Studies have shown we are generally more likely to trust the people we find attractive or have a “presence” about them. Those who “look the part” are more likely to receive our listening ears, our votes, our willingness to hire them, and our delegation of important roles to them. 1 Samuel highlights how the Israelites, including the prophet Samuel, fall into the trap of relying on the data their eyes are receiving. But God has a strong message about the reliability of our eyes in making value judgments. We explore and apply.
Developing habits, virtues, skills, resistance against sin, everything else involved in our walk with Christ shares parallels with development in professional or athletic fields. Stan Hammonds walks us through allowing the text of 2 Peter 1 to become the basis for a development plan.
We live among a sexually schizophrenic culture - one which champions sexual freedom but is waking up to some of the impossibilities of a view of sex with no boundaries. We examine the “Babylon” of Revelation with parallels to our culture’s view of consumerism and sex, which ultimately are 2 sides of the same coin of idolatry.
In our first angle of looking at the relevance of the 10 Commandments given to Israel, we consider the connections to the Creation account and what God has intended for humans all along.
We explore biblical principles to apply to 2 questions:
Is it okay with God for a Christian to marry a non-Christian?
Is it wrong for a Christian to play the lottery? What about gambling in general?
How does the Gospel change the rich? How does it change the poor? What trials and temptations do each group face? And what does it all mean for relationships between those from different economic backgrounds now in the Kingdom?
In our 3rd lesson exploring how Christians should handle Memory, we consider the memories of the times we have been wronged by others. We first consider 6 possible responses to sin against us, all of them chaining us to the memory. So we then consider another way - the way of forgiveness. If this is God's intention for my handling of these memories, what makes forgiveness possible? What is my strategy?
In a moment of desperation, Esau makes the worst deal of his life. He trades his father's inheritance -what his father intends for him - for a morsel of food. And we all have a lot of Esau in us. We explore how.
In the first of a 4-part series on how Christians should handle Memory, we raise some questions about why God asked Israel to remember both moments of triumph and moments of hardship and pain. How can memories, whether from our own experience or through studying history, teach us about our present and future? If they are painful, why are they worth consulting?
We tackle the meaning of "work out your salvation" by looking at the surrounding context of Philippians 2.