Paul calls God “blessed”: “. . . he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6:15). Why is God blessed, and what does that mean? The answers to these questions are the source of great Christian comfort and happiness.
You may be reading this because you love your pastor and want to bless him, but you aren’t sure how. This is a great starting place. Remember: he is a person, a heart and soul, who values relationships, and is affected by words and actions (silence, too). While he is “up there,” he is also right here next to you, running the race of the Christian life––and your encouragement may be God’s providence to spur him onward, to give him grace for the next leg of the race.
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is a biblical concept spoken by Jesus in Luke 6:31 and Matthew 7:12; it is commonly referred to as the “Golden Rule.”
I tried to grow a garden once. It didn’t go well. I had great aspirations when I planted it. I pictured a well-watered and neatly weeded patch of earth that would yield a steady supply of summer vegetables. I planted, watered, and weeded really well—at first. But then came the heat. The bugs. The weeds. And it was taking such a long time for the sprouts to grow! Eventually, I gave up. It seemed easier to simply buy some vegetables at the grocery store.
When things are difficult, one of the first things that Christians are prone to forget is how we are called to be a thankful people. Thankfulness is an active disposition of praise and gratefulness to God for who he is and what he has done, is doing, and will do in our lives and in the world. Admittedly, with our present circumstances and the grim forecasts that we have been hearing and seeing over the last few months, it can be hard to be thankful. Yet, the difficulty of our situation does not exempt us from our need to be thankful.
One of my favorite hobbies is hiking. I love finding a new trail, tackling the unknown terrain and enjoying the beauty and peace of nature. There’s so much to reflect on and experience along the way. And in the end, there’s nothing like the satisfaction of making it to the top and viewing the city below me. Our lives are a bit like a hike. We are all journeying in some way. Whether consciously or unconsciously, we set our paths towards certain experiences and aim for a desired destination.
God’s Love is the love of a Father, Creator, and Friend. The Bible is full of examples of how He has shown His love to people throughout history. He showed love to Adam, first by warning him of the danger of temptation, and then, when Adam had to leave the garden because of his sin, by both clothing him and by promising to fix the evil that Adam had caused. He showed His love to His people in Israel by saving them from the oppression of the Egyptians and continually calling them back to Himself when they disobeyed (again and again and again).
I’ve been spending a good amount of my time studying the biblical doctrine of faith and hope. In doing so I uncovered this gem from John Bunyan and thought you might enjoy. (I’ve tried to modernize the language or summarize where necessary)
Here are nine ways which faith and hope are different and yet work together:
Unity in the Christian church has been a challenging thing since the earliest days of Christianity. The importance of getting Christian belief and behavior right, coupled with the open-to-interpretation nature of much of Scripture, leads to VERY strong feelings and uncompromising convictions on all manner of Christian theology and praxis.
Humility doesn’t come from self-help. Any do-it-yourself “humility,” rooted in your own initiative, is but pride masquerading as its enemy. Genuine humility is the work and initiative of God.
And yet we human creatures have a part to play. Our humbling, at God’s lead, manifestly involves our minds and hearts and wills and behaviors. And while there is no simple program for making ourselves truly humble, God has given us examples to follow, and he has given us some practices and patterns to cultivate and sustain.