King Virus

These days, it’s impossible to avoid hearing about coronavirus.  Corona means “crown.”  Recently, I found my mind drifting to the opening of the first seal in Revelation 6:2– “I looked, and there was a white horse. The horseman on it had a bow; a crown was given to him, and he went out as a victor…

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’…

Crying in the Wilderness

The following is a poem and meditation on John the Baptist. John is a window to a season each of us will experience if we are knowing Christ in His death. It is the place where we know, of a surety, that we will die—perhaps physically, but also psychologically. In the shadow of death, all…

Am I Growing?

Not long ago, it was my turn to share from scripture at a men’s group I attend.  As I asked the Lord what to talk about, I found my mind turning to questions: Am I growing spiritually?  If so, how do I know?  I decided to raise these questions at the men’s group to see…

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…

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…