Let’s show how it oughta be done!

Those Thessalonians: they knew how it oughta be done!

Paul’s second missionary journey took him into Thessalonica, a city in Macedonia (what is now northern Greece). After he arrived in Corinth, he wrote back to the Thessalonians to encourage and establish them more firmly. The believers there had become known widely as shining examples for others to emulate…in fact, that’s where the title above came from: Continue reading

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Hey, guess what, it’s Jesus’ birthday! I wondered what He’d like — I mean, what do you get a guy who has everything…literally?

We could throw Him a surprise party. Oh, wait…He’d know we were even thinking of it, let alone actually attempting it.

OK, I have it; it’s exactly what He wants, but can’t have unless we give it to Him ourselves. It’s the perfect CHRIST-mas present: Continue reading

“The Presence of the Lord” is NOT a figure of speech

The Apostle Paul was not using a figure of speech, or a form of symbolic writing in the following excerpt from his first letter to the Thessalonians:

“…to establish your hearts unblamable in holiness in front of our God and Father, in the presence of our Lord Jesus with all His saints. (1 Thessalonians 3:13) Continue reading

God’s “Approach Present” is more than a gift…It’s an offering…TO US!

An “approach present” — that is, an offering — has a significantly greater importance and purpose in the scriptures than simply a “gift.”

When Jacob met Esau, many years after virtually stealing Esau’s birthright, he didn’t simply bring a gift. Jacob brought his estranged and rightfully angry brother an “approach present,” an offering to make amends for the ill will that Jacob’s actions toward his brother had caused. Here’s the brief exchange at their reunion: Continue reading

We’re the “Body,” not the “Bride.”

I read a story recently by a Christian writer who equated the “Church” with the “Bride of Christ.” The writer’s tone assumed this to be the correct identity for all believers in Jesus Christ. It seems a common mistake I’ve heard preached frequently in many churches around the country, denominational and nondenominational alike. Continue reading

Grace vs. Patience

God’s grace “superabounds(Romans 5:15), “superexceeds(Romans 5:20),  and “overwhelms,” (1 Timothy 1:14). His patience, however, is limited (1 Peter 3:20).

Want evidence? Read the story of Noah, Sodom and Gomorrah, Moses, Saul, Jonah, and countless others (Heck, read the whole book of Revelation!).

What’s it all mean to us today? Perhaps at least this: God can’t lose us, since Christ died for us, but we can lose Him if we become stubborn and rebellious, and remain that way (Romans 1:16-32).

I’d much rather live in the  Father’s superabounding, superexceeding, overwhelming grace, wouldn’t you?

Blessings and joy in the journey.

Are WE aware what we are doing?

After three and a half years of ministering to God’s chosen people, Yeshua ha Mashiach (Jesus the Messiah) acknowledged that the people who had called for His destruction to protect their own positions, had no idea what they were doing when they insisted on His crucifixion.

Now Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they are not aware what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) Continue reading