1 John 1:9 tells us that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This is a verse that I quote often from the pulpit and when discussing repentance with others. It is also a verse that I tend to not take the heart, or fully trust in. What do I mean by that? Continue reading If we confess our sins…
In several of our recent podcast Laramie and I have highlighted prayer as a beneficial requirement for all of God’s children that would take knowing His will seriously. But I will admit along with every other student of God’s word that praying biblically sound prayers is not something that happens over night. While it does not require grammatically complex sentence structure or incredibly diverse vocabulary to genuinely speak to God, I would hope that our aim in speaking to Him is to speak in reverence and truth before His throne. I would not speak to the Queen of England the same way I speak to my buddy Joe down the street. But definitely, major on the content of your praying, and not so much the style. Continue reading Helps for your prayer life
I have recently been approached with the sobering task of conducting a small graveside service for an infant who died after 10 days of fighting in this world. For the sake of privacy I will not mention any names, but I will say that it is an incredible story of God’s grace and provision. The child and mother experienced an emergency Caesarean at 23 weeks only to be separated as the child was life flighted to a large hospital a couple hours away. It would not be until the mother was recovered enough to be transported that they were reunited for the last few days of the child’s life. The parents expressed incredible faith in God’s control over the whole situation. Continue reading When a child dies
Honey, I’m home!! Yes folks, after a longer than anticipated absence I am back in gear to pump out some material. I have very much been blessed by the interaction I have had with some of our readers and listeners here on TPT (The Practical Theologian) blog and Podcast. It has been a humbling experience to talk about God and His word on a platform where people tune in to listen and read. Continue reading I’m Back!!
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deut. 6:5-9
No matter how you slice it, the call given to men is a tall order. From what we read in this passage alone, I can’t think of a single man who could honestly check this off his bucket list in life. My purpose today is not to give you five easy steps to be a better father/husband, but to remind you that we are not be conformed by the ways of this world, but transformed by the renewal of our minds. We see so many disparaging examples of men in music, movies, books, and even within our church walls. Regardless of what we see, this does NOT change the calling given to us. Continue reading The Call to Every Father
Many churches today tend to emphasize self esteem as important for your life. In that attempt they will recite passages like 1 Pt. 1:18-19 and talk about just how much you are worth to God. “You are worth so much to God that He paid for you with the blood of Jesus.” “You are worth the Blood of Jesus.” This may seem like a subtle point, but it does change one’s view of himself. What is missed many times is the actual point of these passages. Take 1 Peter 1:18-19 “knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”
The knowledge that you have been purchased with the “precious blood of Christ” should not necessarily result in high view of yourself. It should result in a high view of the value of the blood of Jesus, and by extension, your responsibility. Just look at the previous verse. “Conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile.” Yes, Jesus shed His blood for our salvation, but in doing so He should get glory, not us. God’s glory, not me, is worth the blood of Jesus. I am worthy of God’s eternal judgment. That’s why it’s called GRACE. Unmerited favor. God didn’t send His son because we are worth it. He did it because He is good. “While we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”
Am I telling us that we should devalue ourselves? No. I’m telling us that we should value the blood of Jesus more than we do.
I am curious to hear your opinion on this matter. Should we speak highly of our value based on the fact that Jesus died for us?
“ For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
This is a commonly quoted verse from many translations. I’m sure you’ve heard ’em all: you are “His masterpiece“, “His handiwork“, or “His creation“. They all symbolize similar qualities, but I want us to take a deeper look at the meaning. The word used in the Greek here actually translates to a phrase that means “that which has been made” or “a work of God”. I think these phrases put a stronger emphasis on what truly matters. God is the one who started the work and He is the one who will finish it.
We are His workmanship
A designer knows the ins and outs of his design. He knows how each piece works and interacts with the other pieces. In this same fashion, God saves us from our life of sin and gives us purpose. Continue reading A Call to Fruitful Labor
“ If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” James 1:26-27
There was a spoken word that went viral about four years ago and I admit, I was caught up in the hype. Poetry, rhythm, and powerful delivery of passionate thoughts really stir the emotions and sometimes cloud our vision of what truly matters. This article is not a shot at Jeff Bethke but to point to Christ, as I believe was his intentions.
As I’ve stated on our podcast, I’m a words guy. I enjoy learning the etymology of a word and using it properly. Am I against slang, or the current/common meanings for words? Of course not, but when discussing biblical topics, it’s wise to use words in a biblical fashion.
So what is religion? Continue reading Why I Love Religion and Love Jesus