We will in all likelihood find it impossible to see change in one another on a day-to-day or even a week-to-week basis. Genuine growth happens slowly, like trees, and not everyone is even a healthy tree in the first place.
Here’s the real issue: do you really think that your strong moral stance is going to convince sinners to reform? Your harsh rejection is going to inspire them to get right? Isn’t that a little bit like the terrorists thinking that bombing the World Trade Center towers would help the cause of Islam? Mercy and kindness and acceptance and forgiveness are the things that lead us to repentance.
We live in a world where, if you are going to get your message across, you have to get hard and passionate and fiery. If you are trying to browbeat sinners and idiots and fools into right living, that would be the way to go. You’d be more like a football coach than an art […]
And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32, NASB). This sounds like a wonderful verse, when stripped of context like this! Who doesn’t like kindness, tender-heartedness, quick and beautiful forgiveness? In real life this can be a bit more of a challenge! […]
Most churches would hesitate to label themselves as legalistic or law-centered. I want to take a look at a typical ‘seeker-friendly’ helpful life-focused practical sermon meant to help normal average people lead better lives. Let’s suppose our friendly and kind of cool pastor has chosen to do a series on marriage. This is a popular […]
“So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12, 13, NASB. […]
photo © 1890 The Library of Congress | more info (via: Wylio) I know I’m supposed to be doing a study through the book of Job, but I keep having these other ideas so I’m going to go with them. I wrote last time about the church as a gift culture. I’m going to […]
photo © 2006 James Diggans | more info (via: Wylio) “So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are […]
In studying through the book of Luke, I discovered something that to me is quite a little gem. In Matt 16/Luke 9 we have the story of Jesus’ dialog with Peter and the disciples about His identity: “”But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are […]
photo © 2009 Lisa Omarali | more info (via: Wylio) Despite all of this talk about grace, we all know that there remains a struggle with errant desire. There is no use beating around the bush, we still love sin. No clever reasoning or poetic and beautiful writing can cover or change this fact. […]