In preparation for Good Friday, I have been looking over the readings for the Tenebrae service. The first reading is from Psalm 2. It is a psalm that in its historical context referred to the rightful Davidic king of Israel, but has been seen throughout history as referring to the Messiah. To some it seems out of place on Good Friday, with its insistence on the right of Go...Keep Reading
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These verses contain two of Jesus’s last seven sayings as He hung on the cross. They are the shortest of the sayings, consisting of only five words combined (and only two words total in the original Greek). But do not mistake the brevity of these sayings with having a shallow meaning. Rather these two words from Christ have profound meaning and implications....
On the cross, suffering for the sins of the others, Jesus never forgot his mission. He came to fulfill the promise that had been given to Adam and Eve in the garden (Genesis 3:15), the words that had been given to the prophets, and the hope that had been in the hearts of God’s people. Jesus, speaking to Zacchaeus, spoke clearly about his Father-mandated mission, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10)....
Our Lord’s words here tell a precious promise. A guilty, crucified criminal is heading to Paradise. The same day he’s punished for his crimes, he’s promised by his Creator to be in glory. How did such a drastic change of destinations come about for this thief? Why did Jesus say what he did?...
In preparation for Good Friday, I have been looking over the readings for the Tenebrae service. The first reading is from Psalm 2. It is a psalm that in its historical context referred to the rightful Davidic king of Israel, but has been seen throughout history as referring to the Messiah. To some it seems out of place on Good Friday, with its insistence on the right of God’s Anointed One to rule and the ultimate pronouncement of judgment on those who reject His authority. Yet in a way it is a reminder of why Jesus, the Messiah, had to come and to give Himself as the sacrifice for the sins of humanity. I see three ways the psalmist reminds us of our need and God’s provision....
We see over and over how people or symbols in the Old Testament point to a greater fulfillment in Christ. Some person or object in the Old Testament imperfectly exhibits a characteristic, office, or function that foreshadows its perfect realization in Jesus. For instance, the first created man, Adam, was always pointing to the last Adam, who is Christ (1 Corinthians 15:45-49; Romans 5:12-21). David, the great king of Israel, was always pointing to the eternal King Jesus (Revelation 17:14; 1 Timothy 6:13-15). The high priests in the Old Testament were pointing to the great high priest, who offers up one sacrifice for the sins of the world (Hebrews 4:14-16; Hebrews 10:11-14). The Passover lamb sacrificed in order to deliver the Israelites from bondage in Egypt was always pointing to Jesus, the Lamb of God, who would be sacrificed to free God’s people from their bondage to sin (John 1:29)....
We are motivated by what we love; we are driven by what we believe is valuable. As has been said often, if you want to know what someone loves, see how they use their time. Let’s take this same principle and press it into the individual a few steps deeper. Rather than looking at how we spend our time, let us instead consider our thoughts. Our minds tell the story of how we view the world, and it is within our thoughts that the true condition of our hearts is on full display. Unfortunately, we take little time to make an effort to reign in our thoughts. Too often we let them run free because they are hidden, invisible to the world, and free from judgment. This is an abomination to our God who has rescued us from bondage (Romans 6), including the bondage of our thoughts. Indeed, Scripture repeatedly calls on us to be intentional with our thoughts. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable...
Psalm 91 promises, “He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.” (Psalm 91:4-6) This is God promise. It’s true. Yet pestilence and disease do come. Even to Christians. Such as right now. How then do we answer this? Is the promise void?...
In times like these, people may question everything they thought was true. Our world is turned upside-down. Things we took for granted are no longer available, our daily routine is restricted, and the future is so uncertain we’re not even sure how worried we ought to be. When our world is this crazy, it can be tempting to question where God is in all of this....
Our circumstances are far different from what they were two weeks ago. Everything is canceled and closed. Required social distancing. Increased restrictions. Mandatory self-isolation. Our world has been turned upside down. If you polled people and asked them, “How are you feeling?”, you can imagine what the most common answers would be. Anxiety. Fear. Worry. Boredom. Loneliness. Antsy. Uneasiness with the unknown. Depressed. Would you be surprised if some answered...joy?...
