Forgive Me... If You Can
Forgiveness. Reconciliation. They are beautiful notions until we have some reconciling and forgiving to do. It is easy to say we believe in forgiveness. Quick is the silver tongue that speaks the, “I forgive you.” Slow are the feet of clay which shamble ever so slowly and cautiously toward the behavior that follows forgiveness.
I Believe In Yesterday
For many, “Yesterday" by The Beatles is a poignant and powerful song. It is one of, if not the most, covered songs by the Beatles. It brings back memories of regret, remorse, heartache, and heartbreak. Why do we like this song so much if it seems to cause us such pain?
If you are going to memorize a passage of Scripture, can I suggest these two verses? My guess is you are going to need the good news they deliver every day of your life, multiple times a day. I love the tone that John is taking here, “My little children” is such a sweet term of endearment.
Was The Son Of God A Sinner?
Paul does not say that Christ was made a curse for Himself. The accent is on the two words “for us.” Christ is personally innocent. Personally, He did not deserve to be hanged for any crime of His own doing. But because Christ took the place of others who were sinners, He was hanged like any other transgressor.
The Dung-Slinging God
The prophet Jonah longed for one thing: to see the Assyrian city of Nineveh utterly destroyed by the wrath of God. His wish eventually came true. The later prophet, Nahum, describes in terrible and graphic detail the fall of the city. Nahum is a book almost entirely devoted to the horrors of the wrath of God.
Sin Like Coffee Cups
I have this really terrible habit. A habit that involves my car and days-old coffee and a willpower so weak that nine out of ten coffee cups get left behind. A habit whose repercussions aren’t so awful when you consider the fact that most days my car smells like classic vanilla Coffee Mate...
BY STEVEN PAULSON
Psalm 51 teaches two things: mercy and sin. But aren’t we already experts in sin? Why do we need God to teach it to us? Well, we are good at pointing the finger to say, “There is a sinner!” But it takes hard schooling to say, “I am a sinner—indeed nothing but sin” and “I only sin before you.”
I Am The Reason For The Season
I apologize to you, all the people of the world. I apologize for my part in making Christmas necessary. I have learned that Christ is NOT the reason for the season, I am. It's true. All the sin and shame I bear for all my wrongdoings have made it a necessity for Christ to come in the form of a man, being born of a virgin.
Bearing the Weight of Sin
Awhile back, I was at a 3-day practicum in the summer so that I could be trained in to tutor a group of middle schoolers for the coming school year. This was a great event for families, as they had 3 day “camps” for all of my kids to attend while I was at my training during the day.
Specks and Logs
I’m a life-long New Yorker, and I have the pleasure of working minutes from the neighborhood I grew up in as a boy. As I pass by it, I still come across a few familiar reminders of that neighborhood I grew up in, including an old friend’s mom, and some buildings that spark fond memories as well.
Christianity: The End of Religion
In the beginning, we read about the invention of religion. It begins simply enough in Genesis 3 [6-13]: The woman saw that the tree had fruit that was good to eat, nice to look at, and desirable for making someone wise. So she took some of the fruit and ate it.
Forgiveness Is Finished
BY RYAN COUCH
I’ve had a lot of nasty things done to me in my 43 years of life. Many of which were done by church people while we were worshipping and serving Jesus together. I’ve also done some nasty things to others along the way, but as a highly skilled theologian of glory, I like to believe that the nastiness done to me far outweighs the sin I’ve committed against others.
On Being Haunted
I am often haunted by my past. I am daily haunted by what I should be doing. I am frequently haunted by what I should do tomorrow. I am haunted by my failure to act like my exhortations, duties, and responsibilities expect me to. I often struggle with looking at myself and observing how I am lacking in living right.
I’d Never Go to That Church
Would you go to the church on the corner knowing that the pastor is an ex-con? What about the congregation three streets over, where the pastor is prone to lying? You know which one. The pastor at the store-front church who’s always questioning the truth about what the Gospels say about Jesus?
Satan’s Two Favorite Lies
BY CHAD BIRD
Jesus cuts right to the chase when it comes to the evil one. He calls the devil “a liar and the father of lies,” (John 8:44). And the father of lies has his pet anti-truths. These lies, repeated often enough, can slowly drown out the promises of God.
Seeing All Sin On The Cross
The power and pressure of sin on us, from conception to the grave, is immense. That's why we struggle to differentiate sin from sin. "Maybe," we imagine, "if I can just stop lying to my spouse about going out for drinks after work, and dedicate myself to being a better parent, and..." We wrongly believe that we're sinners because we sin, but that's not the case.
Out of Ammo
So there’s this famous quote that you may have heard in one form or another around the interwebs. I think I finally found the original quote and who said it (but let me know if you think I’m mistaken): “The Christian army is the only army that shoots and buries its wounded.” -Dr. Freddie Gage
Not Under Law…Say What Now?
There is just something about the idea of not being ‘under Law’ that sets off all kinds of alarms in the minds of many Christians. One might be forced to concede to the idea because the words are biblical, but those words are often compulsively followed by a multitude of caveats.
That dreadful death which is called in the Scriptures the second death is taken away from the Christian through Christ, and is swallowed up in his life. In place of it there is left a miniature death, a death in which the bitterness is covered up.
She had nowhere to hide. She was dragged into the temple and made to stand in the court as accusations were hurled against her. Sticks and stones may break bones, but their words may soon condemn her. It was only a matter of time. She had been caught in the act of sin and now awaited punishment.
Jesus Is Our Bronze Serpent
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 is a well-known verse. What isn’t so well-known is the sentence right before it: “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life”
God Commands the Impossible, and That’s Good
Some have built an entire theology on the false assumption that when God commands us to obey or believe, we have the ability to obey or believe. So then, what's the point of all God's commands? They show us what the power of sin has done to us...
The Corinthian Church was a mess. Factions, sexual immorality, lawsuits, false teaching, and a denial of the resurrection (!) are just a few of the issues this group of ragtag Christians were tangled up in. We would be reasonable to assume that the Apostle Paul’s interaction with them would begin with scathing rebuke and righteous anger.