April 29, 2019

VIDEO: Should Christians Criticize Anyone?

Criticism. If given properly produces excellence, motivation and champions. Given improperly it produces anger, retribution and failure. Same action, opposite results – why?  Watch this short vlog then listen to the full podcast of the same name for more details.

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April 29, 2019

Ep.1071: Should Christians Criticize Anyone?

Uncovering and applying the principles of positive criticism

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CHAPTERS

[00:13:15]
Is it okay for our criticism to be harsh if it is for someone's benefit?


[00:29:05]
When can we be critical to someone who calls us out in public?


[00:45:48]
How can we maturely handle harsh and unloving criticism?


[01:06:18]
How should we appropriately give criticism?


Theme Scripture: Hebrews 10:24

Why criticism?  We don’t like it.  For the vast majority of us, receiving it invokes feelings of angst, anger and resentment.  Being criticized usually ends in a sense of being defeated and often leads us to resentment and a desire to lash out at whoever has been critical to give them a taste of their own medicine.  These are bad results no matter how we view them.  Have you ever noticed how much more free-flowing being critical is than grace and kindness?

Continue Reading

Even so, it may come across as somewhat shocking how important criticism is in Christianity.  It turns out that we all need to be shown our faults, weaknesses and inconsistencies in order to be better followers of Jesus.  The key is in why the critical observations are made and how they are delivered.  Once we understand these two things, we can then be open to the masterful art of positive criticism!

The amazing thing about criticism is that if given properly, it can produce excellence, extraordinary motivation and champions.  By the same token, criticism given improperly can produce anger, retribution and failure.  It is revealing how the same action can produce completely opposite results.  This begs the question – why?  There are two primary reasons for this discrepancy.  Understanding them brings great insight into the giving and receiving of criticism.

Criticism can be SO good or SO bad:
Reason #1:  Why is it being dished out?  Are we criticizing someone because we simply don’t like them, we’re getting back at them or we want to see them crash and burn?  If so, chances are our critique is founded in emotion, vitriol or jealousy.

On the other hand, we might be critical because we disagree and are looking for resolution, or we are really trying to help.  We are likely motivated by their well-being and the betterment of all involved if we seek to be constructive to build them up.  Show me the reason for a critical expression and I will show you the likely destiny of that critical expression.

Reason #2:  The delivery.  Usually the way we communicate any critique has to do with our motivation.  Does my delivery have significant emotion?  Am I pressing extra hard to watch my criticism recipient quiver with fear, or do I have some fear and trepidation of my own based on my concern for that person’s well-being?  Show me how a criticism is delivered and I will show you a story of dysfunction or a story of concern.

Check out our April 29, 2019 podcast, “Should Christians Criticize Anyone?” for more.  We have here only scratched the surface regarding the power of criticism.  How do we handle public or unjust critiques?  More importantly, how do we deliver criticism in a way that not only helps the recipient but also glorifies God?  These are things we need to know!

 

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April 25, 2019

VIDEO: Why Should We Share With Others?

Parents and Bible class teachers, we know sharing is important – especially for kids! This short, animated video details the reasons we should share, practical ways to do so, and some examples from the Bible. Subscribe to our channel at ChristianQuestions.com/YouTube and never miss a new video!

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April 22, 2019

VIDEO: What Can We Learn From Jesus’ Final Prayers?

The first of Jesus’ final three prayers is John chapter 17. If you have ever wondered what Jesus’ life thoughts and priorities were about, just read this prayer. It shows us who Jesus was and is. It also serves as a manual for how to pray when your world is crashing down around you.  Watch this short vlog then listen to the full podcast of the same name for more details.

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April 22, 2019

Ep.1070: What Can We Learn From Jesus’ Final Prayers?

Absorbing the character and devotion of Jesus as he faced death

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CHAPTERS

[00:14:59]
How did Jesus include YOU in his last undisturbed prayer?


[00:30:12]
How can Jesus' advice to watch and pray help us?


[00:49:43]
What does the Superbowl show us about the Prayer that Never Was?


[01:06:29]
How do we know Psalms 22 was a prophecy about Jesus?


Theme Scripture: John 17:1

You can learn a lot about someone if you know how they pray and what they pray for, especially when they are in the midst of crisis.  When we are in trauma, do we suddenly reach up to God with greater fervor and feelings of faith than we normally would?  Do we focus just on ourselves and our need for help and put all else aside?  On the last night and day of his human life, Jesus offered three distinct prayers to his Father as his human life was in its final traumatic chapter.  We all know the end of this story brings unequivocal victory over sin and death.  By examining these three prayers, we can also better know the heart, mind, devotion and strength that led to achieving such a victory.

