Which Nature?

The other day, a guy in a truck blew a stop sign, pulled right in front of me, and sped down the road.  I was super annoyed and wished all kinds of misfortune on him (“LET HIM GET PULLED OVER, LORD!”). Seconds later, I thought about my reaction and judgments.  The driver was reckless and…

Parousia: Present or Coming?

Throughout First and Second Thessalonians, Paul uses the Greek word, “parousia.” More often than not, “parousia” is translated “coming” and denotes Christ’s second coming.   The Bauer, Arndt, and Gingrich Greek lexicon notes that parousia can be translated “coming” or “presence” and was used in two main ways.  The first described the invisible presence of…

An End in Itself

Jacob’s death revives fears among his sons that Joseph will retaliate because of their cruelty towards him (Gen. 50:15).  Although Joseph already reassured them he held no grudge, they don’t yet trust this.  Once again, they appeal to Joseph for mercy (Gen. 50:16-18).  Joseph replies, “Am I in the place of God?  You planned evil…

A Piece of the Continent, a Part of the Main

The following article appeared in our local paper last week. It is a revision of something I posted a few years ago. *** When I was new to faith, I attended a prayer meeting at church. As we prayed, the formation of the first man, Adam, came to mind: I imagined particles of dust swirling…

What a Waste

One night as I sat praying, I found myself thinking what a waste spirituality is (in one sense).  Case in point, there I was, sitting, doing nothing.  Not long ago I wrote that much of my prayer time is taken up just sitting with the Lord, feeding on His presence.  There aren’t many great revelations;…

The Inner Spirit of the Cross

The following is from a pamphlet by G.D. Watson. The act of crucifixion is one thing, but the spirit in which the crucifixion is to be borne is another. In some respects the act may be brief and finished, but the inward heart disposition that should pervade crucifixion is a continuous principle extending through life,…

Everything Will Fall

On December 1st I woke from a dream that left me unsettled.  It was a long rambling dream, but I knew the end was from the Lord.  In the dream, I was talking with a friend who pastors a church.  He was telling me the church suddenly fell apart and closed.  He said, “Everything seemed…

IN

In 1 Thessalonians chapter four, Paul turns to discussing behavior and growing in separation to the Lord (1 Thess. 4:1-12).  But he starts with a phrase, easily overlooked, that provides vital context for what follows: “We ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus….” (1 Thess. 4:1).  In other words, “in Jesus” is where Paul’s…

Embalmed

After Jacob dies, he is embalmed (Gen. 50:2-3).  Embalming was an Egyptian practice and betrays something of the world’s mindset. Embalming was and is meant to preserve the dead person.  There have been various methods throughout history but the basic idea is the same: the dead flesh is treated with substances that slow decay.  Modern…

Christmas Presence

The following appeared in our local paper this past weekend. It is a revision of a post previously published under the title, “Those Jell-o Loving Antichrists. *** Scripture tells us “God is love,” and that God’s love was most profoundly shown through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross (1 John 3:16, 4:16).  At one point in my…