Distinct Hope

  Death is a word with an extremely negative connotation, but does it have to be? Not really.  If we are saved, death means that we will be with Jesus (2 Corinthians 5: 8).  While the thought of separating from my family is heart-wrenching, being able to talk and walk with Jesus, our Savior, sounds amazing. While we may not fear death for ourselves, we still experience it through the loss of those around us.  I’ve lost grandparents, but they didn’t live close by, so I’ve not known loss like many others around me.  But when I’ve had to watch …

Myth-Busters

Myth-busters How many wise men brought Baby Jesus gifts? If your answer was three, that would be consistent with tradition, but not The Bible. While the magi did bring three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2: 11), The Bible doesn’t actually say how many people were involved in delivering them. One thing I love and respect about my father and his preaching habits: he never expects anyone to take his word for anything he says, behind a pulpit or otherwise. Instead, he encourages his congregation, “Don’t take it from me; read it for yourself.” I suppose that’s one reason …

The Bible is Nonfiction

  Myth or Real: The Bible is Nonfiction At the end of yesterday’s devotional, I referred to the scripture (Bible) as Truth. But is it? Most Christians believe it is. After all, The Bible says so. Using deductive reasoning, if the Bible is inspired by God (II Timothy 3: 16-17), and if God is Truth (Isaiah 65: 16; John 14: 6; John 16: 13); then The Bible must be true. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (II Timothy 2: 15 KJV) Therefore, we Christians, by …

Christians Shouldn’t Brag

  Myth or Real: Christians Shouldn’t Brag Every night, I try to read at least one chapter of The Bible. One recent night, I read I Corinthians 1. The very last verse made quite the impression (It really initiated this entire day-by-day devotional theme), but I’ll save it for later. We’ve all met someone who tends to share, perhaps a little too much, in what they’ve done in service to God. (Let’s be honest…it’s us. We’ve all been guilty of it, at least once.) When we are righteous, when we are charitable, when we pray, we are not to do …

Christians are Perfect

Myth or Real: Christians are Perfect It seems to be a trend of society to think that when one becomes a Christian, there will be a supernatural change and expectations of what we say and how we act are raised to a point of perfection. While there is a supernatural change, it resides in our hearts, and just as James suggested, those around us should see it in our lifestyle. “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” (James 2: 26 NIV) But is it possible to be perfect? Once we have accepted Christ …

Salvation is from Hell

Myth or Real: Salvation is from Hell When someone is “saved”, exactly what are they saved from? Every person’s salvation experience is unique, and I’m sure there are many deciding factors, but as a ten-year-old child, I wanted to be saved from Hell. “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Revelation 21: 8 INV) After a description like that, how could anyone not call to Jesus for salvation? If Hell …

Christians Shouldn’t Judge

  Myth or Real: Christians Shouldn’t Judge I’ve heard viewpoints from both unbelievers and believers about whether Christians should judge others or not. Most unbelievers I’ve encountered feel that we Christians shouldn’t judge, using the first two words of Matthew 7: 1, “Judge not” to back their standing; while there have been ministers who’ve preached on how Christians should judge. So, which is correct? I believe it’s easier to understand when we separate the synonyms: judge and discern. The reason I say this is because as we’ve grown up in our society, we’ve always been taught, “Don’t judge a book …

Peace That Passes Understanding

    Peace that Passes Understanding     My father is a singing, guitar-playing pastor while my mother, brother, and I sing as well. I believe this exposure has led me to be very partial to music.  It’s enjoyable to read through the Bible and find scripture that so obviously inspired some of the songs and hymns I’ve heard throughout my life. When you were a child, did you ever sing or hear the song “I’ve got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy”?  While the catchy tune, suggesting the devil sit on a tack (Ouch!) was quite satisfying, I never understood …

Free Consent

  Free Consent       When you’re an employer, one of the rights you are expected to give a potential employee is free consent.  Before the person accepts the job, they should know exactly what responsibilities they are taking, and the consequences.  For example, someone may not accept a position of night watchman if they know upfront the crime rate in the area they will be stationed is much higher than the place of application. Many people believe that because God is our comforter, once we submit ourselves to Him, our lives will be perfect.  Jesus gave full disclosure …

It’s All in the Details…or is it?

    It’s All in the Details…or is it?     Not many people have a ton of money straight out of high school. Even with a full-time job, the pay was still very low. It always seemed like I never had money for anything. Then, the credit cards began to rack up. Finances are one of the most anxiety-inducing situations anyone will ever experience. It’s easy to get caught up in the frustration and fears of not knowing what it going to happen next. So, what does the Bible say about these scenarios and how can we feel the …

To Fear or Not to Fear

    To Fear or Not to Fear     I frequently travel nationwide for business.  When I’m across country alone, I’m always watching over my shoulder, taking caution in my attire and body language, and making sure my hotel is located in a safe area.  It’s sad that the world has come to this, but a lone female must take extra safeguards in protecting herself. I’m sure I’m not the only woman to consider all the worst-case scenarios.  But when I do, I also contemplate my reactions.  I recall the lady in The War Room when she was about …

Surrender All

    Surrender All     I’m a non-traditional college student, taking online classes, part-time while in my mid-thirties.  One semester, I took an Ethics course (probably not the first course a Christian would register for).  To my surprise, I wasn’t the only Bible-believer in the class.  Others, more courageous than I, spoke up in the discussion boards about their spiritual background and beliefs, which inspired me to do the same. In our final paper, we were to take a controversial subject previously studied in the course and give our opinion backed by moral thoughts and feelings.  Close to one-third …