Continue Reading

Prayer #1:

The first of Jesus’ final three prayers in the Bible is his chapter-long petition in John 17.  If you've ever wondered what Jesus’ life was about, what was most important to him and how he thought, just read this prayer.  It not only shows us who Jesus was and is; it also serves as a manual for how to pray when your world is about to come crashing down around you.  This was a prayer of preparation, as it took place during the last calm moments of his life.  It was just he and his faithful followers together before they entered the garden of Gethsemane.  Jesus prayed out loud so they could hear him and join in with his heartfelt petition.  What he said to his Father tells an incredible story.

Prayers #2 and 3

There are few recorded words for Jesus’ other two prayers, but they were no less impactful and profound.  His Gethsemane prayer was one of pleading as he felt the weight of coming experiences and responsibilities overwhelm him.  This prayer was repeated several times and was immediately followed by his betrayal.  It is amazing how many lessons we can learn from so few words!  Jesus' prayer on the cross is similar.  The few words he spoke do only begin to reveal the magnitude of power and hope he was communing with his Father about.

What is also profound is the prayer that no one ever talks about – the "Prayer that Never Was."  During the mounting intensity of his experience, Jesus alludes to a petition he chose not to offer.  When we stop and consider the unfathomable power this unspoken prayer would have unlocked, it causes us to stand in an even greater awe of his sacrifice and love.

Check out our April 22, 2019 podcast, “What Can We Learn From Jesus’ Final Prayers?”  We walk through the principles of preparation Jesus modeled for us in his John 17 prayer and break down the clarity and intensity of his Gethsemane prayer.  We then observe and appreciate his last prayer on the cross and reveal its deep and hope-filled meaning.  If you really want to know Jesus, know how and why he prayed!

 

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April 15, 2019

VIDEO: What Happened at the Last Supper?

In the face of coming torture and crucifixion, Jesus humbly served by washing his follower’s feet, including those of Judas. What kind of character and heart you would need to wash the feet of your betrayer?  Watch this short vlog then listen to the full podcast of the same name for more details.

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April 15, 2019

Ep.1069: What Happened at the Last Supper?

Revealing hidden gems of Jesus’ care for his disciples

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CHAPTERS

[00:13:00]
Did Jesus know what was about to happen?


[00:30:00]
How do you prepare yourself for betrayal?


[00:47:12]
What do the bread and cup represent?


[01:01:37]
What was Jesus' loyalty message to his followers?


Theme Scripture: John 13:1

What comes to mind when you think about the Last Supper?  Perhaps you envision the famous Leonardo da Vinci painting which captures the moment Jesus revealed there was a traitor in their midst. Maybe you focus on Jesus helping his apostles to prepare for the trauma of his coming crucifixion. Perhaps you dwell on Jesus washing his follower’s feet, or maybe it comes down to the simple ritual he asked them to keep in remembrance of him.  The fact is, the events of those few hours give us a profoundly deep glimpse into the heart and mind of Jesus and his overwhelming loyalty to those who followed him.  As we find with any biblical account, there are details buried within the story telling of the four Gospels that make these events come alive on a level a quick reading would overlook.

Continue Reading

A man carrying water would have been usual

The first details that seem to be easily overlooked are in relation to the location of the Last Supper.  The account tells us that Jesus instructed his disciples to go find a man carrying water and follow him to the house he enters.  There they would be welcomed to gather in an available upper room.  Did you ever stop to think how this happened?  The bottom line is,  there was likely no strange miracle, but rather the foresight and prearrangement of Jesus himself.  The point?  Jesus knew by Scripture that his time had come and set up his last meal and time of fellowship ahead of time.  This shows us how much he cared for those who were with him.

The resounding theme of the entire Last Supper evening was Jesus’ thoughtful, heartfelt and wise care for his followers.  Here he was facing a night of unfair accusations, scourging and mocking, and his most pressing thoughts and actions were focused on others.  We all know about the tender and humble lesson Jesus taught by washing his followers' feet, but do we all know and remember that Judas, his betrayer, was there and had his feet washed also?  Stop and think a moment about the kind of character and heart one would need to possess to be able to genuinely wash the feet of the person bent on betraying you.

Combining the Gospel accounts

Another profound aspect of that fateful evening was how Jesus painstakingly prepared his followers for the coming betrayal.  Until you combine all four of the Gospel accounts of this evening into one narrative, it is impossible to appreciate the meticulous care Jesus gives to revealing the betrayer’s identity to his faithful followers.  Further, the four combined Gospels give us insight into how Jesus gave Judas every opportunity to see the rewards of faithfulness and the folly of betrayal.

