The Right Time to Judge (1 Corinthians 5-8)

What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?  God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.” (1 Corinthians 5:12-13) One of the reasons why those outside of the church dislike those inside of the church is because of judgmental attitudes from one towards the other.  When a person outside of the ... [Continue Reading]

Those Powerful Desires (1 Thessalonians 3-5)

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: ...that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable... (1 Thessalonians 4:3a, 4) Desires aren't wrong in and of themselves.  In fact, I would argue that desires are God-given.  The desires to eat and sleep are absolutely essential to life.  Other desires aren't essential, but they're ... [Continue Reading]

Your Move (James 4-5)

Come near to God and he will come near to you. (James 4:8a) Your relationship with God is up to you.  If you want to be close to Him, then the only thing stopping that from happening is your willingness to put forth time and effort.  James tells us that if we draw near to Him, then He will draw near to us. Among the twelve disciples, Jesus had three that were closest ... [Continue Reading]

Who Gets The Glory? (Acts 11-12)

They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.”  Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died. (Acts 12:22-23) Any time a leader becomes idolized by the people he or she is leading, that leader finds him or herself in a very dangerous position.  The danger is this: when we praise ... [Continue Reading]

Fighting God (Acts 5-6)

Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone!  Let them go!  For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail.  But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” (Acts 5:38-39) There are people, who with good intentions, end up opposing God.  It’s a scary thought, ... [Continue Reading]

The Clarity of the Crucifixion (John 18-19)

[Joseph of Arimathea] was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night.  Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. (John 19:39) The crucifixion of Jesus brought many things to light and it was a clarifying event in the lives of those who were Jesus' followers.  In fact, it was until after the crucifixion that ... [Continue Reading]

The One Who Overcomes (John 16)

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.” (John 16:16) Back in the 1990s there was a popular slogan: no fear.  I distinctly remember the t-shirts and the bumper stickers storming the culture.  We don't see those too often, anymore, but the slogan is something that ... [Continue Reading]

A Crisis of Faith (Mark 14)

[Peter] began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know this man you’re talking about.” (Mark 14:71) There are moments in time when a crisis of faith comes about, and even people with deep resolve call into question the things they believe.  How does a person like Peter, who promised that he would never leave Jesus' side, somehow come to the point of ... [Continue Reading]

Missing God (Matthew 25)

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.  For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look ... [Continue Reading]

Giving Graciously (Matthew 22; Mark 12)

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.  They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:43-44) It's interesting that Jesus taught more on money that he did on any other topic - including the combined topics of Heaven ... [Continue Reading]