The Apostle Paul closes his first letter to a fledgling church with these final exhortations. This letter was written after Timothy returned with mostly good news about their spiritual growth in the Lord. It is full of thanksgiving to God for the faith, love, and hope of the new church. It also contains things he didn’t have time to teach them. It answers their questions about the future resurrection and rapture. And, it contains strong rebukes against sexual immorality and Continue reading Final exhortations to a fledgling church (1 Thessalonians 5:12-22)
The Hebrew Scriptures teach endurance to live in complete harmony with each other Jesus Christ puts a strong emphasis on the importance of harmony in the church. Read A Modern-Day Parable of Romans 14 (How to avoid conflicts in the church) For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. (Romans 15:4 NIV) According to Merriam-Webster, endurance is defined to be the ability to withstand hardship Continue reading The teaching and example of the Hebrew Scriptures — live in complete harmony with one another
To be a trusted counselor, you have to do more than come alongside a counselee and spout vague generalizations and empty platitudes. You must meet them where they are — like the LORD God walking with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day — like Jesus manifest in the flesh to break the power of sin and death — because they cannot come to where you are. First, you must understand their pain, their fear, and their darkness. Continue reading Becoming a trusted counselor
I was sitting out on the porch with my wife not long ago watching the rain and enjoying the natural beauty of nature, much of which she had added by her gardening knowledge and special touch. Many times, we’ve enjoyed our mornings together this way, drinking coffee and sharing thoughts. Twelve years ago hundreds of our trees were majorly damaged by a downdraft tornado, completely destroying the beauty that God and my wife had given to our little backyard getaway. But over time, with Continue reading Imagine a place where fellowship grows
For two or three years I have been contemplating the question of why so many of God’s Children struggle to have peaceful fellowship among themselves. What are the strongholds that keep the Lord’s family from functioning in loving harmony and accepting one another as Christ has accepted each of his children? Rom. 15:7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. What is it that causes the hard-line adherence to the minor issues Continue reading Satanic Strongholds through False Concepts versus Walking by Faith
1) Prayers are hindered by lack of love All the virtue that is saving, and that distinguishes true Christians from others, is summed up in Christian love. When that love is missing or corrupted, then our prayers are hindered. Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full–pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” (Luke 6:38) Continue reading 10 Ways Prayers are Hindered (#5 is Shocking)
Here are 101 verses on forgiveness and forgiving. This is a critically important subject. Forgiven people should be forgiving people. When you really understand God’s love, you will be able to forgive others because of his forgiveness. If you can’t forgive others, your prayers will be hindered. Please read and meditate on these verses… Suppose you find fifty righteous people living there in the city—will you still sweep it away and not spare it for their sakes? (Genesis 18:24) And the Lord Continue reading 101 verses on forgiveness and forgiving
What is gnosticism? Gnosticism is literally, “the cult based on special, personal knowledge.” The apostle Paul specifically warned against this kind of division, which has spawned several very large Christian-like religions, dozens of very closed denominations, and hundreds or thousands of small sects. Each of these groups claims some “special personal knowledge,” which they have and you do not, which makes them more acceptable to God than you, and which keeps them separate from you. In the last month, I talked to Continue reading Gnosticism and the altar of special knowledge in the church today
This is a very important question. All the religions of the world differ in their response. Each religion makes requirements of what offerings you need to bring to God. Each religion describes what makes God happy. But, what does the Bible say? What can we bring to the Lord? How can we make God happy?
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?