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Babes in Arms

from Google Images

from Google Images

Sometimes I look out into the world and consider how the Gospel message is going out to the nations and think—“You’ve got to be kidding!”[1] Christianity in America (and this is the only Christianity of which I am really aware) seems so unlike what Jesus and the Apostles did in the 1st century CE. Jesus and the Apostles were close to the people. Rarely did they ever come in contact with those in authority, and when they did, it was the authorities who came to them or had Jesus and the Apostles brought to the authorities, usually in chains. Yet, today, the Church seems comfortable with the powers that be, and perhaps even becomes upset when the authorities ignore us or don’t take us seriously! Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2015 in Jesus

 

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Free to Be Me!

from Google Images

from Google Images

Recently, I’ve come face to face with some very uncomfortable emotions, like becoming angry with God.[1] I realize this is wrong, and even in my anger I understand it is wrong and confess to him that although I am angry, I understand that he is perfectly righteous. Moreover, I also understand in my anger toward God that he is not only aware of my disposition toward him, but, in spite of it, he is working out all things in my life for my ultimate good (Romans 8:28). I confess my ignorance of his will and apologize for my inner wrath, but still this is most discomforting. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2015 in Jesus

 

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Humility Demands Intimacy

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from Google Images

One of the most wonderful benefits of friendship is that folks get to see me in my most unguarded moments without our friendship being damaged.[1] Friends know us as we are, without the airs we hide behind in the crowd. Jesus once took a child as an example of a person in the Kingdom of God (Matthew 18:1-6), and placing him in the midst of the disciples, he told them that unless they turned back from what they were and became as a little child, they would never enter the Kingdom of God. Mark tells us that Jesus took the child up in his arms (Mark 9:36-37). Such a one is completely unguarded in his demeanor. He hasn’t yet learned to be discrete in his behavior. Folks who know such a one know the real person within. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2015 in Jesus

 

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Emmanuel—God with Us!

from Google Images

from Google Images

Did you ever watch a little child watching you or as the child watched someone else?[1] I remember watching my little girl, my firstborn daughter, watching my hands as I ate a meal. Carefully, she took her plastic fork and tried to hold it like I did mine. It wasn’t exact, of course, but she was trying to eat just like me. I remember the thrill in her face when she took her first steps; again, she wasn’t as steady on her feet as her Mom or I, but that did come later, after much practice and many falls. She was never discouraged, but seeing others walk caused her to want to use her feet in the same manner for mobility rather than crawling on the floor. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2015 in Jesus

 

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Submission According to Paul

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from Google Images

Paul speaks of submission in Ephesians 5:21-33, and in my opinion this scripture has been both misunderstood and abused for quite some time by many in the Body of Christ.[1] The family, especially the marriage relationship itself, is considered an allegory of a close relationship between those Paul refers to as husbands and wives. But, notice two things before we consider what else Paul writes. First, in Ephesians 5:21 Paul tells us to submit ourselves to one another. In other words, whoever the husband is, and whoever the wife is, they are mutually submissive. This mutual submission cannot take place if one is lording it over the other—such a thing Jesus, himself, forbade (Luke 22:25:26). Secondly, in Ephesians 5:32-33 Paul specifically tells us that his analogy is not about what we understand to be the normal marriage relationship, but, rather, he is speaking of a relationship within the Church—generally Christ and the Church is the example, but the relationships of church leaders and local churches in particular are under consideration. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2015 in Kingdom of God

 

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Follow Me as I Follow Christ

from Google Images

from Google Images

Who’s in charge in the Church? Is it Christ or is it men?[1] In 2011 a man predicted that the world as we know it would end on May 21st. It didn’t happen, of course, but some people got hurt over that presumption. I even heard of a man who sold his home to advertise the end and the need for folks to submit to Jesus. One TV evangelists ran for president years ago and many Christians thought it un-Christian to belong to the opposing party. Is Christ a Democrat or a Republican? Does the power of this world (politics is the power of this world) describe Christ who died for us? The world didn’t know their Creator when he became man, and even his own people wouldn’t receive him. Men seem willing to follow other men, but not their God. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2015 in Kingdom of God

 

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The Pyramid and the Kingdom of God

from Google Images

from Google Images

One of the most astonishing commands Jesus made to his disciples is: “whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister!” (Matthew 20:26).[1] No matter where one goes in the world one will meet with the power of authority from the top downward. It is often referred to as the power pyramid. Those who serve do so toward the top. The most powerful of all is the supreme authority, and he serves no one but his own interests. Everyone else serves his immediate authority, and on it goes to the very bottom, and they serve everyone else. Yet, Jesus says that this shall not be among his people. The greatest among his people should be found seeking to equip others for their own ministry, spending their energy to effect Christian unity in both faith and doctrine (Ephesians 4:11-16). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2015 in Kingdom of God

 

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