Who do we love?

“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?”

Be filled with the Spirit

“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”

Never worthy, yet worthiness expected

“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”

Well supplied

When Christopher Columbus finally set off on his first voyage with the Niña, Pinta and Santa Maria, ample funding backed the voyage.  Although it had required the influence of the courtier Luis de Santángel, Spain’s king and queen finally agreed to sponsor the expedition. Columbus was well supplied for the journey.

Like Columbus, Christians are on an expedition. Our journey involves living for God. Peter informs us that God has provided us with “everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). But how informed are we regarding how to draw upon the Lord’s resources?

Continue reading “Well supplied”

The deceitful snapshot

A moment frozen in time. An expression of exuberance and excitement captured within pixels. From slick magazines to rectangles rendered in millions of colors upon a computer screen, snapshots exist in many forms and we know all about them.

However, there is much more to the snapshot than meets the eye. By its very nature, it must distort, not reflect, reality. Look deeper.

Continue reading “The deceitful snapshot”

We must change our lives

Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Keep thinking about things above, not things on the earth, for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ (who is your life) appears, then you too will be revealed in glory with him. So put to death whatever in your nature belongs to the earth: sexual immorality, impurity, shameful passion, evil desire, and greed which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience. You also lived your lives in this way at one time, when you used to live among them. But now, put off all such things as anger, rage, malice, slander, abusive language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another since you have put off the old man with its practices and have been clothed with the new man that is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of the one who created it. Here there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all and in all. (Colossians 3:1-11 NET)

Can people tell the difference between us, as Christians, and those who are not Christians? Throughout Paul’s letters, one theme frequently occurs: if we are Christians, then we must be different from those who are not.  Continue reading “We must change our lives”