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;…

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…

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…

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…

Incar-Nation

The following is adapted from my booklet, This Is What Is Written *** In the time of Christ, the temple and Israel’s nation status were two pillars of Jewish identity. Many Jews at that time saw the nation of Israel as an end in itself, the goal of God’s plan in the earth. This was…

All Saints, Every Day

The evening of October 31st, or Hallowe’en, marks the beginning of All Saints Day.  All Saints Day is observed by various Christian groups, and is most often a remembrance of canonized saints.  These are believers who meet criteria set by the denomination celebrating them. Generally, these criteria involve especial holiness, the performance of miracles, exceptional…

I Am Not the Christ

This post has been on my mind so I thought I’d repost it *** It may sound absurd, but it’s true: we often take it upon ourselves to be Christ.  Usually, we do so unconsciously, out of a sincere desire to be like Jesus, and not because we consciously wish to supplant Him.  So, we…

Laid into Suffering

In 1 Thessalonians 2:17 and 18, Paul remembers being forced to leave Thessalonica—their time cut short by a mob that attacked, abused, and jailed some of them (Acts 17:5-9).  Paul talks affectionately of their desire to return but says satan hindered them. Acts 17:13-15 tells the full story: Paul and co. went to Berea after…

Crispy Witches and Witchy Christians

Earlier this week, my mind drifted to the witch trials in Salem. Along with the crusades and the inquisitions, the witch trials are something that make most Christians want to crawl under a rock.  But we can’t.  The trials happened. From there, my mind wandered to a comment C.S. Lewis made in Mere Christianity. People today…

Copycats

For you, brothers, became imitators of God’s churches in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, since you have also suffered the same things from people of your own country, just as they did from the Jews who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets and persecuted us” (1 Thess. 2:14-15). For the second time,…