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…

Beyond Needing Again

Just before dying, Jacob prophesies over each of his sons.  The prophecies can’t be called blessings, exactly.  They are honest appraisals.  Some soar with praise: Joseph is called prince and compared to a fruitful vine by a spring.  Judah is predicted to rule his brothers.  Others are tongue lashed: Reuben for sleeping with one of…

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…

The One Who Fills God’s Heart

“How can a young man stay pure?  By living according to your word.  I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.  I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:9-11). My son is memorizing Psalm 119:9-11 for school. As we…

The Chosen One(s)

Near the end of his life, Jacob told Joseph that Joseph’s sons would be as his own sons. Because of this, Jacob asked to bless them. Joseph brought Manasseh, his first born, and Ephraim, his second born, to Jacob. According to natural order, Jacob would’ve placed his right hand on Manasseh, thereby conferring the greater…

Repackaged Lie

We all fail in many ways, as James chapter three points out. Some flaws persist for years with only modest change. Recently, I was praying about one of my ongoing flaws. I have told the Lord more than once I never want to fail in this particular way again. I was telling Him this again…

Freely Owned

As famine worsened in Egypt, people came to Joseph seeking food.  The grain Joseph stored up for Pharaoh over seven years was the only food in the land.  For awhile, people paid money for grain. “Joseph collected all the money to be found in the land of Egypt.”  Eventually, people ran out of money (Gen….

Another Spirit

The following is by my friend, Randy. It is longer than my typical posts, so what follows is an excerpt. You can read the full article here. *** “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be…