Tuesday
Nov242009

Fooling Yourself

Self-delusion is the most insidious kind, for if I believe another’s lie, I can more easily change my mind and abandon it. If I believe my own lies, I am on both sides of the sin – I’m both teller and hearer and I have much more invested in the faulty conclusion. We are all, however, prone to self-delusion when it suits us.

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Tuesday
Nov172009

Bringing Reproach on the Church

No sin is harmless, for even the least offense is part of the burden that Christ bore upon the cross for us (First Peter 2:24). Those sins which obtain a measure of infamy, however, have the potential to humiliate those closest to us and to bring the church under the community’s reproach where its future effectiveness is put in doubt.

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Tuesday
Nov102009

If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice

The next time you hear or read the Lord’s invitation, remember that if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

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Tuesday
Oct272009

They Devoted Themselves

The work of the infant church, which must be imitated by the modern one, involves evangelism, edification, enthusiasm and education.

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Tuesday
Oct132009

A Member of The Body

Worshipers become more than just visitors to an address, but members and integral parts of the structure – living stones, Peter called them.

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Tuesday
Sep222009

Deal With The Preacher

Obituaries and funerals are usually polite settings, occasions to remember the good times, even if few, and to gloss over the bad, no matter how bad. Some resort to a certain amount of fiction to make themselves feel better or to avoid an unpleasant reality. Maybe loved ones and well-wishers can afford that luxury, but the person in the pine box cannot. And someday, that person will be you.

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Tuesday
Sep082009

No Schism in the Body

The unity of believers is not only predicated upon doctrinal agreement, but also upon personal harmony, forbearance and selflessness. We endeavor to speak the same things in matters of the faith, but to be longsuffering and open-minded when it comes to matters of personality, opinion and liberty. It is love, after all, that is the bond of perfection.

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Tuesday
Sep012009

A Cappella By Choice?

The current language is subtle, cunningly devised to prepare for an eventual shift to the other side without necessarily offending the old mossbacks who doggedly insist that non-instrumental music in worship is a matter of the faith. The change agents are wise as serpents, but hardly as innocent as doves.

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Tuesday
Aug252009

I Got Burned

We’ve all been burned. Whether by the sun, a hot slice of pizza or a decaffeinated mishap, everyone eventually gains the object lesson that is a burn. In the New Testament, Jesus used burning – the smoldering Gehenna garbage dump outside of Jerusalem – as an illustration of the eternal penalty for rejecting grace. He described that condemnation as outer darkness and its soundtrack as wailing cries and gnashing teeth.

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Tuesday
Aug112009

The Things The Lord Tells Me To Say

God even continues to enlist men to tell forth his will from those inspired pages – every Christian has some interest in sharing the gospel, but those men who endeavor to preach the gospel have a clear responsibility to behave as honorably as Micaiah described.

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Tuesday
Jul212009

Appealing to God

Water baptism is more than a ritual washing or an outward expression of some inner feeling – the response of the saved. Baptism itself is the appeal for mercy, an act not of merit, but surely of obedience.

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Tuesday
Jul142009

Seductress

There is another seductress today who promotes her body and offers her prey nothing but dissatisfaction and frustration. She is the pixellated seductress of mass and personal media who shares images of herself with any who care to look, to leer or to lust.

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Thursday
Jul092009

You Never Mentioned Him

The day of judgment will be filled with sadness for all whose friends and fellow travelers never mentioned him. It is not that they have an excuse for their disbelief, for the message was still there. It is that they never received the motivation that a heartfelt invitation of someone near to them might have provided. Perhaps your invitation would have made all the difference.

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Tuesday
Jul072009

Twisted Scripture

Scripture is twisted, however, when the one working with it is either ignorantly unskilled or maliciously duplicitous. Some twist the scripture because they do not know any better; their ignorance, while not entirely forgivable, is at least correctible. Others do violence to the faith on purpose, choosing to misinterpret God’s word because it is easier that way.

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Tuesday
Jun022009

Born To Be Mild

Our world has forgotten to value the mild – gentleness, caution, kindness, humility. When everyone – man and woman – insists on preeminence and attention, what can follow but rivalry, greed and conflict?

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Tuesday
May192009

Always Learning

Where Ezekiel and John were instructed to ingest God’s word as a symbolic acquisition of the message, we are surely starved in the spirit if we do not adopt just as rounded a diet. God’s word is milk for the novice, meat for the mature.

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Wednesday
May132009

Stay Awake

Vigilance is the key to preparedness. Although the disciples of Christ have spent two shared millennia in waiting on him, it does not follow that the time for complacency has come.

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Wednesday
May062009

Cut Straight

Rather than conceal or obscure texts that might offend the hearer, the teacher is required to expose him even to inconvenient truths that should motivate him to repentance, keeping back nothing that is helpful to that end. Cutting the word straight requires knowledge of the audience.

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Wednesday
May062009

Wrong Way

We have to be among the few who will take the risk, make the sacrifice and invest the time, emotion and energy in a journey that might not pay immediate dividends, but which promises eternal reward.

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Wednesday
Apr222009

Recession or Depression

For decades, we have witnessed a spiritual recession in the currency of biblical interest, even among the people of God. An unhealthy collision between itching ears and glib doctrine produced a generation that counted religion to be a matter of entertainment and recreation, of almost absolute tolerance and compromise even where conviction should have stood fast.

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