John 3.30 summarizes the Christian life: He must become greater; I must become less.
John the Baptist makes simple both the process and the goal of the Christian life: Jesus must become increasingly clearer to us, in us and through us and we must become increasingly less proud, selfish and self-serving. John arrived at this conclusion because he saw himself as a servant of God.
Our occupation is the redemption of the world to God through Jesus Christ regardless of our vocation. Our vocation funds our occupation but the Christian life is simply being occupied with the work of seeing God’s kingdom come to earth as it is in heaven. (more…)
2 Peter 1.10 exhorts us to make every effort to confirm our calling and election.
Most evangelical Christians define a person’s salvation by whether or not they believe they are going to heaven if they were to die today.
The answer they are looking for is the confession that the person invited Jesus into their lives to forgive their sins and believe His promise to receive them into His heaven forgiven because of His gracious pardon obtained through His shed blood. Satisfied they believe a person is saved because they made the proper confession they move on never to think again about this salvation we or they supposedly obtain. (more…)
1 Peter 5.8warns be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
The Bible tells the story of God and His work in the world. In that story is an enemy, one who wishes to be like God but cannot since he too is created and not the Creator. His frustration results in his attack upon creation, particularly humanity, that part of creation the Creator made in His own image and which He most loves.
This enemy of God is a liar and deceiver, inviting people into beliefs and actions that promise them benefit but always bring remorse. The enemy of God is an integral part of the story for his role allows humanity to reveal their free will to love God on their own. (more…)
Psalm 68.19 declares, praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, Who daily bears our burdens. God bears our burdens.
Does that really make any sense? No other religion other than Christianity makes such a claim.
Surely allah doesn’t bear anyone’s burdens. Most gods place burdens on humanity forcing us to get better by their impossible demands.
Our idols have the same burdensome propensity. We beat ourselves because we are not strong enough, smart enough, rich enough or pretty enough so we keep working trying to pacify that voice in our head that is never satisfied. (more…)
Isaiah 6.13 comments , though a tenth remains in the land, it will again be laid waste. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land.
The Old Testament is a story of man’s continual rebellion against God demonstrated by injustice to one another followed by discipline from the Lord Who withholds His severest rage because He is deeply in love with His people and longs to demonstrate mercy and grace. (more…)
Hebrews 10.17proclaims their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.
What if seeing God for the first time really was a welcome home party, sort of like when your parents welcome you home after having not seen you for months? What if God really did treat us like He knew nothing of our faults or failures?
How would truly believing these things transform our behavior now? Wouldn’t we begin to treat God like we do that person in our life who just loves us for who we are and cares nothing about our performance?
That is the kind of promise God makes to us; to welcome us into heaven as though we had lived a perfect life having never ever done anything wrong. (more…)
Isaiah 1.13 commands, Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me….I cannot bear your worthless assemblies.
The problem with the One True God is that He is not fooled by religion.
Religion is to be a means by which we express our love and worship toward God. Religion is not God, neither does it’s rituals please God, unless the life of the one performing the ritual is consistent in living a life pleasing to God.
We just finished the season of Lent where many Christians perform the duty of sacrifice in an effort to identify with Him Who sacrificed His life for humanity. I am always amazed how we equate giving up chocolate or beer with Jesus’ death on the Cross for sin. The disconnect seems pretty extreme to me. Is this even something God wants or expects from us? (more…)
Psalm 40.8declares, I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.
Most of us who claim to be seekers of God want to please Him, the breakdown occurs in determining what it takes to please God. It seems only fair that if there is indeed a God that He would make clear what He requires from us.
Fortunately, that is exactly why God had His thoughts, words and deeds recorded and preserved in a book. In this way, all peoples for all time in all languages could know what the One True God requires of us. (more…)