This is a helpful article for loading up more tools in your bible study toolkit. “…one of the easiest techniques to use in doing good Bible study is that of observing repeated words and themes. Authors didn’t have bold and italics back then, so a common way to emphasize a point was to repeat it multiple times.” From Knowable Word…………..
Another excerpt from a wonderful resource and website — the Theology of Work Bible and Theology of Work Project. In these 3 chapters, Paul’s determination and courage are on full display. Yet, Paul was emboldened by the same Holy Spirit who indwells us right now!
This is a really important and overall encouraging article. As I have mentioned in previous posts, a key to living a life of peace and usefulness to God is the ability to trust Jesus in all situations…but especially when you can’t see why God is doing something in your life. From Randy Alcorn and Eternal Perspectives Ministries…………….
This is a really helpful article that summarizes what the Bible teaches about the Holy Spirit, as well as excerpting 30 scripture passages about the Third Person of the Godhead. From Crosswalk.com………..
This article does a couple of things well: It addresses the issue of taking medication for mental health problems as a totally acceptable option for Christians. Also, it discusses how and why God puts an emphasis on rest and peace in His Word. From I am Second Blog…………
Many atheists and non-believers say that they don’t believe in God because He has not clearly revealed Himself to the world. This article discusses four ways in which the God of the universe has indeed provided proof of His existence and His attributes. From Reasons.org…………………………..
This is an encouraging and practical article on how to disciple — provide direction and guidance — to someone struggling with anxiety and depression. Since most of us have faced these struggles ourselves, or know someone who is close to them with depression and anxiety, this piece describes four steps to wholeness and growth in Christ. And these steps are described from both the discipler’s point of view as well as the disciple’s. From MentalHealthGraceAlliance.org…………..
Be Slow to Anger and Quick to Listen
In disagreement and discord, we also follow Christ’s example of seeking peace, of being slow to anger and quick to listen. Additionally, concepts such as acceptance and tolerance—religious or otherwise—find significant support in the teachings of Jesus. These are important topics in contemporary life. Toleration of others is part of what was lost in the rise of secular morality, which coincided with an increase in negative attitudes toward Christian virtue in the academy and government. The fact that Christians are regularly thought to be close-minded, dogmatic, and intolerant is certainly justified in some cases. Yet this attitude is also highly ironic since the very tradition of tolerance in the Western context is accentuated in the Christocentric worldview. Just a simple count of the tolerant societies in the world today gives some clue as to the power of the applied moral teachings of Christ and their benefit to the world. If self-professed Christians are being aggressively and consistently intolerant, they are certainly not emulating the example of Christ or the traditions and teachings of Christianity. Much trouble and confusion about these matters can often be attributed simply to mislabeling. “Christians” are often not Christlike. However, this lamentable fact should not impugn Jesus or his teaching on tolerance.
From The Divine Conspiracy Continued: Fulfilling God’s Kingdom on Earth. Copyright © 2014 by Dallas Willard amd Gary Black Jr. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
Nice! From Learning From God’s Word………………………
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin (Psalm 51:1-2). Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. […]Bless us, Lord, and make us a blessing to others. — Learning From God’s Word
Why we all need people who will speak truth into our lives. From pastor and author Andrew Davis at TwoJourneys.org………………
This is a really thoughtful article from pastor and author Scott Sauls. While it admonishes believers to be gracious and encouraging in all of our interactions, it states that one of the reasons to be this way ( besides the exhortations and commands of Jesus! ), is because everyone is fighting inner battles and a sense of loneliness these days. From ScottSauls.com………………………..
In this article by author and Bible scholar Ann Spangler, she provides some ancient insights into the name for God as “Bridegroom, Husband.” From AnnSpangler.com…………………..
This is the wrap-up to this fine series of articles on the Beatitudes. “We are to remember what to expect, we are to remember how to respond and we are to remember our purpose and function in the world. So, be salty and shine!” From PlaceforTruth.org……………………….
Continuing this excellent series on the Beatitudes, this article focuses on those who are persecuted for Jesus’ name. While Christians in the West are not often truly persecuted in terms of financial standing or physical safety, we should remember that the majority of our brothers and sisters in other countries do actually face these issues as followers of Jesus! From PlaceforTruth.org……………………..
