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The Crimson Thread - May I Gently Suggest?
24 minutes | 3 days ago
Missing God's Love
Much Christian teaching is in terms of salvation, grace and law. While each of those subjects is important, they cause us to miss or neglect understanding that God, first of all, loves people. Grace, law and salvation all deal with punishment - or more accurately the avoidance of punishment. Such a focus misses the warmth of the relationship that is possible when we focus on love.
33 minutes | 8 days ago
James 3-4, Taming the Tongue
The tongue reveals the contents of the heart. In Scripture, God does not have a high opinion of man's heart. Accordingly James counsels keeping the tongue under control to avoid being consumed by the fires it can start.
21 minutes | 10 days ago
Finding Your Purpose - Some Assembly Required
Our society believes that the pursuit of happiness is the highest of goals. That is a dead end; leading to the spiritual cul-de-sac of appetite and consumption. Rather than happiness, we should be searching for meaning in our lives. This leads to purpose and the satisfaction of knowing that we are useful in God's hand.
42 minutes | 15 days ago
James 2, Faith and Works
Some have trouble reconciling James with Paul's emphasis on grace. There is really no conflict. James is emphasizing that a faith which does not translate into action is of no use. In other words, it would not meet Paul's definition of faith.
24 minutes | 17 days ago
Sowing the Word
In explaining the Parable of the Sower, Messiah concludes that the good soil is fruitful where the road, the rocks and the weeds are not. If we compare his to Genesis 1 where God tells us to be fruitful and multiply, it becomes clear that fruitfulness in God's eyes involves more than just children. We are also expected to reproduce spiritually.
35 minutes | 22 days ago
James 1, A Letter to the Diaspora
James' letter is specifically addressed to the 12 Tribes in the dispersion. Thus we (and he) may assume that the recipients are familiar with the TANAK. The letter has been called the proverbs of the New Testament, since the things it says can generally be found in slightly different form in Proverbs. Because Proverbs was written over 1000 years earlier than James, it is useful to regard James as a cultural and linguistic update.
23 minutes | 24 days ago
Luke 6 and Luke 18 are complementary. One is narrative, the other parable, but both involve the contrast between a Pharisee and an ordinary person. In both cases the ordinary person behaves humbly in the presence of God while the Pharisee acts as if he is doing God a favor by showing up. Also in both cases Messiah justifies the humble.
36 minutes | a month ago
Micah 6-7, When I Fall, I Shall Rise
The prophet's message fits the times we are in. 'Their hands are on evil... the prince and the judge look for a bribe.' One cannot trust even family and neighbors. This is the judgment of God on His own people. Yet there will be a remnant whom He will lift up when His indignation has passed. That remnant will be those who trust in Him through these times.
24 minutes | a month ago
Dishonest Weights and Measures
In the Torah and the Prophets, God warns Israel that He will not tolerate those who enrich themselves by fraud. The events of this past year have exposed the prevalence of double standards in the US. Law enforcement, financial markets, government agencies, elected bodies: all are seen to have been using dishonest weights and measures to gain power and wealth.
35 minutes | a month ago
Micah 5,6 Bethlehem Ephrathah
The prophecy that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem and that He would deliver His people from that nations that had oppressed them. Also in this session, God tells His people what He requires of them.
33 minutes | a month ago
There is a great deal of rampant evil in the world today; in truth there always has been. In the face of ascendant evil it is tempting to despair, walking about with a defeated expression. To give in to that spirit is to forget the promises of God and to become ineffective in advancing His kingdom. God's people have lived under oppressive regimes in the past and have prevailed. So too can we.
32 minutes | a month ago
Micah 4, Swords into Plowshares
In the latter days, the nations will flock to the Mountain of the Lord to learn Torah. During that time peace and plenty will reign. Also during that time the Lord will regather and heal the dispersed of Israel and reform them into a mighty nation.
29 minutes | a month ago
There are three voices in Scripture: the priest, the prophet and the King. The priest speaks of Torah, the King speaks of human wisdom and the prophet speaks for God into a specific situation. Since Y'shua functions in all three offices, he speaks with each of the three voices at different times. Recognizing which 'voice' He is using makes the Gospels much clearer.
28 minutes | 2 months ago
Micah 3, Corrupt Elites
The elites of Israel - rulers, prophets, seers, etc. - had become corrupt. They used their offices to enrich themselves at the expense of the people they were supposed to lead and minister to. Because the corruption at the top had trickled down to the people, the whole nation was going to be plowed under and sent into exile.
30 minutes | 2 months ago
Food for Thought
The rally against certification of the presidential election has caused a national uproar. In navigating these tumultuous times it is important to pay attention to what your thoughts dwell on. Thoughts trigger endocrine reactions that can have a long term effect on your well being. As always, Scripture has sound advice.
30 minutes | 2 months ago
Micah 1,2 The Corruption of Power
The prophet speaks of the corrupt power structure in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. There the wicked people in the government have no real fear of being stopped and so spend their time devising schemes to use their positions for personal enrichment.
14 minutes | 2 months ago
What God Did in 2020
Psalm 105 commands God's people to 'Talk of His Wonderous Works.' As we look back on 2020, an incomplete list of God's wonderous works is very impressive and encouraging. The speaker is Matthew Behrens.
35 minutes | 2 months ago
As Israel returned from Babylon to rebuild the temple, they got resistance from local people who had been moved in by Assyria. This caused the project to stall. Haggai told the people that God was not pleased with the delay.
24 minutes | 2 months ago
Care of the Soul, Chesed
The Hebrew word Chesed has no true English equivalent. It is translated using compound words like 'lovingkindness' or 'steadfast love'. It is one of the primary words used of God in Scripture. For us, it is love that sustains another physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually.
38 minutes | 2 months ago
Judges 20-21, Benjaminite Civil War
After the people of Gibeah murdered the Levite's concubine, he sent evidence to all of the tribes asking that that evil be removed. The rest of the tribes asked Benjamin to deliver up the men of Gibeah. When they refused, the resulting civil war nearly eradicated Benjamin from Israel.
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