Bible Posts

The Difference Between Oranges and Bananas

The Difference Between Oranges and Bananas

The picture above may not look like much. Actually, it isn’t much. It’s a picture of three small mandarin oranges. But they were given to me as a very sentimental gift. That’s because they come from a sermon illustration I used back in August of 2014. You can see the tree they come from in this sermon called “The Vine.”

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From Hermes to Murder

From Hermes to Murder

To anyone who has followed Jesus for any amount of time, you’ve likely experienced how differently people react to you. For some, a Christian is viewed as a person who has it all together, who is blessed by God, or who could show them something about truth they’ve been missing. For others, a Christian is viewed as a person who is hypocritical, untrustworthy, and deserving to be ridiculed and avoided (or worse).

We see these extreme reactions all within a matter of verses in the book of Acts. In Acts 14:11-18 the people of Lystra watch Paul heal a man and then conclude he and Barnabas must be gods.

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The Refugee Crisis Shows Faith in God Makes No Sense

The Refugee Crisis Shows Faith in God Makes No Sense

I’ve been stewing all last week on whether or not to write about the refugee crisis. There’s already plenty of voices in the conversation. As I considered what I might say, it’s changed depending on which day of the week I considered writing it. At the risk of being just another voice, here’s what I would like to encourage you as you make up your mind on this discussion.

It’s all about fear.

Too simple? Fear of others, fear of the unknown, fear of the future, fear of what any of this might cost us. And I get it. I’m afraid too. In fact, as I write these words I’m sitting in Washington DC. You know, the place ISIS said they would target this week. I’m just a few blocks away from the White House, their prime target. I received more than a few looks and comments when we told people where we were going this week. As I walk around these streets and notice all the police with their guns, it’s easy to dwell on how much there is to fear.

But as a Christian, I’m not called to live in fear.

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The New Joshua

The New Joshua

Here’s an incredible quote I read recently from Jean-Louis Ska:

According to John 5, Jesus is the announced Joshua. This is why the Gospels begin on the banks of the Jordan, where the people are still assembled in Deuteronomy 34 when the curtain falls on the Pentateuch and on Moses.

Allow me to briefly unpack this.

First, how is Jesus like Joshua? The most obvious answer is that they are two versions of the same name. But as Ska references above, here is what Jesus says about Himself in John 5:

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Misquoted Verses of the Bible (Mt. 19:26)

Misquoted Verses of the Bible (Mt. 19:26)

This post is part of a series looking at misquoted verses of the Bible. Click here to see others.

Here’s an amazing line that came from Jesus’ mouth: “With God all things are possible.” This is very true, and very amazing. Here’s the context that prompted Jesus to say it in Matthew 19:16-26:

Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” he inquired. Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’” “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

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A Status Update

A Status Update

We live in a culture which challenges your personal status every day. At the touch of our fingertips we read one status update after another on our favorite social media sites. In fact, usually multiple sites. Yet notice the words we use to describe a person’s update. If you look at the tab selected when you post something on Facebook it says “update status.” That’s what we attempt to do. Update our status… and do it in 140 characters or less. Because every time we read one of those posts from someone else, on how great their life is currently going and how life seems to be working better for them, it updates our status as well. Usually negatively. That’s why it’s become common to hear people talk about taking a break from social media for awhile.

This matters immensely. The myth is that this is just a personal concern for us to manage well. But it’s way beyond personal. Our perceived status is the multiplier for how we treat those around us.

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