January 31, 2019

VIDEO: Why Do We Die?

Parents and Bible class teachers, this short, animated video for kids answers one of life’s saddest questions in a compelling, non-scary way. Subscribe to our channel at ChristianQuestions.com/YouTube and never miss a new video.

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January 29, 2019

Ep.1058: Do You Communicate or Just Talk?

Rediscovering how to create mutual understanding

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CHAPTERS

[00:17:46]
How do we successfully communicate?


[00:36:15]
What makes for good conversation?


[00:54:02]
Words are born from two primary places, both wonderful and devious.


[01:11:40]
How do we clearly communicate Christ?


Theme Scripture: Hebrews 10:24

Without communication, human life would cease to exist.   We need to express ourselves and absorb the expressions of others.  People need to be heard.  The need to share thoughts, feelings and lives with one each gave birth to the phenomena of social media.  We need to pause and consider.  Somewhere along the line, our ability to actually communicate has gone down a diminishing pathway.  At the same time our desire to “be seen” and “weigh in” has blossomed.  This trend affects all generations, but it seems to be especially powerful among those who have never known anything but the internet.  In our desire to seek consensus and belonging, we seem to have forgotten our need to effectively communicate one-on-one.  How do we stop the trend and rekindle the deep and life-sustaining value of sincere mutual understanding?

Continue Reading

Communication in its highest form is often looked at as the deep connection between two souls – the understanding of another’s thoughts without the need for many words. In the Bible it is a very different story, as it focuses on the expressiveness between us in relation to the cause of Christianity itself. Our communicating one with another is biblically pointed to building others up in faith and service. It is all about locking arms and doing a better job of walking together in the way of sacrifice. Communication in the Bible is not about emotional needs being met, it is about contributing to the life of another so they can be stronger in their faith and service.

When we look at this it may come across as a disappointing. The directives we give one another are not to make the other feel better. Think about this – while our mutual instruction is not about feeling better, it is about being better. It is about growing maturity and service in each other. When you follow through with the scriptural reasoning behind being communicative, the end result is so much more valuable than simple connection. Further, if we do contribute to the actual betterment of another, won’t they be emotionally uplifted as a result?

There is much more to biblical communication than this. Jesus began a teaching trend New Testament writers picked up on multiple times. It is simple, immensely powerful and built around two common words: “one another.” Inserting these words into our Christian instruction raises the bar for all of our expressions, both spoken and action. Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you.” Doesn’t that clearly dictate how our treatment of each other should look? In Ephesians we are told to “submit to one another” and “forgive one another.” Now this is powerful communication in action!

By the way, there is one secret foundation to life-changing communication we didn’t mention yet. Check out our January 28, 2019 podcast, “Do You Communicate or Just Talk?” to find out more. We uncover this powerful springboard of mutual relationship building and then step-by-step build upon it to give you tools to use as you relate to those around you. Better communication equals a better quality of life!

 

Watch Our Episode Preview


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January 29, 2019

VIDEO: Do You Communicate or Just Talk?

Communication in its highest form is often looked at as the deep connection between two souls that barely needs words…in the Bible it’s different. It focuses on the expressiveness between us in relation to the cause of Christianity itself. Watch this short vlog then listen to the full podcast with the same name.

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January 25, 2019

VIDEO: Why Doesn’t God Speak Directly to Us Anymore?

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January 21, 2019

VIDEO: Is This the Moment You Were Created For?

Esther was no more than 20 years old, and became queen of the Persian Empire but not because of some political treaty. It was because of her stunning beauty. Her pedigree for being queen (besides the providence of God) was that she won a beauty contest. Watch this short vlog then listen to the full podcast of the same name (Part 1 of 2) for the telling of this amazing story!

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January 21, 2019

Ep.1057: Is This the Moment You Were Created For? (Part I)

Learning from Esther to stand heroically against all odds

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Play Part II

CHAPTERS

[00:19:34]
Do we have any Amelek within us?


[00:35:24]
What we fear most can be our greatest blessing.


[00:54:26]
Why did Esther give two banquets?


[01:12:08]
Two decrees go out - destiny reverses!


