Mike Shreve shares good advice…
The ten commandments of the old covenant are a primary part of our spiritual foundation. Bible believers often display them in an effort to influence others toward righteousness. God himself proclaimed them from Mount Sinai in a fiery display, and engraved them on tablets of stone.
However, they are part of ‘the Law’: a system of religious, moral and lifestyle demands Paul later labelled ‘the ministry of condemnation’ and ‘the ministry of death’ (2 Cor. 3:7-9). (more…)
Robert and Maureen McQuillan remind readers that ability is good but that availability is more useful to God.
In Galatians 5, Paul speaks very strongly regarding our freedom in and through Christ. The Message Bible version uses some down-to-earth wording in urging us to get rid of ‘stuff’ – such as ‘a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage…trinket gods; magic-show religion … small-minded and lopsided pursuits’ (v19-20). (more…)
Geraldine Brandt reminds us that what Jesus has done for us will strengthen us to influence others…
One of the definitions of ‘remembering’ is ‘bringing the power and reality of the past into the present.’ It is making past events present realities! ‘Impacting’ indicates ‘a strong effect or influence on someone.’
This is the ministry of the Holy Spirit – it is not merely the effort of the mind endeavouring to revert to the past, it is the omnipotence of the Spirit bringing the power of the past into the present. (more…)
Robert and Maureen McQuillan challenge:
Jesus covered a lot of territory when he encouraged his troubled disciples, ‘Do not be worried and upset. Believe in God and believe also in me’ (John 14:1GNB). The Message Bible puts it even more directly: ‘Don’t let this throw you. You trust God, don’t you? Trust me’ (Emphasis ours).
We can think of ‘this’ as ‘everything.’ After all, let’s face it…in life there are many things that throw us…things that could throw us if we were to let them and things that do throw us because we foolishly let them. (more…)
Question: What did Paul mean when he warned about ‘a different gospel’ being taught? Is something not quite right in churches today?
Dr Jim McClure, noted theologian, answers:
You’re obviously referring to Galatians where Paul used the term ‘a different gospel.’ He was referring to a Jewish version of Christianity that taught that, in addition to the need of placing one’s faith in Christ to be saved, it was also necessary to follow Jewish rules and regulations.
Actually, Paul was so incensed by this distortion that he wrote, ‘I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!’ (Gal 1:6-8). (more…)
Maureen McQuillan reflects…
Doubtlessly everyone who discovered Jesus, the babe of Bethlehem, was overwhelmed at the time and wondered in their hearts how his life, his future would develop as he grew up and what would happen to the child.
Certainly his mother Mary, and her husband Joseph, wondered some years later what had happened when they couldn’t find him one Passover. (more…)