Faith, Hope, Love

1 Corinthians 13:13

But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

This is a familiar and favorite Bible verse for many people. Yet do we understand what it means? This is an important verse, but we need to consider it in its context so that we can learn the lessons we ought to take from it. So let us consider this passage and see how we should understand it.Continue Reading

Thankful (Part 4): Thankful for Our Hope

Thankful

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:52-57).

In Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth, he spent the entire fifteenth chapter discussing the resurrection. The resurrection is the reason why our hope as Christians is better than anything for which others may hope. No matter what happens in this life – even when we face difficult situations, including the eventual end in death – our hope remains as long as we continue to faithfully serve the Lord.Continue Reading

Thankful (Part 1): Thankful for God’s Word

Thankful

Seven times a day I praise You, because of Your righteous ordinances” (Psalm 119:164).

We have many different reasons to praise God and give thanks to Him. In the passage above, the psalmist mentioned God’s “righteous ordinances” as a reason to praise Him. He was referring to the word that God revealed to man (the entire psalm is dedicated to His word). Not only is this something for which we should be thankful, but it also reveals to us many other reasons for us to give thanks to God. So we will consider it in the first part of this series.Continue Reading

Man Does Not Live by Bread Alone

Bread

The book of Deuteronomy contains many reminders for God’s people that were given to them before entering the promised land of Canaan. They were reminded of the law, of their wilderness wanderings, and of God’s care for them. In the passage below, they were reminded of some of the blessings the Lord had provided, including how God sent manna from heaven for them to eat.

You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 8:2-3).

The Israelites needed food and God provided it. It may not have been what they would have preferred, but it was what they needed.

We continually face challenges in our lives – just as the Israelites faced after they left Egypt. During these times, we should consider some of the lessons from this passage.Continue Reading

Contentment: What It Is and Is Not

Man Sitting on Dock

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am” (Philippians 4:11).

The Bible stresses the importance of contentment in the lives of God’s people. Like Paul’s example in the passage above, we should be content in every circumstance in which we find ourselves.

However, we need to be sure we understand what contentment is. Many might claim to be content; but in reality their condition may be better described as immaturity, disobedience, cowardice, laziness, or apathy. So in this article, we are going to consider what the Bible says about contentment – what it is and what it is not.Continue Reading

The Cross as a Symbol

Cross and sunset

It is common to see the image of a cross being used as a symbol – a symbol of “Christianity,” an image in art and jewelry, and so on. However, that is not what we will be discussing here. A Christian does not need a cross around his neck, nor does a church need a cross on its building. Instead, we will be talking about “the word of the cross” (1 Corinthians 1:18) – the message of the gospel.

In the gospel, the cross is shown as a symbol representing some fundamental concepts. In following Christ, we are to take up our cross (Luke 9:23), making the same traits which are symbolized by the cross manifested in our lives.

So what does the cross symbolize?Continue Reading

Taking Personal Responsibility

Pointing at ManIn a time of lockdowns, shelter-in-place orders, and social distancing, we are more cut off from others than we had been previously. Obviously, there are challenges to this type of social arrangement – including spiritual challenges. One such challenge is that it is increasingly important for each of us to take personal responsibility for our faith and our standing before God. Paul mentioned this idea in his letter to the brethren in Philippi:

So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).

Paul wanted these brethren to maintain their faithfulness even when he was absent from them and could not encourage them in person. The reason for the lack of in-person interaction is different today. And, of course, Paul was only speaking of himself as being absent from them; the brethren in Philippi were still together. However, the challenge described by Paul is the same. We must maintain our faithfulness, even without the in-person encouragement we are used to receiving from other Christians.

In this article, we are going to notice why personal responsibility is important, some ways in which we are to take personal responsibility, and also why taking personal responsibility should never cause us to think that isolation from fellow Christians is to be preferred.Continue Reading