This article reminds all of us — but especially those going through trials and depression — that while we rely on God’s help, we also must have an attitude to fight for our joy. From Christian psychiatrist and author DrMichelleBengston.com…………………..
In this next article in the series, the focus is on the blessings to be had for those who are peacemakers. From PlaceforTruth.org……………………
Continuing on this excellent series of little articles on the Beatitudes, the emphasis in this portion is on the pure in heart. What does it mean to be pure in heart? Find out at PlaceforTruth.org…………….
In this article in the series on the Beatitudes, the topic is the blessing for those who are merciful. “All men, whether redeemed or not, have received immeasurable mercy from God (Matthew 5:43-45). But we who have been touched by Christ, healed by his power, comforted by his closeness, and forgiven through his blood ought to be those who desire all the more to be embodiments of mercy as ambassadors of Christ on earth (2 Corinthians 5:20).” From PlaceforTruth.org……………………………
Continuing in a recent series of articles on the Beatitudes, this segment focuses on those who “hunger and thirst for righteousness.” From PlaceforTruth.org………………….
This article does a superb job of outlining the truth that anyone who has walked with Christ for a while has discovered — that most of our growth occurs in the midst of and after times of suffering and trials. From author Pierce Taylor Hibbs……………..
“Meekness is patience in the face of all provocation because by faith you see clearly (1) your own sinfulness and (2) the Lord’s own faithfulness.” More from PlaceforTruth.org………………………
This article in the series that examines the Beatitudes takes a pretty interesting viewpoint on “those who mourn.” I think it well worth 3 minutes of your time! From PlaceforTruth.org……………….
What is “poor in spirit?”
“Being poor in spirit is being someone who knows that you have nothing, spiritually, to offer and therefore you stand completely dependent upon God – upon his grace, his mercy, his provision, and effort. Being poor in spirit is accepting that you are spiritually needy.”
Part 2 of a series on the Beatitudes from PlaceforTruth.org………………………………………..
This is the intro to a series of articles on probably the most important part of the Sermon on the Mount — The Beatitudes. From PlaceforTruth.org…………………
Dwelling upon God
To bring the mind to dwell intelligently upon God as he is presented in his Word will have the effect of causing us to love God passionately, and this love will in turn bring us to think of God steadily. Thus he will always be before our minds. As Thomas Watson beautifully wrote long ago,
The first fruit of love is the musing of the mind upon God.
He who is in love, his thoughts are ever upon the object. . . . By
this we may test our love to God. What are our thoughts most
upon? Can we say we are ravished with delight when we think
on God? . . . Oh, how far are they from being lovers of God, who
scarcely ever think of God!
As disciples engage in the practice of placing Jesus Christ at center stage in every branch of human knowledge, they are simultaneously being encouraged to train their thoughts ever upon God. In this way they enter not only a life of study, but also a life of worship.
To think of God rightly, as God is, one cannot help but lapse into worship; and worship is the single most powerful force in completing and sustaining the spiritual formation of the whole person. Worship naturally arises from thinking rightly of God on the basis of revealed truth confirmed in experience. We say flatly: worship is at once the overall character of the renovated thought life and the only safe place for any human being to stand.
From Renewing the Christian Mind: Essays, Interviews, and Talks. Copyright © 2016 by Willard Family Trust. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
A great article from pastor Rick Renner from his series, “Sparkling Gems from the Greek.” Here he focuses on the wonderful verse in 1Peter 5:7. From Crosswalk.com…………………
In our modern world, bread has been blamed for obesity and poor nutrition, but throughout most of human history, bread truly was the staple of daily life. As such, this name for Jesus holds some special treasures! From AnnSpangler.com……………………
Some interesting and enlightening insights here! From BibleStudyTools.com…………………………
This article makes the biblically-grounded position that if believers have a scriptural fear of the Lord, then they will not struggle as much with earthly fears. From CoreChristianity.com………………….
I am an introvert and tend to prefer my own company to that of others at times, so an article like this is a good reminder for me to go past my comfort zone! From NavPress.com…………………
This is the last article in this series from For The Church on how to understand and apply Old Testament scripture……………….
