Archive for September 2013

Romans 13:6-7

In the same way that our actions/attitudes matter, our finances matter. A Christian cannot refuse to obey the local authorities (as seen in 13:3-5), and he must not refuse to pay his debts—whether public or private. You are a member of a local community. You have certain obligations. If you refuse to meet your financial commitments, you destroy your ability to minister effectively in that community.Read more ...

Published on September 3, 2013 at 6:05 am |

Romans 13:8-10

When I was growing up, we had a rule in our house that if there was something to be shared by two kids, one split it and the other got to choose. So, if it was a piece of cake we were sharing, I might get to divide the slice in two, and my sister got to choose which one she wanted. This also applied to things like chores. Mom might say, “I want the grass cut, the dishes washed, the bathtub scrubbed, and the windows washed.” My brother would say, “One person washes dishes and cuts the grass, the other does windows and the tub.” Then, I would get to pick whether I wanted to do one chore list or the other.*
Now, Mom was using human nature against us because people are inherently selfish. We always want the best for ourselves. So, if you are not the one getting to choose what you want, you will make the two options as fair as possible so there isn’t a “bad choice.” This is the epitome of self-love—choosing what is best for one’s self.Read more ...

Published on September 4, 2013 at 3:30 am |

Romans 13:11-14

I have certain expectations for my children. Most people think I am too demanding…it is probably true. Nevertheless, I expect certain things. I have a specific point by which they should walk, be done with a pacifier, be potty-trained, etc. As my kids get older, I actually start to discuss these expectations. Sometimes they are very serious [I recently had a very stern discussion about being an example—“You are old enough that I expect flawless behavior and leadership in this situation.”], and sometimes they are sillier [“You are 4 now, I expect you to hug like a dude now. No more hugging like a girl. Here is the right way to give a guy a hug.”]Read more ...

Published on September 5, 2013 at 3:19 am |

Romans 14:1-4

 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls...
Because of cultural, geographical, interpretational, and lifestyle preferences, the lives of various believers throughout the world end up looking quite different. It is explicitly stated in this passage that we are to be generous and kind to other believers despite differences of preference or practice. Read more ...

Published on September 6, 2013 at 3:13 am |

The Word Is Alive

by Chris White
2013-09-15 Hebrews 4:11-13
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Published on September 18, 2013 at 3:06 am |

Romans 14:5-8

If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord.

One of my best friends loves sweet cream ice cream with raspberries on top. He will order that combination every time he gets ice cream…seriously, every single time. I love to try something new. When I get ice cream, I like to try weird combinations of flavor and toppings. In fact, I typically ask the worker to just pick something for me. He thinks I am crazy; I think he is boring. Both of us, though, have found something which works for us.Read more ...

Published on September 19, 2013 at 3:28 am |

Romans 14:9-12

“So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.”

My wife and I are determined not to raise picky eaters. To that end we do not cook separate meals for the kids—they eat what we eat. Recently, my wife and I have been on a mushroom kick which means my children have too. My 8-year-old loves them, but the 4-year-old said they were not his favorite. I told him, “Yes they are, they are your new favorite.” A few nights ago I made a chicken/onion/mushroom dish. The boy meticulously ate around all the mushrooms saving them for last. I explained to him that he was going to have to eat them. He could choose to eat them now or be made to eat them at the end of the meal, but I wasn’t going to forget they were there or let him throw them away. There was no escape from the mushrooms.

One day we will each stand before God the Judge. This does not have to be a scary dreaded thing. If we trust in Him and live according to His Word, we are told that He will say, “Well done good and faithful servant—here is your reward. However, we are going to have to answer for our actions. It is inescapable. Our passage says that you do not want to be in the position of having been sanctimonious, critical, and judgmental of other believers, and then be forced to stand before God. Like the mushrooms you can either embrace the opportunity to stand before God and know that while you were not perfect, you lived passionately for His glory, or you can live for yourself—being critical discouraging, and selfish—all the while knowing that judgment is looming.Show love and grace. Never be afraid to reprove, correct, and encourage when others have strayed or are struggling, but be sure that you are correcting ungodly behavior and not simply nagging about your own preferences. 

Romans 14:9-12  9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.  10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God;  11 for it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God."  12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.

Published on September 19, 2013 at 3:29 am |

Romans 14:13-17

“So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil.”

There are not many times when you would hear me say that Jesus and the late pop star Michael Jackson were “on the same page,” but this is one. Both of them addressed situations where there was a wide-spread problem and said that each of us should examine ourselves. Michael Jackson was horrified by how many people were homeless and hungry. He thought someone should do something about this problem. He famously sang “I'm Starting With The Man In The Mirror— I'm Asking Him To Change His Ways.” Jesus similarly said that if you see someone with a splinter in his eye, you should check your own eye to make sure you do not have a beam in your eye.Read more ...

Published on September 19, 2013 at 3:29 am |

Hold Fast And Draw Near

by Drew Sutherland
2013-09-22 Hebrews 4:14-16
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Published on September 24, 2013 at 3:10 am |

Romans 14:18-19

So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.
There is a stream in Alaska which did not exist a week ago. I just returned from a weeklong visit to Alaska with my son. We were there to visit my brother and his family. While we were there, we engaged in quite a bit of outdoor activity. One day as we were hiking, we came upon a small stream in the wilderness. On a whim I suggested that we try to divert the stream and make it go another way. My son and I and my brother's family of six spent well over an hour digging a new stream bed and damming the original creek. It took a ton of work, but we finally got it to split and flow another way. [Weirdly, one of the most randomly fun things I have done in years]

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Published on September 24, 2013 at 3:21 am |

Romans 14:20-23


“It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.”
“Sometimes you have to pick corn on someone’s Sabbath.” This is one of the most shocking statements I have ever heard. This declaration was made to me by one of the kindest men I have ever known. He was one of my mentors, and he was explaining to me that Jesus was so gentle and kind to unbelievers and young believers but so firm and tough on experienced believers who should know better and were acting inappropriately.

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Published on September 24, 2013 at 3:29 am |

Romans 15:1-2

We who are strong have an obligation…
What obligations do you have in life? I have obligations to my family, my church, and my job. You probably have those and perhaps more. My brother plays rec-league volleyball. He has played on the same team for several years. An ongoing frustration for him is that his team has a small core of dedicated players, but they can never seem to fill out the roster with players who feel an obligation to show up each week.Read more ...

Published on September 25, 2013 at 3:23 am |

Romans 15:3

For Christ did not please himself…

One of the most staggering things I have ever read was a psychological profile of Jesus. A man I know did his doctoral dissertation on Jesus’ psyche. This study really dug into the humanity of Jesus. How did He think, what were His mental processes, by what was He motivated? Jesus is God, but He is also a man.Read more ...

Published on September 26, 2013 at 3:45 am |

Romans 15:4

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction.

It is hilarious to think that 100 years ago there were many people who had never seen a plane. Now, there is rarely a time when you can’t see a plane somewhere in the sky. There are many people alive today who grew up without indoor plumbing…we could list many things about how the world continues to change rapidly. Yet, people are still the same. When you read stories in the Bible, you often think, “I know a guy like that,” or, “I may have reacted exactly the same.”

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Published on September 27, 2013 at 2:24 am |

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