Monthly Archives: October 2015

I Thessalonians 5:16-28 — Because the Lord is coming (part 2)

As Paul concludes this letter, he gives the Thessalonians some final instructions on how to live in light of the Lord’s coming. He told them, Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for … Continue reading

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I Thessalonians 5:12-15 — Because the Lord is coming

After talking about being ready for the Lord’s return, Paul gives us some instructions on how we as a church and as individual Christians are to live. And he starts with our relationships with each other. In talking about our … Continue reading

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I Thessalonians 5:1-11 — Being ready for Jesus…whenever he comes for you

A lot of people wonder when Jesus will come back. The Thessalonians wondered about it back in Paul’s day. People wonder about it today. But Paul essentially reiterates what Jesus said: “We don’t know when Jesus will come back. So … Continue reading

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I Thessalonians 4:13-18 — The hope that we have

“Hopes are for the living; the dead have no hope.” Those were the words of an ancient Greek poet, and it epitomizes how many people in Paul’s time saw death. For that matter, I talk to many Japanese today that … Continue reading

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I Thessalonians 4:9-12 — That we may win respect

Hypocrisy. If there is a word that people like to throw at Christians, it’s hypocrisy. And too often, it’s all too fitting. Unfortunately, it was also true in the time of Paul. By the way some Christians were living, they … Continue reading

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I Thessalonians 4:1-8 — To be sexually pure

We live in a world much like the times of the New Testament, a world in which sexual impurity is rampant. We see it in TV shows, movies, commercials, the internet; wherever you look, it’s there. But in buying into … Continue reading

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I Thessalonians 2:14-3:13 — Ready to face opposition

Nobody likes persecution. Nobody likes being disliked. But as Christians, that’s a reality that we have to prepare ourselves for. There are some people that simply will not like us because of our faith in Christ. This is a truth … Continue reading

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I Thessalonians 2:13-16 — Words of God? Words of men?

We often talk about the Bible as the Word of God. But do we treat it that way? As words that truly come from God and are to be obeyed? Or as words from men, to be followed if we … Continue reading

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I Thessalonians 2:1-12 — Genuine ministers

I was reading Philippians 1 with my wife the other day, where Paul talked about how he praised God that the gospel was spreading even though it was through people who preached with impure motives. (Philippians 1:15-18) The implication being … Continue reading

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I Thessalonians 1 — A genuine faith

This is one of Paul’s earliest letters, perhaps his earliest, written during his second missionary journey. It was written to the church in Thessalonica, and many things that Paul alludes to in this letter can be found in Acts 16-17, from his … Continue reading

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Colossians 4:17-18 — Faithful

If there is one word that I think encapsulates this passage, it’s “faithful.” Tychicus, “a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord.” (4:17) Onesimus, a once unfaithful slave (see Philemon), but now a “faithful and dear brother.” (9) Aristarchus, … Continue reading

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Colossians 4:5-6 — Walking in wisdom

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (5-6) Being wise. Or as … Continue reading

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Colossians 4:2-4 — Praying behind the front lines

I wonder if we understand just how important our prayers are behind the front lines. There are so many people, pastors and missionaries especially, who are out there on the front lines. And many times, we act as if they … Continue reading

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Colossians 3:17-4:1 — Living as Christ’s representatives

I love the way the NLT translates verse 17. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. (3:17) Whenever we do something in the “name … Continue reading

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Colossians 3:1-17 — Living like Christ truly is our life

“Christ is my life.” As a Christian, can you say that? The truth is, he is our life whether we see that or not. Paul tells us in verse 3 that we have died and that our life is now … Continue reading

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Colossians 1:28-2:23 — The fullness we have in Christ

“Fullness.” It apparently was one of the catchwords of the false teaching that was creeping into the Colossian church. And basically, Paul threw it back in these teachers’ faces by saying, “You have know idea what true ‘fullness’ is all … Continue reading

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Colossians 1:15-29 — The only One we need

The Colossian church was facing some kind of false teaching that was slipping in among them. What exactly that teaching was is not clear. But one thing that seems to be clear is that people were teaching them that Christ … Continue reading

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Colossians 1:1-14 — A prayer for all believers

If you ever want to pray a prayer for a fellow Christian but are not sure how to do it, and you want to go beyond a simple, “bless so-and-so,” you don’t have to look any further than the prayers … Continue reading

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Philippians 4:14-23 — When we give

I mentioned in my last blog that the problem with many Christians is that they are still self-centered. That they’re always focused on their wants and needs. But that is not God’s will for us, and that’s not how the Philippians … Continue reading

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Philippians 4:10-13 — The secret of being content

It has been pointed out that we live in a microwave society. We want what we want and we want it now. And when we don’t get what we want when we want it, we grumble and complain. But is that … Continue reading

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Philippians 4:2-9 — Peace in our hearts, peace with each other

As I said yesterday, it’s a little hard to tell the flow of Paul’s thought in these verses, whether he was changing topics, or whether it was all one topic to him. One particular place where it’s a little tricky … Continue reading

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Philippians 4:2-5 — Maintaining unity in the church (Part 2)

It’s hard to tell, sometimes, the flow of what Paul is saying. Did he mean to divide his thoughts between verses 3-4. Or did he mean to to keep verses 3-5 as a set? Or perhaps the whole line of … Continue reading

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Philippians 4:2-3 — Maintaining unity in the church

I wonder how much, as Paul was writing this letter, he was thinking about Euodia and Syntyche. These were two women who he had worked with closely in ministry, and cared about deeply. And yet there was a divide between them. … Continue reading

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Philippians 3:17-4:1 — Living as citizens of heaven

The Philippians were very proud of their status as Romans citizens. And many people today are proud of their status as citizens of their country, whether it be America, Japan, or wherever it may be. But Paul reminds us here … Continue reading

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Philippians 3:12-16 — Pressing on

Very few days go by when I don’t realize just how far I have to go to be like Christ. I think marriage does that to a man. I look at the example of the husband Christ is to the … Continue reading

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Philippians 3:1-11 — Following the example of Christ (part 2)

I wrote a few days ago about how we are to follow the example of Christ. In looking at Paul’s words here in this chapter talking of himself, it struck me that a lot of what he said could be … Continue reading

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Philippians 3:1-11 — Where our focus lies

As we live the Christian life, it’s so easy to get off-focus. Of course, some people can get off-focus in terms of focusing on their jobs, their love life, their possessions, and their money. All these things can get Christians’ minds … Continue reading

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Philippians 2:19-30 — Following the example of Christ

After sharing with the Philippians how they should follow the example of Christ, Paul talks of two men who did just that. Paul says of a man named Timothy (the same one found in I and II Timothy), I have … Continue reading

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Philippians 1:27-2:18 — Shining as the stars

Chapters and verses in the Bible are great in one sense. They certainly make it easier to find passages. But often times, they interrupt the flow of the authors’ thinking, and make us think that they are starting entirely new … Continue reading

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Philippians 1:27-2:11 — What the gospel is all about

We saw last time that Paul tells us to live a life worthy of the gospel. But what is that gospel?  He makes it crystal clear in chapter 2. The gospel is all about Christ, who, being in very nature God, did … Continue reading

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Philippians 1:27-2:4 — Living lives worthy of the gospel

When you look at today’s title, “Living lives worthy of the gospel,” what do you think it means? To be a good Christian witness? To be sharing your faith? To live holy lives? Certainly all these things are true. But … Continue reading

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