In the upper room, Jesus gave the apostles a new commandment, to love each other. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35 ESV).
This new commandment is echoed throughout the letters written by the apostles and writers. John expands on it in his first letter, telling us what love is and what love is not. Continue reading “True love”
Jesus was invited to the house of a Pharisee named Simon.
The well-to-do Pharisee in town usually had a home with an open courtyard and a fountain. It was in the courtyard meals were taken. People were free to come and go inside the Pharisee’s house, so there was a steady stream of people each evening for dinner. Continue reading “Guess who’s coming to dinner”
“Be very strong; be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, without turning aside to the right or to the left. Do not associate with these nations that remain among you; do not invoke the names of their gods or swear by them. You must not serve them or bow down to them. But you are to hold fast to the Lord your God, as you have until now.…So be very careful to love the Lord your God” (Joshua 23:6-11 NIV).
Joshua had led the Israelites into the Promised Land and they had conquered the land. Each tribe had been allocated their inheritance and they had settled into their homes. Joshua was now a very old man (Joshua 23:1) at 110 years of age (Joshua 24:29). He called the leaders of the tribes together one last time to remind them of what God had done for them and what God required of them. “Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed” (Joshua 23:14). Continue reading “Love and obedience”
The young couple came to the truth because, as he said, they quit looking for a church that would please them both—since they were from different branches of Christendom—to search for a church that pleased God.
A coworker had told him to look for a church that “met in the name of Jesus.”
Before that, he’d begun reading his Bible. He noticed the differences between what Scripture said and what his church taught. When he asked a religious authority in his church about such differences, the answer was not convincing. Continue reading “The church that pleases God”
“And the people complained in the hearing of the Lord about their misfortunes, and when the Lord heard it, his anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some outlying parts of the camp. Then the people cried out to Moses, and Moses prayed to the Lord, and the fire died down. So the name of that place was called Taberah, because the fire of the LORD burned among them” (Numbers 11:1-3 ESV).
Can you imagine it? Here was a group of people who had been slaves for hundreds of years. They were now free! They had a God who was taking care of them! And what did they do? Complain about how bad they had it! Really?! Continue reading “Complain, complain, complain!”
Valentine’s Day is a wonderful holiday where we focus on those we love.
It’s a romantic time that should bring joy to those who have good relationships. For those who don’t, well, it’s kinda cruel.
Of course, the holiday is economy driven and we fall in line and spend our money. Nevertheless, the day is important and we should express our fondness for that special person. Continue reading “Unselfish love doesn’t need Valentine’s Day”
We think truth is hard and unpleasant. For the most part, man’s truth is exactly that. God’s truth, however, is sweet and blessed. It is something to be loved and cherished.
Love for truth is important because it has to do with eternal salvation. Rejecting love for truth results in loss of salvation, 2 Thessalonians 2.10: “They perish because they did not accept the love of the truth in order to be saved” (HCSB).
In the context of this verse, although some things are difficult to understand, several principles appear clearly. Continue reading “Love for truth is love for Jesus”
“Which of these three…was neighbor?” (Luke 10:36, NASB).
Did you hear about Lizzie Velaquez from Austin, Texas, a.k.a., “The World’s Ugliest Woman?” who was searching YouTube and stumbled upon a video (which had been viewed over 4 million times) urging her to kill herself because she was so ugly?
She decided to leave her self-pity behind, and parlayed her new-found fame to become an anti-bullying advocate all over the nation! What an admirable way to turn the tables on her bullies! Continue reading “The carpenter on the other side of the table”
Rude statements. Inconsiderate demands. Aggressive behavior. It can get worse. Deliberate mistreatment.
Sometimes we are the recipient of them all. Justice would seem to justify a tit-for-tat retaliation. Yet, Jesus and his apostles denounced this natural instinct. They had a very good reason. The concise and crystal clear idea they described encapsulates a perspective, a worldview, capable of transforming our lifestyle and society. Continue reading “Because of whose you are”
The holidays are past and the gifts have been given. Does that end the season of giving? It shouldn’t.
God always commands his people to be givers (Leviticus 19:9-10; Proverbs 19:17; 1 John 3:17; Luke 6:38). Continue reading “Two essentials to give in 2017”