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How can we live as pilgrims and exiles in a society that rejects godly values or the existence of the Creator? Navigating the troubled ideological and cultural waters of modernity can be stressful! But our future depends on our thoughts, attitudes, and actions. So what is God’s advice to his people through David’s psalm? “Do not fret!” So, if we are grieved, angry, and incensed at the behaviour of others, and the denial of godly morality God gives this warning. He does not want us to “go on the warpath.” Rather we are to put our trust in his justice and his timing. So what thoughts, attitudes and actions should we adopt in order to secure the future God has planned for us? More
As a young man, the zeal of Phinehas, the priest in Moses’ time, was something Paul would have wanted to emulate. Phinehas was a national “hero!” And he had been promised a perpetual covenant with God because of his zeal. Paul, like Phinehas, was eager to rid the nation of the lawbreakers. He hoped this would usher in the Messianic age. Like zealots of his time, Paul wanted to see the return of the Messiah and the end of Roman rule. So, when a group of Jews began preaching about a “crucified Messiah” this did not fit into Paul’s worldview! And though he had been taught by Gamaliel, Paul did not have Gamaliel’s “live and let live” attitude. When it came to dealing with the sect of the Nazarenes Paul was a formidable adversary. More
In our society it is easy to create a short-list, a litany, of all the evils of our age. We suffer as a result of wealth inequality, desperate refugees fleeing intolerable conditions, corruption in politics and business, environmental destruction, acute and chronic disease, and the rise of destructive technologies. The bible predicted all of these woes, that would follow those who say evil is good and good is evil. But more importantly, God offers a solution! He does not focus on the futility of man’s ways, but on the future he envisions. He wants us to embrace his dreams of Utopia. More
Whether we have the blessing of fellowshipping on God’s Holy Days in a place he has chosen or whether we are home alone, God gives us all a command. During these special times of year that God sets apart as Holy, we have been given a command to rejoice. But sometimes this is not easy! And as we celebrate we need to consider God’s admonition that “everyone” should rejoice. There is a responsibility to care for the needs not only of our family, but of our servants, the foreigners, the orphans and the widows. God’s festivals are a blessing as we rejoice in God’s goodness. But they are also a duty. More
These festival days in the fall harvest season have important meaning for every believer in Jesus Christ our Messiah. And yet in our time few people believe in a literal return of the King of Kings. Few consider the need for observing God’s commanded assemblies. And as a result, even fewer people have a clear vision of the future.
A Glorious Inheritance
Yet, Paul, the apostle to the gentiles, encouraged these converts to keep the annual feast days recorded by Moses. Why? More
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Meditate on These Things
As our society dives down the rabbit holes of incivility, harshness, and futility we see that our entertainment mirrors societal thought.* But it has always been thus. We become what we think! Our thoughts inform our attitudes, direct our actions, and determine the outcomes. So we need to guard our thoughts. We are not the only society that has dealt with conspirators, rebels, and devious people plotting wicked schemes. Are we letting the evil-doers in society determine what we are thinking about? Garbage in — garbage out? Or, are we making conscious choices to “meditate on these things,” the things that are wholesome and ennobling? More
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A Question of “Authorization”
The religious leaders of Judea wanted to know by whose authority Jesus taught the people. They were incensed and demanded, “Who gave you the right to do these things?” As guardians and rulers of the Temple they felt their authority being challenged by this upstart, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus had not gone to their schools, nor studied with their chief teachers. Neither had he received their “key” — a symbolic gesture conferring on him the right to interpret scripture. Therefore the religious leaders of his time viewed Jesus as an imposter. But was he? By whose authority did he teach and preach? More