Photo by GAC I think I can safely say that James has a very low opinion of money and the accumulation of wealth. Along with Paul, James gets his ideas about money and wealth from Jesus. Jesus and all the New Testament writers are concerned about money and the accumulation of wealth because they believed … Continue reading Bible Note #52: James 2:5-7 & the Problem of Wealth
I enjoy fishing. I’m not very good at it, but I do enjoy going out to the water and trying to catch fish. As I share this with you, we are a day away from the opening of trout season in Pennsylvania. Opening day can be a pretty crowded time on the water around here. … Continue reading Bible Note #51: James 2:1-4 & Valuing What Jesus Values
There is no question that our Christian faith can become corrupted. And, of course, one of the ways that our faith can become corrupted is when we adopt bad or wrong doctrines. That’s why it’s important for us to learn our theology carefully and well. The base of an abandoned steel-making blast furnace; photo by … Continue reading Bible Note #50: James 2:1 and “Us vs. Them” Thinking
Here God proclaims his love. God proclaims the bias of his heart. God proclaims the direction of movement of his heart. photo by GAC Above all, he is for the weak. Above all, he is for the vulnerable, the wounded, the broken, the lost. (Does this sound familiar? “For the Son of Man came to … Continue reading Bible Note #48: Justice for the Weak–Ezekiel 34:11-22
Mary Magdalene—A Narrative Meditation In an earlier time, the anguish and grief that she had endured on that Friday and Saturday would have unhinged her. Yet in the midst of this agony, she discovered that the Teacher had so healed and restored her that even this crushing sorrow could not undo his work. photo by … Continue reading Bible Note #47: Mary Magdalene–A Holy Week Meditation
In Matthew 7, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells the story of two houses. One was built on solid rock. The rains fell, the wind blew, the floods of life came, but that built on solid rock house stood firm. The other house was built on sand. The rains fell, the wind blew, … Continue reading Bible Note #42: Studies in James #1–James 1:1-4
“Speaking recklessly is like the thrusts of a sword, but the words of the wise bring healing.” Proverbs 12:18 [NET] This verse is built on a recognition of the power of words. And the couplet begins with a warning about the destructive power of words. It is very tempting to launch out now on a … Continue reading Bible Note #41: Building Up and Healing with Words
"There are, in the end, only two ways to read the Bible: Is it basically about me or basically about Jesus? In other words, is it basically about what I must do or basically about what he has done?" Timothy Keller, Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism. New York: Viking, 2015, page 60.
"The Word of God is the seed out of which the divine nature springs up in the human soul." R. A. Torrey, Power-Filled Living: How to Receive God's Best for Your Life. New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 1998, page 17.
“Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” Proverbs 14:31 [NIV] We have here an antithetical parallelism. The two halves of the couplet contrast with each other, and in that way the writer shows us one key truth by showing us both sides of the … Continue reading Bible Note #21: Proverbs 14:31–The Heart of God and the Poor