One of the main purposes of this blog is to direct those who visit me to great Christian resources, websites, and blogs. This article is a case in point. It is part of an online commentary series from TheologyOfWork.org……………………
Theology is simply the study of God and His works in the world. So, theology ideally should help us to know God better and to love and worship Him more. From RickThomas.net……………………
The presence of God is a truth that is often very hard to grasp, but our faith can become more solidified as we grow to understand God’s presence better. From Crossway.org……………………..
There are some very interesting insights in this article to ponder. From Stand to Reason……………
This article examines the imagery of peace and well-being given in the Book of Micah and other places in the Old Testament. “Heaven can be too big for many of us to wrap our minds around, so when someone, or something, gives us the impression that peace is available to us now, it can be easy to be swayed. But I find Micah’s picture of sitting under our vine and fig tree visually accessible and emotionally immediate.” From GoThereFor.com…………………………..
For all believers in Christ, we are going to spend a lot more time in Heaven than our life on Earth, yet many have few correct ideas about our heavenly home. Author Randy Alcorn addresses that deficit in this nice article. From Eternal Perspectives Ministries…………………
This article is about how to be a more giving person by wrestling with the three obstacles to being such a person as Jesus. “In this post, we’re looking at what keeps us from giving. Keep in mind that I’m not thinking about money when I say ‘giving.’ I’m thinking about giving our time, our attention, our skills, or other personal resources. Giving can be as simple as going out of your way to offer encouragement to someone else. Money is only one way we can give, and it’s not as open to people as these other more common means.” From PierceTaylorHibbs.com……………………..
Next in this series on how to understand and apply the Old Testament, we come to making sense of the argument communicated in the passage. From ForTheChurch.com…………………………..
In this next posting in the series on understanding and applying the Old Testament, the emphasis moves from the true words of the passage to how those words communicate a message through grammar. From ForTheChurch.com…………………
This step follows right along with Step 3 in securing the accuracy of the content of the Old Testament in our bibles today. From ForTheChurch.com…………………………
Another in a series of articles on how to understand and then apply the Old Testament, this one focuses on the reliability of the Old Testament in our English bibles. This is important for our security with the Scriptures because many non-conservative scholars will indict the Old Testament as being purely human in origin and their dates do not add up correctly. This article will show we can trust what we read today in the Old Testament as given by God so many thousands of years ago. From For The Church…………………………..
“Determining the boundaries of a passage can help you lead a Bible study, plan a series of Bible studies, or plan a preaching series. Before you can do any of these things, you have to know where to start and where to end. This blog post offers some basic guidelines for establishing the boundaries of literary units.” From For The Church…………………..
This is the first in a series of articles that provide assistance and guidelines on how best to both understand and apply the Old Testament to our lives. The first step is to identify the genre of the passage being studied, so as to better grasp the intentions of the human author. From For The Church…………………………
I cannot personally attest to the assertions and guidelines provided in this article, because I am a father of only one daughter. But I can tell you as a father of a daughter, I would be most pleased if she met a man who was raised in the way this article suggests. From biblical counselor RickThomas.net…………………….
This interesting article examines how our desires and longings tell us a lot about God. The insights here could even be of use as you evangelize the unsaved. From Theolatte.com………………………….
I have suffered all of my life with severe anxiety and depression. And this includes my 35+ years as a Christian. I know that many other believers struggle as I do, and maybe even get to feeling “faithless” and “unworthy” before God for feeling that way. But God is neither surprised nor angry or frustrated with our struggles.
I am a voracious reader and student of the Bible and have tried numerous methods suggested by the thousands of books and sermons one can find these days on how better to handle stress. But I have discovered something — or rather realized — a solution that has stared at me in the face from the pages of Scripture. And it begins with one word: Remember.
Of course, anxiety and depression (like mine) often have some physical/chemical reasons, along with childhood trauma and emotional makeup that contribute to it. And I take medications and do most of the other things I can to reduce those feelings. But there is one beneficial thing that God Himself pointed out to us in His Word, and it starts with that little word “remember.”
In fact, if one were to do a word study on “remember,” that word appears over 230 times in the NIV, for instance. But here is the thing I discovered: I have to make a choice to remember what God has done for me in the past, and the character He displays all throughout Scripture. In other words, when I am stressed and anxious or doubting, I have to remember to remember.
