• Biblical Studies

    Dwelling with Us

    Those who’ve read through the Bible in a year know how challenging it can be to make it through certain stretches of Scripture. The second half of Exodus is one of them. After a compelling account of Israel’s dramatic rescue from Egypt, Moses devotes nearly a third of the book to describing in great detail the plans for building the tabernacle. Within all the details, however, lies a great story that’s just as true for us today as it was then.

    Wisdom From Ephesus: The Gospel of John, Part IV

    On the western coast of Turkey is one of the most stunning archaeological sites in the modern world, Ephesus.

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    Christian Beliefs

    Fleeing to Strength

    “Parry four!”

    When I began fencing in high school, my coach would shout the correct defensive position (“parry”) against the move he was making. When he extended his weapon and lunged, to repel the attack I had to listen and respond immediately.

    That active listening brings to mind the prompt obedience Scripture calls for in the area of sexual temptation. In 1 Corinthians 6:18 Paul writes to believers tempted to solicit pagan temple prostitutes, telling them to “flee from sexual immorality.” Sometimes we are to “stand firm” in challenging circumstances (Ephesians 6:11; Galatians 5:1), but here the Bible practically shouts our best…

    Love Is A Verb

    Love is a noun, but it’s also a verb. And today on Discover the Word, we’ll look at how love plays out in the story of the Good Samaritan. It’s part of a study titled, “Me and My Neighbor.” Pull up a chair to the table today and listen to Discover the Word!

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    Christian Living

    Who Is My Neighbor In The Global Community?

    Who is my neighbor? It’s a fair question! We’ve become a global community as we connect daily through social media, smartphones, and television. Tune in today to Discover the Word, as we explore how to answer this question by taking a look at the parable of the Good Samaritan. Learn to live and love like […]

    Loving All

    I worship in a church located in a large, open field—a rare commodity on the island of Singapore (we’re just twenty-five miles long and fifteen miles wide). Some time back, people from abroad who work in my country started gathering on the church property for a picnic every Sunday.

    This evoked a range of responses from fellow churchgoers. Some fretted about the mess the visitors would leave behind. But others saw this as a divine opportunity to extend hospitality to a wonderful group of strangers —without even leaving the church grounds!

    The Israelites must have faced similar issues in their time. After they…

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    Christian Ministry & the Church

    Everything Else

    I once heard a speaker describe God’s unique nature in a memorable way. The word “God” was placed at the top of a PowerPoint slide, the words “Everything Else” at the bottom, and a solid line in-between. The speaker then stated that—as His creatures—we’re more like a worm or a cow than God. In His holiness, He’s separate, “above the line.”

    Fault Lines

    An influx of refugees to our community has led to new growth in area churches. That growth brings challenges. Church members must learn how to welcome these newcomers as they adjust to a strange culture, new language, and different worship styles. All this change can create some awkward situations.

    Misunderstandings and disagreements occur everywhere we find people. Church is no exception. If we don’t handle our differences in a healthy way, they can harden into divisions.

    The early church in Jerusalem was growing when a dispute arose that broke along a cultural fault line. The Greek-speaking Jews (the Hellenists) had a complaint…

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    Christianity & Culture

    Cultural Correction

    A people group from Papua New Guinea observed a cultural ritual for centuries. They would chant, dance, and work themselves into a frenzy that culminated with what they called the “murder songs.” Before their god, they would shout the names of people they wanted to kill.

    Do You See Your Calling?

    …separated to the gospel of God… —Romans 1:1

    Our calling is not primarily to be holy men and women, but to be proclaimers of the gospel of God. The one all-important thing is that the gospel of God should be recognized as the abiding reality. Reality is not human goodness, or holiness, or heaven, or hell— it is…

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    Ethical Issues

    Pursuing Unity

    Growing up during the 1950s, I never questioned racism and the segregation practices that permeated daily life in the city where we lived. In schools, restaurants, public transportation, and neighborhoods, people with different shades of skin color were separated.

    My attitude changed in 1968 when I entered US Army Basic Training. Our company included young men from many different cultural groups. We soon learned that we needed to understand and accept each other, work together, and accomplish our mission.

    When Paul wrote to the first-century church at Colossae, he was well aware of the diversity of its members. He reminded them, “Here…

    The Justice-Maker

    Recently, several books have helped me grapple with systemic injustices woven into many social systems. One book cataloged how our criminal justice system can often be stacked against those at the margins. Another shared how the working poor have often been neglected and abused while those in power have profited from their misfortune. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when we wade into this disturbing information. And these are only two urgent issues. What are we to do? How are we to make things right?

