“Be a Berean.” This command references the Bereans response to the Gospel message they heard when Paul and Silas preached to them in the synagogue of the Jews. The Jews in the synagogue heard the message and responded by going away and studying Scripture. “Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). When we issue this command to people, we are asking them to be discerning about what they hear and make sure the teaching is inline with Scripture.… Continue reading
For believers the Lord’s Day worship service is the centerpiece of the week. It is the time when they gather with their church family to praise and worship their King. It is a time of sweet fellowship and of edification. The cares of the world are left behind, songs of praise are sung, prayer requests and praise reports are shared, and spiritual batteries are recharged. But there is one believer in the church who experiences Sundays much different from all of the rest, the preaching pastor. For a pastor it is equally a sweet time of worship and fellowship, but it feels much different.… Continue reading
In Matthew’s Gospel he interrupts the trial narrative to highlight a conversation between the religious leaders and Judas (Matt 27:3-10). This passage often provokes the question, “Did Judas really repent?” But, from the beginning, a reader should note, this paragraph is not about Judas. It’s about the religious leaders.
I cannot blame people for focusing on Judas. Even the publishers of the NASB Bible title this section, “Judas’s Remorse.” But read through the discourse taking note of who Matthew highlights. Judas is the instigator in this conversation, but Matthew wants us to note the religious leaders’ responses.
Here is a basic outline:
- Judas observes Jesus’s condemnation and returns the silver to the chief priest and elders.
Being a pastor is a high calling, but a very strange job. And one of the strangest things I do is to read bad books. Not bad in the sense that they are poorly written, but bad in the sense that though they purport to be Christian resources they are so deeply flawed they are not just non-edifying, they are dangerous to the believers who read and are influenced by them. And I just read a doozy, Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis (published by Thomas Nelson).
I know that there was more buzz about this book a few months ago, but I actually wanted to take the time to read it, and besides, it is still the best selling Christian book according to the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association.… Continue reading
Fellowship. It’s such a rich and meaningful word in the Bible, and yet a somewhat generic catch-all term in the vernacular of modern Christians. What is fellowship? In Scripture, fellowship is a word used to describe the common life that Christians enjoy with one another, as those who have been brought into a reconciled relationship with God through Christ by grace. Entire books have been written to flesh out this one word, given the depth and breadth of its use in the Bible.
If we were to do a study together of the concept (not just the word itself) of fellowship in the NT – at least as it concerns fellowship between Christians – we would see five major themes emerge from that study. … Continue reading