The word “experience” in religious and spiritual settings is dangerous. For so many it means emotionally charged moments — moments that have nothing to do with God in reality, or with his coming into one’s life. But we’ll not let the danger keep us from the necessity of addressing the need for experiencing God.
Often, in Scripture the idea of experience is found in the verb “to know” and the noun “knowledge.” Many metaphors are also used in describing relationship with God, such as “walk.” The language of Scripture is rich to describe how we experience God.
What is it exactly that we need to experience in terms of God? Continue reading
On my microblog, “R’s Commonplace Book,” its subtitle is “God in the details.” This is an allusion to the phrase that “the devil is in the details.” Devil here apparently stands for difficulties. The idea is one thing, working it out is quite another. By putting God in the place of the devil, I wanted to say that God works out his plan in and through our lives.
In our faith we need the details. We also need to see the big picture.
This morning I came across a brotherhood article about Six Core Beliefs. It was a good article. At the same time, I begin to think what I would name as my six basic points of faith. Here’s what I came up with. Continue reading
“I will lead blind Israel down a new path,
guiding them along an unfamiliar way.
I will brighten the darkness before them
and smooth out the road ahead of them.
Yes, I will indeed do these things;
I will not forsake them.”
—Isaiah 42.16 NLT
The word “Israel” which appears in the NLT above does not occur in the original text but it is who is referred to. See verses 19-20. God continued to work in the midst of the people, because of his commitment to the covenant. A remnant would survive. The reference here is possibly to the people’s return from exile to their own land. Continue reading
I like informality. I love working from my home office in flip-flops and bermudas. Ceremony is not my bailiwick. Most people today are non-traditional as well. The laid-back approach has won the day in our time.
That kind of approach, however, does not work well with God, not even having gained the right to call him Father. Continue reading
Adopting an infinite mindset in a world consumed by the finite can absolutely cost a leader their job. —Simon Sinek
CVS bucked the financial bottom line in order to look out for the health of their clients. They stopped selling cigarettes. They adopted what Sinek calls, above, an infinite mindset. Against all predictions, it paid off big for them.
There’s a spiritual principle here. We’re not talking about business or leadership, but rather the Kingdom of God and service to the Lord Jesus Christ. But the quote splashes over into heavenly realities.
In spiritual terms, how is the finite view identified? What does it look like? How does it act? Here are some points. Continue reading
People who believe that God wants to enrich their bank accounts and solve all their health issues engage in materialistic thinking. The health-and-wealth gospel gets just about everything wrong about God and the Good News. In the New Testament, there is no promise of exterior change. On the contrary, Paul tells us to remain where we are, in the condition we find ourselves, 1 Corinthians 7. The Good News is about transformation of the interior and the destiny of our eternal soul.
Closer to home, people who believe that, in order to be a viable congregation, it must have its own building, a full-time paid preacher, and some sort of association with an organized, official school also engage in materialistic thinking. (I see and hear this all the time in missions.) That’s a modern-day formula for church growth and health that many of our people have bought into. Not to mention even the denominational groups who are into professional shows, massaged messages, and mega-everything. You’ll not find any of that anywhere in the New Testament. Continue reading
Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease, because it robs a person of his memory. People have had mates or parents ask, “Who are you?” Such loss of memory robs one of his life.
Normal people forget, too. Sometimes forgetting is a coping mechanism. Victims of accidents and other trauma often cannot remember the moments surrounding the event.
Sometimes it’s just natural for facts, truths, and ideas to get crowded out. Sometimes it’s lack of attention. At other times, it’s deliberate, such as when false teachers “forgot” the flood as evidence of the non-continuity of creation, in 2 Pt 3.5. Continue reading
NOTE: This article uses simple English for the widest possible audience.
In ancient times, a powerful man named Naaman caught a horrible skin disease. The disease eats away the body’s limbs. It would eventually kill him.
Naaman was commander of the armies of Syria. He was a pagan. He did not worship the one true God.
Naaman heard that he could be cured of his disease in Israel. Israel was God’s people before Jesus arrived on the earth. The Syrian commander was directed to Elisha, a man of God. Continue reading
When you woke up and opened your eyes this morning, what was your first thought? At some point in the waking process, did you think, “Wow, I’m alive! God has given me yet another day of life!”?
Most of us probably don’t have those early thoughts. We expect to wake up. We count on another day. We seldom if ever consider the possibility of not popping open our eyes and jumping out of bed to continue what we paused doing yesterday. Continue reading
In the spiritual realm, our senses deceive us. The invisible is what is most real and durable. All we see will perish.
Paul says we walk by faith, not by sight, 2 Cor 5.7. The way of God is not perceived or pursued by physical means. Neither can it be predicted or produced by material objects. Continue reading