“But seek ye first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33, ASV).
The New Living Translation says, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
There is a big difference between these two translations. Continue reading “Righteousness, or righteously?”
In many ways, ambition can be spiritually crippling because it leads us to destroy whoever gets in our way. Yet, the spiritual principle of aspiring for that which is better is certainly admirable.
Anyone who endeavors to succeed in any field can do so by studying the best. We should always strive to move upward, never being satisfied. Continue reading “Why aspiring for perfection matters”
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21).
The Christian assigns proper value, and prioritizes accordingly. The most valuable things in life are spiritual things. Worship, prayer, study, goodwill, example, influence, sharing the gospel.
These are easily lost in the mix of life’s activities.
These are easily shuffled to the bottom of the deck.
These are easily forgotten or misplaced. Continue reading “Attaching or detaching the heart?”
Every year our culture gives a gentle nod to Jesus through old TV specials, nativity scenes and Christmas carols. However, is there a reason to move beyond a seasonal sentimentality to take Jesus seriously throughout the year?
After all, Jesus’ story is just one narrative among many. From the conflicting voices of the world’s religions to the nay saying meta-narrative of evolution, many believe they have reason to dismiss the Christ.
However, this is not the end of the matter. Paul describes sufficient motivations for both considering whether it is worthwhile to explore if Christ might be significant for our lives, as well as resolving whether we ought to exalt Christ in our lives above the chorus of confusion. Paul accomplishes most of this within his Colossian letter. Continue reading “Connected to Christ: the importance, the moment and its impact”
“From the elder, to Gaius my dear brother, whom I love in truth. Dear friend, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul. For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, just as you are living according to the truth. I have no greater joy than this: to hear that my children are living according to the truth.” (3 John 1:1-4 NET)
In the letter we call “3 John” we find correspondence from the writer, who identified himself as “the elder,” to a Christian named Gaius. It has long been attested that the writer was the apostle John, which would seem to be accurate. In this letter we find three men who can each tell us something about what being a Christian should look like. Continue reading “Are we spiritually healthy?”
Walk through a shopping mall. Randomly ask people what Jesus can do for their lives. If people are willing to chat, what would they say? For those who know something about Christ, the predominant answer would likely relate to salvation.
To be sure, the good news about Christ crucified centers upon salvation. However if we limit salvation’s impact to being rescued from our sins and becoming God’s people, we will overlook a massive component of God’s work on our behalf.
Continue reading “The impact of salvation: more than just forgiveness”
“Do not judge” (Luke 6:37, NASB).
It is quite ironic that some of the same people who accuse Christians of selecting a passage out of its context and giving it whatever meaning they wish, are in fact guilty of taking this passage out of its context and giving it whatever meaning they wish.
What did Jesus mean, and not mean, when He made this statement? Continue reading “Thou shalt see clearly”
“But I say to you who are listening: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. To the person who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other as well…Treat others in the same way that you would want them to treat you” (Luke 6:27-31 NET).
When Jesus taught the people, whether in a large setting such as what we find here or in a smaller setting, he often said things that went against how people usually live. Here he is dealing with who people love and how they show it. Although taught almost two thousand years ago, it is equally applicable to us today. Continue reading “Who do we love?”
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:15-21 NET).
As Christians, there is a distinct way we need to live. Continue reading “Be filled with the Spirit”
“If we are saved by grace, how can Paul write about Christians being worthy? This sounds like works salvation.” A sincere elderly lady raised this line of reasoning as we studied 2 Thessalonians.
Scripture affirms no one is worthy. And yet, at other places explicit statements expect Christians to be worthy. How can this be?
Continue reading “Never worthy, yet worthiness expected”