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
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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?...
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
This verse has been a part of the logo on my stationary since 1975. It has been my mission statement. I am painfully aware that I have not always adhered to its singular purpose. It is easy to get sidetracked and proclaim something less. For the Christian, there can be no other mission. To do anything less is to miss the point of ministry. What could compare to proclaiming...Keep Reading
For centuries, the fullness of God's purpose on earth was hidden. Even the great patriarchs of the faith only saw in part. They saw so much, but it wasn't fully revealed to them how the final goal would be accomplished, and they weren't sure how it would look....Keep Reading
Secularism purports to offer a conflict-free society since it relegates religion to the unessential and absurd---only for those not enlightened enough to face the facts of reality. It claims that religion is the cause of trouble and war. Ignoring life's design, its adherents work feverishly to make sense of life as on earth. When they can find no purpose, they boldly decla...Keep Reading
When Jesus is not the center of the picture, the photograph is terribly out of focus. When he is not the center of the story, history is just a tale told by men full of sound and fury. When he is not the center of the puzzle, the problem is never solved....Keep Reading
I wish all Christian ministers understood their assignment as Paul did. He knew that the one thing he must do was make the word of God fully known. Everything good in a person's life comes from knowing the fullness of God. Even if we succeed in giving people what they want, if we aren't making the word of God fully known, we are failures....Keep Reading
Too many well meaning Christians base their decisions on a partially known word of God. The fully known word produces a life of joyful participation in the mission of exalting Jesus to the ends of the earth. Just as it was in the Garden of Eden, the enemy's attack is on the word of God. Hell's legions are gladly willing for people to know part of the word while thinking th...Keep Reading
This seems an odd statement to the contemporary American Christian. We not only have been led to view suffering as something to avoid, it is often seen as evidence that our faith is defective. We are often exhorted to believe some specific admonition so that we will find the highest level of comfort and convenience possible. We are embarrassed about our suffering more than...Keep Reading
Every religion in the world, except the gospel of Jesus Christ, offers alternatives to regain God's favor. When the gospel is not central (and repeated often) we slip in our faith and shift in our hope....Keep Reading