The Scriptures provide many examples of how difficult relationships were dealt with by humility, deference, longsuffering, and prayer.
Mark Schindler, asking us to ponder the incredible privilege we have been given to be placed within the Body of Christ, called when we were dead in trespasses, reminds us that this same privilege applies to our fellow saints as well. He warns us not to selfishly protect our turf, building walls of separation from our brethren. …
The Father and the Son are two distinct beings, not co-equal as the trinity doctrine proclaims, but with the Son deferring to the Father in all things.
Our relationship with God is the key to unity with the brethren. When we are all just like Christ, we will also all resemble each other—and there will be unity.
Ryan McClure, reflecting on the lyrics of the Mills Brothers song, "You Always Hurt the One You Love," maintains that family members, especially siblings, inflict more pain on each other than strangers. Scripture has abundant examples of sibling rivalry from Cain and Abel through Jacob and Esau—a rift unsettled …
God calls us 'living stones' in I Peter 2. Bill Keesee illustrates why this description is so apt view of God's work making us His jewels.
In Paul's listings of virtues, meekness always appears near the end, reflecting its difficulty. Meekness is the gentle, quiet spirit of selfless devotion.
All have been guilty of malicious gossip; consequently, they should not become offended when they hear gossip about themselves (Ecclesiastes 7:21).
Our hurtful words can create scars that last longer than any physical scar that sticks and stones may cause. Christians must harness the power of the tongue.
Many of us are pack-rats, saving everything for years until we have collected a mass of—well, junk. This is like accumulated sin—and it is time to get rid of it!
John Ritenbaugh, reiterating that a major part of holiness entails loving one another, explores some ways in which we can fulfill this objective. We are to do unto others as we desire others to do to us, acknowledging that there is a reciprocity involved in this behavior. Self-centeredness should be discarded and replaced with a …
Ryan McClure, contemplating that we are now counting toward Pentecost, asks us to take a thoughtful inventory of how careful we have been in our deleavening process from which we have recently emerged. Our forebears on the Sinai witnessed many miracles as they traversed the Red Sea and received the Law on Mount Sinai, but their …
God does not want us to find a cozy comfort zone because that is when we are most likely to slip into dangerous spiritual drowsiness and complacency.
Simply watching out for the so-called "big sins" suggests that we are not genuinely interested in conforming to God—just in not crossing a major red line.
Our physical bodies have a defense system to keep out invaders. Spiritually, how well do we maintain our defenses against error and contamination?
No one has felt more rejection than Jesus Christ. He was rejected by those of His hometown, and His own physical brothers rejected Him because they did not believe.
Our forgiveness from God is conditional, depending upon our forgiving others. It is an opportunity for us to extend grace, sacrificing as Christ did for us.
James provides some of the best advice on communication and control of the tongue. The correct order of communication is listening, waiting, and then responding.
Human nature is strongly competitive and full of pride, making judgment inherently problematic. Nevertheless, God wants us to learn to judge with equity.
The hallmark of Christian character is humility, which comes about only when one sees himself in comparison to God. Pride makes distorted comparisons.
It is easy to denigrate a matter as not being 'salvational,' but the real question to ask is, How will this action affect my relationship with God?
Austin Del Castillo, asking us what we would do to receive the approbation "the friend of God" as did father Abraham, reminds us that, as the affianced Bride of Christ, we do have this distinction "right out of the gate." God the Father has called many to be the bride, but only a relative few have been …
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 …
Self-centeredness is the fountainhead of evil behavior found in our youth, carrying over into the infantile behaviors of our elected officials. The righteous find it increasingly difficult to prevail under these circumstances, but the mandate still stands to persevere through these evil times. The vessels of wrath are being …
It is bad enough when we dwell on our own character flaws, but we greatly compound this habit when we dwell on other people's past sins and transgressions.
Reconciliation is the product of a sacrifice to pacify the wrath of an offended person. We must imitate Christ in His approach toward hostility from others.
Following our too frequent mess-ups in life, forgiveness is so refreshing! We must forgive others if we are to be forgiven.
John Ritenbaugh, reminding us that God has chosen the weak and base things to confound the wise (I Corinthians 1:26), suggests that many of those currently holding governmental power are exponentially wiser than God's called-out ones in terms of technological expertise. Yet, they are total failures when it comes to stopping …
Pride elevates one above God, denigrating any dependence upon God, replacing it with self-idolatry. We ought to boast or glory in the Lord instead of ourselves.
Richard Ritenbaugh, citing the African Proverb, 'It takes a village' asserts that this principle more aptly applies to the church, specifically designed to serve as a support for those in need. In this era of 'going it alone' or 'cocooning,' we as a people like to be self-sufficient without any support from others. Consequently …
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 countless ways to trouble people. It is impossible to grow spiritually in a …
The paradox of Ecclesiastes 7 shows an unrighteous man flourishing and a righteous man suffering. The solution to this conundrum is found in Psalm 73.
He who loves God must love his brother, including every fellow human being. Our closeness with God transcends the other human relationships.
Pride is a perverted comparison that elevates one above another. Because of its arrogant self-sufficiency, it hinders our faith. Faith depends on humility.
The humble attitude exemplified by Jesus in footwashing shows the mind of God. God expects us to follow Christ's example of loving others, flaws and all.