Love, not Law

The following appeared in our local paper’s religion column last weekend. It is a revision of a previous post, “Love, not Law”. The paper re-titled it “What Complete Freedom Means.” *** “Christ has liberated us to be free.  Stand firm then and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Gal. 5:1). Most Christians know…

Big Reveal

“To the called out Thessalonians in God our Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 1:1). Paul starts his first and second letters to the Thessalonians with an almost identical address.  He is writing Thessalonians who were called out, who are now in God and Jesus.  Called out of the world and into…

Are You with Me?

While I was spending time with the Lord this week, He asked, “Are you with me?”  My first reaction was, “Is this one of those questions like when you asked Peter if he loved you?” I’m way more likely to overthink things than Peter.  There was no confident (over confident?), “You know I’m with you,…

Unshaken

“His voice shook the earth at that time, but now He has promised, Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also heaven. This expression, ‘Yet once more,’ indicates the removal of what can be shaken…so that what is not shaken might remain.  Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us…

Who Told You?

Today’s post is by an old friend from Bible school, Judith Brown. Judith emailed this to various friends in the Lord and was good enough to let me share it. *** “Who told you that you were naked?” Genesis 3:11 God asked Adam and Eve this question after they had eaten the forbidden fruit. Their…

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’…

Seeing the Son Within

When Jacob met Joseph’s sons, he said, “Ephraim and Manasseh belong to me just as Reuben and Simeon do” (Gen. 48:5).  Joseph regarded Ephraim and Manasseh’s sons in the same way (Gen. 50:23).  Jacob and Joseph saw their grandchildren as their children; they saw no difference between them when it came to affection, status, and…

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…

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…