Think of each song or hymn as a promise to God, a binding statement of your commitment. Picture the results of this commitment as you sing it with gusto. Then, after the song has ended, apply it with the same gusto. God not only loves a cheerful giver, He honours a sincere singer.
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The Bible’s wisdom literature was different from that of Israel’s neighbours because it was rooted in the theology that God has created an orderly universe with both a natural and moral law. God has wired his creation according to those laws.
There is something extra special about February. Valentine’s Day. Hearts and flowers. A fresh and needed reminder that there is still a heart-shaped vacuum in the human breast that only the three most wonderful words in the English language can fill.
Paul’s relationship with Timothy goes back to Paul’s earliest days as a missionary. Paul and Barnabas visited Timothy’s hometown of Lystra on Paul’s first journey around AD 47.
James encouraged us to prevent verbal fires from burning the forest around us. And yet, he gave no checklist, no tear-out sheet, and no three-step solution. Thankfully, the Bible isn’t silent about what we should and should not say.
It is correct to say God wants me happy. But He doesn’t want us to value it above other things or base our happiness in superficial temporary circumstances. God built us to desire happiness but He wants us to find it in relation to Him.
Give further thought to this. Ask God to open your lips and honour your words...but be careful! Once your missile hits the target, you’ll become totally dissatisfied with your former life as an earthbound, secret-service saint.
The main reason why it is important to understand figures of speech in the Bible is to interpret Scripture accurately. Serious misinterpretations of Scripture come from calling something figurative that is literal and calling something literal that is figurative.
Sometimes it's easy for Christians to feel a little smug—to look down our pious noses and sigh in pharisaical tones, "I'm a Christian. I would never do that." Not so fast, my friend. You don't want to hear this, but there's not all that much difference between "us" and "them."