This was apparently a problem for a large number of both individuals and tribes and nations to put into practice, too. Here are some examples of those who did not remember or forgot to remember:
- Moses and the Israelites: Nu. 15:39-40 — “You will have these tassels to look at, and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord…Then you will remember all my commands and be consecrated to your God.”
- Joshua: Jos. 1:13 — “Remember the command that Moses, the servant of the Lord, gave you….”
- David: 1 Chron. 16:12 — “Remember the wonders he [God] has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced….”
- Solomon: 2 Chron. 6:42 — “Lord God, do not reject your anointed one. Remember the great love promised to David, your servant.”
- Psalm 63:6 — On my bed, I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night.”
- Jeremiah: Jer.15:15 — Lord, you understand; remember me and care for me.
- The women at the Empty Tomb: Luke 24:6 — “He is not here; He has risen! Remember how He told you while you were still in Galilee….”
- Hebrews 10:32 — Remember those earlier days after you had received the light when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering.
- Jesus to all believers: Rev.3:3 — “Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard: hold it fast, and repent.”
So, I am slowly learning that when I am anxious or doubting to stop and remember — not only all the hundreds and thousands of times that God never let me down. I also remember that folks in the Bible (even the so-called heroes), had to pause, stop, and remember on God and His love and faithfulness. So, REMEMBER to REMEMBER!
By Lori Vafiades
One of my greatest joys is encountering the creatives that are drawn to our co-op. My business partners and I represent over 20 Colorado Springs artists in our gift shop, Sanctuary Inspired Goods. We have never turned an artist away.
Charlotte and her busker fiancé dropped in one late afternoon. Her red hair was topped with an emerald green bowler hat, and her black tulle skirt adorned with silver moons and stars. Everything screamed “Artist.” She was pulled in by our energetic art community, how we love and support one another. “I love the vibes,” she said, then asked how she could join us. Charlotte grabbed her phone to swipe through photos of her art. I’ve done this with dozens of artists now, and it always reminds me of a grandma displaying pictures of her grandbabies or a cat mom sharing her kitty photo parade. I moved up next to Charlotte so I could have a better look at her art; both artist and art are precious to me.
“I’m a green witch,” she told me, looking closely at my face. I think she was looking for a reaction. In my years as an art coach, I have taught my facial muscles to remain still while looking at art and hearing the life stories of others. I nodded and said “uh-huh” a lot. But, if she had been able to read my mind, she would have heard, “gotta Google that one.”
Green Witch, according to Urban Dictionary: noun. A witch specializing in the earthen world. A green witch is typically female, practices solitarily, and is a Pagan. Green witches know much about the identities, myths, care, etc., of plant life and seek to preserve it. They attempt to connect with the earthen world with New Age methods such as meditating. They acknowledge magic and use it in tune with natural forces to accomplish a goal, aka using witchcraft. These goals may include but are not limited to: healings, protectings, blessings. Green witches are usually knowledgeable in herbalism.
Truth is, whatever she calls herself, God calls her beloved daughter, precious child, beautiful one.
And that is why we are here to look for organic opportunities; to remind daughters and sons of their name; to share with these creative ones their true destiny; to gently lead them to the Great Creator who is madly in love with them.
In my next blog post, I will talk about the encounter with the busker and why volume matters.
Here are some important words from Randy Alcorn which are also a comfort and encouragement to me. You see, very few of us are called to full-time vocation Christian ministry such as pastors, missionaries or those serving in parachurch ministries. Every job we do is important in furthering God’s kingdom on the earth….IF we work in an manner that honors Him and draws others to Christ. From Eternal Perspectives Ministries……………
Ask the Holy Spirit to cause you to grow more and manifest more of His fruits! From Randy Alcorn…………….
Most bible readers know of David and Solomon as godly kings, but often the most godly of the kings of Judah after David is Josiah. Read more about him in this article from Crosswalk.com……
This article is part of a series that provides a commentary on the Epistle to the Philippians from a biblical counseling viewpoint. In this instance, the author shows how Paul sees contentment and gratitude as two sides of the same coin. From BradHambrick.com……………..