Christian Life

Christian Life

Expectations

In Luke chapter 9, we read that Jesus sent His disciples into the towns and villages to teach the gospel and to heal.  Followers of Jesus should expect to be sent. We don’t become Christians to be served or catered to. So, in our youth ministry, we are hoping to help equip our children for their mission to reach out to the lost and dying world and show them Jesus. But when Jesus sent his disciples out to work, he…

Inviting

I’ve heard of people who have led thousands to Christ in their lives—through preaching to huge audiences or writing books or tracts that reach thousands. That’ll never happen for most of us. Paul established dozens of churches, and Peter preached to enormous crowds. Both of them wrote letters about Jesus that have been read by hundreds of millions. My circle of influence is considerably smaller than that. Once we’ve realized that, we’ve got two options. We can resent our situation,…

Chest-thumping?

Maybe there’s a little bit of a my-dad-can-beat-up-your-dad spirit in many of us, but most of us also recognize it’s not much fun being around someone who’s always one up. Is there a braggart or two in your world? It might actually intimidate kids on the playground, but it’s wise not to try it in God’s house. Read Paul’s boasting below, but don’t miss his point: For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory…

Stiff-necked

Ever dealt with someone stubborn? I mean really stubborn, as in talking-to-a-wall stubborn? [Some of you are thinking, Yes, I’m married to him . . . :-)] I’ve even heard some folks describing themselves this way as if it were a compliment. It’s not. Or at least God never uses it that way. In fact, sometimes it’s translated with a word that creates an interesting image: And the LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it…

Rejoice

I suppose a certain level of anxiety is part of living on this fallen earth. I haven’t yet met the person—even among those following Jesus—who lives a completely carefree life. Do you worry at times? Get stressed out? Lie there staring at the ceiling in the wee hours of the morning? I doubt we’re the first ones to struggle with it. It seems like every page of Scripture says something about it. Take this one, for example. To one of…

Who in the world is Epaphroditus?

You’ve got big names in Bible history, and then you’ve got Epaphroditus. We know a lot about Abraham, Moses, David, and Paul. They’re the movers and shakers on the human side of God’s story. But Epaphroditus? He gets six verses. But as one of my old Bible teachers used to say, they’re chock-full of meaning. Try not to hurry through them. I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and…

Doubt…I Get it Now

From time to time, when an idea occurs to me…or I hear something that I want to explore further, I start typing and then title it and save it for a rainy day.  Recently I was looking for something to work on and noticed a file entitled “Doubt.” I thought, “We’ve been studying doubt in the teen class, so I’m sure I can add to that one.”  I opened it and saw these words: “Doubt…I get it now.” I looked at the date…

Standing up

I love reading biographies, and Eric Metaxas has written two excellent ones. Amazing Grace describes William Wilberforce’s twenty-year fight to abolish the British slave trade. Bonhoeffer discusses the courageous life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German theologian who stood up to the Nazi regime and was eventually hanged for his convictions. In his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast a few years back, Metaxas himself made a point about the common theme in these biographies: both of his subjects fought for…

Citizens

There’s a lot of talk about politics right now . . . Well, it seems like there’s always a lot of talk about politics in America. Nearly everyone has a (strongly held and loudly vocalized) opinion. So perhaps this is a good time to think about this: Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing…

Ready to go

A few years back I read a biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Christian who lived during the Third Reich’s reign of terror. He refused to bow to the Nazis’ demands of the church, and ultimately they imprisoned and executed him. He faced his death with remarkable confidence, fully trusting that being executed for his convictions was far preferable to compromise. Death did not frighten him. That kind of attitude has always fascinated me, and the apostle Paul certainly had…

Paul’s Pity Party

Instead of blowing up the balloons and sending out invitations to the pity party, maybe we should first sit down and talk to the Lord.

I don’t have time

I don’t have time. I say those words a lot, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with them. All of us have to make choices with our time. I think the issue is what we say those words about. And whom we say them to. Paul addresses the principle here: Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:15-16). How we spend our time…
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