Traditionally various people find a way to feature what is important to them by wearing a symbol of it, like a necklace. Sometimes the physical symbol is given the power to bring good luck or to ward off evil influences. Wisdom says that if you are going to value something that much, it should be steadfast love and faithfulness. These two virtues should not only hang aroun...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?...
God has always been faithful to provide what we need. He designed the family so that we could trust the wisdom available through the perspectives of both father and mother. Just like there was a serpent in the Garden, there are enticing peers out there, tempting the young to break the apron strings and try out their wings. It is alarming to see just how powerful peer press...Keep Reading
It is what we don't know that scares us. Since the serpent's first temptation, Adam's entire race has longed to know everything. When we don't know, everything is risky. Humanity has taken various approaches to this dilemma, including the ridiculous presumption that not even God knows---or worse, that there is no God and no fixed truth. That is a high price to pay intellec...Keep Reading
My father bought a small farm from my grandfather back when he was first married. He reared five children and sought to train them to work hard and accept responsibility. In his latter years, he piddled around with a few head of cattle and spent a lot of time sitting under the big oak tree in his yard. It was in that setting that a discussion took place that significantly ...Keep Reading
The disciples had met together with Jesus for the final meal. They had been walking on manure-strewn streets to get there. Their feet were smelly and dirty. Jesus took the towel and basin and began washing their feet. Peter protested, but Jesus shook him with the statement, "If I do not wash you, you have no share with me."...Keep Reading
We live in that special time between the Resurrection of Jesus and the final resurrection of our own bodies. Some have unfortunately focused on the individual benefit of going to heaven. Though that is a great comfort for believers, it is not all that Easter is about. Actually, the focus of the New Testament is that Jesus' resurrection was the beginning of a new creation. ...Keep Reading
We are uniquely designed to please someone. We get a measure of satisfaction from pleasing someone else that is essential to our joy. This need drives us to complex relationships as we terribly complicate our lives by adopting many people to please. It would be so much simpler if there were but one person to please and all the other people in our lives were for serving. Th...Keep Reading
After reading some religious periodicals about the state of affairs on God's earth, we might wonder if the Scriptures are ever consulted. And if they are, how is hope so overlooked? Too many pundits are prophesying doom. They see the earth teetering on the brink of destruction with nothing to do but make sure we are ready to die....Keep Reading
The letter to the Colossians begins with the prayer for grace to be extended and ends with the same. Sadly, many Christians believe that we get into the family of God by grace, but once there we must grow and mature by our own methods. It is enough, they argue, that God would forgive our past sins and let us in. We can't expect him to spoil us by continuing to treat us wit...Keep Reading
Of course, Paul is not instructing his readers to use profanity, as might be interpreted in today's society. He is encouraging them and us to live and speak in such a way that every opportunity with outsiders would be used to the very best end....Keep Reading