Gospel

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit

Advertisements

Where Zombies Are Found in Scripture

I was intrigued to learn that a zombie, originally, is a snake-deity deriving from certain parts of West Africa and Haiti. Further, I found that they hold a certain aspect to some African and Caribbean religions.

In any case, the word ‘zombie’ informally refers to ‘a person who is or appears lifeless’ (New Oxford American Dictionary, 2nd edition: 2005 Oxford University Press, Inc.). If you’re like me, especially in the early dawn of morning, you have been there and done that.

Would you be surprised to know that Christianity describes lifeless beings in its passages?

When you read John 2:13-25, there are several words and phrases that stick out. First, grab a pen or colored pencil and mark the following words in this passage:

  1. The temple
  2. My Father’s house
  3. Your house
  4. Signs
  5. Believed

Consider: John wants you, his reader, to A) see the sign that the Jews saw regarding the temple (2:18), and B) believe their testimony.

Since the disciples did not fully understand the meaning of this sign until after Jesus had been resurrected (2:22, cf. 2:17), John is noting that this sign points forward to Jesus’ coming resurrection (seen in chapter 20). Importantly, you will learn here in chapter two that Jesus claimed to have power over his physical body in being able to raise it from the dead.

For you, this is important because if he conquered death once, he can conquer it again. Most importantly, he can help you conquer death as well. He can grant you eternal life…and that to every lifeless human being.

Jesus cleared out the corruption in the Jerusalem temple and would later institute the pure, spiritual ‘temple of his body’ (i.e. his church; cf. Matthew 16:16-18; I Corinthians 3:16-17; I Peter 2:5; Colossians 1:18). As the builder of a new temple, he not only can grant you eternal life, but also can cleanse your ‘original’ temple (i.e. your body, your life) today (cf. John 10:10).

Will you make the simple switch from ruin to restoration? Will you pursue life over death? Will you renew your temple today?

Why God Thinks You Need to Get a Life

Though I can unfortunately recall more than one time when I said the following phrase, I have also heard it said many other times from others.

Have you heard someone tell you, “You just need to get a life!” Let me be the first to suggest that God is speaking this phrase to you in the book of John.

When God spoke through John in his gospel, he wanted you to learn that you may have life through a relationship with Jesus (20:31). But why? Why does God think we need to get a life? Does he think we already don’t have one?

John explains that the life that comes through a relationship with Jesus is spiritual life. It is not the perfect life or the easy life, but the abundant life (10:10). It already exists for those who are believing (5:24), and it lasts beyond this life (12:25). This is why your (spiritual) life is so important.

In response to this important need, this gospel hopes that you will:

  1. Read the gospel to see the signs of Jesus
  2. Make a choice to believe or disbelieve
  3. Sacrifice your control of your life to Him…

…because Jesus did the same for you (10:11,15,17).

Remember: “He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal” (12:25).

Will you make a simple switch in your (spiritual) life? Will you ‘get a life?’

What Lucy Liu and the Bible Have in Common

USAID Human Trafficking Symposium, Sept. 16, 2...

I’m curious as to how many of you can relate to this quote:

“I try to believe like I believed when I was five…when your heart tells you everything you need to know.” –Lucy Liu (Original Source Here)

If you can’t, you should learn about someone who can. This guy wrote a lot about what it means to ‘believe’.

John teaches three points with regard to the word believe in his gospel.

  1. Believing is what you do to receive Jesus (1:12)
  2. Believing is a combination of both faith and obedience (3:36)
  3. Believing is a continuous action / continuous obedience (20:31)

Believing is what gives you life (20:31)

By reading his gospel, John wants you to make a decision to believe or disbelieve in Jesus. Doing so will be Christ’s blessing for you (20:29). By coming face to face with Jesus in this gospel, your decision will be your own. Will you make the simple switch from unbeliever to believer? How will Jesus bless you? Come along, if you’d like to find out.

The Sign That Opens Eyes

I don’t know about you, but this was one song that always seemed to get stuck in my head. Were you ever tormented by Ace of Base?

The word signs is one of several keywords in the book of John, describing both miraculous and non-miraculous displays. His gospel is full of these symbolic acts designed to teach spiritual lessons about Jesus. These aim to produce faith and life (i.e. salvation) within you by bringing you face to face with Jesus and his demonstrated power.

The resultant hope is that you will take up the challenge to respond to Jesus because man cannot live spiritually without him (20:31). As you go through this gospel, remember that these signs will demonstrate that Jesus is Lord, and can be the Lord of your life.

If you have not made Jesus your Lord, will you consider the signs? Will you consider the simple switch?

Clean Clarity Makes All the Difference

While I’m no expert in politics, I can identify when something is not clear. I cannot begin to count how many State of the Union addresses I’ve heard that ultimately left me saying, “Wait…huh?” or, “What is his point?” Did you ever have the same questions?

Maybe it was your English teacher who asked you, “Are we clear as mud?” What kind of question is that?! Surely you and I can get along best with those who are clear with what they are intending to say. Here’s one such example:

Continue reading

Surprising Discoveries People Find Through Investigation

To this day I still remember a time I was late for school because I spent fifteen extra minutes looking for my backpack. As I searched, my mom asked me why I hadn’t left 15 minutes earlier. When I told her why, she told me my backpack was on my back. Can you relate to this? Please say you can. Well, even if you can’t, I know someone who understands seeking and finding.

Continue reading