Photo Credit: emotional-stuntman via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: emotional-stuntman via Compfight cc

It was God, through Amos, who said this to the people of Israel:

I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them. Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream! (Amos 5:21-24)

Hundreds of years later, when His Kingdom broke into the earth through Jesus Christ, and then through the Church, this gospel was proclaimed as “good news for the poor” (Luke 4:18). It amazes me to read accounts of the love and generosity of early Christians. Continue Reading…

I’ve been out of town and busy with new responsibilities for the past few weeks, so my blogging and podcast pace has slackened. Instead of recording a new episode this week I’ve dug up an old message I delivered among a small group of friends back in 2009.

The theme of this message is the mystery of Christ and the Church as revealed by Paul in Ephesians and foreshadowed by Adam and Eve in Genesis 1-3. You’ve heard it before, but I hope this will serve as a fresh reminder of the love God has for you in Christ. To lose (and find) yourself in the Bridegroom-Bride relationship with Him never gets old.


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Photo Credit: maxcady808 via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: maxcady808 via Compfight cc

As the order of this age gives way to the Kingdom of God, your allegiance must pass to one side or the other.

Hebrews 12:18-29 is the starting point for this week’s podcast about the peril of divided loyalty. It speaks of the great transition between the old and new covenants that took place following the death and resurrection of Jesus. As a parallel I also talk about the story of Jonathan, son of King Saul, and his relationship to David when the kingship of Israel was passing hands (that story is found in the second half of 1 Samuel). Continue Reading…

 

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Photo Credit: C.Horvath via Compfight cc

When I first began to study the history of the Church outside Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism, I found this quote from Martin Luther:

The right kind of evangelical order cannot be exhibited among all sorts of people, but those who are seriously determined to be Christians and confess the gospel with hand and mouth, must enroll themselves by name and meet apart, in one house, for prayer, for reading, to baptize, to take the Sacrament, and exercise other Christian works. With such order it would be possible for those who did not behave in a Christian manner to be known, reproved, restored, or excluded, according to the rule of Christ. Here also they could, in common, subscribe alms, which would be willingly given and distributed among the poor, according to the example of Paul. Here it would not be necessary to have much or fine singing. Here a short and simple way of baptism and the Sacrament could be practiced, and all would be according to the Word and in love. But I cannot yet order and establish such an assembly, for I have not yet the right people for it. If, however, it should come about that I must do it, and am driven to it, I will willingly do my part. In the meantime, I will call, excite, preach, help forward it, until the Christians take the Word so in earnest that they will themselves find how to do it and continue in it.

Continue Reading…

How are disciples of Jesus to live and pray in times of national conflict? This is not an easy question to answer, but there is a clear answer if you have eyes to see it.

In today’s episode of the podcast I highlight the prayer of Watchman Nee at the 1938 Keswick Convention. What he spoke from that platform is just as relevant and just as revolutionary today as it was during the second world war.

Why is it relevant today? Continue Reading…

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Photo Credit: Jannine Moschetti via Compfight cc

There is always a temptation for small groups of Christians who meet in their homes to become insular and ingrown. This can even happen with “organic” churches that come together around an epic vision of Christ as all in all.

I know, because I’ve been there.

For three years I was part of an intimate gathering of believers who struck out beyond the pale of institutional Christianity in search of life together in Christ. While we did discover a deeper fellowship than anything we’d experienced in traditional church, we also ran up against the roadblock of spiritual homogenization. Continue Reading…

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Photo Credit: HungaryMonster via Compfight cc

Last week on the podcast I talked about eating and drinking Christ. Today I’m talking about eating and drinking Christ in community.

Listen, brothers and sisters: The New Testament revelation of who you are in Christ has a certain context which, if you are missing, will frustrate all your efforts to realize the promises of God and walk in His Spirit.

That context is the community of Christ. Continue Reading…

Coffee, anyone?

February 21, 2015 — 7 Comments

Of all the articles I wrote for House2House magazine, this one generated the most response. It addresses one of my deepest burdens: How to practice the unity of the Body of Christ.

Scripture is replete with images of the Church as the Family of God.

For instance, God is our Father and we are all brothers and sisters in Him. The Jerusalem “from above” is our mother (Galatians 4:26), and Jesus, by implication at least, is our elder Brother (Hebrews 2:11).

There are many aspects of family, then, which can be applied to the Church. I would like to consider this from an angle you may not be familiar with, beginning with this question: When you were physically born, did you get to choose your family? More specifically, did you get to pick whom you would relate to as brother or sister? Continue Reading…

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Photo Credit: Ostrosky Photos via Compfight cc

Did you know that Jesus claimed to be “real” food and drink, and that those who follow Him would be able to eat and drink of Him?

Eating and drinking of Christ in the Spirit–that is the subject of this week’s podcast. Though this episode is over a full hour long, I feel like I only began to touch on a few important elements of the spiritual life. Therefore, please get back to me with any comments or feedback; depending on the response I may do a follow-up post next week. Continue Reading…

Two kinds of peace

February 10, 2015 — 3 Comments
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Photo Credit: tekniklr via Compfight cc

“I do not give peace the way the world gives peace.”

That is essentially what Jesus said in John 14:27. What did he mean? How does the world give peace? How does Jesus give peace? Are we to live by one in the good times and another in the bad?

All these questions and more are what I explore in the latest episode of the podcast. I hope you benefit from it, and that you share it with other people who will benefit from it as well.


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