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    Evangelism & Missions

    Who Is My Neighbor In The Global Community?

    Who is my neighbor? It’s a fair question! We’ve become a global community as we connect daily through social media, smartphones, and television. Tune in today to Discover the Word, as we explore how to answer this question by taking a look at the parable of the Good Samaritan. Learn to live and love like […]

    Love Is A Verb

    Love is a noun, but it’s also a verb. And today on Discover the Word, we’ll look at how love plays out in the story of the Good Samaritan. It’s part of a study titled, “Me and My Neighbor.” Pull up a chair to the table today and listen to Discover the Word!

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    Life Struggles

    The Problem with Pride

    People who achieve an extraordinary level of fame or reputation while they are still alive are often called “a legend in their own time.” A friend who played professional baseball says he met many people in the world of sports who were only “a legend in their own mind.” Pride has a way of distorting how we see ourselves while humility offers a realistic perspective.

    The writer of Proverbs said, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). Viewing ourselves in the mirror of self-importance reflects a distorted image. Self-elevation positions us for a fall. 

    The antidote to…

    Spiritual Dejection

    We were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. —Luke 24:21

    Every fact that the disciples stated was right, but the conclusions they drew from those facts were wrong. Anything that has even a hint of dejection spiritually is always wrong. If I am depressed or burdened, I am to blame, not God or anyone else. Dejection stems from one of…

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    Marriage & Family

    Out of the dust

    Before Chris and Stephanie ever recorded an album, they were just two college students in love. But soon life and marriage became complicated, filled with uncertainties that were pulling them apart. Hear an amazing story about God’s redemptive power that restored their marriage.

    How to Move Forward in 2018

    “Look to the future with the past in mind.”  I came across this phrase last year when I went on vacation in Baguio City, one of the tourist towns in Benguet Province of the Philippines.

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    Relationships

    A Rewarding Investment

    “Though mentoring is not a biblical word, it is a way of life,” wrote author Andi Ashworth. “In essence, mentoring is showing and telling, a lifestyle of receiving God’s gifts, learning to know, love, and live what is good, and passing on that knowledge to others.”

    A Blessing Bowl

    The familiar bing of an arriving email caught my attention while I wrote at my computer. Usually I try to resist the temptation to check every email but the subject line was too enticing: “You are a blessing.”

    Eagerly, I opened it to discover a faraway friend telling me she was praying for my family. Each week, she displays one Christmas card photo in her kitchen table “Blessing Bowl” and prays for that family. She wrote, “I thank God every time I remember you” (Philippians 1:3) and then highlighted our efforts to share God’s love with others—our “partnership” in the gospel.

    Through…

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    Spiritual Growth

    Perfectly Desperate

    “The Sermon on the Mount produces despair,” Oswald Chambers said. But he saw that as something good, because at “the point of despair we are willing to come to [Jesus] as paupers to receive from Him.”

    Fleeing to Strength

    “Parry four!”

    When I began fencing in high school, my coach would shout the correct defensive position (“parry”) against the move he was making. When he extended his weapon and lunged, to repel the attack I had to listen and respond immediately.

    That active listening brings to mind the prompt obedience Scripture calls for in the area of sexual temptation. In 1 Corinthians 6:18 Paul writes to believers tempted to solicit pagan temple prostitutes, telling them to “flee from sexual immorality.” Sometimes we are to “stand firm” in challenging circumstances (Ephesians 6:11; Galatians 5:1), but here the Bible practically shouts our best…

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    When Life Hurts

    Perfectly Desperate

    “The Sermon on the Mount produces despair,” Oswald Chambers said. But he saw that as something good, because at “the point of despair we are willing to come to [Jesus] as paupers to receive from Him.”

    Everywhere and Nowhere

    A family friend who, like us, lost a teenager in a car accident wrote a tribute to her daughter, Lindsay, in the local paper. One of the most powerful images in her essay was this: After mentioning the many pictures and remembrances of Lindsay she had put around their house, she wrote, “She is everywhere, but nowhere.”

    Although our daughters still smile back at us from their photos, the spirited personalities that lit up those smiles are nowhere to be found. They are everywhere—in our hearts, in our thoughts, in all those photos—but nowhere.

    But Scripture tells us that, in Christ, Lindsay…

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