Author: Charlie Handren

Rejoice, Pray, Give Thanks: A Way of Life in Christ

Engaging with God: A Forray into Prayer and Spiritual Warfare Near the end of his first letter to the church of Thessalonica, the Apostle Paul issued an exhortation that at once seems inviting and impossible. He writes, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1st Thessalonians 5:16-18). This exhortation seems inviting because it calls us into an ideal and fruitful way of life, and it is a fitting response to all that God accomplished for us and granted to us in Christ. However, it...

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Like a Wineskin in the Smoke

Psalm 119:81-88, “My soul longs for your salvation; I hope in your word. My eyes long for your promise; I ask, “When will you comfort me?” For I have become like a wineskin in the smoke, yet I have not forgotten your statutes. How long must your servant endure? When will you judge those who persecute me? The insolent have dug pitfalls for me; they do not live according to your law. All your commandments are sure; they persecute me with falsehood; help me! They have almost made an end of me on earth, but I have not forsaken...

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The Path to Happiness

Psalm 119:1-8, “Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord! Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways! You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently. Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes! Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments. I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules. I will keep your statutes; do not utterly...

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A Brief Word on the Gospel and the Old Testament

The English word “gospel” is an approximation of the Greek word εὐαγγέλιον (euangelion) which means “good news” (Friberg). While it is presently in vogue to refer to the whole Bible, or at least salvation history, as “the gospel,” this term is probably best reserved for the specific work of God in Christ—his incarnation, his words, his works, his suffering and death, his resurrection, his ascension to the right hand of the Father, and his eternal reign as King and High Priest—all of which he did in glad submission to his Father, for the glory of his Father, and for...

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Do Not Imitate Evil but Imitate Good

In the last blog post, we learned that John wrote his third letter to a man named Gaius who was his child in the faith and who was now the leader of a local church. In light of the testimony of some “brothers” who had been with Gaius and brought a good report of him to John and the church he served, John wrote to his beloved friend to encourage him and exhort him to continue pressing on in the work of exalting Jesus’ name among the nations. Along with this positive report, it seems that these “brothers” also...

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