Monthly Archives: January 2016

James 2:17-26 — How true faith expresses itself (Part 4)

There was something that I wanted to add in the last blog, but it was getting long as it was, so I decided to put it here. One thing that I have been trying very carefully to do is to … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, James, New Testament | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

James 2:17-26 — How true faith expresses itself (Part 3)

We said yesterday that it’s not simply enough to say, “I believe in God,” in order to be saved. Nor, for that matter, is it enough to say “I believe that Jesus died for my sin and rose again” in … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, James, New Testament | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

James 2:14-26 — How true faith expresses itself (Part 2)

I think it’s easy at times to parse the Bible into neat little sections, especially as we do our daily Bible reading. What I’ve been noticing more and more over the past year, though, is that when we do that, … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, James, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

James 1:26-2:13 — How true faith expresses itself

One of the things that James really is strong on is that true faith expresses itself in more than just saying, “I believe in God.” Many people today say, “I believe in God.” But as we will see in later … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, James, New Testament | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

James 1:19-25 — Open hearts

At times, I must admit this letter James wrote seems a bit disjointed. He just seems to jump from topic to topic. But the more I’ve been reading this letter as a whole, the more united it has become. In … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, James, New Testament | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

James 1:13-18 — For our good

“Why is God doing this to me? Does he want me to fall?” Sometimes, as we go through trials, that’s how we feel. That God actually wants us to fail so that he can punish us. But nothing could be … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, James, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

James 1:9-12 — Where we put our trust

Who or what do you put your trust in? Trials tend to reveal this clearly. For many, it’s in worldly wealth. They think that money is the solution to all their problems. And so for those who have wealth, they pour … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, James, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

James 1:1-8 — That we may be mature and complete

What is God’s intention and desire for us? In a word, “wholeness.” That we would be whole in our relationship with him. That we would be whole in our relationships with each other. That we would be whole in every … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, James, New Testament | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hebrews 13:20-25 — Equipped

I love how the writer of Hebrews closes his letter. Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, Hebrews, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Hebrews 13:17-18 — Following and praying for your leaders

I have great respect for the pastors who have been over me. I’ve been teaching God’s word for a long time, but have never sensed the call to be a pastor. If all being a pastor meant was teaching God’s … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, Hebrews, New Testament | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Hebrews 13:7-16 — Serving the one who never changes

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (8) This is a famous verse, and one of my favorites. It reminds me that my Lord is unchanging. And that is comforting in a world where people change all … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, Hebrews, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Hebrews 13:5-6 — What we love, what we put our trust in

I’ve gotta admit, having money makes life easier. It makes it easier to deal with serious health problems, as we can afford more expensive types of treatments. It allows us to have better cars or homes when our old ones … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, Hebrews, New Testament | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Hebrews 13:4 — Honoring our marriages

When you look at the spiritual and moral landscape of the United States, Japan, and many other countries, it’s amazing to see how the concept of marriage has deteriorated. You don’t even need to dip into the idea of gay … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, Hebrews, New Testament | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Hebrews 13:3 — Remembering the imprisoned

I considered just finishing up Hebrews today, but I did want to look at some tidbits in this final chapter a little more closely. Here in verse 3, as a part of showing brotherly kindness, the writer of Hebrews says, … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, Hebrews, New Testament | Leave a comment

Hebrews 12-13 — Because we have this inheritance

We’ve talked the last couple of days about the inheritance God offers us in Christ and the dangers of refusing this inheritance. But if as Christians we have now received this inheritance, how then shall we live? The writer of Hebrews tells … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, Hebrews, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Hebrews 12:15-29 — If we turn our backs on God

There are two sides to every coin. And we see that in this passage. On one hand, there is the inheritance that God offers to us if we will become his children and heirs. On the other hand, there’s judgment … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, Hebrews, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Hebrews 12:16-29 — The inheritance we have

We saw yesterday that the writer of Hebrews warned us not to be like Esau who tossed aside his inheritance because of his ungodliness, and was unable to regain it though he begged for his father’s blessing with tears. And … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, Hebrews, New Testament | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Hebrews 12:14-17 — Holiness

“Sure, I’m a Christian. I believe the Bible. I believe in Jesus.” Many people in the church say this, and yet their lives don’t show it. They’re still living the way they always have, and there is no change or … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, Hebrews, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Hebrews 12:1-13 — When we face trials

No one likes to face trials in life. But God does allow them. Why? The writer of Hebrews tells us in verse 10. God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. We are broken people … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, Hebrews, New Testament | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Hebrews 12:1-2 — We also

Running has never been my thing. I recently have picked it up again though my runs tend to be very short, no where near a 10k, no less a marathon. But as Christians, we are called to join the great … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, Hebrews, New Testament | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Hebrews 11:36-40 — What a life of faith does not mean

There are a number of people who seem to think that if you have enough faith, your life should be all smooth sailing. No health problems, no financial problems, just a happy-go-lucky life. They apparently have never read this chapter. … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, Hebrews, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Hebrews 11:32-35 — Faith and grace

I have to admit that I have trouble understanding why people like Gideon and Samson are mentioned in the “Hall of Faith” despite their failures. It’s amazing to me that their failures are not even mentioned in this chapter. But … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, Hebrews, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Hebrews 11:32-35 — When we trust God

Have you ever noticed the people that the writer of Hebrews mentions as “paragons” of faith in verse 32? Most of them were hardly paragons. Samuel, though he was a great judge and prophet, failed greatly when it came to raising … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, Hebrews, New Testament | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hebrews 11:23-31 — A faith that knows who to fear

It has often been said, “If you fear God, you need not fear anyone else.” Jesus himself warned us, Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, Hebrews, New Testament | Leave a comment

Hebrews 11:17-22 — A faith that believes that God is good

“God is good.” “All the time.” “All the time…” “God is good.” I’ve been to a couple of churches for which this was kind of a mantra. But how many of us really believe it? Oh sure, in good times … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, Hebrews, New Testament | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Hebrews 11:11-12 – – Faith to see beyond (part 2)

“It’s impossible. I can’t do it.” How often do we see situations in life and say that, if not with our mouths, then in our hearts? That’s how Abraham and Sarah must have felt. God first gave them the promise … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, Hebrews, New Testament | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Hebrews 11:8-16 — A faith that sees beyond

This earth is not our home. Most Christians know this. But how many actually live this way? Abraham did. The writer of Hebrews said of him, By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, Hebrews, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Hebrews 11:7 — A faith that prepares for judgment

Judgment day. It’s not a subject that people like to talk about. Particularly non-Christians. Oh, they don’t mind the thought of criminals and other “evil” people being judged by God. But somehow, when they think of “evil” people, they never … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, Hebrews, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Hebrews 11:1-6 — The need for faith

Why is faith so important? Because for whatever reason, it is the one thing that God desires from all of us as his creatures. The writer of Hebrews tells us that it is for their faith that God commended all … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, Hebrews, New Testament | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Hebrews 11:1-6 — The foundation of our faith

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. (1-2) A lot of people see these verses, and think of them as the definition … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, Hebrews, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Hebrews 10:32-39 — In a little while

God never promised us an easy life. In fact, Jesus promised us just the opposite. That there would be times of trouble. That people would even hate us for following Christ. And while that may or not be real to … Continue reading

Posted in General Epistles, Hebrews, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment