Pursuing Biblical God: reflecting on God, the Bible, his church, and us
They’ll Know We’re Christians By Our Love Followers of Jesus Should Carefully Consider the Message We Send to the World A song from my youth carries the title, which repeats in the chorus, “They’ll know we are Christians by our love.” If you’re not familiar with this song, check out the lyrics or watch a […]
The Egyptians fear the mushrooming population of the enslaved Israelites. They command all the Israelite baby boys be thrown into the Nile River. However, one mother sees something special in her baby and hides him for several months. When she can conceal him no longer, she does indeed put him in the Nile River, but […]
Zachariah Teaches About Shepherds, Their Sheep, and Us To Deserve a Good Shepherd, We Must Be Good Sheep Zachariah isn’t one of the better-known Old Testament prophets, and we don’t often read his book in the Bible, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore it. A reoccurring theme in Zachariah’s writing is a shepherd and […]
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Should Christians Follow Jesus, Be His Disciple, or Go as a Missionary? We Must Choose Labels with Care for They Reflect Our Identity and Our Theology By definition I am a Christian, but I’ve always shied away from that word. It means different things to different people, not all of which are positive. For too […]
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Hannah longs to have children but is childless. Adding to her misery, she’s harassed by everyone around her. Though, she is her husband’s (Elkanah) favorite wife he dismisses her infertility and fails to protect her from verbal assaults from his other wife, Peninnah, who endlessly torments her. Then, when she prays in earnest, Eli, the […]
Why Does God Sometimes Withhold His Blessings from Us? We Must Put God First Before Worrying about Ourselves In the short book of Haggai, the prophet has a message for the people and an application for us today. God, through Haggai, chastises his people. They live in nice homes, while God’s home—the temple—sits in shambles. […]
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The Four Parts of the Great Commission A few weeks ago we looked at Jesus’s final instructions as found in each of the Bible’s four biographies of him. Melding these together, we came up with three steps. First is to follow Jesus, second is to wait for Holy Spirit power, and three is to go […]
Athaliah is an evil woman. She encourages her son, the king, to act wickedly. He does and is soon assassinated. Then Athaliah seizes control and asserts herself as queen. Her lust for power is so great, she kills all the members of the royal family, including her own grandchildren. One baby, however, is rescued by […]
3 Unusual Examples of God’s Healing Power God Uses His People to Heal the Hurting Elisha dies, but his influence lives on. Yes, Elisha continues to teach us today, thousands of years after his death, through the words recorded about him in the Bible. However, he also has a practical effect on someone postmortem. It’s […]
Is Church a Haven for Saints or a Hospital for the Sick? Jesus Didn’t Come for the Righteous but for Sinners As Jesus walks along he sees a tax collector, Levi. He says to Levi, “Follow me.” Levi gets up, leaves everything, and follows Jesus. Then Levi throws a party for his tax-collector friends. Jesus […]
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Women in the Bible: Orpah Orpah Begins a Journey but Then Returns Home Orpah is the widowed daughter-in-law of Naomi and sister-in-law to Ruth. When Naomi decides to return to Judah, her daughters-in-law start out with her, but Naomi releases them. She encourages them to return to their mothers and find new husbands. Though Ruth […]
Elisha Goes All in to Follow Elijah Elisha’s Total Commitment to Follow Elijah Leaves No Option to Go Back After Elijah has a meltdown of sorts, God reassures him that he is not alone and gives him several things to do. One of those tasks is to anoint his successor, Elisha. Elijah finds Elisha plowing […]
Jesus’s Final Instructions as Found in the Four Gospels Consider what Jesus expects of his followers—and us A while ago we looked at the final words in each book of the New Testament. This provides us with interesting information. However, more enlightening is to look at the final words of Jesus in each of the […]
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Women in the Bible: Naomi God Takes Away Naomi’s Bitterness Over Losing Her Husband and Her Sons Naomi means pleasant. She, her husband, and their two sons leave their home country and travel to Moab because of a famine. While in Moab, her husband dies, leaving her a widow. Later both of her sons die, […]
Should We Pray Against Our Enemies or Pray for Them? Some Psalms Ask God to Punish Our Enemies and Those Who Do Evil Many people enjoy reading the Psalms. They appreciate the poetic nature of its words. They find encouragement to persevere and inspiration to strengthen their faith. Many Psalms also lead us into our […]
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The Spirituality of Silence In Today’s Noisy World We Need to Reclaim the Ability to Deeply Listen We live in a noisy world, with too many things vying for our attention. Though we can’t help some of it, much of the noise that permeates our existence is the distractions we create. We can’t stand silence, […]
Women of the Bible: Abigail Abigail is an intelligent and beautiful woman. In contrast, her husband, Nabal, is surly and mean; his servants call him wicked and she confirms his name means fool. Nabal is wealthy, with thousands of livestock. David and his men protect Nabel’s herdsmen and flocks, anticipating he will appreciate their efforts […]
How Do You Handle Disappointment? When God Wants to Give You a Second Chance Make Sure You’re Ready to Receive It You’re probably not familiar with Ahithophel in the Bible. Though his name does show up a few times during the reign of King David, Ahithophel is a largely forgettable character. He is an advisor […]
Don’t Be a Church Shopper Going Church Shopping Turns Spirituality into a Commodity Last week we talked about how to find a perfect church. We gave a simple two-step process. (Check it out.) This is the opposite of what most people do when they look for a church. Most people go church shopping. Yes, I’ve […]
Women in the Bible: Michal Michal marries David, who will later become king; her father is King Saul. Though her story starts out with promise, it ends sadly. David plays a critical role in the success of King Saul and the nation of Israel. Despite this, Saul’s attitude towards David varies greatly, with Saul often […]