Theme Scripture: Esther 4:14

On March 20 this year, Jewish people will celebrate the annual festival of Purim. This festival commemorates the defeat of Haman's plot to massacre the Jews as recorded in the book of Esther. This book reads like a movie script - we have a beautiful, courageous heroine that was way outside of her comfort zone (Esther), a fearless hero (Mordecai), and of course, the dastardly villain (Haman). It’s a story of faith, bravery, suspense, betrayal and palace intrigue. We read about a forgotten good deed, a dazzling reward, perfect timing from God, and a just punishment for the evildoer, setting up a satisfying ending.  For us today, the lessons of Esther should give us comfort that God is in control of history and what might seem unanswerable now will make sense in God’s timing and in God’s way.

Continue Reading

The best hero stories are those in which the iconic figure isn’t the obvious choice to “save the day.” Esther exactly fit this description. First of all she was young – very young. Most scholars say that she was not more than twenty years old. Second, she was put in a lofty position of potential power as queen of the Persian Empire not because of some treaty between nations or an arranged deal among those seeking political stability. She was put there because of her beauty. Her pedigree (besides the providence of God) for being queen of that mighty empire was that she essentially won a beauty contest.

Now, before anyone gets all upset about the direction you may think this is going, hear me out. This beautiful young Jewish woman who became a queen of a foreign empire, not only had faith and developed courage, she was humble, wise and even daring. She stepped up when and where no one else could have to save her people from extermination. In order to save them Esther had to risk her own life. She needed to enter into a seriously male-dominated world and set the stage for being heard and respected. She needed to outthink and outmaneuver a deviously clever and egotistical man who happened to be the king’s most trusted advisor. All of this for a young woman who was most likely in her late teens. Now that is a story about a hero!

Check out our January 21, 2019 podcast, “Is This the Moment You Were Created For?” As we unfold the events of the book of Esther, we walk down the twisting turning roads of the crisis that arose. We examine the thinking, praying and actions that were necessary to overcome it. We gain insight into the character and courage of not only Esther but her older cousin Mordecai as well. This account vividly portrays God’s providence, but not in typical fashion. Esther’s story truly is a story for the ages as it displays growth of character, the development of courage under fire and a profound reliance upon God’s delivering hand. Please listen in, you will be blessed if you do!  Don't miss Part 2 when we discuss the parallels of her story to our own Christian walk.

(more…)

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January 19, 2019

VIDEO: How Can I Get to Know the Bible Better?

The conversation continues from our weekly podcasts to specfically address listener questions. Listen in as Rick and CQ Contributor, Julie, discuss three questions on how Christians at different periods in their walk can approach Bible study to make it even more impactful. If you would like a free booklet, “How to Study the Bible and Have it Make Sense,” email us at: inspiration@christianquestions.com and let us know if you’d like a hard copy copy or a pdf for more tips on how to study the Bible!

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January 14, 2019

VIDEO: What Makes a Christian a Hypocrite?

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January 14, 2019

Ep.1056: What Makes a Christian a Hypocrite?

Exposing hypocrisy's dishonesty and finding its remedies

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CHAPTERS

[00:17:53]
What does hypocrisy from assuming power lead to?


[00:36:42]
How do we keep our ambition from becoming hypocritical?


[00:54:28]
Isn't needing to feel important and valued a good thing?


[01:11:43]
We want to feel worthy but how do we keep prestige in check?


Theme Scripture: Matthew 15:7-9

Nobody likes a hypocrite. Nobody likes it when you proclaim yourself to be a certain way or stand up for specific principles or speak up in support of a clear ideology and then display yourself to be a walking contradiction. Nobody likes lip service or pretend support, especially when there are circumstances that require firm conviction. For followers of Christ, the mere thought of being seen as a hypocrite is at very least cringeworthy. Yet throughout history up to our present time, it is evident that Christian hypocrisy abounds. How does this happen? What provokes someone to be two-faced and therefore unreliable? More importantly, how can Christians avoid such a trap? If we have already fallen into the hypocrisy trap, what does it take to get up, get out and get going?

