But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come (1 Timothy 4:7, 8 NASB).
While teaching preaching students, Edwin Jones would say, “Your life is always full, choose carefully how you fill it.” We fill every moment with something. We may be productive or fruitless, contemplative or ignorant, but our time is never empty.
An interesting consequence of social distancing is that the amount of “free time” many people have has risen considerably. What do we do with that time we have? We will fill each available minute. With what will we fill it? Continue reading “Discipline in the midst of disaster”
Love is the most powerful force known to man. Nothing is stronger. It should not surprise us then, that love is the key motivating factor in scripture.
The apostle Paul wrote to a friend and brother from whom he had received much joy and comfort (Philemon 1:7). This letter was written concerning a new brother in Christ, a slave named Onesimus, who had left the household of Philemon. Paul wanted Philemon to forgive Onesimus, and to receive him not as a bondservant but as a beloved brother (Philemon 1:15, 16). As an apostle, Paul had the power to command (Philemon 1:8). Yet, that is not the way Paul approached this situation.
Continue reading “For love’s sake”
1. LOVE. Because of love parents have compassion for their children, Psalm 103.13. They know how to give good gifts to their children: “Is there anyone among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, although you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7.9-11. The apostle Paul speaks of a father’s love for his children. “As you know, we treated each one of you as a father treats his own children” 1 Thessalonians 2.11. Parents must learn to die to themselves, to extinguish their own selfishness, so that they might love their children with true love. Continue reading “5 gifts parents can give their children”
We read in 1 Corinthians 5 about the man who had been living with his father’s wife (presumably his step-mother). Two unmarried Christians living together in a sexual relationship could not be approved by the local congregation. Paul wrote to them so they would know how they should deal with such a situation: Continue reading “Forgive, comfort and love”
When we start talking principles, someone eventually comes along who does not like the principles and says, “‘people are more important than principles,” and for them that’s the end of the matter. Often, though, those same folk will make the “greater good” argument when it comes to their own principles. Continue reading “People-embodied principles”
Parents have a great, sobering responsibility. Continue reading Children obeying
The three of us stood in front of the apartment building, as Jorge depressed the buzzer to #2. As the chosen spokesman for the brethren, I silently rehearsed my little speech while we waited for the tinny little speakerphone to come to life. Continue reading The Visit and the Speech
Does the Christian have the right to tell a person he is wrong? Sometimes when discussions arise about what the Bible teaches, someone objects that no one has the right to tell another he is in the wrong.
Once again, there is plenty of guidance on this question in the Bible.
They Said It
Jesus said people were wrong, and told them why (Matthew 22:29, Mark 12:27, “wrong,” RSV, NRSV, ESV). Continue reading “"You’re Wrong!"”