

How to be blessed by a study of Ephesians

The Epistle to the Ephesians is filled with great teachings about the church, grace, redemption, holiness, unity and more. Yet, to really get the most out of the epistle, we must slow down and notice the small words. There we will find buried treasure.

It’s easy to go too fast when we study the Bible, hoping to catch the major principles. But, we can look at the first chapter of Ephesians and learn the error of our ways. Paul is very precise as a writer and each word is loaded with power. Continue reading “How to be blessed by a study of Ephesians”

From that time

From that time Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’” (Matthew 4:17).

If you open any harmony on the four gospels, you will see numerous divisions in the life of Christ, like: Birth, Early Galilean Ministry, Judean Ministry, Samaria, Perea and Decapolis, Later Galilean Ministry, etc. But there is a division I came across years ago in the life of Christ that has helped me more than any other. It is not found in chapter and verse divisions, and it does not involve the usual thematic divisions of the harmonies. It marks a profound shift in Jesus’ focus during his ministry. Continue reading “From that time”

Most important thing to successful Bible study

“Have ye never read?” (Mark 2:25, AV)

If you are a Christian, wouldn’t it be insulting for someone to ask you if you actually read your Bible? Surely you’ve read your Bible, right? Most Christians do, I would assume. Or, should I assume that? I’ve always been told that assumptions are bad things, and in this case, perhaps it is as poor an assumption as any. Continue reading “Most important thing to successful Bible study”

The Unknown

“A picture is worth a thousand words.” We are so blessed in this digital age to have a means to take photographs, and then immediately re-take them if the result is not what we had imagined it would be. That process used to take days or weeks, while the opportunity passed.

Here in the dead of winter, I am cheered by my screensaver flashing the glories of the bygone summer garden.

As with the photos of old, we don’t always label the digital ones. This morning, I was attempting to remedy this shortcoming.

“Yes, that was a pretty daylily,” I thought, as I came upon a photo. Was it “Peach Magnolia?” The label simply said “img.36732.jpg,” or something similar and probably longer. Continue reading “The Unknown”

The unfathomable depth of Jesus

“Two men went up into the Temple to pray” (Luke 18:10).

There are so many layers to Jesus’ teachings; it makes the study of his word, and all of Scripture, a profound experience.

Take, for example, the passage above. Jesus taught a parable concerning self-righteousness. Two men, a Pharisee (who considered himself righteous) and a tax-collector (who considered himself a sinner), went to the Temple in Jerusalem, which was tantamount to approaching God himself.

The Pharisee declared his own holiness and flippantly thanked God for it. The tax-collector declared his un-holiness, and begged God for mercy. Continue reading “The unfathomable depth of Jesus”

Have we grown up yet?

Babies. Everyone loves them. They can melt the heart of the hardest man. When parents get together we recall the circumstances of our children’s births, reliving the anxious moments as well as the humorous ones.

When our children were small we wanted the best for them and we wanted them to achieve their dreams when they grew up. We sometimes dreamed for them and often our dreams weren’t the dreams they wanted to pursue – but we would back them anyway and support their dreams. We want our children to grow up and to be the best that they can be, both in their chosen profession and (hopefully) even more in their dedication to Jesus. Continue reading “Have we grown up yet?”