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]

Becoming Foolish (1 Corinthians 1-4)

Do not deceive yourselves.  If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise.  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. (1 Corinthians 3:18-19a) There is a foolishness that isn’t foolishness at all.  In fact, it comes as a result of recognizing one’s place in the whole scheme of ... [Continue Reading]

The Trinkets of Christianity (Acts 18:19-19:41)

A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in a lot of business for the craftsmen there.  He called them together, along with the workers in related trades, and said: “You know, my friends, that we receive a good income from this business.  And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in ... [Continue Reading]

Pray for Me, and I’ll Pray For You (2 Thessalonians)

As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. (2 Thessalonians 3:1) When is the last time you prayed for a fellow Christian that the message of the Lord would spread rapidly and be honored?  Personally, I'm convicted by that question.  It's easy to lose sight of our ... [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]

The Wedding Dance (1 Thessalonians 1-2)

We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. (1 Thessalonians 2:4b) The other day I was at my cousin's wedding with my little girl, and she was have a grand time dancing.  I'm not going to lie: it was incredibly hilarious and hideous at the same time.  As a 17-month-old, I'm not sure she'd win any dancing competitions, but she gave it her all.  The ... [Continue Reading]

Building Bridges (Acts 17-18:18)

Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious.  For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god.” (Acts 17:22-23a) How far would you go to help a person understand issues of faith?  I've heard it said by ... [Continue Reading]

The Law of Sowing and Reaping (Galatians 4-6)

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. (Galatians 6:7) Have you ever tried to plant something?  My wife, Kari, has an uncle who is a farmer.  One day we went out reaping the harvest of corn with him in his big farm machinery.  It was pretty fun.  I learned an important but simple lesson: if you plant corn seed then you have corn grow.  ... [Continue Reading]

Get Out of the Way! (Acts 15-16)

“It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.” (Acts 15:19) There has always been a tension in the church between grace and truth.  In reality, such a tension shouldn’t even exist.  Too often we think that we need 50% grace and 50% truth, but Jesus, the embodiment of both, was 100% of each.  He was all grace ... [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]