Writing to a wide audience in the first century, James highlighted some very important elements in our faith if it is to be “pure and faultless.” Among other things, Jesus’ followers should keep themselves “from being polluted by the world.” Bible scholar N.T. Wright translates that phrase like this: “prevent the world leaving its dirty … Continue reading Polluted by the world?
There are things that shape us—that contribute to the molding of our minds and hearts. Our relationships, society, and country all play a part in this formative process. Messages are coming at us on an hourly basis about what is right or wrong, or good or bad, or attractive or ugly, or valuable or insignificant, … Continue reading If you don’t proactively shape who you are…
Speaking to his fellow disciples, Peter wrote: “you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). They are chosen, royal, holy and special. Why? So that they can “declare … Continue reading Wild goose or tame geese?
In Matthew 24, Jesus answers a question from his disciples about when the Jerusalem temple would be torn down, and also when he would return one day in glory at the “end of the age” (v. 3). In response, he offers various insights about things that are going to take place, including this: “Because lawlessness … Continue reading The darker it gets
In today’s modern society we can control more and more things in the quest for convenience and comfort. We can control the temperature in our homes, sometimes even from a distance. We have access to medicines that people would have died for a century ago. We can make headaches go away with a single pill. … Continue reading God is God. You are you.
Lately I’ve been thinking about invisible robbers who steal your contentment. The latest one tries to convince you to put too much stock in (a) comparing yourself to others (in person or online), and (b) the judgments and criticisms of others. Is it just me, or did hundreds of you just nod your heads in … Continue reading Constant comparisons and negative criticisms
I get the opportunity to interact with people who aren’t totally sure about Jesus yet. Sometimes these interactions are online, and sometimes they’re in person. One of the stumbling blocks people identify is that the Bible seems to advocate teachings that are “behind the times” or “morally regressive.” And that makes them uncomfortable. I appreciate … Continue reading Behind the times?
Life can be chaotic. And volatile. And hard. That’s why friendship is so important. Christian ethicist Lewis Smedes wrote an article about the power of making a promise. He says that when you make a promise to someone, “You have created a small sanctuary of trust within the jungle of unpredictability.” I think that’s great … Continue reading Trust in the jungle of unpredictability
James 4:4 (CSB) says: “Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God?” Let’s think about that much-neglected passage for a moment. First, “friendship with the world” means just thoughtlessly approving and going along with the values of the society around us. Second, James teaches that when we do that, we are … Continue reading Drinking Culture’s Kool-Aid?
The Holy Spirit is one of the three persons of the Trinity. And when you become a follower of Christ, the Holy Spirit dwells within you. But we can easily lose sight of the word “HOLY.” With each passing year in our society, the idea of something being “holy” seems more and more strange. But that’s … Continue reading In a world of pride and vulgarity