Speaking the Truth in Love

Church Blog

In the Name of Jesus

The Great Commission of Jesus challenges us to immerse disciples “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19). In the great Pentecost sermon, though, Peter mentions only the Son. “Repent,” the apostle urges, “and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ…

This Is a Day for Good News

A siege of ancient Samaria caused a terrible famine. The Arameans had surrounded the city for so long that its inhabitants were paying outrageous prices for despicable food. A donkey’s head cost 80 shekels of silver. Some mothers resorted to cannibalism, boiling and eating their own children. The horror ended when the Lord made the…

Coloring the Message

Before his ascension into heaven, Jesus entrusted his disciples with the Great Commission: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all…

What It Means to Be a Woman

What is the essence of manhood? Is it physical power, the strength to lift heavy weights or wrestle bullies to the ground? Is manhood emotional reserve, the repression of tears when bitter losses come? Is it sexual potency, the ability to father children? Moses says that “God created man in his own image” (Gen. 1:27).…

Open Season on Christians

One evening about 10 years ago, I was listening to “Marketplace” (a financial-news program on National Public Radio). Kai Ryssdal, the show’s host, was discussing the nation’s economic woes—the weak dollar, steep oil prices, the housing slump, and so forth. Into his conversation with the audience, Ryssdal casually interjected a shocking insult. He said, “If…

Lord, Tell Me Why!

Why do bad things happen to good people? Wrestling with this painful question is nothing to feel guilty about. When Jesus leaves the splendor of heaven, he knows exactly what his mission will be. He is to walk as a man among men, resist all human weaknesses and temptations, and finally die a bitter death…

Shall We Strike with the Sword?

The temple police were arresting Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. Peter drew his sword to defend him. He “struck the high priest’s slave and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus” (John 18:10). Concerning this incident Luke recorded a detail easy to overlook. When the apostles witnessed the treacherous Judas kiss…

Growing in Grace

Peter concludes his second letter with a beautiful and rewarding challenge. He says, “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18). While most Christians realize that growth in the “knowledge of our Lord” results primarily from more committed Bible study, the exhortation to grow in grace may…

The Way Leading to Life

At the conclusion of his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus speaks of two roads. “Enter by the narrow gate,” he says. “For the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads…

Children Need a Boaz

Boaz is a wealthy and morally upright farmer living in Bethlehem. Ruth, his future wife, is a young girl from the neighboring country of Moab. When they meet, he urges her to glean after the reapers in his barley fields. He promises his protection. “Have I not charged the young men not to molest you?”…