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Month: March 2016

God's presence

What the Gift of God’s Presence Means for Us

A sitting silently at the feet of Jesus is of more worth than all the clatter of Martha’s dishes. (C. H. Spurgeon) It was a rare occasion. My husband and I were home on a Saturday, with nothing to do, so I decided to get caught up on some chores. […]

Have We Become Our Jobs?

On what do you base your identity? Most often, these days, our identity is associated with our work. An article in the Chicago Tribune (“Just can’t escape the daily grind” by Charles McNulty, February 21, 2016) argues that even today’s movies are all about our jobs. Spotlight, this year’s winner of the Oscar for best picture, […]

leaders

Avoiding a Romantic Affair with Weak Leaders

Lately, the church has lost some great servant-leaders that have finished life’s race, such as Jerry Bridges, Charles Ryrie, Gary Smalley, and Ted Ward. Each of these leaders contributed to great works, particularly gospel-focused endeavors. Many articles have been published giving thoughtful tribute to their ministry. One of the great […]

prayer

Three Biblical Practices for Prayer

According to the Pew Research Center, 55 percent of Americans say that they pray every day. However, their prayers may not be the kind of prayers that Jesus taught the disciples to pray. From the Expositor’s Bible: Colossians and Philemon written in 1902: Many people’s notion is that prayer is […]

struggling with doubt

For the Person Struggling with Doubt

People struggle to believe. If this is you, it may help you to know that others shared the same struggle, even in the time of Jesus.    John tells us the marvelous story of Thomas. “Doubting” Thomas is the man in the inner-circle of the twelve who struggled to believe. […]

power in the blood of Jesus

The Power in the Blood of Jesus Christ

French philosopher Voltaire and American President John Adams are famous for their criticisms of Christianity because they thought it was a “bloody religion,” with all its wars, its frequent mention of blood, and the bloody death of its founder, Jesus Christ. What is it about blood, which we normally think of […]

salvation

The Threefold Splendor of Salvation

I received God’s gift of salvation when I was young. As my father explained the concept of sin to me, I recognized my sinfulness. Even at 5-years-old, I knew I had disobeyed God’s rules in many ways: lying, jealousy, willfulness, and selfishness. In church, I sang hymns such as “And Can […]

bonds of Jesus

Seeing Beauty in the Bonds of Jesus

It is remarkable to me that the Gospel writers have preserved for us a record of three separate moments that our Savior was bound by his enemies and led through the streets before his crucifixion. First, in the garden, John 18:12-13 says “…they arrested Jesus and bound him. First they […]

look at Christ

Why You Need to Look at Christ to Live

Death consumed the camp ground. Once again, the bareness and dryness of the wilderness led the people to cry out against Moses and against God. And, once again, God’s judgment came down to the people in a plague. This time, it was through the venomous death of serpents. The poison […]

the audacity of hope

The Audacity of Hope

This is an excerpt from a book by Pastor Colin Smith called, Heaven, How I Got Here: The Story of the Thief on the Cross, Scotland, UK: Christian Focus, 2015, 96 pp. $8.99. ‘Jesus,’ I said, ‘Remember me when you come into your kingdom.’   It was an audacious request. A […]

easter bible verses

40 Easter Bible Verses and Resurrection Quotes

Do you follow Unlocking the Bible on Twitter and our Facebook Page? The following is a collection of Easter Bible verses, quotes, and sayings that we’ve posted to social media in years past, all about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter Bible Verses on the Resurrection 1. “The Christ will suffer and rise […]

the resurrection

Why the Resurrection Is More Than You May Think It Is

But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But […]

resurrection Jesus Easter

Six Realities of the Resurrection

With the celebration of Easter comes a magnificent reality for the Christian. This is the glorious power of the resurrection – the historical reality that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. As Christians, we believe that God has spoken to us through his Word. We believe his Word is true. […]

Twitter party

Join Our #Heavenbook Twitter Party and Giveaway on March 23!

Mark your calendars! On Wednesday, March 23, 2016 (12pm CT) Pastor Colin and Unlocking the Bible will join all of you on Twitter for a conversation all about heaven. Do You Have Questions about Heaven? Have you ever wondered: How someone gets to heaven? What happens when a person dies? What heaven […]

the thief

On Salvation, Religion, and the Thief: An Interview with Colin Smith

What if you woke up one morning knowing it was your last day on earth? That’s what happened to the thief on the cross, who died a few feet from Jesus. Heaven, How I Got Here is his story, told in his own words, as he looks back from heaven […]

When God Doesn’t Seem Good

The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. (Nahum 1:7) Last spring, we were anxiously awaiting our upcoming vacation to Florida. Even more than in years past, I was desperate to get away and catch my breath from all […]

Bible Q&A: What Happens After Death for the Christian?

Question: What happens after a Christian dies? Do we just not exist anymore? I’ve heard other people say we enter into a soul sleep. Answer: This is Pastor Tim from Unlocking the Bible. Thanks for your good question. The simple answer to your question is “No.” After we die, our souls do not […]

getting into heaven

What Everybody Ought to Know About Getting into Heaven

I’ve used the story of the thief on the cross many times to help people see who Jesus is and what he is able to do for them. The last day of his life was extraordinary. It began in the misery of a prison cell; it ended in the joy […]

God’s Blessing Is More Than a Polite Wish

It is a familiar phrase: “God bless you.” Simple, direct, and intensely personal, it is more than sentiment; it is a theological act with potential to convey hope. We wish people God’s blessing so they will experience God’s blessing. When we say “God bless you,” the subject is always God. […]

jerry bridges

How to Preach the Gospel to Yourself: An Interview with Jerry Bridges

The beloved Jerry Bridges went to be with the Lord on March 6, 2016 after suffering from heart failure. Until his final day, Jerry was spending himself for the gospel, visiting churches and teaching God’s people what it means to preach the gospel to themselves. He made one such visit […]

Battling Sin with the Gospel

What does it mean to apply the gospel to my life? Like right now, as I am trying to get my kids out the door, and I struggle to be patient with them. What does the gospel have to say to my situation in this moment? Like many Christians, I […]

surrender to God

What It Means to Surrender to God

The act of surrendering is very difficult for those who realize that the battle is lost. In his book No Surrender: My Thirty-Year War, Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda tells a fascinating tale of being one of the last Japanese-born soldiers to surrender in World War II. Onoda had been stationed on […]

how to memorize scripture

How to Memorize Scripture

In an age of near-instant access to information, it is easy to argue that Scripture memory isn’t as important as it once was. It can also be hard to know with which scriptures to start, and how to go about memorizing effectively and efficiently. However, the most important reasons for […]

Dealing with Rejection through the Gospel

Rejection is part of the business of this world. It comes in an endless variety of forms—not getting the job, a parent whose approval always seems to be just out of reach, a parent who decided not to be your parent after all, a spouse who comes home one day […]

discipleship

Why Discipleship and the Local Church Must Go Together

A friend recently (and innocently) asked me, “Who are you discipling?” In unpacking this question, I came to learn that what he meant was, “Who are you meeting with one-on-one to help them become more like Jesus?” This friend had no agenda other than to get to know me, but […]