What’s really going on when you sing worship songs (and why it might be making God sad) – Ecclesiastes 5:1-7, Part 3

We Christians give a lot of time in our worship services to singing songs, don’t we? How many songs does your church sing each week? At Faith Church we typically sing four songs, which are a mixture of traditional hymns and modern praise songs. What are we doing when we sing those songs? It mightContinue reading “What’s really going on when you sing worship songs (and why it might be making God sad) – Ecclesiastes 5:1-7, Part 3”

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”

If you lie, you’ll die? – Acts 5-6:7, Part 3

Do you think the title of this post sounds harsh? I think it sounds very harsh. That’s why I put a question mark at the end of the title. But what does it refer to? If you lie, you die? It refers to the next section of Acts that we’re studying. So far this week,Continue reading “If you lie, you’ll die? – Acts 5-6:7, Part 3”

How the earliest Christians eradicated poverty – Acts 5-6:7, Part 2

Wouldn’t it be amazing if no one was poor? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone had enough? The first Christians found a way to get there! Let’s look at what they did, and perhaps we can make strides to eradicating poverty in our communities. To do that we need to move on to the secondContinue reading “How the earliest Christians eradicated poverty – Acts 5-6:7, Part 2”

False Ideas Christians Believe About…Money

Today, as we continue our series on False Ideas that Christians believe, we are fact-checking statements about money and generosity. You can’t out-give God. Give and you will receive. It’s my money; I worked hard for it. Money is the root of all evil. Let’s start with… On the surface, this one is true.  GodContinue reading “False Ideas Christians Believe About…Money”

God doesn’t expect that much from me? [False ideas Christians believe about…God’s desires for Christians. Part 5]

How much does God expect from us, really? It is very tempting to think, “God does not expect that much from me,”  when you know you are so thoroughly loved by God, so thoroughly forgiven, and in fact rightfully believing that there is nothing you can do to earn your salvation. We can almost theologicallyContinue reading “God doesn’t expect that much from me? [False ideas Christians believe about…God’s desires for Christians. Part 5]”

God’s surprising views on justice

Last year we started studying the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy.  Then I went on sabbatical. We had covered the first nine chapters of Deuteronomy. Now we’re heading back in!  For the most part, though, we’re going to study Deuteronomy differently than we did last year.  Last year we went chapter by chapter, verse byContinue reading “God’s surprising views on justice”

Two surprising ways to respond to suffering

Being surprised or scared can be a horrible feeling right?  Even when the surprise is a good surprise, there are some people that hate to be surprised!  Do you know anyone who makes you promise that you will not throw them a surprise birthday party?  Why? When you are in a groove, a routine, andContinue reading “Two surprising ways to respond to suffering”

When Jesus was people-watching and taught his disciples how to be generous

I love people-watching.  When I was in college, I took a class in which one of our assignments was to go to a place where lots of people walk by and we had to people-watch. While we were watching them, we were to pray that God would give us a heart for people.  I neverContinue reading “When Jesus was people-watching and taught his disciples how to be generous”

What the Bible teaches about how much you should give (or How to beat donor fatigue in a world that asks a lot)

Donor fatigue is real. Do you feel it?  Are you tired of all the people and organizations asking you to support them?  Last week I introduced the issue of donor fatigue by saying that in our culture, where money is tight for so many, it can be hard to be generous.  When all of theContinue reading “What the Bible teaches about how much you should give (or How to beat donor fatigue in a world that asks a lot)”