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Often times in counseling, I use the idea of a balloon. Like a balloon we are squeezed by our circumstances in life: jobs, family, politics, houses, et cetera. These are things that James 1 would describe as a trial (v. 15). But there are also those pressures that come from inside, like the over-inflation of a balloon, they encourage us to ‘pop’. This is the idea of James 1:13 when James refers to those inner solicitations to sin—those enticements come from within. (more…)
Louis Berkhof makes an interesting comment. He says, “None of the attributes of God are incommunicable in the sense that there is no trace of them found in man.” There is a fine line between saying that we want to be God and we want to be like God: one is the biblical impetus for everything we do and the other was the inducement to the original sin. Yet, we want to be like God in every aspect; we want to be like Him in every capacity that we can because there is no better pattern for imitation.
Paul strikes a cord in Ephesians 5:1 that is implicit throughout the remainder of Scripture and it is this, we are to imitate God and godly people. In 1 Corinthians 4:6 and 11:1 we see that Paul uses similar—yet different—language. He there states to follow him as He follows Christ. There is a call to imitation. “Imitate me, while I imitate Christ.” Likewise, in Hebrews 6:12 and 13:2 we see an encouragement to imitate others who are imitating God. Imitation is right and normative and is the only genuine means a transformation. (more…)
“Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children.”
In 1961, Albert Bandura conducted a social experiment with seventy-two, 3-6 year-olds. The experiment is famously known as the, “Bobo Doll” experiment in which Bandura’s Social Learning Theory (1977) was evaluated. The experiment took seventy-two children and placed them in a room for observation for twenty minutes each. (more…)
The posture from which you view the Scripture shapes every doctrine you believe. Harold Lindsell said our view of Scripture “is like the Continental Divide in the United States. … Inexorably and inevitably the waters find their way to their ultimate destiny, just as one’s view of the Bible determines ultimately what his theology will be” (25). Therefore, a book like The Scripture Cannot Be Broken comes with the understanding that what you believe about the Scripture affects what you believe about the world. Let’s take a look at the highlights of the book and then make some observations that would be helpful to the reader. (more…)
We were in the woods near Columbus, GA where I was doing training with the Army and at one of the locations we stayed, there were showers! Hallelujah! When you have sweat for the past few days, a shower is worth its weight in gold. However, there was one catch—the water was cold … really cold. The only way you could take a shower was to acclimate to the coldness and attempt to rinse off the soap and shampoo. But before long, the cold water was not as shocking. We could hop right in, get clean, and continue on with life. After a while, the extremely cold water became normal. And sin has a way of taking something extremely shocking and making it normal. (more…)
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Happy Mother’s Day!
If you could have plastic surgery and money was not a limit, what would you get done? Perhaps you want a different nose? Teeth? Cheeks? Facelift? Hair removal? What would you get “fixed” if anything? Or, to say it another way: what do you not like about your appearance? What are insecure about? What do you wear certain types of clothing to hide? And what would embarrass you if others saw it? (more…)
Is it possible that we are valuing redemption more than we value the Redeemer? Have we made the gospel about us, instead about the One accomplished the gospel? This is what brings me great concern as a rising trend among evangelicalism: gospel idolatry. Gospel idolatry is simply the elevation of the message over the Messenger; of the act over the Actor. It seems so subtle and so enthralling. Jesus is kind and in His kindness He liberates me from sin, saves me, justifies me, sanctifies me, and will one day return for me. And because who I am in Christ, I can now live out a life that lacks condemnation; I am free in Christ. Did you see what I just did in stating those accurate and biblical truths? The gospel just became about me, not about Christ. So I ask again, is it possible to worship salvation over the Savior? Yes, and we do.
Divorce has never been pretty. And it has never been God’s design. Unfortunately, many of us know this from a first-hand perspective. Divorce is never pretty because it erodes at the prettiness of marriage. However, divorce is not always a sin; Jesus makes that clear in Matthew 5 and Matthew 19. Yet, all that leads to divorce is sin.