Jesus was without doubt the best teacher of all time. Two prominent techniques the Master used included asking questions and telling stories. When telling stories, Jesus always tied them into the culture of His time. When we read the stories He told, that is the parables by which He taught, we often miss the point of the parable.
First, we need to think about what a parable is. A parable is a story with two levels of meaning, where certain details in the story represent something else. Our task is to determine how many details in the story should stand for other ...
I have been pondering Matt. 5:16 this week. It reads, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” This is an important verse and many of us have memorized it. But, do we often consider what it means to us as saints of Christ. “Saints” is an interesting concept. All who trust in Christ alone for salvation are called saints in the Bible. Perhaps a short story will help us understand, from a child’s perspective, what a saint is.
A young boy went with his parents touring around Europe one summer. ...
The Great Commission (Matt 28:19-20) consists of evangelism and discipleship. We may not be gifted in both of these areas, but we are directed to do both. Evangelism seems to be the tougher of these two components for us to obey. That’s because evangelism is scary. Our fear to speak to others about the saving grace of God through Christ is often seen by the unsaved would as shame. Yet, we should not be ashamed of the gospel of Christ (Rom 1:18); rather, we should understand that apart from faith there is no way for anyone to come to Christ (Rom 3:28).
Now here is the ...
When we trust in Christ, we begin a great journey. This journey is not always easy, but the outcome is certainly life-changing. I was looking at Titus 1:1-3 recently. The passage reads:
Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior… (NKJV)
The church is the assembly of all people past, present, and future under the headship of Jesus Christ (Eph 1:22-23). It consists of the:
The universal church—all believers in heaven or on earth;
The visible church—local congregations of close acquaintance; and
The local church—the particular assembly of the individual.
The church came into existence when the Holy Spirit was given on the Day of Pentecost (Act 4:1-4). The church is both an organism (“the body of Christ” or the “bride of Christ”) and an organization (“the temple of God” or ...
The more I watch television, the more I am aware that our country is rapidly turning away from the God of the Bible. As a result, sin is rampant in our culture. I found myself looking for those responsible—someone to blame. Should we blame greedy executives? Perhaps we should blame the abortionists. What about the illegal immigrants flooding over our borders? How could I forget that we should be blaming the socialists and progressives. Whose name can we accuse regarding the mess in which we find ourselves? But wait! That isn’t the problem at all.
The real ...
Last week I defined worship as my attitude that God is worthy to receive glory and honor from me. Our view toward God has been steadily eroding. In 1957, A. W. Tozer was concerned about the downgrading of God to a familiar and almost wimpy position. Our view of the power and authority of God has continued on this downward path to the point today where we have lost the very desire to truly worship God. But there are a number of barriers that we face which keep us from our worship of God.
Peter serves as an example of how we lose our desire to worship. Peter’s ...
Have you ever thought about what worship is all about? Certainly, we have impressions of what worship is but we are often confused about what true worship is all about. For many of use, we have been seduced by the myths of worship. For example, we may think worship is the fuzzy feeling we get when the music of the church service is done right. We want to be moved; we want to have a feeling. But this is wrong. Worship is a choice and we must make that choice to worship God constantly throughout our lives.
Another myth of worship is that worship is a place we go to on ...
Why is God allowing this to happen to me?
If we are totally honest with ourselves, we know that sometimes the events of life conflict with our faith. We end up asking questions. Why is God allowing this to happen to me? If God really loved me, why would he allow these hard and horrible things to happen? Why doesn’t God fix my current problems?
These are questions we all ask and at times there are no good answers. Perhaps we can learn from the life of David. He asked many of these same questions so we can examine his life and actions to help us determine how we should ...
The book of Genesis is the foundational roots for the rest of the Bible and the development of Christianity. Among the several groundbreaking Biblical themes that begin in Genesis, perhaps none is as important as the foreshadowing of God’s plan of redemption (Gen 5-9, 10-11, 22, and 39-50).
Much of what we learn about redemption is found in the life of Joseph (Gen 39-50). Joseph was an incredible man. Joseph was only 17-years-old when his brothers betrayed him and sold him for the price of a slave (Gen 37:12-36). His brothers originally planned to kill him, but ...