People around me know I talk until I’m blue in the face about the importance of reading and studying the Scriptures. You can’t be a faithful disciple without giving regular, constant, unceasing attention to the Bible. Some people are limping spiritually because they don’t do it, but don’t seem to see the connection. Jesus cannot be Lord, however, unless he is heard and obeyed. And if he is not Lord, then he is not Savior.

As necessary as the place of Scripture is in a Christian’s faith, it must be read properly. Personal aspirations and cultural expectations often bend the true meaning of the Bible into an unrecognizable message. When this happens, people reject God’s plan. They miss what he is doing and oppose the true will of God.

It happened to the Jews of Jesus’ day and still happens today. Continue reading

God wants everyone to be saved. As a child of his, I want what he wants. God not only wants everyone to be saved, but he works to this end. As a child of his, I work because God works.

Jesus did not come to condemn, but to save people. (The world already stood condemned.) He sends me out into the world to save people. As his follower, I see each person as a soul in need of forgiveness.

God is perfect in his love. He demands that I, as a child of his, be perfect in love as well. He wants his love to extend to all people.

Jesus speaks a true word that saves. He sends me to speak his same word. As his follower, I am ready at all times to offer to others the opportunity to hear, believe, and obey his word.

So like the Lord Jesus Christ, we say:

So he told them, “My Father is working until now, and I too am working” Jn 5.17.

The proclamation of the Good News of Christ should have convinced the Jews, since they were waiting for the Messiah, possessed the Holy Scriptures which spoke of him, and witnessed the Lord’s miracles. But no! They killed him and would have done the same with the apostles. The members of the Sanhedrin “became furious and wanted to execute them” Acts 5.33.

They did not kill them only because God acted. Do you want to see what he did to save the Twelve? Continue reading

READ: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” 1 Pet 2.9.

THINK: Identity determines mission. Who we are defines what we do. The proclamation is the work of the whole church, focusing on God’s works. Our work is to proclaim, announce to all, disseminate (DGNT) the message about God’s salvation and the manifestations of his power (CLNTG). His goodness is seen in the character of his calling. Continue reading

READ: “For it has been granted to you not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for him” Phil 1.29.

THINK: Suffering for Christ is an experience as basic to the disciple as believing in him. Granted translates the verb to give grace, a positive act on God’s part. (“God has given you a special gift” WE.) He who flees to avoid suffering for the kingdom flees from discipleship, 1 Pet 2.21ff. Suffering as a Christian is our glory, 1 Pet 4.12-19. He who fails to confess/preach Christ for fear of persecution will not be confessed/claimed by him in the judgment, Mt 10.21-39. Continue reading

READ: “And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How timely is the arrival of those who proclaim the good news’” Rom 10.15.

THINK: God is a sending God; so is his people. The church exists to announce the gospel. To do this, it sends people, Acts 8.14; 11.22; 13.3; 15.3; Col 4.8, and offerings, Phil 4.16-18 (see Lk 8.3). The church practices hospitality as a missionary function, Rom 15.24; 16.2, 23; 1 Cor 16.6, 11; 3 Jn 8, as well as communication, Acts 15.33; Col 4.10-14; 1 Thes 3.5; Rev 1.11. It also sends help to needy brethren, Acts 11.29-30; 1 Cor 16.1-3. Continue reading