Around 2,000 years ago, Jesus of Nazareth walked up to 12 very different men and said, “follow me.” Can you imagine being one of those men? Continue reading “What is a disciple?”
I was reading in a daily devotional book[i] and I wanted to share the main thoughts with you. It was titled: Risk: Oversold and Underplayed. It challenges a comfortable faith that isn’t willing to risk too much for Jesus. Continue reading “Risk: Oversold and Underplayed.”
The book of Hosea is the first of the 12 minor prophets and was likely written during the 8th century B.C. just before the Assyrian invades. His work and prophecies focused almost entirely on the northern kingdom of Israel during its final years of existence. His ministry lasted some 34 years and it is noteworthy that Hosea is the only prophet to live and preach solely to the Northern Kingdom. Continue reading “Hosea: God wants something more.”
The book of the Kings continues the story from the books of Samuel and is intended to be read as a continuous story. In the Hebrew Bible, the book of kings is a single book with a great message. Within its pages, we read about the death of King David, the reign and death of Solomon, the building of the Temple, and the eventual division of the kingdom. Continue reading “1 & 2 Kings A story about the consequences of unfaithfulness.”
The main thrust of the story of Second Samuel was covered in our last article on first Samuel. I didn’t realize that I had titled it wrong until I began preparing for today’s article. It should have read “1 & 2 Samuel: a story about the dangers of desire.”
Despite that, I still want to cover some things that I didn’t get to mention in our last article. I want to talk about a couple big lessons learned in Second Samuel. Every book contains great lessons to learn about God and about ourselves. Primarily the Bible is a story about God and how he was working in their lives. Second Samuel is no exception. Within its pages, we learn several powerful lessons about life and our God.
If Second Samuel teaches us anything, it teaches us that God is a faithful and merciful God.
“23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!” (ESV)
Last week, we spoke about this push within the church toward a more grace-centered faith. As I said in the articles, I have enjoyed this gentler and more compassionate aspect to the church. The church, embracing the fullness of Jesus’ heart, and loving each other has made church, worship, and my own faith much more enjoyable. I hope you have noticed this and are happy about it as well.
But today, I need to express a word of caution. Just because we have embraced a softer, gentler side of the faith. Just because we are focusing more on God’s grace and mercy doesn’t mean that we are free to stop doing the things we have been doing.
Embracing a softer, more compassionate side of the faith is great as long as we stay balanced in our theology and actions.
In our series of articles, we are focused on basic principles that are needed to ensure the success of fellow Christians. Hopefully, we have made it clear that we need to emphasize the basics of the Christian life so that they have a better chance at success. We have emphasized that for the new Christian a drastic change has taken place. This change is so different from the life they are accustomed to living that it takes a while to adapt to this new life. In our previous article, we talked about the race set before us and how to win the prize. Continue reading “Many begin but not many finish.”