The people of Israel recognized that they were chosen by God and were a peculiar people on the earth. They had been given the Law. They were commissioned to bless other nations by being a kingdom of priests. They were to act as God's son on earth. The sign that they were people of covenant was circumcision. When the new era arrived, it became clear that God had other sheep...Keep Reading
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Everyone wants to be blessed. The problem is that we often view blessings as our gain at other’s loss. We are blessed if we win the lottery. Of course, that means that everyone else did not, and we got their money. We even tend to think that for God to bless us, others must not be blessed. And even further, we begin to feel that we are only blessed when we have more good things happening to us than are happening to others....
In marriage, the role of the husband is different from that of the wife, but the perspective and attitude are the same. Peter’s use of “likewise” or “in the same way” is common to both his instructions to the wife and to the husband and is probably referring to 2:13 where believers are exhorted to place their explicit trust in God by properly submitting to his delegated authority structures....
Since the new order has been launched in the resurrection of Jesus, every aspect of life is affected, including marriage. As all married people know, marriage can turn out to be not only different than expected, but difficult to navigate. For marriage to be anything like what God intended in the beginning, we need a new perspective. Peter is describing that new perspective in this whole section of his letter. He has already said that we have been freed and empowered to submit to God’s order by honestly respecting the delegated authority structures that allow society to function best. But just exactly how does the resurrection of Jesus affect the wife’s role in marriage?...
Everything God has ever wanted to say, he said in Jesus. He is the complete and final Word of God. It seems that human nature is determined to find some vital information outside of him. We have looked in magic, witchcraft, science, imagination, exotic religious cults, intriguing prophetic predictions, and fanciful interpretations of scripture, but we refuse to believe tha...Keep Reading
Our enemy's weapon is deceit. He is not the creator nor sustainer of this world. He only perverts what God has made good and turns beauty into ugliness. He is, however, active and seeking someone he can devour with deception. The only safe place is in the truth of Christ....Keep Reading
Jesus is not just the starting point of eternal life. He is the journey and the destination. First we receive him because our hearts have been drawn by the Spirit and quickened to believe. Then we walk in him. We take steps of faith trusting him to supply all that we need to move ahead. His past is our past. His life is our life. We can depend on his never-ending supply of...Keep Reading
A common myth is that we come to salvation by receiving mercy as a free gift, but we have to walk out salvation by our efforts to improve our character. The truth is that God is only impressed with one person's righteousness. He is fully committed to Jesus the Son. No one can compete with him in any area""and we don't have to. When we receive Jesus as our savior, salvation...Keep Reading
Everyone likes a mystery. There is something in us that knows there is reality beyond our reach. We resent our limitations of knowledge and are vulnerable to high-sounding prospects of discovering the newest truth or the most novel interpretation....Keep Reading
True wealth is found in understanding the mystery that is Christ. Perhaps it is too simple for the intellectual, too obvious for the curious, and too wonderful for the religious. It seems that mankind is determined to find some kind of understanding outside of Christ that will satisfy the longing to know. It is so easy to get sidetracked by even good things--Bible study, h...Keep Reading
There was something that made all the hard work Paul did really worth it. He desperately wanted those who listened to (or read) him to discover the vast riches that lie within the life that is theirs by faith in Christ. This great secret that blows all other secrets out of the water is, simply, Christ. Sadly, too many of those in Colossae and Laodicea were willing to settl...Keep Reading
It is worth the struggle, but there is a struggle. Like Paul, we who proclaim the mystery explained in the gospel of Christ recognize that there is a battle going on as the accuser tries to nullify the effects of the message. The cross as God's remedy for mankind's dilemma is still controversial. It looks like defeat to those who want God to act on our behalf and defeat th...Keep Reading
It is always sad to hear that someone has "burned out" in his or her endeavors to minister in Christ's name. In our driven culture it is almost a badge of honor to claim such. "Wow!" we think, "This person has given of themselves for others to the point of total exhaustion!" They are often without vision, passion, and energy to go on, but like a field-worker whose has ha...Keep Reading