The word ‘religion’ comes from the same Latin root as ‘ligament,’ meaning ‘to bind.’ In this sense, ‘religion’ refers to a system of beliefs and practices that ‘bind’ us to God and other people in a community. That’s obviously a good thing. But there’s another way the word ‘religion’ is used which I think is … Continue reading It’s not You-ianity
Christmas is coming. It’s practically here! Amidst the clatter of Christmas it’s easy to forget why the arrival of Jesus caused such a stir over 2000 years ago. A part of the reason why it was such big news was because he was the long-awaited Jewish “Messiah.” It’s a Hebrew word that means “anointed one.” … Continue reading The math behind Jesus as Messiah
For a few days this week I’m sharing some thoughts about Matthew 24. It’s where Jesus answers a question about when the Jerusalem temple would be torn down, and also when he would return at the “end of the age” (v. 3). In response, he offers various insights about what to expect, including this: “Then … Continue reading Being persecuted for the right (not wrong) reasons
October 31 has become synonymous with Halloween—the day where kids get dressed up, forego the don’t-talk-to-strangers rule, and get a candy buzz that could fly them to the moon. But the date has a greater historical significance. It’s the day when Martin Luther formally began a protest over certain problems in the Church of his … Continue reading October 31 is… Reformation Day?
Okay, let’s be honest. Some people who believe in Christ can fall into a trap: Pretending to be perfect. You’re right: It’s not always true! But it’s sometimes true, isn’t it? Speaking to the believers in Corinth, Paul said, “we are ambassadors for Christ.” (2 Corinthians 5:20). And who doesn’t want to be a good … Continue reading Don’t pretend to be perfect
It’s easy to misunderstand what the Bible means by “love.” In today’s world, we use that word for so many different things. We say we “love” basketball, or we “love” someone’s new outfit, or we “love” the new Avengers movie. In this sense, “love” is just REALLY liking something. It’s like “like” on steroids. But … Continue reading Love by being… loyal
Yesterday I highlighted Acts 2:38 where Peter preached to a huge crowed in Jerusalem and told them this: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Yesterday I talked about repentance. Today I’d … Continue reading The only comfort in life and death
In Acts 2, Peter preaches a sermon about the resurrection to thousands of people. In response they ask, “What shall we do?” “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins,” he replies, “And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (verse … Continue reading The Religion of Self
In his book Eternity is Now in Session, John Ortberg has a helpful illustration that teaches us something about faith in Christ: Let’s say I get married to someone, exchange vows, and pledge to journey with them through life. But what if that night, after the celebration, I ask, “Honey, what is the least I … Continue reading What’s the least I can do in this relationship?
Is it just me or do people seem to be getting harsher? It’s not uncommon to see people lash out at others online, on the news, or even in your own home! That’s why gentleness can seem strangely out of place. And welcome. Gentleness is one of the characteristics God grows in his people. “But … Continue reading Are people getting harsher?