They Called Her a Whore. Jesus Called Her a “Woman”
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http://www.goodsalt.com/details/dmtas0098.html?r=ssnet

He had told her he loved her. Said she was beautiful. Promised her she would be special. Next thing she knew she was being dragged out of bed by the friends of him who had dragged her into bed, and he who had praised and flattered her just stood and watched her being dragged away.

Now she was kneeling half naked, humiliated before a popular religious icon. Eyes closed not wanting to be confronted by this religious leader, and not wanting [...]

05: Discipling the Sick – Hit the Mark
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He had only one hope. No other options. No other solutions. He had used every resource at his disposal and everything that concerned family members and friends could do had been done. Now dangling in a bed let down through the roof of Peter’s house, he was at his moment of truth.

The familiar story of the paralytic shared in Luke 5 contains many of the shared experiences of those facing sickness personally or dealing with loved ones who are sick. [...]

The Prodigal Son Is In Good and Regular Standing
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Prodigal

Whenever the subject of the prodigal son comes up, we picture a young person who has lost his way. We use this story, and rightly so, to show the dangers of a life of aimless, godless living. For many mothers and fathers this story gives hope to the day that their own “prodigal” child returns home. If it could happen for the young man in this biblical account, surely it could happen for us. Amen, somebody.

While all of the above [...]

Crime and Punishment
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

When a crime is not punished quickly, people feel it is safe to do wrong. Ecclesiastes 8:11 NLT

Several years ago I was studying with a family, while the wife’s father had a stroke and was in the hospital. I went to see him and arrived literally moments after he had passed away. The family asked me to join them in the family room as they met with doctors. A son said he probably would not have died if they would [...]

Porcupines In Church
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http://www.goodsalt.com/details/stdas0489.html?r=ssnet

What? You say you’ve never met a porcupine? I’ll bet you have. In fact, you may be one yourself. I’m pretty sure I am.

“The German philosopher Schopenhauer compared the human race to a bunch of porcupines huddling together on a cold winter’s night. He said, ‘The colder it gets outside, the more we huddle together for warmth; but the closer we get to one another, the more we hurt one another with our sharp quills. And in the lonely night [...]

The Only Right Worth Dying for
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New England Churches 049

We live in an age where everybody is worried about protecting their rights. There is the right to defend ourselves, the right to privacy, and so on. This is nothing new. God provided Esther “for such a time as this” when God’s people needed someone to defend them. The NSA of the day was following Daniel around, and found him praying in an open window. Apparently he was not so concerned about his privacy. He had nothing to hide. Even [...]

Above and Beyond
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Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

I spent some time looking for a good example of atonement, this week. It was more difficult than I expected because so many of the examples I found equate atonement with forgiveness – synonyms. I have to admit, that I have thought of them as the same as well. But when I look at the description of the things that happened on the Day of Atonement, there’s something more going on there above and beyond forgiveness.

Image © Steve Creitz [...]

Thursday: Forgiveness
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Read Micah 7:18–20. What picture of God do we find in this passage?

The last three verses of the book of Micah focus on the relationship of God with His remnant. The text describes beautifully why God is unrivaled. He is incomparable because of His forgiving love and grace. The outstanding characteristic of God, as revealed in Micah (and elsewhere), is His willingness to forgive. Micah emphasizes this point by using various expressions for God’s attributes (vs. 18) and achievements (vss. [...]

Wednesday: From Friction to Forgiveness
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Image © Bjorn Thorkelson from GoodSalt.com

What is forgiveness?

Image © Bjorn Thorkelson from GoodSalt.com

Does forgiveness justify the behavior of someone who has horribly wronged us? Is my forgiveness dependent on the offender’s repentance? What if the one with whom I am upset with does not deserve my forgiveness?

How do the following passages help us to understand the biblical nature of forgiveness?Rom. 5:8-11; Luke 23:31-34; 2 Cor. 5:20-21;Eph. 4:26-30.

Christ took the initiative in reconciling us to Himself. It is the “goodness of God [that] leads you to repentance” (Rom. 2:4, [...]

Forgiveness Is Not Saying It Is Okay
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Carrying the Cross

One Sabbath afternoon I received a phone call from the mother of a child I had corrected earlier at church, who had smarted off to me, when I told her to stay out of a room that was off-limits. The mother told me, “My daughter wants to tell you she is sorry, but before she gets on the phone, I wanted to ask you, when she says she is sorry, don’t tell her it is okay. Just tell her she [...]