Trinity Talk (Page 32)

Trinity Talk (Page 32)

Proving Your Calling

“Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall” (II Peter 1:10). The doctrine of election is admittedly one of the most difficult doctrines in the entire Bible to understand. That being the case, many have simply chosen to ignore it entirely, pretending that it doesn’t exist. Others have gone the route of minimizing it by giving it less weight than Scripture does. Nevertheless, it appears…

1 Peter 4 | Sign Me Up for Suffering

Many years ago I worked in a warehouse in North Carolina. The man who was the boss was a member of the church where I pastored and so I went into this job, as I have with every job I’ve held, with an understanding I would need to represent the Lord and my boss well in order to maintain my witness. What I soon discovered was rather amazing. Throughout the whole operation, there was an attitude by the workers that…

Mark 3 | Breaking With Tradition

Our focus in today’s reading of Mark 3 is on verses 1-6 – the healing of “a man with a withered hand”. This is the last in a series of five stories that extends from Mark 2.1-3-6, all designed to demonstrate Jesus’ authority: He teaches with authority (1.22, 27), commands obedience from demonic powers (1.28), forgives sins (2.1-12), eats with the “riff-raff” tax collectors and sinners (2.13-17), ignores religious expectations about fasting (2.18-22), and side-steps respected Jewish tradition regarding healing…

John 14 | We Do Not Have to Worry!

Jesus words in John 14, “Do not let your heart be troubled…” have brought great comfort to Christians through the ages.  But there is a good reason Jesus told his disciples this. Sitting in that upper room, there was a lot to be troubled by. The crescendo of opposition against Jesus from the religious leaders was growing to a fever pitch. They were out to get Jesus, and everyone knew it. In fact, Jesus had just predicted his own death. He had just spoken…

1 John 5 | Idols Unaware

Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. (1 John 5:21) A trip to India will cause you to reassess things in your life. On my recent trip, it was very difficult to acclimate to the spiritual, cultural and literal climate. But undoubtedly the most unexpected aspect about the culture is that blatant, daily and literal idolatry that is a normal part of every day life. People actually purchase stone idols and pray to them. They set up shrines to their billions…

Hebrews 12 | Christ Gazing

… fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…   Hebrews 12:1 The cloud that shrouded the tower was slowly drifting away, and the view that unveiled before us was stunning.  Melissa and I had spent most of the day on a long and demanding hike up the heights of the El Yunque rain forest.  We were told that the view from the observation tower on top of the highest peak was stunning, but the cloud cover had…

Zephaniah 2 | What Do You Hear in the Silence?

My friend just came back from a silent retreat.  When I spoke to him, he said it was a great experience, although, I confess, lots of jokes were running through my head.  I mean, how would you know that people didn’t hate the silence?  No one could say anything about it! These kinds of retreats are becoming more popular.  People travel a long way and pay good money to sit for days in silence.  To be honest, it sounds like…

2 Timothy 2 | Remember Jesus Christ

2 Tim. 2:8   Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel. At a recent meeting of pastors I attended the question was put forward: What is the greatest need in the Church today? There are many possible answers to that question: revival, spiritual maturity, understanding the message of grace, evangelism, character, or personal renewal. But there is one answer that trumps them all and affects all of these areas. The greatest need for the…

Romans 14 | Convictions, Not Commandments

I have often referred to our reading today, the fourteenth chapter of Romans, as a miracle of grace! Paul is writing to a church comprised of both Jews and Gentiles. Without going into the specifics regarding each group’s scruples, suffice it to say that both groups had very specific convictions about such things as what to eat, what to drink, and what days to observe. And these personal convictions apparently were affecting the unity of the church at Rome. So…

Genesis 29 | Missing the Love of God

“And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben,* for she said, “Because the LORD has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me” In today’s reading in Genesis (ch. 29), we have the story of the birth of Jacob’s first four sons and the rivalry between his two wives, the two daughters of Laban, Leah and Rachel. It is the sad account of a bitter rivalry in which each of these women…