Read two free sample chapters from my newest book, Intertwined: Our Happiness Is Tied to God’s Glory (Two Free Sample Chapters PDF)
As children we imagined we would find the perfect spouse, the perfect job, buy the perfect house, go on perfect adventures, and well . . . have the perfect life. Somewhere along the way, however, we quickly realized we will experience many things on this earth, but perfection is certainly not one of them.
2 Corinthians 5:18
What does the Bible say about forgiveness and reconciliation? It’s the right question to ask because of all the places to look, the Bible is absolutely jammed packed with relevant information regarding the connection between forgiveness and reconciliation.
What’s the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation? Must you always reconcile to forgive? Do you need both people to choose forgiveness for it to occur? Do you need both people to choose to be reconciled? The Bible answers all of these questions about forgiveness and reconciliation.
Key Text: Romans 12:1-18
So far in this Christianity 101 series, our topics have been mainly centered on an individual’s relationship with God. Not only must individual Christians learn to love God, we must learn to love other people and we must also learn to be loved by other Christians.
While Christianity must always be personal, it must be lived out within a Christianity community, specifically within a local church. So what is the church? Why is the church so important for our personal transformation? And how can we love other Christians and be loved by them in the context of a local church?
It’s my belief that the amount of real spiritual power someone has is equal to how much credit they are willing to give God in their hearts and actions. God greatly uses those who are finally ready to give him all the glory. If you still desire the praise, then God isn’t going to curse you with the power.
This trait of possessing power and yet knowing it comes from God is always present in those God uses the most. Joseph is a perfect example of this.
(Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-15)
The account of Jesus feeding the 5000 is one of his most well-known miracles as it is one of the only miracles recorded in all four gospels. But why did Jesus feed the 5000?
The simple answer is that the people were hungry and out God is one who cares about daily, practical needs of people. There are more reasons, however, for why Jesus fed the 5000.
“Love your neighbor as yourself” is the golden rule. It is the summary of the entire law (Galatians 5:14). And it is the second greatest commandment within the entire Bible (Matthew 22:37-40).
But how do we love our neighbors as ourselves? To answer that, let’s look at Like 10:25-42.
The Bible says a lot about judging others. For example, Christians should not judge people’s motives, they should not judge non-believers, but they should judge other believers’ external actions if that Christian is living in sin. (For more on what the Bible says about judging others, read this article.)
However, what about being on the other side of the judgement? What should Christians do when they feel judged by others?
Just recently in Cleveland, my hometown, the Facebook Murder garnered national attention for his despicable crime. Steve Stephens was a local man who killed 74-year-old Robert Godwin at random, filmed it, and then posted it on Facebook.
When I opened my email one recent Friday morning, I saw a notification regarding two new clients who would be checking into our program soon. One was getting out of prison after an eight-year term for two counts of rape. The other was coming to us after a twenty-year prison term for three counts of GSP (gross sexual imposition) and six counts of rape. Underneath their profile information was our Prison Outreach Chaplain’s signature line with the words, “Jesus, he breaks my chains!”
While the reminder of God’s power expressed in the gospel sent chills down my back, I can’t deny the internal war of feelings I had regarding these men: Why should we help these guys? They disgust me. They’re always going to be a threat to society. Nine counts of rape between the two of them! Why are they letting these men out?
But then that final line rang again in my ears, “Jesus, he breaks my chains!”
You are not going to find the term “personal boundaries” in the Bible. However, the Bible does talk about personal boundaries in principle.