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”
“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”