From Revelation 1:1-8. We usually consider prophecy to be words which predict future events. However, prophecy is more often about the present – a word from God concerning how we should live now. Such instructions are always connected to the past and the future. This is especially true in the book of Revelation, which quite literally is “The revelation of Jesus Christ…the Alpha and Omega…the Lord of heaven and earth.”
From Jude 17-25. The final words of the Epistle of Jude summarize its message. There are many things that could distract us from following “the way, the truth and the life,” but God is faithful. If we keep ourselves in God’s love and wait for the mercy of Jesus Christ we will inherit eternal life. In the midst of the struggles in this world that is a promise worth hearing and believing.
The Epistles of John make it clear that not everyone who claims to be a Christian is actually a Christ-follower. According to the Apostle John there are three distinguishing characteristics of a Christian – belief, obedience and love. Those three words might sound like the title for a popular book but before we use them as a catch-phrase we should understand what John meant by those words.
From 1 Peter. In his letters, Peter reminds the church of two essential aspects of her identity. First, in relation to God, she is his chosen people, a holy nation. Second, in relation to the world, the church is a sojourning, pilgrim people – a people in exile longing for home. Both aspects of our identity have bearing on how we are called to live today.
This letter was written from the heart of a pastor deeply concerned with the hearts and minds of the people of his congregation and their ability to live authentically in light of what God has accomplished through Christ. James offers encouragement, through both empathy and tough love, to people who desperately need it.
When Jesus met two disciples on the way to Emmaus, “he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” We don’t know who wrote the Book of Hebrews but whoever it was took a page from the teaching of Jesus on that day. The writer of Hebrews essentially says the whole story of the Bible is a story about Jesus. Let’s consider the wisdom of his words.
From Paul’s letter to Philemon. Listen in as we take a closer look at what Paul is asking of Philemon and company when he requests that they receive Onesimus back into their community.
1 Timothy 1:12-17. I & II Timothy and Titus have been called the Pastoral Epistles because they were written to individuals in pastoral ministry rather than to a church. Despite the differences between these and Paul’s other letters, there is still much to be learned here for the Christian community. We could all use some practical wisdom from God, so let’s think about the themes in these three letters.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11. Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians are probably the first letters he ever wrote. The return of Christ wasn’t a doctrine to be dissected and debated, but was a central truth for Paul. It’s also one he treats pastorally, using it to address real concerns the church had then…and still has now.
From Colossians 1:15-23. “All things were created by [Jesus Christ]…in him all things are held together.” What does this enormous statement mean? To what extent are our lives shaped by this reality?