Love God. It is a simple enough commandment - easy to say, repeat and remember. But what does it really mean? Are there different ways of expressing love for God and does God look for different results depending on what age of humanity we live in? Most of all, is loving God - no matter when and where we live - enough?
We are blessed – truly blessed - to know Christ and to have the opportunity for salvation before us. In light of this blessing that is claimed by Christians, some have raised the question if you (Christians) have this blessing and path to God’s favor while the vast majority of the world’s population does not, then isn’t that saying that your God is not an equal opportunity employer? Is that a fair God? Is their question legitimate?
A few weeks ago, we began an important discussion regarding God and His treatment of humanity in the Old and New Testaments. There are many who say that the warlike and nationalistic activities of the God of the Old Testament cannot possibly be the same as the God of mercy love and salvation of the New Testament. So, how do we explain the obvious shift in focus? Stay with us!
(Part 1 in a 2-part series) Ours is a world of great contradiction. Some say the ends justify the means and others say that the means are an end in themselves. Some say equal treatment is giving everyone the same while others say that equal treatment is giving each what they need. Some say that there is a higher judge of morality, while others say that morality can only be determined by those whom it affects. Some say that God is a God of dual personality – the Old Testament God of anger and the New Testament God of love, while others say (and by others we mean us) that God is one and His purpose is one. Stay with us as we seek to demonstrate WHY God is the same glorious God in both the Old and New Testaments!
On this past May 20th we embarked on a journey through the Apostle Peter’s life and on June 10th, we continued that journey. Our ending point was his conversation with our Lord after Jesus’ resurrection – the conversation that let Peter know that Jesus was counting on him as a lynch pin of what would become Christianity, in spite of Peter’s shortcomings. Today, we look at some of Peter’s experiences that followed, from Pentecost to the conversion of the first Gentile to the writing of Peter’s epistles. Stay with us as we look at how God’s Spirit influenced Peter in his mistakes, his impetuousness and his courage.
A few weeks ago on May 20th, we discussed Part 1 of our conversation about the Apostle Peter. We covered his life from his being introduced in the Scriptures as a typical fisherman from Galilee, up to his proclamation that Jesus was the Messiah and his angst at Jesus saying that he, Jesus, would have to die. These three things typify the life of Peter: a regular guy of no singular background, impetuous – willing to speak up when others would not, and often getting into some kind of trouble for things he said or did. Stay with us as we look further into this utterly fascinating life of a man who would become one of Christianity's greatest leaders.
(Part 1 of a 3-part series) Of all the Apostles, Peter is the one who is most exposed to us. His background is clear, his strengths and weaknesses are obvious, and his faults are plain. It is through the viewing of his life that so many of us find hope – for we see in the Apostle Peter a simple man, who with great faith met with countless adversities and by God’s grace was not only forgiven for his failings, but was one of the twelve foundation pillars of the true church. Stay with us as we begin to tell the story of Peter – the man – the disciple – the leader.
Several weeks ago, we talked about God showing favoritism to the Jews in the Old Testament. We looked at the reasons for it and how God’s favoritism progressed from individuals to a family to a nation. We need to look at the New Testament – funny thing about this – not only is there favoritism, but it is seemingly concerning eternity! Why would God do that? What kind of benefit comes from this? Stay with us as we delve into God, Jesus, the New Testament and favor!
(Part 1 of a 2-part series) We all have our favorites. Favorite colors, seasons, sports, teams, foods. Sometimes we have favorite people, places and things. We may have a favorite chair, movie or song or a favorite saying, website or group. When you think about it, our “favorites” can really dominate our lives. Do you schedule your time around your favorite TV show? Do you get especially quiet when your favorite song comes on? Do you have a favorite early morning Christian Talk Show? Yes, our favorites are important and that leads us to an important question: Does God have and does God play favorites? If He does, does this mean there is there some level of inequity in His plan? Stay with us as we look into God, favoritism and the human race.
All of us who claim to be Christians would probably agree that Jesus is the centerpiece of our lives and that following him is our most important task. If we were to leave the conversation there, then it would seem to be a clear and easy conclusion. However, there is so much more to this story! What does it mean to truly follow him? What are “the words of eternal life” to which Simon Peter referred? Are they easy to find? Are they easy to follow? Are they available anywhere else? Stay with us as we look into these words of eternal life and example of Jesus to see if we are truly following him and no one else!