The Christian and Minimalism

Bible on desk with cup and clock

If you have spent much time online looking at articles and videos about personal development – how to make the best use of your time, get the most out of life, and focus on what is important – you have likely come across the concept of minimalism. Many self-help gurus promote this philosophy and there are a number of people who describe the benefits they have seen in their own lives by adopting its principles. There are some concepts found in minimalism that will be appealing to most people, even if they do not embrace it in its entirety.

What is minimalism? And what place, if any, does it have in the life of a Christian? Let us briefly consider this concept.Continue Reading

Why Would Anyone Be a Christian?

Sitting and Looking at SunsetIn the previous article, we discussed the demands of discipleship. We saw that in order to be one of Jesus’ disciples, we must be willing to surrender earthly homes and family relationships and make a lifelong commitment to Him. Many are unwilling to do this. Others are not only unwilling, but they also do not understand why anyone would do this.

The fact that people would question the reasonableness of being a Christian is understandable. In fact, the apostle Paul wrote, “If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:19). For one who is only looking at things as they pertain to life here on the earth, it does not make sense for anyone to be a disciple of Christ.

Yet there certainly are reasons for being a disciple despite the demanding nature of that life. In this article, we are going to consider four reasons why we are Christians and why we believe others should be as well.Continue Reading

The Real Pharisees (Part 5): The Pharisees Rejected God’s Purpose for Themselves

The Real Pharisees

But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves, not having been baptized by John” (Luke 7:30).

People often wonder if they have some special purpose in life. Of course, we all have the same general purpose – to “fear God and keep His commandments” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). But there are few in history that have had a specific purpose from God.

One individual with this type of specific purpose was John the Baptist. Jesus mentioned him in the context of His discussion of the Pharisees rejecting God’s purpose for themselves. Jesus said, “This is the one about whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, who will prepare Your way before You’” (Luke 7:27; cf. Malachi 3:1). When John came, he had a specific purpose – to prepare the way for Christ.
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Diligently Seeking God

Man on a mountain

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

The Hebrew writer said that God will reward those who “diligently seek Him” (NKJV). Jesus promised that if we “seek,” we “will find” (Matthew 7:7). Is this a guarantee? Does the Bible teach that if we seek for God we can be assured of finding Him? Yes – provided we are seeking with the right attitude.

Paul told the ones gathered on Mars Hill that we can “seek God” and “find Him” because “He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27). But how can He be found by those who are seeking for Him? In this article, we are going to consider how God made it so that He can be found by those who seek for Him.
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The Importance of Faith (Part 6): The Standard

The Importance of Faith (Part 6): The Standard

For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

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A New Creature

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

When Paul spoke of Christians (those “in Christ”) as being new creatures, he did not mean that we are no longer human as if we had become a new species. We remain human beings made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). But there are significant changes that come when one becomes a disciple of Christ. Let us notice a few of the “new things” that come when one becomes a “new creature” in Christ.
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Our Purpose in Life

Sunset by the ocean

People naturally want their lives to have a purpose. Depression often comes when someone thinks his life has no meaning or when he thinks that the things he does have no lasting significance. It is easy to feel a lack of purpose and significance when we focus on physical things.

This is what the book of Ecclesiastes is all about. The wise man began the book with these words: “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). He wrote about his search for purpose and satisfaction in many things, but found none. He called wisdom “striving after wind” (Ecclesiastes 1:17). He said pleasure was “futility” and that it accomplished nothing (Ecclesiastes 2:1-2). The great possessions he had obtained were of “no profit” (Ecclesiastes 2:11) and his hard work was “vanity” (Ecclesiastes 2:23). These observations may be summed up in this statement: “So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind” (Ecclesiastes 2:17). Many of us have likely had similar thoughts at one time or another.
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