The True Sign of Maturity

As I read Paul’s letters to the churches, I’m amazed how often Paul addressed Christian behavior. He always began by reminding us of our identity because we can’t live a godly life without the indweliing of the Holy Spirit. In Colossians 3, Paul reminds us that we are dearly loved by God and chosen to be holy. And because we are loved, we love! I pray that the church that...

Paul’s Gospel

“Christ is my message! I make known this mystery – Christ in you is the hope of glory.” Apostle Paul I’ve heard we should go back to teaching the basic. Yes! Let’s go back to teaching the Gospel according to Apostle Paul: 1. It is by grace we are saved through faith. It’s not of ourselves but a gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8) 2. We have been made righteous by...

Living Victoriously in the 21st Century

The letters of Paul, while containing deep theological truths, also contain practical advice for living in 21st century America. We may think the world is more corrupt than previous generations. It is not. Evil is evil. It may dress itself up differently, but it’s the same foe we have been contending with since the Garden of Eden. The Good news is that he is now a defeated foe because of...

The Church

Written from prison, under the regime of an extremely corrupt and immoral government, Paul wrote the book of Ephesians. Think about it. Paul wrote the greatest book on the identity of Christ while submitting to a government that would make most Americans cringe. In this book, Paul describes the completeness of Christ salvation, not once mentioning a government. Why? Because the church, the true church, is not dependent upon who...

Sometimes You Need a Truck

In 2012, when gas was over $3.60/gallon, my husband decided to buy a brobdingnagian, V8, gas guzzling truck. I thought it was a bad idea. It didn’t make sense on paper. I resisted. The truck is so big, no one else in the family (at that time we had 5 drivers in the house) was comfortable driving it but him. But he insisted, that “Big Butt Bertha” was the next...

Restoring a Loved One

Teach in love. Correct in relationship. Rebuke without judgment. Convince with gentle words. Call up into purpose. Seek to restore. Demonstrate a better way. Bear each other’s burdens. Laugh together. Break bread together. Love relentlessly. Preserve dignity. Point to Jesus. No, we don’t turn a blind eye if a brother or sister is overtaken with a fault. We seek to restore and correct but that must be done in the...

Count it Joy!

🎶 “Count it all joy when the world starts crashing. Hold your head up and keep on dancing.” 🎶 Alright -MercyMe This song has been my anthem this year. But yesterday the phrase, “Count it all joy,” just permeated my soul. Can I just be honest my Facebook friends? “I’m weary.” I’m weary of remote learning. I’m weary of not seeing my children. I’m weary of the political divide. I’m...

Reading of the Will

I am a child of “the” promise. This verse caused me to pause this morning and ask, “What promise?” We are children of Abraham, grafted into the family by the blood of Jesus. What God spoke to Abraham belongs to us today. It is our inheritance. It is our blood right obtained by the obedient sacrifice of Jesus. Let’s read the will this morning as a reminder: “The Lord had...

Law or Grace?

We are New Covenant people. We are no longer under the Law but under grace. While grace is far better than Law, for some reason, we keep running back to Law. Yesterday, (read here) I shared about the confrontation between Paul and Peter when Peter behaved hypocritically and fell back into the law. As I was preparing to run errands yesterday, I felt as if the Holy Spirit say, “I...

Going Against the Grain

Peter was an established leader in this new movement. He had walked with Jesus. He preached a sermon and 3000 people were converted to Christ. He was the first to introduce the Gospel to the Gentiles. Peter carried so much power and authority that his shadow healed as he walked the streets. Peter was the Man! I wonder how awkward it was for Paul, a former persecutor of the church,...