Archive for October 2013

Romans 15:5-7

“welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God”

There is a Latin phrase, sine qua non, which means “without which not.” This phrase is used to describe something which is absolutely essential—the lynchpin to success. Pat Riley, an NBA executive and former coach, once said “Hard work and determination do not guarantee you anything, but without them you do not stand a chance.” So, from Mr. Riley’s perspective, hard work and determination are the sine qua non of basketball success.

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Published on October 1, 2013 at 9:04 am |

Romans 15:8-12


When we consider life events or look back on different happenings, it is natural to try to find the meaning. Most times we simply do not know. Why do bad things happen? Why does evil exist? Why do good things happen? Why is there joy? In certain situations we will never have answers.
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Published on October 2, 2013 at 3:21 am |

Romans 15:13

One of the most frustrating things about college is when there is a course you want to take, but there is a prerequisite which you do not want to take. However, if you really want the one class, you will do the other first. You have to take it because the course you really want is built on the foundation of the first class.  Read more ...

Published on October 3, 2013 at 3:18 am |

Romans 15:14

All through my teen years I played rec league basketball. I had a variety of coaches. I loved playing ball enough that I was happy to play for anyone, but to this day there is no question who was my favorite city league coach. When I was 14, I played for a guy who was a former drill instructor in the Marines. This dude was super critical! He screamed and swore at us when we messed up, he was super demanding, and it seemed nothing was ever good enough—I loved him. Read more ...

Published on October 4, 2013 at 4:06 am |

Romans 15:15-16


The verses previous to these mentioned the praise Paul gave to his readers—in these verses Paul mentions constructive criticism. Paul does not even give specifics about the things for which he reproved them, but he does mention that his interaction was completed with boldness. He was confident that his very direct teaching would be helpful for the sanctification of his listeners. 
This forces us to consider two important points: first, we have a responsibility to help other believers to be more like Jesus. It is easy to hide behind pious statements like, “I try not to be judgmental,” but most times that is an excuse for laziness. Jesus confronted sin in people’s lives. Paul was bold in confrontation. You should be too. Read more ...

Published on October 7, 2013 at 3:00 am |

Romans 15:17-19

I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me.

Last night I installed a new wire shelf in the kids’ closet. My 4-year-old son helped. At one point we were fastening the drywall anchors. These particular anchors use a sleeve insert and a nail hammered in through the middle. After watching me pound in the first nail, my son predictably said, “I want to try.” I gave him the hammer and he tapped on the next one for a minute or two  with zero visible results. Finally, I grabbed the hammer with him and lent my strength to his to finish the job. He immediately yelled to his mother, “Look, I pounded a nail in.”Read more ...

Published on October 8, 2013 at 9:07 am |

The Peril Of Apostasy

by Chris White
2013-10-13 Hebrews 6:4-8
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Published on October 13, 2013 at 2:48 pm |

Romans 15:20-22

I am a creature of habit. I take the same route to work every day. I found which route is most efficient, and I stick to it. My wife, on the other hand, likes something different. She will take a different route every time we go somewhere. She likes to explore. She loves to see if a road will come out where she thinks it will.Read more ...

Published on October 16, 2013 at 2:38 am |

Romans 15:23-25

Different NFL quarterbacks have different talents and their teams use them in different ways. Younger QBs tend to have a more rigid plan—“Throw the ball to player X.” More experienced guys have a lot more freedom—“Hey, Peyton, go get us some points.” Ultimately, though, however much a coach trusts a quarterback, the goal is to make positive yardage on as many plays as possible. So, a quarterback has a good idea what he wants to do with the ball, but he has a backup plan, and a backup to that on every play. A coach desperately hates to see a single play wasted.Read more ...

Published on October 17, 2013 at 2:46 am |

Romans 15:25-27

They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them.

There is a running subplot in a lot of movies of a “life debt.” The basic premise is that character A has saved character B’s life, so B will tag along with A forever as a sidekick/bodyguard. A few notable examples are Azeem who owed his life to Robin Hood (no, not Russell Crowe, the older one…you know, the one with the better story line), or Chewbacca who was forever indebted to Han Solo. These characters felt a real sense of obligation.Read more ...

