Keep at It

This past Sunday we continued in our series, Being Useful. We’ve so far talked about faith and virtue and knowledge and self-control. Those are all great things, but living in a constant pursuit of those can eventually become exhausting. If we’re going to manage that tall order, there’s something else we’re going to need. Fortunately, this next thing is the next item on Peter’s list. Keep reading to find out what it is.

Keep at It

Have you ever wanted to give up?  You pick the reason.  Have you ever been at a point where you were seriously considering throwing up your hands and walking away from something?  I think we all hit those places at one time or another in life.  It could have been something as insignificant as a game.  One of the lessons we are slowly teaching our boys is that you can’t quit just because you’re losing.  Any other parents have to fight that particular battle before?  Perhaps, though, your encounter with this particular wall was somewhat more significant.  Maybe it was a class in school?  It could have been a job when you didn’t already have another one lined up.  Perhaps it was even a relationship. 

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Digging in Deeper: 1 Corinthians 15:6-7

“Then he appeared to over five hundred brothers and sisters at one time; most of them are still alive, but some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

Why make such a big deal about the resurrection? Isn’t it enough to simply believe it happened and not worry so much about whether it was a real, historical event? I mean, in a world of modern understandings of life and death, defending the supernatural is no mean feat. Couldn’t we get by simply focusing on the powerful idea of the resurrection? Ever wondered anything like this? Let’s talk about it.

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Morning Musing: Acts 1:22

“beginning from the baptism of John until the day he was taken up from us — from among these, it is necessary that one become a witness with us of his resurrection.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

What is the foundation of the church? What is the thing that if you removed it, the church would crumble into dust? There’s an old hymn that would seem to give us the answer to that question. It goes like this: “The church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ, her Lord; she is His new creation by water and the Word; from heav’n He came and sought her, to be His holy bride; with His own blood He bought her, and for her life He died.” So that’s it then? Jesus is the foundation of the church? Well…yes and no. Let me explain. 

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Digging in Deeper: John 20:19

“When it was evening of that first day of the week, the disciples were gathered together with the doors locked because they feared the Jews. Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.'”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

How do we know Jesus rose from the dead? That’s one of those big questions that doesn’t seem so big until we really think about it for a minute. If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, then the whole of the Christian faith collapses into a giant heap which, frankly, isn’t worth even trying to rebuild. Of all the apologetic questions people ask about the faith, this one is by far the most significant. So again, how do we know? 

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Digging in Deeper: 2 Samuel 12:22-23

“He said, ‘While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, “Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.’”  (ESV – Read the chapter) ‬‬

This is the climax of one of the most emotional stories in the life of David. A good case can be made for this being one of the top five most emotional stories in the whole of the Hebrew Bible. When looking back at this verse and taking it through the lens of the New Covenant, many have seen this as a verse of great comfort. I’ve used it as such. But, the only way to experience that hope is to see it through that New Covenant lens. It’s a good reminder that Jesus has to be the interpretive framework we use for the Hebrew Bible. Anything else and it won’t do us any good. Read the rest…