One of the struggles Christians must face is our relationship with our society and the life that it offers us. Because people do not like anyone to be different or do anything other than what they do, there is always the pressure to conform to the standards of ‘everyone else’. How often have we heard as an explanation as to why someone chose to do something, “But everyone is doing it!” As Paul was writing to the Christians in Corinth, he had to deal with this very problem.
“Do not become partners with those who do not believe, for what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship does light have with darkness? And what agreement does Christ have with Beliar? Or what does a believer share in common with an unbeliever? And what mutual agreement does the temple of God have with idols? For we are the temple of the living God, just as God said, ‘I will live in them and will walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.’” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16 NET) Continue reading “Living different lives”
Why would anyone want to go back to the Law of Moses after tasting the salvation of Jesus? Sadly, this is something Christians in the first century struggled with, particularly those who had been raised as Jews under the Law of Moses. Even more sadly, there are Christians today who want to return to the Law of Moses and add it to what we have in Jesus. Notice what Paul wrote to the Corinthian Christians.
“The law that brought death was written in words on stone. It came with God’s glory, which made Moses’ face so bright that the Israelites could not continue to look at it. But that glory later disappeared. So surely the new way that brings the Spirit has even more glory. If the law that judged people guilty of sin had glory, surely the new way that makes people right with God has much greater glory. That old law had glory, but it really loses its glory when it is compared to the much greater glory of this new way. If that law which disappeared came with glory, then this new way which continues forever has much greater glory.” (2 Corinthians 3:7-11 NCV)
Continue reading “Reflecting Jesus”
“… first remove the log from your own eye …” (Matthew 7:1-5).
The Sermon on the Mount is meant to draw a contrast between the kingdoms of men and the Kingdom of Christ. Jesus says, “You have heard it said … but I say.” In this text (Matthew 7:1-5), Jesus says, “Here is what some people do; but here is what I want you to do.”
He included a strange, if not humorous, image to get attention and make his point: someone with a log in his eye trying to get a splinter out of someone else’s eye.
We suggest these four thoughts from the text: Continue reading “Logs in our eyes”
“…the night comes…” (John 9:4) Recently, three-time breast cancer warrior, and Atlantic columnist Caitlyn Flanagan, was interviewed by the notable skeptic, Sam Harris, on his podcast, “Making Sense” (this is not an endorsement). During the interview, she mentioned a plane … Continue reading Life is a Death-y Thing
When Luke referred to his biography of Jesus, he summed it up in this way: “I wrote the former account, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after he had given orders by the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen” (Acts 1:1-2 NET).
What we do and what we teach must go together. We see that in Jesus’ life: he not only taught the way to live, he lived that way. Continue reading “2020 vision”
In 1960 the legend of Arthur of Camelot found its way to Broadway in Lerner and Loewe’s stage production, Camelot. The second act contains a curious song entitled, “What Do Simple Folk Do?”. Burdened by sin and wearied by life, Arthur and Guenevere wonder what commoners do to alleviate such pressure. Three times Queen Guenevere asks Arthur, “What do the simple folk do” to “escape when they’re blue” or “to pluck up the heart and get through.” “They must have a system or two,” she contends. Arthur answers with simple remedies, they “whistle,” they “sing,” and they “dance.”/1
To Arthur and Guenevere, the simple folk could have easily been another species. These are people “not noblessly obliged.” They must have some “ancient native custom” for they know something the “throne folk don’t know.” Continue reading “What do Christian folk do?”
What are we doing with our lives? Are we so attached to our luxuries and our physical interests that we don’t have time for God? Are we living for our own pleasures or do we realise that the best is yet to come?
The apostle Paul wrote about this struggle between the physical and spiritual, but his emphasis was on the spiritual. For many, this might be difficult to comprehend because we are so attached to what is going on here and now. For Paul, the goal of life was to be ready for eternity. Continue reading “Living for eternity”
“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:5, ESV).
If you own a smart phone with facial recognition technology, it is designed to see what it wants to see: your face.
Your brain does something similar, but less distinct. It seems hardwired to sees faces. It sees faces everywhere: clouds, a grilled cheese sandwich, Mars, the Moon. Your brain is designed to see faces, so it sees them. Continue reading “We Must Be Blind”
“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”