Sheep and goats: our churches are full of both. On the outside, they often look the same, but one day, the “Heart-Knower” will separate the two. The sheep to everlasting glory. The goats to everlasting punishment.
We will all live forever—somewhere! Do you know for certain where you will spend eternity? And what about other people you know? Are there some who profess to be Christians, yet whose lives haven’t changed? Continue reading →
The Old Testament sacrificial system only provided a temporary covering for sin, like making minimum payments on our sin debt. Even though we no longer sacrifice bulls or lambs, many of us live much the same way, thinking a good deed here or showing up at church once in a while will keep the Creditor off our backs. Only to have the interest, the guilt and consequences of sin, pile up. But there is good news … Continue reading →
Most of us know someone whose life has been turned upside down by the sin of adultery. Perhaps that is you. While it is not the unforgivable sin, the effect of adultery is often devastating, affecting our relationships with others, including our children, our finances, and our testimonies. But none of those things is the worst consequence.
If you’re the one who was sinned against you know those things to be true. But what if you’re the one who committed adultery? Or perhaps you’re struggling with the temptation right now? Continue reading →
It’s so easy to let hypocritical attitudes creep into our hearts and allow ourselves to become religious pretenders. We may look good on the outside, but have hearts full of envy, greed, anger, worry, and self-righteousness. In the process, we lose the joy of our salvation and find ourselves just going through the motions of the Christian life. Continue reading →
In Matthew 23, Jesus made some unusual statements: “Do not call anyone on earth your father …” “… he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it.” “Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!” In another passage, He said, “Do not judge, lest you be judged.”
So, are titles wrong? What about oaths? Should we strengthen our commitments by swearing by things bigger than ourselves? And what did Jesus mean when He said, “Do not judge …?”
And in our Old Testament reading, why would God lay out such an elaborate system of laws and regulations? Did those laws limit or enhance freedom? Do they have any connection to our laws today? Continue reading →
The religious leaders of Jesus’ time had come up with so many rules and regulations, many of them man-made, that they needed religious lawyers to interpret them all. Then each rabbi or teacher had his opinion of which were the most important. But when one of those lawyers asked Jesus for His opinion about which laws were the greatest, He basically said, I’ll do you one better, I’ll sum them all up for you!
Also, we are repeatedly warned, even in the New Testament, to avoid idolatry. In fact, we’re warned to flee from it. But giant statues aren’t the only kind of idols. Read about a brand of idolatry with which we may all struggle: idolatry of the heart. Continue reading →
How do you handle difficult people? Do you respond with sinful anger and frustration or do you respond as Moses did? What about parenting a difficult or strong-willed child? Have you looked to God for help or are you struggling to just get through it? Continue reading →
I hope I’m not the only one who falls so easily into the trap of grumbling and complaining. After all, it seems like such a little thing! And, let’s face it, there are plenty of things to gripe about. Yet, in reality, we’re not just complaining about our circumstances or other people, but against our Sovereign God. We’re called to shine the light into a dark world, but it’s hard to be shining when you’re whining! Continue reading →
As January comes to an end and the second month of 2018 begins, many of us will be thinking about the goals and resolutions we made just a few weeks ago. We’ll examine our progress (or lack of it) concerning a new diet, exercise plan or some other goal. And when it comes to our health, we get numerous examinations and tests to ensure we stay as healthy as we can. When we go to school, we take examinations to test our proficiency in those subjects. But how many of us take time to examine our spiritual lives? Learn about a helpful tool for checking your spiritual health. Continue reading →