What It Means to Seek the Kingdom of God


The Holy Spirit and Transformation

Anyone who reads the apostle Paul’s letters comes away with the clear idea that Paul taught the Holy Spirit was/is a transforming Agent. One example is Romans 8:4: “in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (NIV).

Let’s agree to agree: The Holy Spirit works in us to transform us into Christoformity.


That is the question in the work of Volker Rabens’ academic book, The Holy Spirit and Ethics in Paul: Transformation and Empowering for Religious-Ethical Life. This book is now in its 2d edition and published by Fortress.

Continue at: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2019/12/04/the-holy-spirit-and-transformation/

12 Vital Reasons Each Of Us Should Be Part Of A Church

Do you really need to be involved in a church for God’s word?

Can’t believers just worship Jesus on their own? Why do we need to be involved in “organized religion?” It seems like a growing trend that many Christians don’t believe they need to be part of a church.

Yes, we can and should worship and love Jesus individually. But we should also worship, pursue God’s word and love him with others. In fact, it is essential and vital to our spiritual lives and health as believers.

More: https://churchleaders.com/smallgroups/small-group-articles/366660-12-vital-reasons-each-of-us-should-be-part-of-a-church.htm

Why the Christian Life Is a Call to Community

Why the Christian Life Is a Call to Community

I’ll never forget Miss Moss, with her Coke-bottle glasses and a disability that left her slow and kind. She loved writing notes of encouragement even though her handwriting was chicken-scratchy and sloped down the page.

And Earl Roland. He was a hunched old man who loved to pray. In the absence of an acceptable singing voice, he’d mastered the art of whistling, and he whistled loud and strong through the hymns we sang in church. So to honor him we whistled “A Mighty Fortress” at his memorial service.

I remember little old women in polyester who fawned over me, and the wrinkled man in a wheelchair who had a big black Bible and said, “But God!” (Because he knew stuff the rest of us didn’t yet understand.)

But it wasn’t just the old and the weak that made a strong impression on me.Roland and Naomi were seminary students in their late 20s when I was a teen. They never missed an opportunity to encourage me. When I graduated from high school and no one else my age was left at church, they invited me to join their young married small group. Roland and Naomi wanted children, but their arms remained empty. I watched them navigate barrenness with quiet trust, and it changed me.

More: https://churchleaders.com/smallgroups/small-group-articles/366621-why-the-christian-life-is-a-call-to-community.html

Set Apart

A Broadcast with Sinclair Ferguson

The holiness of Christian believers is rooted in the holy love of God. Today, Sinclair Ferguson conveys how we are to live in this world as people who are set apart through our communion with Christ.


“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

Matthew 18:6-9

Be careful − this passage isn’t hanging out there all by itself; the scene has not changed from 18:1-5, this is Jesus continuing to speak to their question of who will be the greatest in the Kingdom. In case you missed the last section, they asked the question and Jesus called for a little child to join them and told the disciples that unless they become like that little child they cannot enter the Kingdom, and then He goes on to say the words in our passage above. Thus, the “little ones” are those who have become like a little child so they could enter the Kingdom.

Read more of Don’s blog: https://lifereference.wordpress.com/2019/11/22/careful-3/

What does Jesus mean when he says ‘Be perfect…’?

Ever scratched your head over Jesus’ call to ‘Be perfect’ in Matthew 5.48? You’re not alone. Paula Gooder considers how we can understand this verse – with the help of some Japanese pottery.

Some Bible passages hit a nerve more than others. I can always tell which ones are currently pressing people’s buttons because I receive a higher than usual number of ‘What do I do about this?’ emails, Facebook posts and Twitter posts.

One of those passages is Matthew 5.48, ‘Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect’. It is one of those verses that makes any normal person throw up their hands in horror and walk off.

‘Be perfect’? Really? Be without flaws on all occasions?

Read the rest: https://www.biblesociety.org.uk/explore-the-bible/bible-articles/what-does-jesus-mean-when-he-says-be-perfect/