Is Humor Biblical?

Is humor biblical
Proverbs 9:10, Ecclesiastes 3:4

When we go to the Bible, laughter is usually not a common response. But is it okay to laugh? Does God have a sense of humor? Is humor biblical?

Our relationship with the Holy God must start with a holy fear, with a reverence and recognition of our need for the blood of Christ to wash away our filth. No matter how close and comfortable we get with God, the fear of the Lord must never leave us. We must never try to base our access to God on anything but the righteous work of Jesus Christ. Our humility, honor, and our fear of the Lord truly are the foundation of a healthy attitude towards God. But none of these statements mean that humor is unbiblical. Continue reading Is Humor Biblical?

Our Prayers Reflect What We Believe About God

Matthew 7:7-11

By God’s grace I have had the opportunity to do missionary work in Liberia, West Africa. During my time there I had the privilege of visiting a lot of orphanages, some on a weekly basis.

I saw hundreds of orphan children. Babies, toddlers, children, teenagers. Some well fed, some not so well fed. Some with beds to sleep in and roofs over their heads, some without. Some of these orphans were in the city, some were way out in the African bush. Some were healthy and loved to play, some were crippled and lame.

I remember one boy named Francis. He was probably around fourteen, but he didn’t know his true birth date because his parents died when he was young and no one was there to share the details of his early life, a common problem amongst orphan children. Francis was a free spirit and did not like the rules and expectations of an orphanage, so he lived in a shipping container in the port, wheeling and dealing with the sailors to provide food for himself. Just from talking to all the sailors from different countries he had learned multiple languages: English, Russian, Ukrainian, French . . . Francis could speak them all. He was a genius. Continue reading Our Prayers Reflect What We Believe About God

Q&A About Singleness

q&A topic singleness
1 Corinthians 7:1-40, 1 Timothy 2:15

Before I married Bethany and I was still single, I remember having so many questions about singleness. Am I called to singleness? Is being single more holy? How do I know if God wants me to be married or not? Is marriage a command? These questions and more were always lingering in my mind.

I certainly was not alone. Singleness brings many questions to many people. The Bible talks a lot about singleness, but sometime it can be a bit confusing. What follows is a “question and answer” dialogue between me and Alice. The beautiful thing about having an online ministry is that you can connect with people across the entire world. Alice has been enjoying from another country and has given me permission to share our online Q&A. Continue reading Q&A About Singleness

The Secret to Not Losing Heart

Luke 18:1 glory of God mark ballenger
Luke 18:1

I like to over complicate things. Let’s go back into my childhood. Let’s take a deep look into my thinking process. Let’s analyze every word this person said to me. Na, Jesus says. Let’s just start with prayer.

As I was going through seminary and pursuing a Master’s Degree in pastoral counseling, I was taught a principle I believe Jesus practiced, “Complicated problems don’t always require complicated solutions.” Continue reading The Secret to Not Losing Heart

Living in Your Head to Avoid Your Heart

knowledge and love mark ballenger apply gods wordNow about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. But whoever loves God is known by God.-1 Corinthians 8:1-3

Have you ever met a Christian, or someone who claims to be, where all they want to do is war about words and ideas?

There is certainly nothing inherently wrong with being a man or woman of study. I personally really enjoy studying and gaining more knowledge. God has given us our minds and surely he expects us to know as much information about him and his word as we are able to gather. However, as Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 8:1-3, knowledge alone puffs up and does not accomplish God’s ultimate desire for us, which is to love him and build others up in love. Continue reading Living in Your Head to Avoid Your Heart

Why I Don’t Capitalize the “word” of God

mark ballenger

“And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” -John 5:37-40 Continue reading Why I Don’t Capitalize the “word” of God

Would You Complain about a Cripple? Would You Laugh at a Leper?

mark ballenger love peopleThose who Jesus spent his time with were the very ones the Pharisees sought to avoid. It’s easy to pass judgment on the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, thinking we would never act as repulsively as them.

Jesus did heal the physically ill, but ultimately he came to heal the spiritually ill. Jesus performed miracles on the sick to symbolize how he alone is able to perform a miracle on the sinful. The mission field for all of us, if we are followers of Jesus, is not ultimately the physically sick, but the spiritually sinful. Continue reading Would You Complain about a Cripple? Would You Laugh at a Leper?

“Shining like Stars” Through Silence

shining like starts in the universe Philippians 2_14-16

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. . . . – Philippians 2:14-16 (NIV)

Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.”  But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer.  Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed. – Matthew 27:11-14

Silence can say a lot. Sometimes words are not enough for the most important of messages. Sometimes the most effective answer is to say nothing. Continue reading “Shining like Stars” Through Silence

What Is the Glory of God According to the Bible?

what is the glory of God according to the bible

(Note: This is a condensed version of the article “What Is the Glory of God?” found on our Resource page.)

“What is the glory of God?” is certainly one of the most foundational questions to answer in all of Christianity because the glory of God is so central to the gospel, the Bible, and everything God does.

Humbly, however, we must first accept our answers will always be incomplete as our Infinite God can never fully be described by his finite creatures. With that said, the Bible uses the phrase “glory of God” in many different ways, which means we can create many different definitions in general. However, the Bible primarily uses the phrase “the glory of God” in a specific way, and therefore what follows is a specific definition.

Definition: The glory of God is the invisible qualities, character, or attributes of God displayed in a visible (or knowable) way. Continue reading What Is the Glory of God According to the Bible?