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The beatitudes, sometimes referred to as be-“attitudes,” are building blocks to a complete conversion. Each be-“attitude” gives us a glimpse of Christ, and what we may become when our attitude is converted to His attitude.
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:3 NKJV
The poor in spirit have no pride in themselves. They know they need to depend on God for help. Did Jesus, in His humanity feel dependent upon the [...]
My ninth-grade algebra teacher graded our tests on the curve. This meant that the highest grade would be counted as 100%. So if the highest grade was 80, our 70 would be considered 70/80 instead of 70/100, thus raising our percentage and grade considerably. There was only one problem. The same girl got 100% right on every test, so we never got a break! The standard always stayed right where it belonged at 100, instead of 70 or 80. The [...]
“Hang the heretics!” the angry mob shouted, shoving my neighbor and me toward a makeshift gallows.
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Rough hands slipped a noose over my head and shouted, “Now will you repent?”
“No!” I said, and the noose drew tighter around my neck.
Months earlier I noticed a man reading a Bible on a bus. He saw my interest and urged me to buy a Bible and discover God’s truths for myself. Then he invited me to visit the [...]
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,” James 1:2
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Have you ever considered how completely foreign that philosophy is to pretty much every other way of thinking on the planet these days? Most folks spend considerable time and money to avoid any kind of trial. Our lives (in the United States, anyway) are all about easier, better and faster – trials of any kind just don’t figure in. When a [...]
Can we modern-day computer-saturated Christians even imagine what communication was like in Paul’s day? Today we consider it a disaster if we’re without electricity for an hour or two. Once current is available, we can flash a message to a relative or friend thousands of miles away and in seconds the message is being read, and an answer arrives on our screen. Or think about the robot, Curiosity, that traveled 350 million miles into space on a trip [...]
As I sit here, comfortable, in my climate-controlled home, my glass of clean, drinkable water beside me, I cannot, in any way, describe myself as persecuted. I believe I could describe myself as “bothered” sometimes, but not persecuted.
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I don’t believe I can think of anyone I know that could be described as being persecuted right now.
Persecuted is defined as, “to pursue with harassing or oppressive treatment, especially because of religion, race, or beliefs; harass [...]
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” 1 Peter 4:12. NIV
In the early 15th century, over a hundred years before Martin Luther opposed the Vatican, a Catholic priest named Jan Hus opposed abuses by the church and its clergy. He also advanced the cause of the Bible translator, John Wycliffe. Partly for the former, but mostly for the latter, he paid with [...]
“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” 2 Timothy 3:12, NIV
When I awake each morning, I can enter my den and open my Bible for morning Bible study with nary a thought that anything should prevent me from enjoying this time in the Word. I can also pray for my needs and the needs of others before an open window where the morning breezes may carry my words to heavenly ears. [...]
The following thoughts and questions are provided to help Sabbath school teachers and others in a small group discussion of the lesson for the week.
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[Thought Questions for Friends Forever August 8, 2012]
1. The bond of friendship. Is there any doubt about the affection Paul felt towards the believers in Thessalonica? What does Paul anticipate more than anything else in the prayer that opens this week’s lesson? Was Paul justified in his love for these Christians in Thessalonica? Were they all [...]
Whether we like it or not, someone is always watching us. Have you ever thought about that? Even when you think you’re completely on your own, in a place where you think you don’t know anybody and nobody knows you, people are watching. Being a Christian only increases the number of people watching.
Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com
Why do people watch Christians so intently? Some folks would say it’s because they’re waiting for us to mess up. In a [...]