Check out our April 15, 2019 podcast, “What Happened at the Last Supper?” for more.  The story comes alive as we walk through the details of not only what happened, but HOW it all happened as well.  Following the thinking and actions of Jesus with his disciples on that night brings a new level of appreciation for our Master’s character and sacrifice.  What could be better than that?

 

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April 12, 2019

VIDEO: Why Did Jesus Have to Die?

What is the “ransom” and why is it so important? Because it’s THE theme of the Bible! Parents and Bible class teachers, this short, animated video explains the reason why Jesus came to earth and had to die. Subscribe to our channel at ChristianQuestions.com/YouTube and never miss a new video!

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April 12, 2019

VIDEO: What Did Jesus’ Death and Resurrection Do?

Listen in as Rick and CQ Contributor, Julie, discuss three questions on the purpose and impact of Jesus’ death and resurrection on all of mankind. Here are some questions we consider in this conversation:  0:01:44 Jesus died over 2,000 years ago but nothing has changed. When do we stop getting sick and dying?  0:07:27 What does it mean when we say “Jesus is the ransom”?  0:15:36 Jesus’ death paid the ransom price for Adam. What did his resurrection do?

 

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April 08, 2019

Ep.1068: Do I Have a Sound Christian Mind?

The powerful effects of power, love and a sound mind on our lives

If you do not have a password, please subscribe to our FREE Premium Content for the Full Edition version of CQ Rewind. The welcome message will contain your password, and a reminder will be sent each week when the CQ Rewind is available online for you to read, print, or download.

CHAPTERS

[00:13:29]
How can we consciously change our source of strength?


[00:30:05]
How does the spirit of love work?


[00:45:13]
What does it mean to have the spirit of a sound mind?


[01:02:38]
How is Peter, with so many flaws, a good example of a sound mind?


Theme Scripture: 2 Timothy 1:7

Have you ever thought about what it means to be given "the spirit of power and love and sound mind" as stated in 2 Timothy 1:7?  With this spirit of power, shouldn't all enemies of God cower before us as we call them out for what they are?  With this spirit of love, shouldn't we be able to bridge any gap and overcome any difference among us?  With this spirit of a sound mind, which means sound judgment or discipline, shouldn't we be able to see through the traps of the adversary and the cunning selfishness of our own minds and always think, speak and act in exact accordance with God’s will?  If it were only that easy!  The fact is, we need to develop and engage these things as tools in our everyday fight gainst all things godless.  Instead of imagining ourselves as superhero avengers who have the power to call out evil, let us instead see ourselves as blessed to be learning how to use what God has given!

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To understand what a sound Christian mind actually is, we first need to know what it replaces.  When the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy about this, he told him that "God has not given us the spirit of cowardice but instead he has given us the spirit of power, love and a sound mind."  Was Paul saying Timothy was a coward?   On the contrary, he was preparing Timothy for the incredible hardships that were coming.  Roman persecution of Christianity was increasing and the desolation of Jerusalem was only a few years away.  Paul himself was currently imprisoned and would soon be executed.  He was encouraging his spiritual son, Timothy, to step up in the face of all these deep testing experiences and stand firm for the truth of the Gospel.  The message was to not cower as time presented greater challenges but to rely firmly upon God’s power and influence to carry him through.

It is fascinating to observe the respect given to the “spirit of cowardice.”  Paul understood the death grip fear could hold upon one who is taxed beyond their physical and emotional strength.  He offered a solution for overcoming this overwhelming tide, and it came in three phases.  The first phase was to adopt and accept what Paul called “the spirit of power.”  This power  was not attainable by personal exercise, taking supplements or by force of human will and discipline.  Rather, this power was a result of the miraculous indwelling of God’s own Spirit – His power and influence - within the personal life of any called-out Christian.  Paul’s message was simple...use this power as your foundation, and you can now begin the process of submerging and diffusing cowardice.

Check out our April 8, 2019 podcast, “Do I Have a Sound Christian Mind?” for more.  Understanding and applying this “spirit of power” is just the beginning.  We connect the necessary dots to get to the victorious point of understanding and attaining the spirit of a sound Christian mind.  Applying this disciplined Christian mind will absolutely change everything!

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April 08, 2019

VIDEO: Do I Have a Sound Christian Mind?

Learn how to adopt “the spirit of power.” This power is not attainable by exercise, supplements or by force of human will; it’s a result of the miraculous indwelling of God’s spirit within the lives of all called-out Christians. This power is the foundation from which we overcome our cowardice. Watch this short vlog then listen to the full podcast of the same name for more details.

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