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Conventional Thinking: 7 deadly sins & social media
Sep07

Conventional Thinking: 7 deadly sins & social media

In other faith traditions, we hear about the seven deadly sins. These are considered sins that literally and spiritually lead unto death. Various authors and writers in recent years have drawn links between popular social media platforms and the tendency of each one toward various sins. As more young people—and people of all ages—spend increasing time on social media, I wish to echo and expand upon this conversation. Here are the...

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Bible Q&A: Why Such Praise? (Matt. 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9)
Sep02

Bible Q&A: Why Such Praise? (Matt. 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9)

The anointing On Tuesday of Passion Week, an unnamed woman poured out a vase of very expensive ointment/perfume on Jesus’ head (see Matt. 26:6-9; Mark 14:3-5). While the anointing of someone’s head could be done with cheaper olive oil, it was a common mark of courtesy to a guest. The value of the anointment indicates this is more than a simple courtesy. In fact, the text indicates that the perfume was worth 300 denarii, nearly a...

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Encourage: The excuse of ‘not me’
Aug29

Encourage: The excuse of ‘not me’

Most of the people reading this sentence have never led another person to faith in Jesus Christ. More than half have never even tried. That truth hurts. The New Testament calls Philip “the Evangelist.” He is always leading people to Jesus. We admire the consistency of his obedience. Everywhere he goes, with everyone he meets, Philip shares the Good News of Jesus Christ. He challenges our excuses—Not them, Not now. When we read the...

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Encourage: Never a better time
Aug22

Encourage: Never a better time

Not them. Not now. Not me. We all know that we are called to share the Good News, but we resist that call with the common excuses listed above. In last week’s article, Philip the Evangelist challenged each excuse, having taught us to cross barriers and boundaries with the Gospel. The people whom the Church tended to ignore or to write off as beyond reach, those are the people Philip pursued. Lord, forgive us for excluding people with...

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Encourage: Share even with ‘them’
Aug15

Encourage: Share even with ‘them’

When Luke tells the story of Paul’s final trip to Jerusalem, he includes an interesting tidbit. “On the next day we left and came to Caesarea, and entering the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven…” (Acts 21:8) There is only one man in the Bible who is given that descriptive title of “evangelist,” and that man is Philip. If we want to learn about sharing the Good News of Jesus, Philip has something to teach us. We...

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Encourage: The preacher’s heart
Aug01

Encourage: The preacher’s heart

Open the Bible and open your heart. Last week we began to consider the priority of preaching. The health and strength of our churches depends on the consistency and the quality of our preaching. The flock of God needs to be fed. This is an ongoing theme of the New Testament. We pray for our pastors to make preaching a priority. On one hand, preaching is a complex craft. The preacher must be equipped to rightly divide the Word and then...

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