A Year of Jubilee

Year of Jubilee

The start of a new year is seen by many as a time to restart – enact changes, make resolutions, set goals, and so on. Obviously, these things can be done any time of the year; but the start of a calendar year makes a natural break that can be used to spur us on to start anew in some way.

In the Law of Moses, there were instructions about a time to “restart” or begin again. It was the year of jubilee that occurred every fifty years.

You are also to count off seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years, so that you have the time of the seven sabbaths of years, namely, forty-nine years. You shall then sound a ram’s horn abroad on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the day of atonement you shall sound a horn all through your land.

You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family. You shall have the fiftieth year as a jubilee; you shall not sow, nor reap its aftergrowth, nor gather in from its untrimmed vines. For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you. You shall eat its crops out of the field” (Leviticus 25:8-12).

As we begin a new year, there are several lessons that are good for us to learn from this year of jubilee.Continue Reading

Good Things to Do When You’re Older

Old man by the water

In a previous article, we discussed some good things to do when one is young. We focused on what young people are to do in order to enjoy life while also pleasing the Lord.

What if we are not young anymore? What responsibilities do we have when we are older?

This is not just about what we are to do when we are “old” (however we want to define that) or at the end of our lives (though it would certainly include that). This is a wide age range, from around 30 years old and up – old enough to influence young adults until death. What does the Bible say about what is good to do when we are older? We will notice six things.Continue Reading

Confident of Salvation

Man at Sunrise

The Scriptures teach that the Lord will return to judge the world (Matthew 25:31-32; Acts 17:31; 2 Corinthians 5:10). We will be judged based upon His word (John 12:48) and He will determine our eternal fate. We will either be welcomed into “eternal life” or sentenced to “eternal punishment” (Matthew 25:46).

Knowing this, is it possible for us to have confidence in our eternal salvation? Must we live our lives without knowing whether our final home will be in heaven or in hell? Notice what the apostle John wrote:

Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him” (1 John 2:28-29).

John described a confidence that we can have as we anticipate the Lord’s return. He did not describe the Christian as one who is wishing for salvation but not knowing whether he will be saved. Yet how are we able to have such confidence, especially when we can recognize how much we have yet to grow in our walk with the Lord? Let us consider a few points that will help us answer this question.Continue Reading

No Laughing Matter

Laughing Statues

Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom” (James 4:9).

In the verse above, James contrasted two different attitudes that people have toward God – one of careless joy, the other of sober humility. The inspired writer was clear in showing which attitude we are to have before God. We are not to take something lightly when the Lord wants us to consider it soberly.

We sometimes label a condition, situation, or event as being “no laughing matter” when someone is taking a light-hearted approach to a serious matter. There are a few occasions in the Bible when this reminder would have been helpful as there were those who took lightly the promises, instructions, or warnings of God. In this article, we are going to consider five of these examples and notice what all of them have in common.Continue Reading

Christ Our Mediator

Cross at sunset

One of the ways that Jesus is described in the New Testament is as a mediator. Paul wrote, “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). It is important that we understand what this means. Let us consider what the New Testament teaches about Jesus as our mediator.
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God Remembered

Noah's Ark

But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things which accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way. For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints” (Hebrews 6:9-10).

The Hebrew writer reminded the Christians to whom he wrote that God would not forget their work. The same promise applies to us today as well.

On an intellectual level, Christians may know this. We know that God is omniscient and, therefore, knows what we are doing and what we have done. However, during difficult times, it can sometimes feel as though God has forgotten us, even though we know He has not.
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You Have Need of Endurance

Running

Oxford Dictionary defines endurance as the fact or power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way. Thayer defines the Greek word that is translated endurance in our English Bibles this way: “not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings.”

Endurance is a characteristic we must have as Christians. But why is it so important? In this article, we are going to consider a few passages that explain why we need endurance as Christians. In these verses, we will notice a few English words (endurance, patience, perseverance), yet these are all from the same Greek word. So let us consider the reasons why we need endurance.
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