Pursuing Biblical God: Reflecting on God, the Bible, His Church, and Us
What Are Spiritual Gifts? God Equips Us to Grow His Kingdom The Bible talks about “gifts of the Spirit,” which we commonly call spiritual gifts (not to be confused with spiritual disciplines). Paul teaches about spiritual gifts extensively in his first letter to the church in Corinth. Here’s what we can learn from him. They […]
The Wise Woman From Tekoa Influences a King Joab seeks an object lesson for King David to encourage him to reconcile with his estranged son, Absalom. Joab sends for a wise woman from Tekoa and coaches her what to say to the king. The story she skillfully shares with the king—of how one son killed […]
Are Seraphim the Same as Angels? Quick, are seraphim angels? Until recently I would have said “yes” without hesitation. That’s what I was taught. However, after researching for the post Holy, Holy, Holy, I’ve reached a different conclusion. First, the dictionary says seraphim are “celestial beings.” Celestial implies heaven or the divine (God). I equate […]
What Will We Promise God When We’re in a Crisis? Will We Follow Through When the Pressure’s Off? God’s chosen people toil as slaves in Egypt. He tasks Moses with getting them out. So far things aren’t going so well. God has sent seven plagues to get the Pharaoh’s attention, without achieving the people’s release. […]
What About Spending Time with Christians Who Believe Like Us? Hanging Out with Those Who Share Our Beliefs May Be Comfortable, But It Isn’t Good In the post “Can You Be a ______ and Still Be a Christian?” we discussed our tendency to judge other Christians and evaluate their faith through the lens of our […]
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Epaphras Wrestles in Prayer The letter to Philemon ends with a list of supporting players who send their greetings and implicitly endorse Paul’s missive of reconciliation. First up is Epaphras, who by being singled out, stands alone in noteworthy acclaim. Simply and succinctly, Paul notes that Epaphras is “my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus.” The […]
Dear Theophilus, Isaiah: 40 Prophetic Insights about Jesus, Justice, and Gentiles Isaiah was an awesome prophet, but do you sometimes struggle to understand what he wrote? End your frustration. Read Dear Theophilus, Isaiah for accessible, practical, no-nonsense insights into God’s most prolific prophet. Then connect his words to our world today. Discover what Isaiah says […]
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With God’s Help Joseph Can Interpret Dreams God Reveals the Meaning of Dreams to Joseph Joseph (son of Jacob, in the Old Testament) is in a world of hurt. His life has spiraled downward. The favorite son of his father, his jealous brothers stoop to selling him as a slave to some passing traders. Joseph […]
Can You Be a ______ and Still Be a Christian? We Must Be Careful Not to Judge Others Based on Who We Are or What We Do Over the years I’ve heard many people wonder out loud about the validity of another Christian’s faith based on what they do or some aspect of their life. […]
Why I’m Against Seminary Training The first time someone said this to me, I was both excited and dismayed: “God’s calling me to full-time ministry—so I’m going to seminary.” Though I’ve now heard it many times since, my reaction is the same to the thought of seminary training. I’m thrilled whenever anyone desires to work […]
What Can Ten Righteous People Do? The Bible includes the account of Abraham discussing the future of Sodom with God. Abraham is torn, he knows the city is corrupt and warrants punishment, but he also carries concern for his nephew Lot who lives there. In a series of bold moves, Abraham asks God if he’ll […]
God’s Lost and Found: Our Heavenly Father Watches and Waits for Us The Parable of the Lost Son Shows God’s Unconditional Love Jesus teaches us of his Father’s unconditional love in a parable. Some people call this story “The Prodigal Son,” but calling it “The Lost Son” is more accurate (Luke 15:11-32). In this allegory […]
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What Did the First Church Do? Just days after Pentecost, the people who follow Jesus begin to hang out. This is the first church. What did they do? Luke records four key things: They learn about Jesus (think of this as a new believer’s class; after all, they were all new believers). They spend time […]
The Origin of Purim Early each spring our Jewish friends celebrate Purim. The origin of Purim is found in the book of Esther, which is a beautiful and moving story: In a rags to riches manner, Esther was whisked from obscurity to become queen. From her new position of access and influence, she was able […]
Dear Theophilus, Acts: 40 Devotional Insights for Today’s Church Does your church function like the early church in Acts? Doubt it. Yes, you may see snippets of similarities, but if you look closely, you’ll find huge gaps. Don’t believe me? Consider the early church’s astronomical growth. Does your church experience that? When was the last […]
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Does God Receive Our Actions as a Memorial Offering? Cornelius is a commander in the Roman army; he’s also a man of faith, who prays often and gives to the poor. One day, during his afternoon prayers, he has a vision. An angel appears to him and says that God has received his prayers and […]
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We Must Avoid the Love of Money How We View and Handle Money Matters to God—and to Us Paul writes to his protégé Timothy, warning him that the love of money is the source of all manner of evil. An unhealthy preoccupation with wealth is especially risky for followers of Jesus, for their pursuit of […]
Who Was Supposed to Build God’s Temple? Nathan’s Prophetic Words May Carry a Double Meaning Once King David has his kingdom established, he wants to build the temple for God and tells the prophet Nathan. Nathan gives him his blessing to proceed, but later God gives Nathan a different message. Nathan returns to David and […]
The 52 Churches Workbook: Becoming a Spiritual Community that Matters What would you learn if you visited 52 churches? How might that change the way you treated visitors at your church? You don’t need to go to a boatload of churches. Peter already has. The 52 Churches Workbook is the perfect tool to gain valuable […]
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The Early Church Had a Great Reputation. What Happened? In the Bible, Dr. Luke notes that the gathering of folks who follow Jesus (aka, the church) enjoy the goodwill of all the people. In another place he records that all the people have a high regard for the church. They had a great reputation. Perhaps […]
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