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Just Thinking

This category contains 34 posts

I Was Just Thinking … About a Good Reason to Rejoice at Easter

Sometimes the answer to the question Why celebrate Jesus’ resurrection? focuses on the forgiveness of our sin. That is a good reason to celebrate. Knowing that God no longer holds our sin against us, because Jesus cleared God’s name of any charge of unjustly doing good to those who deserve punishment, should take a load … Continue reading

I Was Just Thinking … About Humble Exultation

Because the gospel writers frame their narratives differently, we sometimes need to weave them together in order to see the big picture. Only Luke reprises Jesus’ parable about the noble who went to a distant land in order to receive the authority to rule as king. Because he was near to Jerusalem, and because his … Continue reading

I Was Just Thinking … About Defeating Covetousness

The Bible teaches that certain attitudes of mind and heart give Satan a foothold in our lives. For example, Ephesians 4:26–27 says that to allow anger against others to persist is to give place to the devil. 2 Corinthians 10:4–5 urges us to cast down all those attitudes (“arguments”) which scorn the knowledge of God. … Continue reading

I Was Just Thinking … About the Next Advent

“It Came Upon A Midnight Clear,” one of the many songs we enjoy during the Christmas season, is not really about the past. It begins there, but it quickly moves to remind us about how we should live while we await Jesus’ second advent. Since we live in the present so that we can enjoy … Continue reading

I Was Just Thinking … About Being More Than Conquerors

According to Romans 8:37 we are “more than conquerors through him who loved us.” While studying this passage with a class I taught, the question came up: How is it possible to be more than a conqueror? We understand what if means to win against an opponent, but how is it possible to do more … Continue reading

I Was Just Thinking … about Grace in Action

When the Apostle Paul described the synergy undergirding his ministry he said, “God’s grace toward me has not been in vain. I worked harder than anyone; nevertheless, it was not I, but the grace of God that was working with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10). As my wife and I talked with our children during the … Continue reading

I Was Just Thinking … about Conditions for Peace

Everyone wants to experience what Philippians 4:7 calls “the peace of God which passes understanding.” God’s peace “passes understanding” in that it keeps our hearts peaceful and calm even though we understand perfectly well that there is no human or natural way that we can be extricated from some difficulty that threatens our future. Philippians … Continue reading

I Was Just Thinking … about Grace and Reconciliation, Part 3

Last week we saw that reconciliation between two people is a function of grace (“the action that originates in the joy of one person in order to create a corresponding joy in another”): In anticipation of the joy of receiving God’s grace, we engage in a peacemaking activity designed to bring a conflicted brothers and … Continue reading

I Was Just Thinking … about Grace and Reconciliation, Part 1

When I was becoming an Army Ranger in late 1969, the cadre emphasized, in many ways, that we were members of a team, and that we would not succeed in our combat missions unless we were in tune with and in sync with one another. “Cooperate and graduate” became our mantra. Fast forward twenty nine … Continue reading

I Was Just Thinking … About the Value of Translations

There are times when we hear someone say, “I don’t believe the Bible, because there are so many versions of it.” To be sure, the word “version” is used in the official titles for a number of the leading English translations of the Bible. There is the King James Version (often called The Authorized Version); … Continue reading