Woven through yesterday’s cry for help is song trumpeting through the land: today all the people are singing it out loud.
We have not been swallowed up by violent anger
We were not swept away and drowned in their torrent of rage
The Edomites were cousins to the Israelites, descendants of Esau. Esau and Jacob had been brothers, and the Israelites reminded the King of Edom that they were family. He recounted their time of slavery in Egypt and promised that they would stay on the highway and not cause their cousins any trouble as they journeyed to the Promised Land. The King of Edom wasn’t feeling any familial love for the Israelites and sent a large force to deny them access through his territory.Read More loss, hope, encouragement
Saul’s transformation from a man who persecuted Jesus’s followers to being counted one of them is blindingly swift. After the short period of several days with the Lord’s followers in Damascus, he is publicly preaching the same message he had sought to stop. Soon after, he does the same thing in Jerusalem, and he attempts to join the followers.Read More gentiles, encouragement, gospel
Read Reflect I don’t know about you, but often, my first thought is to try to tackle something on my own. Though I know that my first thought should be to bring something to God, this is often not the case. As such, while some things work out, more often than I’d like to admit, […]Read More encouragement, God’s faithfulness
Read Reflect We travel easily nowadays; we call the agents, plan ahead, book online, happily piling up our frequent flyer points. But how did Paul manage his constant travels? Would you have liked to be his travel agent? Acts is a travelogue, and this chapter, which is our lead-in to our section on 1 Thessalonians, […]Read More preaching, encouragement, travel
Read Reflect It’s somewhere around 49-51 AD. Paul is on his second missionary journey and during his 18 months in Corinth he’s writing this letter. What’s on his mind? Certainty—the truth that Jesus is going to return. What’s on his readers’ mind? Doubt. Are we going to be OK or not? What’s going to happen […]Read More encouragement, doubt, certainty
Read Reflect So here’s the climax of all this interpersonal Heartbook stuff: they are as keen to see Paul as he is to see them. Why not? He has brought them life in Christ. No wonder they love him to bits and want to see him again. “We live if you are standing fast in […]Read More fellowship, love, encouragement, gratitude, investment in people
Warning: Trouble WILL come when we commit to serving Christ. And we WILL make mistakes.
No one likes to make mistakes. But the reality is that we will need to be corrected from time to time. It’s how we respond that builds our character and faith.Read More correction, repentance, restoration, encouragement, accountability
Paul names 26 people by name in this passage and alludes to many others. Why has the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to name each person individually? What do these personal greetings add anyway? It’s almost certain that the majority of people named here would have forever remained unknown had he not mentioned them in this letter.Read More encouragement, dependence, appréciation
It is not good for us to be alone. We were created to be in community. Friendship is one of the great gifts God has given us to live a happy and fulfilling life. Spending time with someone whose company you enjoy is a great pleasure, and those who are lonely are often in a place dangerous to their own well-being.Read More friendship, encouragement, influence