Kingdom Meditations

“My kingdom is not of this world,” said Jesus. “If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight…. As it is, My kingdom does not have its origin here” (John 18:36). When Jesus says His kingdom is not of this world, we tend to think of location.  What if Jesus is talking about source, something qualitative?  My kingdom…

Only One Is All

My wife and I were talking recently about America’s divisive socio-political landscape. COVID and protests have exacerbated division but did not create it.  Division exists in each of us because human nature is prone to sin. Strident exchanges are everywhere. As usual, social media is the great bullhorn, amplifying every discourtesy and difference.  Even between…

Can’t Keep Us Down

In many places, gatherings of any size have been restricted to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).  On Sunday, our church live-streamed our worship service for the first time ever.  Many other churches did this as well, and I checked out portions of the other services in our community.   It was fun to be…

Dead or Alive

“Since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in the same way God will bring in union with Him those who have fallen asleep through Jesus” (1 Thess. 4:14). Paul has been talking with the Thessalonians about what they have suffered because of their belief in Jesus. His aim in writing is to connect the Thessalonians’…

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…

Circulation

First Thessalonians three finds Paul relieved that the Thessalonians are continuing to believe Jesus despite persecution: “For now we live, if you stand firm in the Lord” (1 Thess. 3:8).  This is an expression of happiness but also much more. Paul has written much about the Thessalonians’ participation in the sufferings of Jesus, as well…

The Fall of the Church

Last year, my father-in-law gave me a copy of a book called, The Mystery of God: Christ All and in All by Manfred Haller. It is a rich work that dwells on the mighty subject of God’s eternal desire. Below is an excerpt from chapter 20, “The Fall of the Church”. *** There are plenty…

Finishing or Revealing?

This grace was given to me —the least of all the saints—to proclaim to the Gentiles the incalculable riches of the Messiah, and to shed light for all about the administration of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things.  This is so God’s multi-faceted wisdom may now be made known through the…

Settling at Bethel

After the incident with Shechem, the Lord tells Jacob to go to Bethel and settle there.  Jacob went to Bethel with all his family, servants, and livestock.  Then, “Jacob built an altar there and called the place God of Bethel because it was there that God had revealed Himself to him when he was fleeing…

#MeToo

Recently, I read about a sex scandal that detonated in a major evangelical church.  We are just beginning to feel the shockwaves.  Those closest to the blast were knocked flat.  But many who operated under this church’s umbrella or looked to it for inspiration will also be shaken. I have stopped counting sex scandals involving…