Perhaps the main impediment to overcoming is our innate selfishness. Our goal is to bear the character of our God, whose primary characteristic outgoing concern.
Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the riot which occurred in Ephesus when the silversmith Demetrius became alarmed that the apostle Paul was endangering the local economy, indicates that Rome had zero-tolerance for any activity disturbing the tranquility o. . .
In the world, it is common practice to use whatever means necessary to grasp the brass ring, but such selfish ambition should be absent from the church. In light of the example of Korah, have we allowed ourselves to be led by men or are we really following. . .
Anger can be outwardly visible, but it can also show up in ways that are subtle, indirect, and deceptive. Proverbs 26:24-26 provides an example of this...
Genesis 10 and 11 contain the brief description of Nimrod, the founder of Babylon and the Babylonian system, which has so greatly influenced the course of this world. ...
Richard Ritenbaugh asserts that the epistle of James stresses both faith and works, emphasizing those factors necessary for growth, enabling us to produce a bountiful harvest of fruit. We are to exercise humility and impartiality, taking particular effort . . .
Jeremiah and his scribe, Baruch, lived during a time of great upheaval. Baruch complained that God's plans against Judah were crimping his own ambitions.
Throughout the course of Biblical history, whenever sin appears, confusion, division and separation are the automatic consequences.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting upon the admonition of Christ that we must take the straight gate or the narrow way (symbols of grave difficulty), indicates that our experience in overcoming and developing character will be fraught with difficulties. Neverthel. . .
We can easily slide quickly down the path of spiritual self-destruction when self-will becomes dominent in our lives. Our goal is to live by God's will, not our own!
Korah, Dathan, and Abiram were not content with where God had placed them, but, in a spirit of pride, wanted to arrogate to themselves the office of Moses.
John Ritenbaugh observes that although each of God's festivals depicts increasingly larger numbers of people being drawn to God, the counter pulls emanating from sinful carnal human nature war against the prompts of God's Holy Spirit, producing continual c. . .
The book of Jude, a scathing indictment against false teachers, may be the most neglected book in the New Testament. False teachers twist grace into license.
Richard Ritenbaugh, focusing on Psalm 83:4-8, which describes the hideous character traits of Israel's ancient enemies, identifies descendants of Amalek, a particularly proud and hate-filled man, assembling a confederacy of vengeful peoples having ties to . . .
Paul urges Euodia and Syntyche to follow the example of Christ rather than placing their desire to be right over unity. Godly leadership follows submission.
John Ritenbaugh studies the "Get way" or the "Keep up with the Joneses" (lust or coveting) principle with which advertisers and politicians shamelessly (and successfully) manipulate us. A commentator once remarked, "All public crim. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the horrendous prospect of surrendering our control to a driverless vehicle, maintains that Americans treasure their freedom of movement despite the "Nanny State's" insincere protestations about safety as it atte. . .
Confusion and separation have been man's legacy since Eden. Christ is working to put an end to division, enabling us to be one with the Father and each other.
John Reid asserts that God hates pride and presumptuous self-sufficiency but loves the person who is humble and trembles at His word (Isaiah 66:2). Satan is the father of pride. Pride consists of emphasizing our own personal endowments, accomplishments, or. . .
Satan uses lies and disinformation to promote self-satisfaction over obedience to God. The way to the kingdom is through self-denial, even suffering unjustly.
Martin Collins, reviewing the episode of Habakkuk's frustration that God would use an evil people to punish Israel, points us to the prophet's resolve to cease being a fretful worrier and to become a responsible watcher, determined to understand the purpos. . .
Martin Collins, reflecting on the reaction of Joseph's brothers on the binding of Simeon and the returning of their money mentioned in Genesis 42, claims this was the first time in their lives these 'raised in the church kids' had ever seriously acknowledg. . .
Self-righteous people tend to trust in their own heart, be wise in their own eyes, justify themselves, despise or disregard others, and judge or condemn others.
Richard Ritenbaugh warns that individuals arrogating to themselves the authority to change doctrine are on extremely dangerous ground, presumptuously or boldly setting up idols in place of God. We dare not put words into God's mouth. The work of God in the. . .
John Ritenbaugh continues to examine the shepherd and door analogies occurring in John 10, depicting the close relationship of Jesus with His flock as the security and stability provided by His protection, as opposed to the approach of the hireling. Christ. . .
We dare not let the sun go down on our wrath. Uncontrolled anger can be a major cause of mental and physical illness. We must reconcile with our adversaries.
Richard Ritenbaugh reiterates that several parallels exist in the account of Balaam and one's approach to God. As God's children, we have to be on guard against people who are intimidated by righteousness and will seek to destroy its practice. Balaam, moti. . .
To resist the Devil is to resist unlawful desires, not allowing him to manipulate our emotions. Satan works on fear of being denied something pleasurable.
God, before He created Adam and Eve, preternaturally planned the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to save humanity from the curse of sin and death.
Richard Ritenbaugh observes that the self-indulgent, immoral culture of Corinth parallels today's America and the current fractured state of the church. Paul, before he gives the Corinthians a corrective message on factions and party spirit, reminds them t. . .
