Real Christians functioning within a real church have a real job description to fill. The main theme of this is the love of others, and we hear plenty about it in the New Testament. In this passage Paul is touching upon it in a very practical way: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. –Philippians 2:3–4 It’s probably smart not to get Paul wrong here or we’ll miss a very important point […]
Living in an achievement-oriented society I suppose it’s inevitable that we would end up in an achievement-oriented church culture. We want (demand) success in our lives, and in our churches. But is this right? Are we trapped in a “feel free to succeed” theology that regards highly successful churches and Christians as the earthly goal of Christ’s body? If so, the mega-church would be the pinnacle of spiritual life since it’s the perfect reflection of today’s corporate world — bigger, higher, and better. What’s missing here? If we were living in some other country — say, North Korea, North Africa, […]
Lies, false witness, denial, slander, scheming, injustice, rejection of truth, hypocrisy—human sin and daily life are played out vividly in the events of Holy Week. I recommend reading Matthew, chapters 26 to 28, either by yourself, together as a family, or with your friends. In Matthew 26:1-5, we read: When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose […]
This free eBook is offered as a prayer guide for the eight days of Holy Week! The booklet takes you from Palm Sunday, and up to Easter. Click here to download your free ebook. Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” –John 11:25–26 Most of us are familiar with the verses above, but think about the last part of the Scripture again—do you believe this? This is the heart of what […]
In the good times and the bad, we're always and totally in God's hands and in his providence. This means that how and where we are born, the place we live, how many years we exist on the earth, the trials we go through, and all the boundaries of our lives are within the mind of God.
If there’s anything in life that awakens us to the fact that we’re not immortal, it’s aging, disintegration, loss of some kind, or the onset of a disability. Clinical depression? Chronic fatigue? Life in a wheelchair? Loss of hair? Wrinkles? Overweight? We can very easily get angry and blame God for allowing such depressing and painful things to happen in our lives. “You could have done something to stop this, or to fix it after it did!” When we hear this kind of thing coming out of our mouths or slipping into our thoughts, we’re faced with a genuine theological […]
Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent with a public act of confession and contrition. Acknowledging that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, we stand in solidarity as fellow creatures before our Creator, acutely aware of our mortality. In the face of our transience, we pledge ourselves anew to live unto God’s Word in Jesus Christ, the eternal Word that remains forever. Historically, Ash Wednesday was a time when penitents were presented for church discipline during Lent, culminating in reconciliation on Maundy Thursday. Ash Wednesday is also the occasion when would-be disciples of Christ known […]