Talitha: “Mom, I have a tiny disco ball to hang on the Jesus Tree!”
Me: “Before you do that, you need to tell me how that disco ball relates to Jesus.”
Talitha: “Mmm…well…Jesus is the light of the world…and he shines all around…
Me: “Good. And he’s multifaceted, so there’s always more to learn about his glories.”
The Bible is filled with names and word pictures of Jesus. Every name or image is a facet of the God who is too complex and deep for us to ever know completely. But as we gaze at him from one angle and then from another, we see more clearly the whole, complete, perfect person he is. And the more we know him, the more we love him.
There is no other time in our ye…
A cosmos, one day being rebuked by a pessimist replied, "How can you who revile me consent to speak by my machinery? Permit me to reduce you to nothingness and then we will discuss the matter." Moral. You should not look a gift universe n the mouth.
-G. K. Chesterton (Quoted from Gilbert Keith Chesterton, Volume 1, 71)
If mere external conformity to God’s commands (like don’t lie, don’t steal, don’t kill) is hypocritical and spiritually defective, then why should parents require obedience from their unregenerate children?
Won’t this simply confirm them in unspiritual religious conformity, hypocritical patterns of life, and legalistic moralism?
Here are at least three reasons why Christian parents should require their small children (regenerate or unregenerate) to behave in ways that conform externally to God’s revealed will...
Advent is a time of looking back, remembering the faithful people who were waiting for the salvation God had promised, as 1 Peter 1:10-12 tells us.
Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully,inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
Then the ver…
Someone asked a great question in response to my post last week on Simon the Pharisee:
Much like the two sons in the prodigal son story, how necessary is it to be the younger son to appreciate the Father?
In other words, do we have to sin more grossly in order to be able to comprehend how much we have been forgiven so that we can "love much"?
It seems to me that self-righteousness poses challenges that are similar to wealth in terms of how hard it is to get into the kingdom. If you think you are righteous on your own, you don't believe you need the forgiveness Jesus has to offer. If you are wealthy, you do not need the treasures Jesus has to offer. The poor and …
Advent Candles probably are the most common Advent symbolism of looking back to the days of waiting for the Messiah God had promised.
Various helpful schemes of symbolism can be attached to Advent candles, their number, and color. But here are the basics—one candle for each of the Sundays of Advent, and if you wish, a fifth for Christmas Day. Some people have a special candle holder arrangement, a wreath maybe. That’s nice but not necessary. The only requirement for using Advent candles is candles.
On the first Sunday, only one candle will be lit, then two on the second, and so forth. That’s the ritual.But if we want our Advent candles to be more than a centerpiece, we have to ask …
During Advent, it’s as if we are re-enacting the thousands of years God’s people were anticipating and longing for the coming of God’s salvation, for Jesus. Then at the end of the four weeks of Advent, Christmas is a heartfelt celebration because that ancient waiting is done.
And yet we are still waiting.
For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. (Romans 8:22-23)
Our spiritual redemption came to us with t…
He had the Holy One of Israel in his house, reclining at his table. The Prophet that Moses had foretold was sharing dinner with him. The Lord of glory, the Resurrection and the Life, was speaking with him face to face. The great climactic moment of history he claimed to be living for had arrived. It should have been a deliriously wonderful, breathtaking honor for Simon to host the Messiah.
But Simon was not amazed. As he looked at Jesus, all he saw was a dusty Nazarene whose claims could be interpreted as delusional.
And Jesus’ feet were still dirty. Offering foot washing to guests had been a deeply ingrained custom for Near Eastern peoples for thousands of years. To not offer it …
The veneration given to Mary in the Roman Catholic church is beyond what is warranted by the New Testament. In fact, it is astonishing how little we see of Mary in the New Testament. Let us honor her unique motherhood. Let us count her blessed as the mother of our incarnate Lord. But let us not put her on a pedestal that neither she nor Jesus would have approved of.
After she turns up with the disciples praying in the upper room in Acts 1:14, she is never mentioned again in the New Testament. This is astonishing to anyone who thinks that the veneration of Mary was an essential part of early church life. It was not important enough to be mentioned in any of the New Testament books after …
We are a people of promise. For centuries, God prepared people for the coming of his Son, our only hope for life. At Christmas we celebrate the fulfillment of the promises God made—that he would give a way to draw near to him.
Advent is what we call the season leading up to Christmas. It begins four Sundays before December 25, sometimes in the last weekend of November, sometimes on the first Sunday in December. This year it was November 29.
1 Peter 1:10-12 is a clear description of what we look back to during Advent.
Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or tim…