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The Study Bible - A Bible that gives you instant access to all of John’s teaching on the passage you’re reading.
Monday, June 20, 2016
What is the greatest evidence of your faith? Is it outward piety—how often you pray, go to church, read your Bible, and perform other overtly “Christian” activities? Or perhaps we ought to look for experiential evidence—do God and His Word compel an emotional response from you, or is it simply that you “feel” the Spirit at work in you? No, the best proof of your faith is not found in how you act or how you feel, but in how you love.
Friday, June 17, 2016
It is perilous to assume that God’s love gives us license to sin freely. God’s love must coexist with His sense of justice and righteous indignation at the wicked. For the careful student of Scripture, that coexistence presents perhaps the greatest tension in God’s Word.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Love isn’t something that God discovered in the New Testament, thus abandoning His earlier dominant attributes of justice and wrath. God is love, but He doesn’t dispense with His other characteristics in favor of His love.
Monday, June 13, 2016
How do we reconcile the concept of a loving God with a fallen world full of evil, suffering, and catastrophe? In scholarly terms, that perplexing issue is known as the problem of theodicy.
Friday, June 10, 2016
God’s love didn’t first appear two thousand years ago—that’s where it climaxed. The truth is that all of history bears the undeniable marks of God’s loving nature. From Genesis to Revelation, His great love is displayed on multiple levels and in countless glorious ways. In fact, His unchanging love is older than time itself.
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
God’s love is a great comfort. But perhaps it’s not supposed to be as comforting as some people make it. God’s love is not a theological blanket that smothers everything else the Bible says about how He relates to us. That myopic, feel-good approach to God’s love often ignores its wider implications. Specifically, it overlooks the fact that God’s love carries an inherent condemnation.
Monday, June 6, 2016
How many times have we heard the phrase, “A loving God would never ____”? What that person is really saying is that I have my own idea of what love is, and I will only accept a god who loves on my terms. That is the subtle form of idolatry that many people—even many churchgoers—buy into today.
Friday, June 3, 2016
I’m never going to be an astronaut, an Olympic sprinter, or a world-famous artist. Even if I pushed aside all distractions and spent the rest of my life pursuing those goals, it would be impossible to chart a path to success. No amount of desire and effort would be enough to get me there—even apart from the unstoppable march of time, I simply lack the capacity.
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Is God honored by our worship when we don’t mean it? Is he glorified when we go through the motions of devotion to Him simply because we know others are watching and we don’t want to be embarrassed? The obvious answer is No. Scripture does not mince words when it comes to God’s hatred of hypocritical worship.
Monday, May 30, 2016
Failure is inevitable. No believer can always live up to the standard of Scripture—our remaining flesh and the habits of our former sinful selves inhibit our holiness in this life. But that doesn’t mean we give up—it doesn’t mean we surrender to temptation and impurity.
Friday, May 27, 2016
The opposite of wrong isn’t always right. Sometimes it’s simply a different kind of wrong. There are two dominant errors Christians fall into that can damage and destroy their integrity. You can think of them as two equally treacherous ditches on either side of the narrow way (Matthew 7:14).
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
It’s easy—even natural—to be a hypocrite. People are enamored with outward appearances, and it’s not difficult to construct a convincing façade. At some point, most people realize there’s no need to develop character and establish integrity when it’s far easier to fake it.
Monday, May 23, 2016
The greatest threat to the church is not persecution. It’s not the rise of atheism, Islam, or liberal politics. It’s not the Pope. And it’s not the rampaging immorality of the world around us. No, the greatest threat to the church—and to individual believers—is compromise.
Friday, May 20, 2016
The apostle James was part of Christ’s inner circle and one of His closest confidants. But unlike Peter and John, we read very little about this “Son of Thunder” as an individual. The majority of what we know about James—and his passionate, zealous character—comes from two key incidents recorded in the gospels.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
You’re probably familiar with the concept of a “no-go zone”—that part of town one would be wise to avoid, especially at night. Often they are areas dominated by gang activity, racial and religious tensions, and crime syndicates. Ancient Israel had its own no-go zone—Samaria.
Monday, May 16, 2016
Of the three disciples in Jesus’ closest inner circle, James is the least familiar to us. The biblical account is practically devoid of any explicit details about his life and character. He never appears as a stand-alone character in the gospel accounts, but he is always paired with his younger and better-known brother, John.