April 13, 2014
Spiritual warfare is real—but it isn’t a matter of formulas, rituals, casting, binding and assuming authority over other creatures we don’t understand. Spiritual warfare is extraordinarily simple—and difficult. Paul’s life was spent fighting this war, and he passes the key to winning it on to us.
April 6, 2014
The world operates on authority—people telling other people what to do. Success in the world is seen as climbing the ladder of authority—being the one telling others what to do. The church is not immune to this temptation—in fact it often gives into it, accepting as a given that authority is a sign of God’s grace. But Jesus said it would not be that way with us. The key to living differently is understanding submission. But who is to submit to whom? And what does that look like?
March 30, 2014
We have all seen people we would like to look like, act like, be like. Famous people, leaders, people who have made a difference in our lives. But why set our sights low? We can imitate God himself—with his permission and his help.
March 23, 2014
When who we are and how we live is destructive, change is good. But change requires an understanding that we are in fact different. As obvious as this sounds, it isn’t easy. Change requires actively doing something instead of what we are not doing. A vacuum fills itself, and Paul tells us how to fill it in Christ.
March 16, 2014
Integrity is the “integration” of what we say we believe and what we do. People with integrity live consistently with what they believe. People without integrity don’t. Belonging to Jesus means doing the will of the Father. But what does that mean? What is that “will” in a given setting? By living in a way that “fits” who we are, we live with integrity—and Paul makes clear what that looks like.
March 9, 2014
It is not uncommon for us to misunderstand what we see. In essence, we still see through the eyes of a citizen of this world. Paul gives us an example of how to shift our vision and see things through God’s eyes. We don’t have to live with the world’s perspective—God is willing to give us his own!
March 2, 2014
Belonging to a family gives us identity. Not the identity we have, but the identity of a member of a new community—a new nation—a new family. Our new identity isn’t just about who we are, but how we live. Those who belong to Jesus live appropriately.
February 23, 2014
One of the most attractive aspects of Christianity is the promise of resurrection and eternal life. But is resurrection only something that happens after we die? And which death is this? In reality we who are in Christ have already experienced resurrection.
February 16, 2014
If prayer is talking to God, what should we talk about? If we ask God to intervene in our lives, what should we ask for? Health? Safety? Protection? Success? Paul prayed for the people he wrote to, and told them what he prayed for. How does his prayer compare to ours? What does the Apostle see as important to pray for?
February 9, 2014
Christians talk about belonging to a “family”. The Bible tells us that, when we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, we are adopted by God, the Father. We become heirs with Jesus of the spiritual blessings he gives—and he gives us a “deposit”—the Holy Spirit.