It’s not in my job description, or wouldn’t be if I had one. But I joyfully spend a not insignificant amount of time helping saints connect with other saints.
Except for Antartica, we’ve touched all the continents. We’ve helped people find churches in places like Japan, France, New Zealand, and Malawi. Even the American states of Virginia and Kentucky have not escaped our searches.
Today, it was closer to home. I finally got answers for a brother in Rio looking for churches or contacts in the states of São Paulo and Minas Gerais. Continue reading “Church as decentralized web”
Some people are surprised that the Old Testament is so much larger in size than the New. In my Portuguese Bible it takes up 764 pages out of a total of 994. That’s 76% of the whole Bible. Several explanations as to why may be adequate, but here is one thought, how the Lord was building up to, and preparing for, the time when Christ would come and fulfill his eternal plan.
In both Testaments, God created a people for himself. In the Old Testament, it was Israel, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Each of Jacob’s sons became a tribe in Israel. In the New Testament, God’s people is the church, and they are variously described as the body of Christ, the family of faith, the temple of the Holy Spirit. No more is there a physical connection to define God’s holy ones. We are born into God’s family because we respond to his message and obey his commandments, John 3.3, 5. Continue reading “Christians are the spiritual Israel of God”
We can be touched by the lives and words of those we’ve never met. They can enhance our lives by their wisdom, art or example.
Yet, to truly be moved by them, we would need to see them in quiet moments and in the natural course of life. Leadership must be personal and present. Continue reading “Leaders must be among the people”
Paul guides the Ephesians beyond their problems to a plan conceived by God. Today, we must heed the powerful message they received to unleash the full potential of the Lord’s Church. Continue reading “The power of unity”
Money, politics and religion can stir up controversy. Within Christendom, opinions about church run deep. Yet, most agree what the New Testament teaches, such as its insistence there is one church. Disagreement arises over how this teaching should be applied to our world.
Can we understand how the Bible’s teaching regarding one church relates to our world? Can the confusion be untangled? I believe yes. Continue reading “One church: the intersection of scripture and today’s world”
Our actions often tell the world more than we want to reveal. The attitudes behind our behavior will be leaked to the world regardless of our intentions. Continue reading “The shocking reason they complained about two baptisms”
Humble Bible students must be respectful of God’s authority and understand each passage in its context. With adherence to these ironclad rules, we’ll be on solid ground as we study the Scriptures. Continue reading “Unity from God’s perspective”
George never did anything wrong, that you’d notice. He wasn’t one to commit grave errors. He never spoke ill of another. He never cheated anyone, especially not his wife. He never killed anyone, nor harmed anyone bodily. George wasn’t a violent man. He never mistreated or failed to provide for his family. Continue reading “Can George be saved?”
No weddings ever take place in the garden centers at Lowe’s. It begs the question —- Why not? There are hundreds of flowers and plants. Unlike my garden, they dispose of the ones that might be struggling or have gone dormant.
Shouldn’t that be the ideal venue for a classy event? Continue reading “Gardens versus garden centers”
A compass points toward the earth’s magnetic north. However, the true geographic north pole lies several hundreds of miles away.
Kenny, a friend of mine, recently told me about an international trip where his flight passed between the North Pole and magnetic north. At such a place, if someone were to use a compass to locate the geographic north pole it would point in the exact opposite direction! If we can assume the compass would even function.
To accurately use a compass to discover true north, you must also know your latitude. In other words, to navigate the earth requires both good instruments and the knowledge about how to use them well. For the church to reliably chart its path through difficult scenarios requires understanding how to use well the tools God has supplied for his people. In 1 Corinthians, Paul tackled a rough situation by providing some of these reliable tools for the journey. Continue reading “True north: finding a reliable path forward”