The Comfort Found Only in the Church

When we have friendships in the church, we receive comfort and encouragement we can’t get anywhere else.

Based on this truth, the comfort we give to one another in the church isn’t the “you can do it” and “everything will be okay” comfort of the world. No, this comfort is honest about sin and its effects. It doesn’t sugarcoat or wish things away. Instead, it seeks hope and help outside of our... Continue Reading

The New View of Heaven Is Too Small

Our recent emphasis on “kingdom work” misses the real hope of the afterlife.

Heaven and earth will come together as Christ’s kingship is recognized by all creation. Moreover, we should embrace “the kingdom work” that calls us, as the revised song states. Yet, I also sense that we impoverish our hope for heaven when we turn it into an expression of our current activist emphasis upon “kingdom work.”... Continue Reading

Trusting God in the Face of Tragedy

We are called to live by faith, to trust God when we can’t see how it all works together for good.

Faith is all about trusting God when we don’t see the whole picture. When we don’t have all the answers – or any answers. When we don’t understand what God is doing. When we can’t even begin to imagine how something as horrific as this could possibly lead to the good of those who love... Continue Reading

It’s Just the Way I Am?

A Peace Treaty with Sin?

Instead of warring against the sinful passions of their own flesh, a person who believes that it’s possible to be a “carnal Christian” begins to think, “Well, I just have a temper [or insert any besetting sin here]. That’s just the way it is, and I can’t do anything about it.” In this same vein,... Continue Reading

A Liberating Theology?

As with Liberation Theology, Black Liberation Theology begins with the experience of oppression at the hands of oppressors and seeks to find liberation from it.

Liberation Theology seems to reinforce a victimology that perpetuates their oppression. It fails to deal with real personal sin while shifting blame to other corporate entities. It militates against true reconciliation. It can be argued that Liberation Theology has a deep compassion for the hurting, the marginalized, the poor, and the oppressed. But Liberation Theology... Continue Reading

Treasure in Earthen Vessels

A Christian is an earthen vessel whose weaknesses work to showcase the glory of the One who indwells him or her.

The question is not whether a believer will face difficulties and experience human weakness. The question is when. Will you trust that in those moments Christ is just as strong, just as glorious, just as much your Lord, life and Savior as He ever has been? Because He indwells every believer, and indwells you whose... Continue Reading

Heavenly Stepping-Stones

How do we prepare for the day of judgment as we worship on a Sunday morning?

Have you ever noticed in reading the Gospels that Jesus appeared to be most active on the Sabbath day? In addition to preaching, He performed numerous works of healing on this day. The list of Sabbath healings includes the man with the withered hand, the demon-possessed man in Capernaum, the woman bent double for eighteen... Continue Reading

The Slow Miracle of the Lord’s Day

Have patience in the work of Sabbath observance—in your own heart and in the response of the congregation.

This reorienting perspective becomes an antidote for spiritual thrill-seeking and an assurance that the tried and true ways are still the best. Instead of looking for spiritual highs, we can rest in the surety of God’s promises—even when we do not feel like it. In addition, we are also kept from over-intellectualizing worship as we... Continue Reading

Four Reasons to Remember Your Creator in Youth

It’s not too late to remember Him, before these evil days come even nearer.

Why do far more of us become Christians in our youth than in our middle or old age? It’s because youthful years are sensitive years. Without giving up our belief in “Total Depravity” we can say that it’s “easier” to believe and repent when we are younger. It’s never easy, but it’s easier. And it’s... Continue Reading

Reflections on Hebrews and James: The New Testament teaches us how to read the Old

Hebrews and James are rich in instructions that open up the purpose and meaning of the Books of Moses.

What if the Epistle to the Hebrews were not in our Bibles? Hebrews makes a unique contribution to our understanding of the purpose and meaning of the Old Testament law. In Hebrews, we learn how the Aaronic priesthood and the tabernacle and sacrifices were all given to point the Jews (and everyone else) to Jesus... Continue Reading