Articles (Page 2)

Articles (Page 2)

Seven Laws of the Race

The motif of the Olympic race was dear to the Apostle Paul. Did he sit in the stands in Athens or Corinth? Perhaps so. Regardless, parallels between “the games” and the believer’s race in life were often on his mind. He (along with the author of Hebrews) gives us seven laws for running the race. 1. Run to win “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such…

We Must Live With This: Anathema

“Let anyone who has no love for the Lord be accursed.” (1 Cor 16:22, NET) This verse seems to dangle there with no immediately apparent connection to what precedes it or follows. Paul placed this thought in the very last handful of sentences in the first letter to the Corinthians. He’s given the readers some final punctuated reminders to end up his long epistle. It has a strength there, even if all alone. But maybe it’s not totally alone. It’s…

A Common but Misguided Perception

It is misguided and a dangerous misconception to base God’s acceptance of you on your worthiness, or attempt to comfort others with the concept that, “underneath it all, you are actually beautiful in character, and therefore truly deserving of God’s love.” Why? 1. You aren’t, and the Bible makes that very clear. Though all people are created in the image of God, all of us are sinful, abusing our status, both by nature and behavior and are therefore deserving of…

Jesus and Joseph

Like Jesus, Joseph was the special son of his father, beloved; like Jesus, Joseph was hated because his father loved him and because of his words and predictions of future authority; like Jesus, Joseph was plotted against; like Jesus, Joseph was stripped of a wonderful tunic, made bloody; like Jesus, Joseph was sold for silver; like Jesus, Joseph was taken to Egypt; like Jesus, Joseph was falsely accused; like Jesus, Joseph was given authority after humility; like Jesus, Joseph began…

The Knife on the Table

James, always questioning: Mr. Brockton, how do Satan or his demons interplay with our lives? Is there such a thing? The wiser Mr. Brockton: The battle rages quite fiercely for believers in Christ who walk as they should. He opposes by distractions, obstructions, confusion and fear. But they have a special connection to inordinate desires in any human. James: Do you mean that they create lust in us? Brockton: No, but they seek to provide objects to excite our lusts,…

Book Hoarding

“Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance of books does his life consist of his library.”      A pastor in a small church received his first book allowance, provided by the church. He began to purchase the books he needed to stimulate his thinking, improve his understanding, and jolt his conscience. His library grew. Later, at a larger church the book allowance increased, and he was able…

What the Book of John Says About Eternal Life

If you would have eternal life, something must change. The man, woman or child who remains as he is will die forever. The Gospel of John, from which all the following verses come, was given to present Christ and this eternal state. “Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book,” John wrote. “But these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son…

Burrus the Deacon and the Meaning of Diakonia in the Letters of Ignatius of Antioch

As Ignatius of Antioch made his sunset journey from Antioch to Rome, he passed through the city of Smyrna, stopped in Troas, and continued his journey through Neapolis to Rome. The first four of Ignatius’ letters are the product of the Antiochan overseer’s stay in Smyrna (Ephesians, Magnesians, Trallians, and Romans). The remaining letters were penned in Troas (Philadelphians, Smyrneans, and probably the Letter to Polycarp). Unable to write to all the churches from Troas because of his sudden evacuation…

Check Your Guns at the Door: Responding Like Christians to Social Media, Blogs and Web Forums

Those of us who have a ministry of writing are usually pretty tough folks. Many of us have been in the combat zone for quite a while and can take almost anything that is said by readers of our articles. This short is more about my embarrassment for all of us who are web-interactive Christians than it is for my own hide. In short, I’m appealing for etiquette characteristic of believers in reader’s responses to articles, blog entries, and social…

Seriousness In Children and Teens

It is increasingly obvious that children and young people in many evangelical churches are anything but serious about Christ. There are notable exceptions, but in many churches a cursory look at the behavioral signals put out by the young people reveal a profound disinterest. On the one hand there is a sort of giddiness and silliness by some who believe that church is there only to provide them a place for enjoying friends and impressing the opposite sex. On the…

What they Did Before TV

My mother was the youngest of fourteen children growing up on a farm in the first part of the last century. The old home place burned down when she was a girl. It was a typical Southern house divided into a boys’ room, a girls’ room, a kitchen (they ate in the open breezeway during the summer), and the parents’ room. A porch surrounded the entire home. “Mom and Dad’s” room was the gathering place at night. The fireplace blazed…

Reading Scripture Rightly

When reading a section of Scripture, we will find that a passage almost always comes across weighted on one side of an issue or another. I mean this: a passage is written intended to drive a certain point home, aimed at a particular audience, for a specific reason by an author who knew what was needed. He drives his nail to the heart. That passage should stare at us, disturb us and call us to action and faith. We should…