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Month: January 2017

muslims

Bible Q&A: What Do Muslims and Christians Believe About Getting into Heaven?

Question: What do Muslims and Christians believe about getting into heaven? How do these different belief systems affect the level of confidence that each one can have about the afterlife? Answer: This is Pastor Tim from Unlocking the Bible. Pastor Smith asked me to thank you for your good question and answer […]

study your Bible

Three Reasons to Study Your Bible

Why study the Bible? may seem like a silly question, especially if you’re a person who studies it often, but it’s worth considering. Bible study can become a dry or optional habit if we’re not coming to God’s Word for the right reasons. The Word of God is a priceless treasure. It’s […]

minister

How to Minister to Someone Whose Faith Is Under Fire

Your faith is always under fire. It is always being pounded, and that can happen in one of two ways. Trials. “We sent Timothy…to strengthen and encourage you in your faith so that no one would be unsettled by these trials” (1 Thessalonians 3:2). The Tempter. “For this reason, when I could […]

opposition

Six Ways Jesus Faced Opposition

I opened God’s Word with a heavy heart, feeling the burden of opposition. A friend had recently attacked my character due to a difference of ethical beliefs. Stunned and hurt by this, I quickly recognized my unpreparedness in facing this attack. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit prompted me to seek the […]

Bible resources

Key Connections (January 25, 2017)

How to Live Under an Unqualified President (John Piper, Desiring God) Followers of Christ are not Americans first. Our first allegiance is to Jesus, and then to the God-inspired word of Scripture, the Bible. What to Do with Uncomfortable Bible Verses in the Psalms (Lianna Davis, Unlocking the Bible) As David was praying […]

not under law but under grace

Not Under Law But Under Grace

“I don’t have to do that since I’m not under law but under grace.” Christians have often used this verse from Romans to justify many things, including refusal to tithe or offer money to the Lord, reluctance to pray or read the Bible, adultery and fornication, gluttony, and refusal to […]

decision-making

Three Keys to Decision-Making

“I should’ve signed up to help with junior high Sunday school!” I whined to my husband. I had just heard about some new girls who were coming to the church, and I thought it would be great to connect with their families and welcome them. My husband wisely reminded me […]

teach your children

How to Teach Your Children to Suffer Well

As painful as it is to endure suffering as parents, it’s even more painful to watch our children suffer. All four of my children have suffered immensely from the physical, emotional, and neurological pain of Lyme disease. They’ve watched our family go from financially comfortable to unemployed. They frequently feel […]

Uncomfortable Bible Verses

What to Do with Uncomfortable Bible Verses in the Psalms

The scene in my life is familiar. Something weighs on my heart: a fear, a temptation, or a thought-battle. Seeking comfort, I naturally go to the Psalms. I want to be on the path that is straight and narrow; Psalm 5 is my pick for prayer against temptation today. This […]

God is good

God Is Good, So Fight the Lies

A sneaking suspicion lingers in my heart. It never ceases to lie to me: “God isn’t good,” it says. “Wouldn’t you be healthy if he was?” It often masks itself in other lies: “What did you do to cause this pain?” “You must not have learned your lesson yet.” “Why […]

fear the future

What to Do When You Fear the Future

Have you ever felt like you don’t know what to do next? Like you’re at a crossroad? You feel stuck, like you’re paralyzed, insecure and unsure of your next step. Do you ever fear the future because you have no idea what you’re supposed to do? I have, and the feeling […]

kids suffering

Three Ways to Help Your Kids Through Suffering

Trials and suffering can be anywhere from stretching to downright devastating. But most people would agree that as painful as it is to endure suffering ourselves, it’s even more painful to watch our children suffer. Whether it’s a bully at school, a friend who hurts their feelings, the loss of […]

shame

Three Ways God Deals with Your Shame

I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself. (Genesis 3:10) Moments after God spoke his good creation into being, Adam spoke to God the first declaration of shame. Fear, embarrassment at being exposed, hiding. Moments later, accusing […]

Bible resources

Key Connections (January 11, 2017)

7 Ways Smartphones Can Enhance Your Spiritual Life (Joe Carter, The Gospel Coalition) Christians must therefore think critically about how smartphones affect us…Yet in watching out for the pitfalls of technology we should not overlook the ways that smartphones can be useful for spiritual formation. We Read the Bible Together…You Can, […]

Jesus is God

Bible Q&A: Where Does the Bible Say That Jesus Is God?

Question: Apart from the statement in the Athanasian Creed that says “the Son is God,” is there any evidence in the Bible that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God or that he is the Son of God? Answer: This is Pastor Tim. While I was in school (seminary), I […]

prayer life

Fresh Fuel for Your Prayer Life

One of the joys I have as a pastor is to talk with people about their spiritual lives. Often, people have a pressing issue they want to discuss, but when that is not the case, I sometimes bring out the “envelopes.” Some time ago, I developed a series of questions […]

sleep

Your Battle with Sleep

I’ve always been a good sleeper. While some people spend their nights tossing and turning, I do not. Or at least I didn’t—until a year ago. Shortly after my third child was born I began struggling with insomnia. I would go to bed exhausted, only to stare at the clock […]

new year

10 Worthwhile Things to Pursue This New Year

Christians view time and opportunities in an utterly unique way: Rather than simply doing what they want, they “no longer live for themselves, but for Jesus, who for their sake died and was raised” (2 Corinthians 5:15). Rather than living like there’s no tomorrow, Christians have an eternal future with […]

Bible resources

Key Connections (January 4, 2017)

Bible Reading Plans for 2017 (Nathan W. Bingham, Ligonier Ministries) Many Christians take the beginning of a new year to evaluate their Bible reading habits, and then change or begin a Bible reading plan….For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of Bible reading plans for you to choose from. Do We Expect More […]

ministry

How to Sustain Lifelong Ministry

I’ve been in pastoral ministry for nearly 18 years. A life-long call to Christian ministry requires perseverance, which enables God’s people to be equipped for ministry and exalts Christ (Ephesians 4:11-12). You may be a pastor, a lay ministry leader, or a church member, but faithful perseverance in Christian ministry […]

put away childish things

Should Christians Be Like Children, or Put Away Childish Things?

Jesus said the kingdom of God belongs to those who are like children, but Paul stated that grown-ups must put away childish things. So in what ways are believers to be like children? In what ways are we not? Infantile Believers When I was a child, I spoke and thought […]