How Jesus’ followers understood God’s heart for the world [and so should we] – Relationships: with the world, Part 3

In the previous post, we learned that God instilled in the ancient nation of Israel his heart for the foreigner, the immigrant, the stranger. What find as we move from the Old Testament to the New Testament is that God himself, in the person of Christ, took on humanity, was born, lived, died, and roseContinue reading “How Jesus’ followers understood God’s heart for the world [and so should we] – Relationships: with the world, Part 3”

The model for healthy church families – Relationships: In the Church, Part 3

In Acts 2:42-27, we read about the marks of church family relationships.  First, the earliest Christians were devoted to the Apostle’s teaching.  This is the beauty of having the apostles’ teachings preserved in Scripture.  Church family relationships are guided by the teaching of the Bible.  We, too, even though we live 2000 years later, canContinue reading “The model for healthy church families – Relationships: In the Church, Part 3”

The surprising beginning of the first church family – Relationships: In a church, Part 1

Calling the people in a local church congregation a “family” is pretty normal in Christian circles.  In fact one of the most common ways that the New Testament writers refer to the people in a church congregation is by using the terms “brothers” and “sisters”.   We are siblings in Christ. I wonder if that soundsContinue reading “The surprising beginning of the first church family – Relationships: In a church, Part 1”

The filling of the Spirit – Ezekiel 37:1-14, Part 4

Nearly 600 years after the time of Ezekiel, Jesus taught his disciples about the soon-coming Spirit of God.  In John 14, after telling his disciples that he was going to leave them, he promised that God would send another counselor to be with them, the Spirit of truth.  Jesus said in John 14:17 that thoughContinue reading “The filling of the Spirit – Ezekiel 37:1-14, Part 4”

Does the Apostle Paul make a grave mistake when telling his story? – Acts 22-23, Part 3

I wonder if the Apostle Paul made a big mistake. I say that hesitantly, cautiously, only speculating, but as I read what he says to his fellow Jews one day in Jerusalem, I can’t help but think, “Paul, that is a really bad move.” What did he say? As I mentioned in the previous post,Continue reading “Does the Apostle Paul make a grave mistake when telling his story? – Acts 22-23, Part 3”

What my old sofa taught me about story-telling – Acts 22-23, Part 1

Last week our family got a new sofa for our living room.  So Michelle and I carried the old sofa out to our front lawn and put a “Free” sign on it. We were hoping someone could use it, and also save us the trouble and expense of discarding it.  We watched what appeared toContinue reading “What my old sofa taught me about story-telling – Acts 22-23, Part 1”

Let your freedom be ruled by love – Acts 21, Part 5

A man and his family went to church recently. This man and his family are healthy people, and believed that they do not need to wear masks. I’m writing this in July 2020 as coronavirus cases in the USA just exceeded 4 million, and many states are requiring the wearing of masks in public placesContinue reading “Let your freedom be ruled by love – Acts 21, Part 5”

Can we know if we are truly committed to Christ and his mission? – Acts 21, Part 2

Would you die for Jesus? That’s a pretty intense question, isn’t it? What does it mean to be committed to Jesus? Even if in our lifetime we’re never faced with death for the cause of Christ, what does it mean to have the attitude and intention that we would be that committed to him? HowContinue reading “Can we know if we are truly committed to Christ and his mission? – Acts 21, Part 2”

Is it true that, “when Christ calls us, he bids us come and die”? – Acts 21, Part 1

I recently watched a few episodes of Netflix’s series Greatest Events of World War 2 in Color.  The series is actual footage from World War 2, but the footage, which was originally in black and white, has been colorized.  If you’ve ever watched black and white newsreel of events in World War 2 it canContinue reading “Is it true that, “when Christ calls us, he bids us come and die”? – Acts 21, Part 1″

Which is better: giving or receiving? – Acts 20, Part 5

As we come to the conclusion of Paul’s ministry training buffet in Acts 20, verse 32 is a kind of prayer of commissioning in which Paul commits the Ephesian elders: “To God and to the word of his grace.” For a Christian to say to other Christians, “I commit you to God,” is fairly expected.Continue reading “Which is better: giving or receiving? – Acts 20, Part 5”