Nothing is more key to a successful spiritual life than the mind. The spiritual life — life in Christ, as the New Testament calls it, or life in the Spirit — begins here. It is not the feeling of the heart, but the feeding of the mind, that will take us where we want to go as God’s people.
The inner human is made up of interlocking parts: the mind (thoughts), the heart (emotion), the will (decision). Sometimes these parts do not always move in the same direction. For example, in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus’ heart said one thing (avoid the cross!), but his will said another (Your will be done!), because his mind knew the Father’s will and the nature of his mission (to give life!). Continue reading “Think on things above — and what those things are”
“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last'” (Revelation 1:10-11 NKJV).
There are many ways to categorize people. One that I sometimes use has to do with how we schedule our pleasures. Some like to do the best (most enjoyable) things first. That may be eating dessert before the meal, or taking one’s leisure breaks as early as possible. Others prefer saving the best till last. I am among the latter group. I always keep the best piece of chocolate in the box for the final treat.
Reserving special pleasures for later offers several benefits. For example, there is the extended pleasure of anticipation. After all, once a particular dessert is eaten it is finished and cannot be enjoyed again. But while we look forward to it we savor the coming pleasure many times before finally consuming it. Continue reading “First or last”
Jesus Christ is the complete answer of God for the problem and need of mankind. Our problem is not ignorance, which education will solve. Our problem is not poverty, which more robust social programs will eradicate. Our problem is sin. It’s consequence, eternal and spiritual, is separation from God, Isaiah 5.1-2; Colossians 1.21. We cannot now imagine the despair and suffering caused by our rejection of God. No human action will repair that damage. So God sent his Son to pay the price for our sins, 1 Corinthians 6.20. Our Lord declared time and again that he came to save us from ourselves, Luke 19.10. This is the great act of grace on his part, Titus 3.4-7. Continue reading “Look to Jesus Christ”
Writers of the various books and letters contained in holy Scripture sometimes spell out why they wrote. They include purpose statements or declarations of what they hoped to accomplish, what effect they hoped to have on their readers.
John was clear about the reason for taking up his quill—faith and life. Continue reading “What’s the Bible for?”
The motto for our Brazilian national ministry is “Always Jesus.” It means that the Lord Jesus is always the center of our attention. He is the focus of our faith. He must be in first place, for the kingdom of God is also his, Ephesians 5.5; Matthew 6.33; John 18.36.
We can and should deal with many topics that the Bible mentions. And these are considered in the light of Jesus Christ as the wisdom and power of God for salvation. If we speak of the church, the end times, the family, money, employment—whatever the subject—we must bring the subject to the feet of Jesus and submit it to his Lordship. Continue reading “Always Jesus”
Israel in the days Jesus lived was a nation yearning for the greatness that had escaped it before the captivities in Assyria and Babylonia. The nation was so focused on winning its freedom and shaking off the dominion of Rome that it lost sight of spiritual things. In fact, its religious and civil leaders had become practiced actors. They acted as though they would remain loyal to Rome and gave lip service to the Roman government, but all the while they cursed the Romans and looked forward to the day they could rebel against them. Continue reading “Faith shows what we believe”
The people behind my email service started a series of posts recently, explaining how they work. The following sentence concluded today’s post, written by one of their head guys.
When you call yourself FastMail, you’re really signalling one of your core features in the name, and that means we have to always think about it in everything we do.
Now, put “Christian” in the place of “FastMail,” and see what that statement says about those of us who follow the Way. Continue reading “He’s core, so we think about him in everything we do”
Five wonderful things that the church possesses (and one it doesn’t). Continue reading 5 things the church of Christ possesses
Perhaps the fact that my father was a coal miner has sensitized me to the story out of Chile. Maybe my amateur explorations of undeveloped caves helps me feel for those men. Continue reading Certain Deliverance
Reading about a judge who orders the arrest of a young man won’t raise many eyebrows. Judges often do such things. But the arrest of 19-year-old Aaron Henson in Littleton, Colorado caused quite a stir. Continue reading Outrageous Judgment