Paul’s statement to live peaceably with all men is God’s ideal for us. The “if possible” clause found in the verse however, is a qualifier, and it implies that God’s desire for peaceful relations, though always desirable, is not always possible. One party in a relationship can desire to live in peace and the other makes it impossible by his attitudes and actions. Hence, living in peace is a two-way-street; responsibility for this state falls equally on those who are to relate to each other.
The Pharisees’ emphasis on cleanness should not have been limited to the washing of hands before eating. They should have been even keener with spiritual purity. The hygienic principle should have extended to the source and center of ones being-- the heart. They should have wanted clean hand and hearts.
In His conversation with the Samaritan woman, Jesus disregarded the status quo, ignored long standing tradition and demonstrated that building bridges is what He was about. The account is recorded in the fourth chapter of John’s gospel.
When Jesus Christ our commander in chief died on Calvary, the spiritual forces of good and evil were engaged in a cataclysmic conflict. No other battle in the history of the universe was so fraught with eternal implications for the human family. It was pivotal! It was decisive! It was the battle of the ages!
One of the expressions that Eliot Glasgow used in our recently concluded marriage and family enrichment seminar was “the microwave mentality”. I understood that expression as a representation of a mindset that says, “Don’t make me wait. I want what I want now”. This resonated with me because I believe it speaks the truth regarding our modern disposition to not wait through difficult circumstances till deliverance comes. We will not wait on our spouses, on each other, or even God.
Though the ancient city of Babylon was considered a model of impregnable fortification, today its twenty one hundred acres of ruin testify to the truth uttered by the psalmist in the long ago. “...Except the Lord keeps the city, the watchman waketh but in vain” (Psalm 127: 1). The truthfulness of that statement has been generally missed by religious leaders, social activists and political rulers. Thus it needs to be restated and re emphasized. For homes, churches, cities or nations to endure, they need the sanction of God.
About one thousand years BC, David, the sweet singing seer of Israel picked up his prophetic harp and played a melody of human redemption. He sang a melancholy line about a stone, so despised by the religious architects, that it was denied a place in the super structure. In the second line however, the melody sweetens and the theme brightens. The rejected stone by the marvelous working of God eventually becomes the most important stone in the building. Finally, the royal lyricists delineates a memorial day in which this pivotal event would occur, and summons the great number of the redeemed to join in grateful praise in the words, “Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Peter’s suggestion to go fishing was made during a period of doubt surrounding the claims of Christ to be the Son of God. Jesus, who had earlier called him from fishing fish to fish men, had since been crucified, and he along with his fellow disciples were not sure what to make of Him. Certain reports had come to them earlier about Him been seen alive but those soon crashed against the hard wall of skepticism that characterized them. It is with these seeds of uncertainty firmly planted in their minds that Peter made the suggestion to go fishing. The gentle waves of the Sea of Tiberias called to them and the thought of landing some “big ones” stirred up fairly fresh memories, lying just beneath the surface.
Sleep is defined and generally thought of as a period of rest. Most dictionaries describe it as a natural condition of physical and mental inactivity that is non-voluntary and unconscious. A variety of derived usages exist in our western society, when prepositions are added to the word sleep. For example, depending on the circumstances, it is considered ok to sleep in, sleep out, or sleep over. If one needs to sleep off or sleep away we consider him not to be in the best mental state. And a most unfavorable sentiment is conveyed if one is spoken of as sleeping with or sleeping around. The Biblical usages of the word sleep are quite varied as well.
The restoration of the blind man’s sight (recorded in John chapter nine) enabled him to see the blue in the sky, the green in the leaves, and bundles of love tied with the strings of smiles on the faces of his loved ones. The restoration of his spiritual vision however, enabled him to see greater things than these. With 20/20 vision he was able to see that Jesus was the Son of God and that the Jewish leaders were blind in more serious ways than he had been. His blindness may have had to do with cataracts, astigmatism or a damaging of the optic nerve. Theirs had to do with a blindness of the heart. Jesus, the divine expert in optometry and ophthalmology has called Christians to work with him in the restoration of man’s spiritual vision.
One of the reasons that parents and guardians encourage their children to play a sport is because of the life-lessons that they can learn from it. Sports can teach a child the virtues of discipline, goal setting, hard work, adaptability and how to rebound after defeat. Notice how these mental qualities are applicable to virtually any career activity, and can help children prepare for the realities of life.Add News Story here
John was in the spirit as he received the apocalypse on the island of Patmos in the Aegean Sea. From that vantage point he was given visions containing messages to write and send to the seven churches in Asia. As the drama of the revelation unfolded, John was shown a door opened in heaven and heard a voice with the clarity of a trumpet inviting him to “come up here and I will show you things which must be hereafter” (Rev. 4:1). In those words John was commanded to change his position.
Atheists, humanists and naturalist often ridicule Christians for believing in the super-natural events of creation and redemption, recorded in the Holy Scriptures. They tell us that, in contrast, their version of how the universe came to be and how man appeared on the planet earth is both rational and credible. But upon closer examination, these so called explanations are contrary to natural laws, discovered by scientific experimentation and observation. To believe them is to believe in miracles!
Jude’s exhortation in the first century to “earnestly contend for the faith” is still very relevant today. We stand on the same faith foundation on which the first century brethren stood, and though the political social and religious landscape has changed radically from their time to ours, the essential threats to the purity of the divine revelation have certainly not been eliminated.
The Bible is an ancient book but its principles on leadership have modern application. Some erroneously believe that advancements in modern technology have rendered obsolete the world of former times. However, while technology has antiquated certain methods of communication, transportation and weaponry, it has accentuated the truths contained in the Bible.
The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away ( I Peter 5:1-4 NKJV).
The name Jesus of Nazareth tops every leadership short list, and is included in every serious conversation about influential characters. Over two thousand years have passed since he walked the earth, but his example of dedication to his purpose still inspires many leaders to greater levels of success.