Ted Bowling, cuing in on three well-known parables in Luke 15 , all of which emphasize that every life matters —- every life is worth saving, focuses on the disturbing, resentful reaction of the elder brother in the Parable of the Prodigal Son. The older brother felt that he had remained loyal to the family's honor, while …
Many sermons and articles - even books - have covered the Parable of the Prodigal Son, but most of them dwell on the relationship between the prodigal and his father, giving the elder brother short shrift. Ted Bowling gives the elder brother his due, explaining why Jesus adds his reaction to his younger brother's return.
Righteous anger is unselfish. Sinful anger occurs when our desires, ambitions, or demands are not met, always focusing on satisfying the self.
Bill Onisick, reviewing five daily meditation exercises adapted from Shawn Achor's book titled The Happiness Advantage— (1) grounding ourselves with expectation, (2) doing small acts of kindness to others, (3) reflecting on things for which we are thankful, (4) maintaining gratitude, and (5) bearing positive spiritual …
The Bible states that offenses will come. Here are ways to handle offenses and keep minor irritations from growing into bitterness.
How many of us have felt embarrassed after finding leavening in our homes during the Days of Unleavened Bread? Far more embarrassing is to reclaim leavening after throwing it out, yet I had such an experience, one I was ashamed for years to admit had happened. ...
When the children of light judge and condemn those living in this world, they become the world and move away from God.
Forgiveness is difficult, but the willing failure to forgive, along with any other unrepented sin, has the potential of permanently separating us from God.
Many have a love-hate relationship with mercy: They love to receive it, but hate to give it! Here is why we should lean toward mercy in all our judgments.
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.
Focusing upon the absolute necessity for exercising forgiveness and reconciliation, John Ritenbaugh admonishes us that receiving or using spiritual gifts should never produce an inflated ego or sense of superiority. Prideful, idolatrous, self-worship reaps a crop of bitter fruit from a root of bitterness. As God has forgiven and …
Pride destroys relationships, rendering righteous judgment next to impossible. Self-righteousness (a product of pride) makes an idol out of self.
Our society is becoming increasingly violent. The sixth of the Ten Commandments covers crime, capital punishment, murder, hatred, revenge and war.
God obligates us to separate our anger from sin. Whether anger is active or passive, those who cannot control it will be cut off and consumed by their own anger.
It is easy to follow in Satan's footsteps, courting his daughter Envy, reaping the disquiet which accompanies her. Envy comes from pushing God from our thoughts.
In Paul's listings of virtues, meekness always appears near the end, reflecting its difficulty. Meekness is the gentle, quiet spirit of selfless devotion.
Anger and hostility, driven by self-centered competitive pride constitute Satan's spiritual mark that divides nations, ethnic groups, families, and the church.
Betrayal is triggered by a root of bitterness resulting from envy, but turning into hatred, a shoot of bitterness manifesting a spirit of murder.
Joe Baity reminds us that we live in a world divided, as seen in the impending implosions of the two major political parties, the fragmentation of the European 'Union,' fratricide among the Islamic factions, race wars, gender wars, class wars, and bitter vitriol, anger, and resentment rule the day. People are no longer hearing …
Kindness goes hand-in-hand with love. It is an active expression of love toward God and fellow man, produced through the power of God's Spirit.
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on the alarming fragmentation and disunity taking place throughout society and within God's church, assures us that God will ultimately answer Jesus' five-fold prayer for unity in John 17:11. We have a vital part to play in bringing about this unity, beginning with the marriage institution and families. …
James' exhortation about the use of the tongue seems to stop with James 3:12. However, the rest of the chapter provides more wisdom on controlling our speech.
John Ritenbaugh,reflecting that our culture has undergone a vast change in zeitgeist (spirit of the times) in both leadership and standards of morality, suggests a change in national attitude, a lifting of mental fog and an emergent rage. Responsibility in leadership has disappeared. After they left office, Harry Truman rejected …
Jesus emphasized the spirit of the law, which places deterrents on the motive (anger, resentment, envy, revenge), preventing murder from ever taking place.
The church grapevine is good at spreading news, but it can be evil when it spreads gossip and rumor. Gossip actually harms the gossip himself. Here's how.