At this time of year, I always have trouble separating Easter and Good Friday. If Jesus didn’t offer His life as a sacrifice for sin, we wouldn’t have a resurrection to look forward to. Either in Easter, or for those who believe on the day when these mortal bodies are transformed into the immortal.
The sacrifice of Jesus was unique. Though it was symbolized for centuries through the sacrifice of lambs, bulls, and goats, it is only the precious sacrifice of Jesus which makes us truly right with God.
Christ entered the Most Holy Place only once—and for all time. He did not take with him the blood of goats and calves. His sacrifice was his own blood, and by it he set us free from sin forever. (Hebrews 9:12 NCV)
But what about us? Though Jesus “paid a debt I could not pay” according to the old hymn, is my life in Him without its own sacrifice? Or am I also called to lay put aside, consider dead, sacrifice something of me?
Continue reading “What does Easter remind you to sacrifice?”
As an American, freedom is a term that is both familiar and foundational. There are battles over various freedoms in our Western nations, and we wonder at the lack of basic freedoms around the world.
Freedom is an essential building block of Christianity. Though it neither demands nor forces the freedoms many fight for today, it offers a deeper freedom that cannot be bound by any earthly shackles of inequality or oppression.
Proclaiming freedom for captives and the truth that sets us free, the church invites the hopeless to a life of freedom in Christ. At the Oxymoron Church, while shaking the keys of freedom before the chains of sin and death, they hold open the door a new life where hope slowly dies in a different kind of prison.
Continue reading “The Oxymoron Church: Imprisoned freedom”
Conclusion. The last of three personal “What If” questions finishes this series about the work of the Bible in our lives. It means looking beyond what we give to explore giving. The Bible shows God places tremendous value on the way we give.
Our giving has greater repercussions than the balance in our checkbook. Biblical giving involves faith toward and a change in attitude towards others. One unique element of giving cures our human selfishness and opens the door for Heaven’s increase in our lives.
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Have you ever found a piece of something and not known what it was? It looked important. It obviously came from something else. Now it’s your personal space, lost and alone.
I recently tossed out a small screw I was holding on to. Too many people sat in my office and asked about it. It wasn’t on display or in a “lost and found” box. Day after day it sat in the top of a small wooden chalice from Israel that I keep next to a menorah my in-laws gave me after their trip to the Holy Land.
Too many people must have commented on it that week. I picked it up, looked at, and threw it away. As much as I hoped to find its home, for years it sat without one.
Thankfully, God doesn’t forget where something, or someone goes. He knows exactly where they belong. The trick for us is trusting in God’s wisdom and craftsmanship.
Continue reading “Everyone God Brings into His Church Belongs”
Were you ever introduced to someone who expected you to be far more interested in them than you were? Maybe you bumped into them at a special function or a mutual friend introduced you. Surely you’d heard of them, or from know on you would be glad that you did.
I remember working on campus the summer after my first year in Bible College. It was a weekend afternoon and I had been practicing the piano in a common room. A young man I’d never seen before walked into the room and sat down nearby. After I finished playing he introduced himself and handed me his business card, where he was kind enough to point out the title under his name: “Prophet”. Apparently I was supposed to be impressed.
Many of us don’t really care who is impressed with us. We dress the way we want to, speak the way we want to, and do the things we want to. If some random person we’ve never met before doesn’t like it, “it’s their problem, not mine.” But there is one Person we should want to impress. And though some folks think they’re already doing it, they are actually failing miserably at impressing Him. There is only one way to impress God, and it isn’t what you think.
Continue reading “The Number 1 Way to Impress God”