Proverbs 15:1, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” I don’t know about you, but I readily admit to suffering on repeated instances from bouts with anger. Mind you this is not anger that results in being physically abusive, throwing things around the room, road rage, or things of that sort. The anger I typically fall prey to resides in the arena of a build-up of emotions that bubble out from my mouth in not so savory terms. Usually, these episodes come when work drives me bananas. You know how it is those days when your...Read More
Category: What is the Gospel?
Perhaps the fiercest and most hostile arch-nemesis to joy is Pride. It may be no surprise to us when we often hear that pride is the root of all sin. You can trace Pride’s evil touch in everything else, after all. It is, as one called it, “the chief vice.” It may also not surprise you that pride was working to steal joy from the beginning of humanity. The story of Adam and Eve’s sinful decision to eat of the forbidden fruit goes to show just how joyful man before the Fall was, and how swiftly the enemy came...Read More
Good News for the Unwanted Exclusion, expulsion, alienation, and forsakenness—these were major themes in the ancient Jewish world. The “impure” could be expelled from the community. The carcasses of sacrificed animals had to be burned outside the camp. The scapegoat was sent out “to a remote area.” To be “inside” was to be pure, wanted, loved, at home, and alive. To be “outside” was to be dirty, unwanted, despised, outcast, and left to die. Unwanted babies of the ancient Near East were often left outside the city to die. Ezekiel picks up on this travesty to describe the Jews like...Read More
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...Read More
It doesn’t make much sense to celebrate the coming of Christ into the world without acknowledging the very reason He came. He came to earth to save us from our sins and give us eternal life. It would be a tragedy to enjoy the presents, food, time with family and friends, and everything else and miss out on the real point of it all. So if you haven’t already, it makes sense to let Christmas be a time for turning to God. It is very simple to do so. You just need to recognize that your greatest need in...Read More