Love through humble service

Mark’s gospel shows Jesus as God’s suffering servant on a mission. Eleven times in chapter one alone, Mark uses the word “immediately” to describe the action surrounding the son of God. Everything Jesus did seemed to happen quickly. He is shown as God’s inexhaustible servant.

In Mark chapter nine, the Master showed how our thinking sometimes gets in the way of being the kind of servant God wants. While on the way to Capernaum, Jesus’ disciples had been arguing. When they arrived, the Lord asked them what they had been arguing about. They had been fighting for prominence in the coming kingdom. Continue reading “Love through humble service”

The Bible means what it says. Or, does it?

It is written” (Luke 4:12).

“The Bible means exactly what it says!” I’ve heard this a number of times, and in one sense, I agree. In another sense, that statement could inadvertently be more dangerous than it seems.

The Bible is not just a literal composition. Yes, it is a rule of thumb to understand any passage literally unless there is good reason or evidence to understand it otherwise. However, it should also be understood by all students of the Bible that there is plenty of reason to not take some passages literally. We will illustrate this in a moment. Continue reading “The Bible means what it says. Or, does it?”

Context is important

Context is important. If you heard the words, “dead dog,” all that would tell you is that a dog is dead. There is no other information. Yet, the more information added to that statement would bring out what happened to the dog.

Interpreting the Bible is a matter of understanding the context of a passage under consideration, and  the context of the chapter and of the book. Disregarding the context is one of the reasons why people can make costly mistakes in understanding God’s word. Continue reading “Context is important”

Why aspiring for perfection matters

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”

Unworthy, but worth it

If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me (John 13:8)

I was adopted when I was about 18 months old. Was I worthy of that? How could I be? How could I have earned such an act?

Peter felt unworthy to have Jesus wash his feet. It was completely out of order for Jesus to stoop down and wash Peter’s feet. Peter was unworthy.

Jesus did it anyway. He even warned Peter not to refuse him. Continue reading “Unworthy, but worth it”

What is propitiation?

The threads of salvation are interwoven through every page of Scripture. Certainly, we should do all we can to understand them.

Sometimes the terminology eludes us because we don’t use it in daily life. Propitiation is a prime example. We find it in Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17; 1 John 2:2; 4:10 and since it pertains to our Lord and our salvation, it’s imperative that we understand it. Continue reading “What is propitiation?”

“Go, your son lives”

The Gettysburg Address was only 272 words. It took Abraham Lincoln less than three minutes to deliver it. Edward Everett, the famous orator and U.S. senator who preceded Lincoln spoke for two hours from a prepared manuscript of more than 13,000 words.

After Lincoln’s speech, Everett wrote the president saying, “I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion in two hours as you did in two minutes.”

The Lord Jesus Christ said more in four words than some could say in 13,000. Continue reading ““Go, your son lives””

A perfect sacrifice

“The Lord called Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting, saying, ‘Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When any one of you brings an offering to the Lord, you shall bring your offering of livestock from the herd or from the flock. If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer a male without blemish…If his gift for a burnt offering is from the flock, from the sheep or goats, he shall bring a male without blemish’” (Leviticus 1:1-3,10 ESV).

Although the books of the Law are usually not our favorite scriptures to read, these are God’s word. Even though they were given to the Israelites as they were becoming God’s nation, they do contain principles and lessons for us as Christians who are living 3,500 years later. So they are worthy of our consideration. Continue reading “A perfect sacrifice”

The victory of the Lamb

“And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,’Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations! Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed’” (Revelation 15:3-4 ESV).

Isn’t God amazing? Continue reading “The victory of the Lamb”