Why did the Holy Spirit include rules for holy living in the New Testament? After all, the Old Testament Law was firmly established. So were these rules really needed, especially after Jesus died for our sins? Yes indeed. Otherwise God would not have included them in the New Testament.
In Michelangelo's famous painting, "The Creation of Adam," the hand of God is almost touching the hand of Adam. When God came into the world in the Person of Jesus Christ, the hand of God "closed the gap" and lovingly took the hand of sinners in order to bring us into His family. But not everyone is interested in taking the hand of Jesus. Not by a long shot.
We all get angry at times. It's a part of life. So how can we cope with these inflamed emotions without doing something we will later regret? Here are 7 positive ways to deal with anger:
Helen Keller said, "In a word, literature is my Utopia." But did you realize some words can actually give a person eternal life? I am not talking about an imaginary place, but rather, a real paradise in a real place called "heaven." It's true. Perhaps hard for you to believe, but nevertheless true.
No matter what you currently think about God, He really does have a strong desire to bless you. And here are 7 ways He blesses His children everyday:
Christianity was not established by man "wishing it into existence." It began outside of man. And for that matter, it took more than God merely "wanting it to happen." God actually did some specific things in order to create Christianity as the one true faith.
No one in the universe is more relevant than God, and so it makes sense that Scripture (comprised of 66 books) is the most relevant message ever presented. Without God, you and I would not be here. And without the Bible, we wouldn't be able to discern which things in life are truly the most relevant. So check out these 7 facts which demonstrate the Bible's relevance:
Without oxygen, your body will die. And without "spiritual oxygen," your spirit cannot come alive. Only the Lord can give life to your body. And only the Holy Spirit can give "spiritual oxygen" to your spirit. The Christian life is as miraculous as breath itself. Receiving life-giving oxygen into your spirit is as easy as taking your first breath after being born. It just happens.
Much ado is made over megachurches these days, but did you know that there is really only one true megachurch?
Try this experiment. Ask some of your friends how they handle Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. See if you can find even one family who "breaks up" their family gathering into an "early shift" and a "late shift." My guess is that you don't know anyone who approaches it in that divided fashion.
The list contains 36 names. And Lindsay Lohan allegedly penned this list of her sexual conquests and shared it with her friends. For all we know, she never slept with anyone on the list. Or perhaps she slept with all of them. Either way, this story illustrates the emptiness of sex without love.
Some believers just ooze with encouragement. They are such a delight to be around. I am blessed to serve as a pastor in a church where people truly encourage one another. How about you? Do you have that blessing in your life? I sure hope so because we all need it.
It's one thing to take your work seriously, but it's another altogether to take yourself seriously. Our work as Christians is certainly to be done with the utmost of care and devotion. But the minute we get too wrapped up in ourself is the minute we start to go in a wrong direction.
If Jesus walked into your church this weekend, what do you think He would say? Would He primarily affirm the good things going on, or would the bulk of our Lord's comments likely be corrective in nature? In reality, His words would probably include both affirmations and corrections. That's at least the way He did it with seven churches at the end of the first century.
What would you say about people who don't seem to be for Christ nor against Him? They attempt to stake out ground somewhere in the middle and remain "neutral" toward Jesus. But is that even doable? Actually no. It is impossible.
But just who is the wise man? Is it the one with the highest IQ, or maybe the person who loves others the most? Some people are genuinely kind, while others seem to be downright mean-spirited. Is that a result of DNA, or something else entirely?
How am I going to find the right person to marry? It seems so overwhelming. Where should I start? And how will I know when I have found the right one?
What lengths would you go to in order to avoid hell? "I don't believe in hell Dan." OK. But say you did. What lengths would you go to in order to stay out of hell? Hypothetically, what would you be willing to do?
Perhaps you have heard the song that goes, "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands." Maybe the next verse should say, "If you're angry and you know it, talk to God." But what if I am angry at God? Then what? Now that's a good question.
Time is of the essence. And like most people today, you may find yourself a little short on time. So much to do, and so little time to do it. But this idea is well worth your time to consider. It could change your life on earth, as well as the quality of your existence in "the next realm."
God's plan from the very beginning was to expand on Judaism. The Abrahamic covenant, the Law and Judaism were all part of "Level 1" so to speak. The new covenant, the Gospel and Christianity were all part of "Level 2." And of course the Messiah's eternal kingdom in heaven is "Level 3."
Isn't it fascinating in the New Testament how our Lord reached out to individuals and invited them to take "the next step" on their spiritual journey? Everyone is at a different point, but everyone can take "the next step" by God's grace. For unbelievers, it will be the initial step of trusting Christ for salvation. And for believers, there are many steps along the path of discipleship. In fact, a person cannot follow Christ without taking frequent "steps" to keep up with Him. Jesus is on the move, and you are either following Him, or remaining behind.
Nobody is perfect. So why even try to be? It is a hopeless pursuit, right? Yes and no. Here are a few thoughts about perfection which might surprise you, or at least give you a new perspective on yourself and God.
Solomon wisely wrote 3000 years ago, "There is a time for everything." (Ecclesiastes 3:1) And with that in mind my friend, may I encourage you to realize that now is the time to ask for God's mercy. We are still living in a day where your request can receive mercy and forgiveness. The time is coming, however, when each one of us will come before the Judge. And on that day, those without a white robe will no longer have the opportunity to accept Jesus and receive mercy.
If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, the devil cannot "make you" do anything. He can, however, tempt you, and he can also oppress you once you give into his suggestions. So just how does this whole temptation thing play out, especially as it relates to the role of the devil?