[Audio Note: Quality improves at 1:20] John Ritenbaugh warns that when an aberrant cultural change of any kind is introduced into society, it soon becomes accepted. Many parents of the 1980's considered children hindrances to their self-fulfillment, turnin. . .
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that the people who were preaching Christ from questionable motives were church members and not Judaizers, as some have assumed. Paul experienced a dilemma wondering if it would be better to suffer martyrdom, finishing his life's. . .
John Ritenbaugh, focusing upon the seed analogy of Jesus in John 12:24, emphasizes that sacrifice is absolutely necessary (the seed must give up its life) in order for quality fruit to be produced. Using this seed planting analogy, Jesus teaches that, as a. . .
Martin Collins points out that the graphic imagery of a turbulent sea appearing in Isaiah 57:19-20 describes the troubled minds experienced by those who reject God's laws. God's called-out ones must earnestly strive for peace, realizing that Satan has coun. . .
Probably the biblical character best exemplifying the narcissistic personality is David's son, Absalom, clearly a spoiled son in a dysfunctional family.
John Ritenbaugh points out that Jesus Christ, through His voluntary humility (giving up all the perks of being God), has given us a model of the mindset that we need to have in order to attain membership in the family of God. Paul, desiring the Philippian . . .
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that the Apostle Paul, in this prison epistle, conveyed to the Philippians his optimism that the apparent misfortune was actually a blessing, actually enabling Paul to magnify his effectiveness, enabling more fruit to be borne. P. . .
John Ritenbaugh focuses upon the episode in Matthew 20, in which Jesus was deep in thought, reflecting on the prophecies leading up to His crucifixion. At this point, His disciples were not converted, but displayed considerable carnality. The mother of two. . .
Like the four groups of seeds exposed to various qualities of soil, many have heard the true gospel, but few have remained faithful after the onslaught of hardship.
Richard Ritenbaugh discusses the deplorable practice wherein wealthy families have, for over a decade now, collaborated with compromised college test administrators and coaches in order to bypass entrance procedures at some major American universities, inc. . .
Jesus gave surnames only twice to His disciples. To Simon, He gave the surname "Peter," which means a "stone," and to the sons of Zebedee, James and John, He gave the surname, or perhaps nickname, Boanerges, which is translated as "Sons of Thunder." ...
Richard Ritenbaugh claims that fatherhood is in danger the world over, in part stemming from media portrayal depicting fathers as incompetent bumblers, and in part stemming from the strident leaders of the Feminist movement, depicting men as worthless sper. . .
Our human nature is pure vanity with a heart that is desperately deceitful and wicked, motivated by self-centeredness, a deadly combination for producing sin.
Jesus' walking on the water of the Sea of Galilee may be the best-known of His astounding miracles. Martin Collins examines both the miracle and the context, showing that this incident and Jesus' calming words to the disciples unmistakably declared to them. . .
Godly principles are timeless, and though the application may not be the same, honest weights and scales are still crucial for a smooth and peaceful society.
Richard Ritenbaugh, focusing on the giants in Genesis 6, maintains that the spies may have exaggerated the size of the Anakim. These "giants" could have well been large for average human beings, but the giant aspect should perhaps been applied me. . .
It is dangerous to judge something on the basis of apparent 'sincerity,' which is often the opposite of godly sincerity. Godly sincerity is paired with the truth.
Herod the Great played a large role in shaping the world into which Jesus was born. His reign had a lasting influence on the cultures of Judea, Samaria, and Galilee.
These two parables are linked because they are the answers to the disciples' question, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Jesus' answer explains the value He places on those who follow Him.
John Ritenbaugh teaches that pride is the basis of resistance against God while humility is the vital key of forming a relationship with God. Pride is the father of all other sins and always leads to the production of the more easily recognizable sins. Pri. . .
John Ritenbaugh teaches that we must have both perseverance and humility in prayer in order to keep our vision sharp and clear. Pride leads people to justify sins such as lying, fornication, adultery, and stealing. Without humility, the doorway to acceptan. . .
Using the lesson of the Tower of Babel and the Babylonic system, John Ritenbaugh asserts that mankind must stop trusting in its towers—anything that we place our trust in apart from Almighty God (wealth, status, achievement, military prowess, scienti. . .
The book of Amos is an astounding prophecy, closely paralleling the conditions in the Western world today. Amos reveals how unrighteousness undermines society.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the term "church" observes that it can be applied only to Christianity, and when applied to the term "building," it refers to a spiritual habitation, as is seen in the imagery of Christ the Cornerstone and. . .
John Ritenbaugh discusses the limited window of opportunity recipients of a dire prophecy have to take action. The one who hears the warnings does not have an abundance of time to repent and return to God. A lion's threat is not idle. If no action is taken. . .
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that when a person contemplates revenge, he makes an enemy of God. Amos, like a circling hawk, makes dire pronouncements on all of Israel's enemies but reserves the harshest judgment for Israel, who should have known better, havi. . .
John Ritenbaugh warns us that the book of Amos is specifically addressed to us- the end time church (the Israel of God) - the ones who have actually made the new covenant with God. Having made the covenant, we must remember that (1) privilege brings peril-. . .
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