Published on October 18, 2013 at 3:54 am |

Hope Is A Good Thing

by Drew Sutherland
2013-10-20 Hebrews 6:9-15
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Published on October 20, 2013 at 2:37 pm |

Romans 15:28-33

Strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf.
At best my prayer life is not what it should be, but when I do pray, it tends to be more for the physical, material, and even emotional needs of others. I do often pray for ministry opportunities for myself, but here is an area of prayer in which I fail badly—praying for the spiritual effectiveness of the ministry of others.Read more ...

Published on October 22, 2013 at 9:19 am |

Romans 16:1-2

“welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints”

Certain people have earned a particular status in life. In basketball MJ is the GOAT (if you don’t know, no biggie, just trust me). If a general walks in the room, everyone stands at attention until he says, “At ease.” If a monarch is around, you are supposed to make sure that you are lower than he is at all times. If a Christian is around other Christians, a certain amount of care and respect is expected.Read more ...

Published on October 23, 2013 at 3:31 am |

Romans 16:3-16

“Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.”

Perhaps the thing I miss the most about playing sports is the camaraderie of teamwork—being a part of something bigger than myself. At the end of a game when I was exhausted and sore, but I saw the happy victorious faces around me, and I knew that my contributions had contributed to team success, I was greatly satisfied. Read more ...

Published on October 24, 2013 at 2:03 am |

Romans 16:17-18

“By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.”

There may be nothing more antithetical to the gospel than divisions in the body of Christ. The entire book of 1 Corinthians was written to address the problem of divisions in the church. One of the main focal points of the book is when Paul teaches (in chapter 11) that the Lord’s Supper (or Communion, if you will) symbolizes that we share Christ’s death, burial, and Resurrection. Christians all over the world come from different nations, tribes, cultures, socio-economic statuses, etc., but we have in common that we all have to trust Jesus in faith—that is the great equalizer. That is the beauty of the Gospel.

So, when someone attempts to disrupt that powerful truth by divisive speech, when they flatter and chatter and cause the naïve to be discontent, we reject them and avoid them. God loves His church, and He loves to see His children living in harmony. It is worth protecting. Watch out for those who would threaten the unity and harmony of the body of Christ.

Romans 16:17-18  17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.  18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

Published on October 25, 2013 at 2:50 am |

Romans 16:19

“be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil”
I was a bank teller for five years. During that time I didn’t see a ton of counterfeit bills. Though we would occasionally get some warning from our superiors (“There are a lot of bad twenties going around right now”), there wasn’t a ton or training or examples of counterfeits given to us. When I was a new teller, I was worried that I wouldn’t recognize a bad bill. My fellow tellers assured I would know if I got one. Read more ...

Published on October 28, 2013 at 3:48 am |

Romans 16:20

Our God is good, but He is not weak. Our God is peaceful, but He is a warrior. This passage is illustrated by C.S. Lewis’ story about Aslan, a Christ figure, in the Chronicles of Narnia. Aslan is a lion, and at one point someone asks if he is safe. Another character replies that of course he is not safe…but he is good. Read more ...

Published on October 29, 2013 at 3:38 am |

Romans 16:21-27

This book closes with two quick but incredibly encouraging thoughts. First, you are not in this Christian life alone. Paul lists several of his fellow workers (one of whom, Tertius the scribe, gives himself a shoutout) who are all “in this” with the readers. When you are in your darkest, loneliest hour, remember that others are walking the path along with you.
Second, we give glory to God for good reason. He is able to strengthen us based on the truth of the gospel which He commanded to bring about our obedience. He is infinitely wise; we can trust Him.
Romans 16:21 -27 Timothy, my fellow worker, greets you; so do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my kinsmen.  22 I Tertius, who wrote this letter, greet you in the Lord.  23 Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus, greet you.  24   25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26 but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith- 27 to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

Published on October 30, 2013 at 2:45 am |

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