Most of us have grown accustomed to a world that has readily offered an incredible variety of options to chase. I certainly don’t mean that we have all had equal opportunities. More accurately stated, the world has always provided many things to which we could give our time, money, talents, and attention—our worship. While some of these are undoubtedly sinful pursuits, many, if not most, of them are neutral. They are neither good nor bad, just options that we can choose. But don’t miss this point: the choice that is neutral becomes sinful when we let it become central. Our hearts are revealed by what takes priority, what we enjoy most, and what we give ourselves to most—what becomes central....
You could look back at this coronavirus season as one of the times where you grew exponentially in Christ. Or not. We each have the opportunity years from now to remember this season...
Our nation and our world are in a state of panic right now. The COVID-19 virus has had long-reaching and devastating effects not only on the health of people but on the economic well-being of billions. People are uncertain about their future, frightened of a potentially deadly disease, and seeking any answers they can find to the question of what their future holds. In our own nation, many people have had their lives turned upside-down with the restrictions and cautions of government and health officials....
Almost everyone is working from home, schools are closed, nearly everything is shut down, sporting events are canceled, events and gatherings are postponed, and now a statewide curfew of 8PM is in place (which is earlier than what we would impose on teens), so we should have more time to pray than ever....
America is in the midst of a crisis unlike anything most of us have ever seen in our lifetime. And, as a result, we have an opportunity for the Gospel of Jesus Christ to shine in our homes and throughout our community. While the world buys the panic and fear that coronavirus offers in abundance, the Church, and each family, can instead bring glory to God by reflecting the peace and hope that he gives to his people (Phil. 4:6-7)....
Coronavirus is spreading fast. Schools are being shut down. Events have been cancelled. And governments all over the globe are buckling down in an attempt to halt the pandemic. How are we as Christians to respond? While God’s world seems to be in panic, how are God’s people to act?...
In times like these, people may question everything they thought was true. Our world is turned upside-down. Things we took for granted are no longer available, our daily routine is restricted, and the future is so uncertain we’re not even sure how worried we ought to be. When our world is this crazy, it can be tempting to question where God is in all of this....Keep Reading
Our nation and our world are in a state of panic right now. The COVID-19 virus has had long-reaching and devastating effects not only on the health of people but on the economic well-being of billions. People are uncertain about their future, frightened of a potentially deadly disease, and seeking any answers they can find to the question of what their future holds. In our...Keep Reading
A final encouragement to continue to spend time with the Lord every day...Keep Reading
Our attitude matters when we serve the Lord...Keep Reading
Why don't our churches impact our society more for Jesus?...Keep Reading
The need for endurance in serving the Lord...Keep Reading
Standing for Jesus in the middle of pressure to stand for ourselves...Keep Reading
How we should handle the mockery of an unbelieving world...Keep Reading
What happens when "ants" work together?...Keep Reading
How doing good shows the world and ourselves that we are new in Christ...Keep Reading
Choosing servants in the church while maintaining unity...Keep Reading
Our attitude toward our works makes a difference....Keep Reading
Does Jesus imply that we can earn our way into heaven?...Keep Reading
Does obedience to the Lord make religious observances unnecessary?...Keep Reading
Is it always wrong to receive praise from people when serving God?...Keep Reading
Showing compassion to the poor is part of our service to the Lord...Keep Reading
How Micah helps us summarize the Christian life- if we're careful....Keep Reading
Where is our faith when it comes to giving to the Lord?...Keep Reading
Another perspective on why we serve the Lord...Keep Reading
The purpose for Christian service, as outlined by Paul in 1 Corinthians 12...Keep Reading
Why do we serve the Lord? More importantly, why do YOU serve the Lord?...Keep Reading
To discern the will of God, a change of thinking is needed....Keep Reading
Correction to Scripture passage for 30 Days in the Bible, Day 9...Keep Reading
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God's intention for us to work together here on earth...Keep Reading
What Joshua's interaction with the Lord teaches us about the origin of the Bible...Keep Reading
Peter's statement on the inspiration of Scripture, and what it means for us today....Keep Reading
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How should we live in the midst of our sinful, challenging world? Peter's instructions to his readers apply just as powerfully to us today. ...Keep Reading