Continue Reading

In the ancient Greek language of Jesus’ time, the word for hypocrite was the same word used to describe an actor.  This makes a lot of sense, as the job of an actor is to portray and make real an identity that is not their own. Think about it – this “hypocrisy” is a deception we will pay money to see.  We all love it when someone is a talented role player because they bring the story we are watching to life.  The problem arises when someone begins to take on a role in their own life that is not an accurate portrayal of who they really are, especially when they are seeking power or position.  Now instead of appreciating the deception, we respond with anger and feelings of betrayal.

Jesus saw many of the Jewish religious leaders of his time in this way.  He observed how they would manipulate the Old Testament Law to fit their ideas and agendas.  He saw how they would arrogantly parade themselves around as if they were holy men of God. The fact was they were only out to honor themselves. Throughout his three-and-a-half-year ministry, Jesus discussed with them, debated with them and proved their hypocrisy to them.  As his time was winding down, Jesus spoke to them with the most blunt language he would use in his entire ministry and specified seven different ways they were real life hypocrites.

We can easily look at this and say, “I’m glad I’m not like that!”  But how do we know?  How do we know that we don’t have the same hypocrisy festering in our own hearts right here and right now?  Check out our recent podcast, “What Makes a Christian a Hypocrite?” We examine the seven “woes” Jesus presented to these insincere men and break down what they were being deceptive about.   We then do a “mirror test” to see if any of their deficient attitudes and actions might be active in our lives. For someone with a sincere heart, this is a revealing and necessary path to tread!

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VIDEO: Are the Wicked Winning?

There is so much good in the world, but it seems the bad is overwhelming it. You can’t read the headlines without thinking how will this all end. Watch this short vlog then listen to the full podcast of the same name for a little hope in the inky black around us.

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January 07, 2019

Ep.1055: Are the Wicked Winning?

Seeing the good, bad and godlessness of today through a biblical lens

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CHAPTERS

[00:18:18]
If there is still some good, are we in the end times?


[00:35:30]
Does the wickedness in the Bible mirror our world today?


[00:54:25]
If we run, where do we hide?


[01:11:54]
What should we watch out for?


Theme Scripture: Psalm 10:11

We often look around at the world and think about how horrible things are.  Being wicked is in vogue. Yet, more people have more advantages now than at any time in history.  The average life expectancy throughout the world has dramatically increased, and in most countries technology is in the hands of the average person.  All of this as the desire to live in a God-honoring Christian way has severely decreased, especially in developed countries.  If so many good potentials for the human race exist and Christianity is on a downward spiral, then is it logical to conclude that life without God and Jesus is better for humanity?  I’ll bet you didn’t expect that question!

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Let’s observe a world with minimal Christian influence - which in reality is our world right here and right now. This world is technologically advanced to the point of more than half of every man woman and child who are alive right now have internet access. With that incredible positive we are obliged to view its compensating negative factor. This access opens a door to such things as pornography. The world’s largest porn site had enough visits in 2017 to average out to 3.75 visits for every human being alive today – and that is just one site! Now let’s consider the great freedom of thought and expression that we have today. Young people are daily proclaiming their detachment from old ways and old labels, creating their own unique path to the future. All this sounds great until you look at the alarming rise in mental illness among all age groups but especially among young people.

So, is the world better off or worse off? Though one could argue for both sides, the fact is because of technology, darkness in multiple forms has stealthily and rapidly crept into countless households and lives. At the same time, parenting has morphed into an exercise in observation rather than a system of guidance and discipline. We are surrounded with world-reshaping changes which bring life-disrupting doubts. Does this mean the wicked are winning?

Here is the point: The Bible predicted this. When we typically look at Scriptures, we easily notice and often talk about the prophecies concerning Armageddon and world-shaking trouble. What we don’t generally see is the approach that such trouble takes. The Christian “default” interpretation for these issues usually lies in the thought of nation fighting against nation. While we believe this is a correct understanding, it still does not paint the whole picture of what will drive this present day social order to the brink.

Check out our January 7, 2019 podcast, “Are the Wicked Winning?” to see the rest of the story. We trace the pathway wickedness has taken through the lens of biblical prophecy and connect it to what is scripturally called “The time of the end.” What we find is both staggering and revealing as the Bible connects, explains and concludes not only what is happening in the world around us now but why it is happening. Are the wicked winning? Not really. Tune in and see why!

 

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