“A new commandment I give 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 13:24,25).
It’s interesting to note that “love” can be commanded. How can love be a command? Remember your first teenage crush? Did someone command you to fall for that 14-year-old girl? Of course not! You just had hormones! Continue reading “The new commandment”
Some scriptures tend to be more popular than others. Often these verses are memorized and are characterized by offering us hope and relief. Among these popular texts, Paul’s letter from prison to the Philippians contains a number of texts that stand tall offering comfort and inspiration.
“In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of contentment, whether I go satisfied or hungry, have plenty or nothing. I am able to do all things through the one who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:12,13).
Paul’s secret can be ours. A deep satisfying contentment can be ours. Real freedom from crushing situational distress exists. They need not rule our lives nor how we evaluate our lives. However, all of this comes at a price. Continue reading “Whether through difficulty or ease”
“For we once ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another” (Titus 3:3 NKJV).
Atrocities like those recently committed in Paris and Mali continue to outrage and astonish. We ask, “How can anyone treat other people like that?” I recently participated in a conversation in which the point was made that some cultures promote hatred as a virtue. In most nations in which Christianity has had influence children are taught to love and do good to others. But in many other settings they are taught to hate others, whether it be traditional enemies, strangers, or persons of different race or religion. Violent revenge is held up as a duty and an objective of which to be proud. Continue reading “The power of hate”
Do you want to fight less and love more? Author and conflict resolution expert Laurie Puhn suggests the very first principle involves believing “Love Is Conditional,” even though “many of us are brought up to believe that romantic love should survive ‘no matter what.'” She explains how a belief in unconditional love is “one of the biggest saboteurs of relationship success.”
Well, she’s partly right. However, a solid scriptural viewpoint can acknowledge the value of her insight while pursuing a stronger and healthier approach to love. Continue reading “Love is in the air … or maybe not?”
I often tell young people, “You are not obliged to fall in love with anyone; you are obliged to be loving to everyone.”
The difference between being “in love” and being loving is that one of them is commanded. The term “falling in love” implies a loss of control. Emotions are powerful. The hormones heat up and the brain cells melt down. But being loving is about self-control. Continue reading “Being loving”
“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him” (1 John 3:1 NASB).
This verse has been on my mind almost every day as this Sunday approached. On that day, we will observe an undeclared holiday: Father’s Day. Continue reading “See how great a love!”
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”
Regardless of economics, race or status, people value love and recognize that love will shape what is good and true. It should not be surprising to anybody that love permeates and lies at the heart of our Biblical message.
Since our English word love is used so broadly, it is helpful to distinguish between different types of love in order to gain a more precise understanding of the New Testament’s message. This can be easily accomplished because the New Testament was written in Greek and there are various Greek words for love.
Continue reading “A brief handbook on love”
After leaving church services, many people only desire to go home and rest or take a nap.
After leaving the synagogue, surely Jesus could have used some rest (Luke 4:38-41). Instead, when he arrived at Peter’s house, he found one crying out for help just as he had in the synagogue.
Peter’s mother-in-law, Dr. Luke tells us, was “afflicted,” which is a medical term Greek doctors used in those days to describe one’s condition. He also wrote that Peter’s mother-in-law was “suffering from a high fever” (Luke 4:38 NASB). Physicians, as Luke, classified fevers as either major or minor. Major fevers were life-threatening, and Luke described this as a major fever. Continue reading “A miracle for mother”
We need to learn to live with others in harmony since social interaction is impossible to ignore.
Since we won’t get along perfectly with everyone (Romans 12:18), we must choose what to say rather than spitting out every thought that enters our minds. God will deal with our thoughts but no one else has to know all of them (1 Corinthians 3:20). Continue reading “Mouth filters”