This weekend we feature a sermon on loving God with all your mind. Enjoy this teaching from guest preacher Sue Sweeney on grace,…
It has become cliché to tell people to practice what they preach—that is, to live according to their words. But increasingly we may need…
Advent reminds us that Christmas is not a sentimental, consumerist, family-friendly holiday, but is a season of radical political subversion, the downfall of the mighty, and an upturning of the hierarchies of the world.
The bravery, chutzpah, faithfulness, love, and kindness of these women remind us that leadership in the kingdom of God comes in many forms, if only we have eyes to see.
What does it mean to reside in the Kingdom?
When you look closely at the first few verses of Philippians, something quite unique stands out fairly quickly:
Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons.
You’ll notice that Paul does not refer to himself as an apostle.
For many of us, when we read the Bible, we read it from the perspective of people who need encouragement, therapy, challenge, hope, or even love. These are all good things that we do, indeed, need. But usually these needs arise from a larger situation that involves someone or something hurting us. For example, we need encouragement because a boss is berating us. We need therapy because of a conflict in our family of which we see ourselves as the victim. We need challenge because we find it hard to keep pressing on. We need hope because our situation seems hopeless. And we need love because we lack self-esteem.
Again, these are all fine. But I wonder if they don’t eventually become habits of reading that blind us to other things we may need.
Love is the summary of the law. Love contains all components of the law. If you want to love, put all these things together. If you want to love, it means not having gods ahead of the true God and honoring your father and mother and not bearing false testimony and not coveting, etc. These commands do not boil down to love; they add up to love.
When I came back to this story of Jacob wrestling the stranger at the River Jabbok, I saw something that I had never noticed before. That is, Jacob is like Prometheus, in the Greek myth. Prometheus stole the fire from heaven and brought it down to human beings so that we could be like gods.
According to Scripture, then, the post-deluge world is like Eden, but diminished; in contrast, the new heavens and new earth will be like Eden, but elevated.