A blinded and humbled man fell before the voice of the Author of life. The soul-piercing question echoes through the ages, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” (Acts 9:4). Saul’s persecutions had begun with the violent stoning of Stephen, and resulted in the scattering of Christians (Acts 8:1-3).
Saul wasn’t satisfied with mere intimidation, he ravaged the church. Later, he would reveal that it was his intent to destroy the church of God through violence (Galatians 1:13). Not content with dispersing believers, in his raging fury, he persecuted Christians to foreign cities (Acts 26:11). It is here, on the road to Damascus, that his pursuit of violence led to a pursuit of peace. Continue reading “The Christian’s pursuit”
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to John to be baptized by him in the Jordan River. But John tried to prevent him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and yet you come to me?’ So Jesus replied to him, ‘Let it happen now, for it is right for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then John yielded to him. After Jesus was baptized, just as he was coming up out of the water, the heavens opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my one dear Son; in him I take great delight.’” (Matthew 3:13-17 NET).
It is sad that baptism for many has become a hotly disputed topic. Although there are those in most Christian groups who have gladly accepted baptism, there are many who refuse to do so because they do not think it is necessary. It is instructive to look at Jesus’ baptism and see what this can tell us. Continue reading “Why was Jesus baptized?”
Jesus expects us to do works of righteousness. Our righteousness must go far beyond that of practitioners of religion, in order to enter God’s kingdom, Matthew 5.20. One way in which it must go beyond is in a superior motivation behind it.
“Be careful not to display your righteousness merely to be seen by people. Otherwise you have no reward with your Father in heaven” Matthew 6.1.
In the Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 6, the Lord Jesus cites three examples of righteousness that we must practice: giving, prayer, and fasting. Continue reading “Careful righteousness”
One of the more bizarre stories in the Old Testament is reminiscent of the paths to apostasy that many take in our own era. We should learn from their folly (Romans 15:4). Continue reading “Are we following God or asking him to follow us?”
Where did we ever get the idea that our reasoning, our feelings were a reliable guide? God reminds us that his thoughts are sky-high above ours (Isaiah 55:8,9).
Consider the term “global warming.” Do you know what that means? It means all the brilliant scientists – you know, the ones we admire so much, the ones that gave us the technology for space ships and your automobile? Well, those smart scientists have polluted our environment, despoiled our water, and brought hundreds of creatures to the brink of extinction. And they have been unable to find a way to reverse these problems.
Man is not as smart as he thinks he is. Continue reading “Humans are so smart!”
Spiritual awareness is indispensable as we try to maneuver through this challenging life. Even as Christians, we know we’ll fail at times and the Lord is ready to forgive (1 John 1:7).
We exhibit righteousness so as to minimize the sin in our lives (Romans 12:1-2). The Lord is forgiving and patient but he has limits (Ephesians 5:1-14). He knows the spiritual direction we are traveling and we must remain in the light. Continue reading “Will we learn from our failings?”
The bumper sticker says: “Guns don’t kill, people kill.” Clever, succinct slogans are indispensable to political activism. However, the full truth is often a casualty of such pithy sayings.
Do guns kill, or do people? People endlessly argue over this point but they fail to attack the real issue. Therefore, nothing changes. Continue reading “The overlooked aspect of the gun rights debate”
Abraham is one of the great characters in the Bible.
Living in Ur of the Chaldees, one of the modern cities of his day, God called him to leave to go some place else – God would show him where. And Abraham left, along with his wife, nephew and father. Other siblings and their family joined them in Haran and there Terah, his father, died. Continue reading “The father of us all”
Several days in bed from sickness tests anyone’s patience. However, our bodies can’t be productive when they’re broken down. We need fluids, rest and medicine to get better.
When we become sick physically we exhibit various symptoms such as pain, discomfort, headache or nausea. Faced with a decision, we decide whether to fight or to ignore the problem. Continue reading “In bed sick, physically”
On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King stood in Washington D.C. and said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
If this glorious dream is attained, it’ll be accomplished by righteousness instead of legislation. The heart can’t be moved to goodness by force. An inherent human problem must be corrected by something greater than humanity. Continue reading “How will Martin Luther King’s dream be fulfilled?”