Does knowing that Jesus is coming back to earth to set up His kingdom, free us from sin and death, and restore creation to its pristine state excite you so much that you want to tell others? That is the hope that should purify us, draw us together in close community, and spur us on to good works.
In days gone by, there was a generally accepted set of standards that governed the conduct of interpersonal relationships in our society. If there was a question about what constituted acceptable social norms, people would consult such authorities as Emily Post or Judith Martin, a.k.a. 'Miss Manners,' both of whom wrote syndicated newspaper columns on etiquette.
Christians have filled their heads with Bible knowledge from years of listening to sermons and attending Bible classes, but all the knowledge hasn’t made any difference in the way they live their lives.
If we cannot even grasp the utility of the Lord's prayer, how can we ever hope to learn the more difficult aspects of the faith like forbearance, forgiveness, patience under pressure, and genuine brotherly love that bears another's burdens and shares his joys?
Today's brand of forgiveness requires nothing more than an attitude adjustment. It does not necessitate confrontation of the sinner or resolution of the conflict. It never balances the ledger of justice, and justice is the casualty of unconditional forgiveness.
There are literally hundreds of verses in the Bible that deal with the perils of chasing wealth. Nonetheless, if you look around the average middle-class church parking lot, you will see mostly late model cars. Believers stretch their budgets to buy the most home they can afford and then fill it with all kinds of gadgets, including big screen TVs, expensive stereo equipment and stacks of CDs and DVDs.
Mothers tend to be nurturing. They apply the bandaids and soothe the hurt feelings. Dads tend to be the standard bearers. They set expectations and enforce the discipline.
Miracles, whether large or small, are just as possible today as they were in Jesus day. All that is required is implicit trust in the whole Word of God, no strings attached, dependence on the power of the Holy Spirit, and proper motivation which is the advancement of the kingdom of Christ.
I have enclosed a letter which I would like you to read and sign and then send on to the designated recipients, if you so choose. Then if you don’t mind, please let me know how you responded my emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. In so doing you will help bring this matter to resolution in a way that glorifies God.
Regardless of its true character and intent, the Christian community is not known for love, nor for a life transforming faith.” George Barna
It is time to put our houses in order so that when Christ appears we will be found faithfully building His kingdom.
“Given the voluminous stream of moral challenges, and the rampant spiritual hunger that defines our culture today, this should be the heyday for biblical ministry. As things stand now, we have become content with placating sinners and filling auditoriums as the marks of spiritual health.”
Getting in the habit of issuing a free pardon to the offender while compelling the wounded party to graciously accept his humiliation only produces a target-rich environment for perennial predators.
The modern church has become the Laodicean church — wealthy, self-satisfied, and complacent, but unable to recognize that it is blind, naked, poor and pitiful in God’s eyes.