I walked out of my grade 10 math exam with a big smile on my face because I felt that had just aced a midterm without studying at all. A week later, after I had received my mark, I walked out of class very slowly and dejected because I had discovered that my confidence was sorely misplaced. My grade 10 math test required more than what I was putting into it. I’ve made the same mistake with my Christianity from time to time. God is eternally gracious and never stops calling us, but I’m finite and I reap the consequences of my choices. Christianity begins with God’s expensive gift of mercy, and it is embraced with our expensive gift of personal engagement. So, what does that look like? How Hard Is It To Be A Christian?
Everyone who wants to can enter into a friendship with God purely by choosing to believe in Jesus. Easy, peasy, no effort required – it’s a total act of faith. However, after that initial choice there is absolutely some relational elbow grease needed to stay in the relationship – faith eventually comes to look like faithfulness. So, there seems to exist a potential contradiction. If Salvation is a work of grace (obtainable by people who absolutely can’t be good enough), then why is it conditional on good performance once a friendship is established? In this episode we focus on Hebrews 4:1-11 and answer the question, Is Christianity Harder Than The Work You’re Putting Into It?
It’s hard to read many of the stories in the Old Testament. One moment I read about awesome miracles like the plagues and the parting of the sea, then the next moment I read about people denying God’s existence. Those stories are not just historical, and about other people, they’re about today and they’re about me (and you). God is awesome, but we tend not to treat Him as awesome. God wants personal engagement, but we tend to give Him something less than personal. That’s a big deal because it leads toward disconnecting from God, and disconnecting from His benefits.
As my dad and I were fishing, sitting in his homemade canoe, we allowed the gentle breeze and the current to carry us along. We may have started in a good location, but because we weren’t paying attention we ended up drifting toward the shore and beaching ourselves. On that day, the fish were completely safe as our lures (I’m convinced of this) sat resting on the sandy bottom. Drifting may be good when you want to relax, but when something needs to be accomplished it’s completely unhelpful. In other contexts, drifting can even result in some seriously negative outcomes. In this episode we’re going to find out why Hebrews 2:1-4 strongly warns not to drift.
In this episode we explore Romans 9:30-10:21, the tragic result of Israel’s unbelief and the resulting spread of the Gospel through the world. We explore why Jesus is referred to as both a stumbling stone and a secure foundation.
Sometimes the Bible has some harsh words to say about some groups of people, particularly when the topic is salvation. Rather than pick on someone that I really have no beef with, I think it’s a good idea to reflect on what today’s text means to me. When I’m done, you can figure out if it means the same to you, too.
After 14 years I can honestly say that one of my greatest friends is my wife. … Yep, “one of…” She’s very happy to be “one of” my greatest friends because she knows there’s just one friend ahead of her. My greatest friend is Jesus. Choosing Jesus before I choose her protects our marriage, our finances, our children, and protects her from whatever I might become without God’s leadership. Befriending Jesus was the best thing I’ve ever done. Friendship with God is attainable, and I want to give you an idea of how it’s achieved.