Do I Have to Set Aside Everything About My Life Outside of Christ?

Do I Have to Set Aside Everything About My Life Outside of Christ?

February 21, 2019By Mark D. Roberts

Must we reject everything about our pre-Christian life when receive God’s grace through Christ? No, that’s neither possible nor advisable. Rather, we allow Jesus, our Savior and Lord, to become our teacher. We begin to weigh everything in our lives in light of him. What he reveals to be evil, we cast off. What he eschews, we avoid. Things we do that are inconsistent with the gospel must be stripped off.

Do Clothes Make the Man or Woman?

Do Clothes Make the Man or Woman?

February 20, 2019By Mark D. Roberts

Christian living is not merely a matter of adding something new to your pre-Christian way of life. You don’t just put on church attendance, Bible study, and the doing of good deeds over your otherwise intact lifestyle garment. Rather, Christian living involves a radical putting off of your old human being, your old self, your old behavior. Then, you put on a whole new human being, a new self, a new way of being, thinking, and living.

You Are Being Taught In Christ

You Are Being Taught In Christ

February 19, 2019By Mark D. Roberts

Christian learning isn’t based on religious feeling or even on speculating about “what would Jesus do.” Rather, it is based on knowing about the human Jesus, who was God Incarnate, and knowing this same Jesus personally, who invites us into relationship with him today.

Jesus is More Than Just a Moral Teacher

Jesus is More Than Just a Moral Teacher

February 18, 2019By Mark D. Roberts

Christianity is focused in a person. This person teaches us how to live. This person exemplifies what he teaches. Yet, this person is also someone with whom we have a living relationship. We “learn Christ” by coming to know him through faith. We “learn Christ” by communing with him each day. We “learn Christ” by living life as part of his body. We “learn Christ” by growing in him, coming to know him more deeply and follow him more truly.

Reflecting the Light

Reflecting the Light

February 17, 2019By Tim Yee

Yesterday, we reflected on how John got his nickname, the Baptizer. Today, we will see another name for John—a witness. John the Baptizer’s ministry is clearly given as a “witness” to the light so that “all might believe” in the Logos, the Word, who is Jesus Christ (1:7). Now, the word “witness” is an important word in John’s gospel, showing up 14 times compared to only three in the Synoptics… John being described as a witness informs modern Christians how we should we be identified as well.

What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name?

February 16, 2019By Tim Yee

I’ll be calling John the Baptist, John the Baptizer because there were no Baptists or Presbyterians or Pentecostals back in the first century! John got his name because he was known to live fully for the Lord, spending his life baptizing people into God’s family. John got his nickname from what people saw. If someone could observe you all day, what could your nickname be? Grumpy Glen? Caffeine Carol? Netflix Nate? Drama Dan?

Why Praise the Lord?

Why Praise the Lord?

February 15, 2019By Mark D. Roberts

Have you ever woken up on a Sunday morning and thought, “Why do I have to go to church today?” The coziness of your bed, the vision of a relaxed morning, the thought of lingering over the newspaper or a good book with a cup of coffee . . . all of these can induce one to skip Sunday worship. What would be the harm? Why does it matter so much to praise the Lord, anyway? Psalm 135 answers this question in the most basic way. It repeatedly summons us to praise the Lord.

Even Better Than Candy Hearts

Even Better Than Candy Hearts

February 14, 2019By Mark D. Roberts

There will be lots of talk of love today, mainly of the romantic variety. But given the theme of the day, I thought I’d skip ahead in Ephesians to the first two verses of chapter 5. Love saturates these verses. First, we are “dearly loved children” of God (5:1). Second, we are to “walk in the way of love” (5:2). Third, we understand and experience the way of love through Christ, who “loved us and gave himself up for us.” Now that’s plenty of love in two short verses.

The Reality Behind the Impure “Fun”

The Reality Behind the Impure “Fun”

February 13, 2019By Mark D. Roberts

When we continue to indulge in immoral sensual actions, we end up dulling our feelings, not enhancing them. We become callous to the pain that our sinful actions cause to others. And, in our desire for more “fun,” we dive deeper into the pool of hedonistic behavior. Yet our happiness is fleeting, and feelings of true joy cannot fill our hardened hearts. Moreover, our choice to pursue momentary pleasures often does damage to our souls, leaving us both empty and wounded.

The Best Lifeline of All

The Best Lifeline of All

February 12, 2019By Mark D. Roberts

As created beings, we have physical life whether we are in relationship with God or not. Yet, even though our bodies are alive, when we are cut off from God, we are, in a sense, already dead (2:1). The good news is that God does not leave us in our solitary, fatal condition. Jesus Christ becomes the best lifeline of all, who, by grace, connects us to God’s own life. Thus, when, through faith, we receive God’s grace, God makes us alive with Christ (2:4).

Your New Identity and Your Work

Your New Identity and Your Work

February 11, 2019By Mark D. Roberts

When our core identity is determined not by what we do for work but by our relationship with God through Jesus Christ, everything in life shifts. Work, whether paid or unpaid, continues to matter, but mainly as a way of offering ourselves in service to God and to the world as his representatives. My decisions about how to invest my time and money will be guided by God’s truth and eternal values rather than how they might enhance my professional success.

iPray: Provision

iPray: Provision

February 10, 2019By Breon Wells

There is nothing like security. We like feeling secure—the satisfaction of knowing that all of our needs are met, both now and forever. In fact, it can be quite unsettling when facing a mountain of unknowns and unanswered questions. What shall we eat? Where shall we go? Where shall we work? I can imagine that questions like these were at the forefront of the disciples’ minds as they followed Jesus from town to town. Some could describe it as living life on the edge.