It happens to all of us. We have all walked through the slough of despond, a fictional, deep bog in John Bunyan’s allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress, into which the protagonist Christian sinks under the weight of his sins and his sense of guilt for them. When that happens, we need to follow David’s example, and cry out to God to “Restore unto me the joy of your salvation.” (Psalm 51:12)
When Samuel was sent to anoint a new king to replace Saul, he fell into a common trap. It’s not about appearance, countenance, height, or stature. It’s all about the heart. When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the LORD’s anointed!” But the LORD said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, Continue reading Don’t judge by appearance, countenance, height, or stature, because the LORD looks at the heart
Right in the middle of the book of Ephesians, which contains the most complete, accurate, and detailed description of the church, which is Christ’s body, there is this nugget… Ephesians 3:17-18 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his Continue reading Rooted and Grounded in Love
By the power of God; literally, in power of God (2 Corinthians 4:7; 1 Corinthians 2:4; 1 Corinthians 4:20). “For the kingdom of God is not [only] in word, but in power.” 1411 dýnamis (from 1410 /dýnamai, “able, having ability“) properly, “ability to perform” (L-N); for the believer, power to achieve by applying the Lord’s inherent abilities. “Power through God’s ability” (1411 /dýnamis) is needed in every scene of life to really grow in sanctification and prepare for heaven (glorification). Continue reading Living by the power of God
What did Jesus teach about serving others? Many leaders in the Christian community are identified as Christian “ministers”. This tradition leads many to equate Christian ministry with clergy or leadership over Christian congregations. In scripture, a “minister” is simply a “servant” and “ministry” relates to “service”. How can one be both a servant to, and an authority over, God’s people?
You may have thought God could only use superstars. But, this is not true, God can use anyone, if they are willing. God is very clear that these 8 gifts are given by him to ordinary people for service in your congregation… προφητείαν — prophecy; the gift of communicating and enforcing revealed truth διακονεῖ / διακονίαν — to serve (as a servant), waiting at table; in a wider sense: service, ministration διδάσκων — to teach (literally, “cause to learn”); instruct, impart knowledge (disseminate information) Continue reading 8 Gifts of Service for Your Church
Two men went up to the temple to pray. One was justified and the other was rejected. What was the difference? Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. Continue reading Two men went up to the temple to pray, which one was justified?
Surprisingly, tithing predates the law… Cain and Abel fought over what to tithe (Genesis 4) Abraham gave Melchizedek a tenth of all (Genesis 14:20) The tithe was codified in the Mosaic Ten Commandment Law Covenant between God and the Children Of Israel who were rescued from bondage in Egypt. This law of tithing is very specific. But, there are a ridiculous number of ways to interpret these passages: from not donating anything, excuses for donating too little, reasons for not donating one-tenth, requirements for donations of the Continue reading What about tithing? What is a tithe? Are tithes required?
Here are my personal favorite and most powerful verses from a life-long love of reading the Holy Bible. I tried to narrow this list to 101 verses, I really did try, but every time I considered removing a verse it caused me to keep it and add another, so the list kept growing. And, even now, there are dozens and hundreds of verses I want to add. If I’ve forgotten your favorite or most important verse, please add it to the comments Continue reading 101 Bible Verses to Make Personal