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Living by God’s Calendar

November 17, 2016 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

What season is it? Depends, right? There are weather seasons (hence, Fall in the US; dry season in Cameroon). There are sporting seasons (baseball just ended; football is in full swing; college basketball is just getting going; what’s your flavor?). Perhaps this should be included under “sporting seasons,” but I’ll mention hunting seasons separately (I have friends out and about shooting deer right now). Holiday shopping season? End of the year fiscal season? The end of election season?... Keep Reading

Wisdom from Habakkuk

November 10, 2016 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

A couple of weeks ago I highlighted that Habakkuk 2:4 was one of the most important verses in the Bible, as it has impacted thousands of churches across the world. Paul quotes this verse, “The righteous shall live by faith,” in Romans 1:17. Paul’s use and application of Habakkuk 2:4 was one of the key verses that awoken in Martin Luther a renewed understanding of God’s grace in salvation, namely, justification by faith alone. Let’s return to Habakkuk and delve deeper into the wisdom this little known Old Testament prophet has for us today. Habakkuk wrote in the late 7th century BC (about 620-609 BC). The northern kingdom of Israel had fallen to Assyria 100 years earlier. The southern kingdom of Judah had been sinking deeper into idolatry, immorality, and other godless acts, although it experienced a brief, short-lived revival under king Josiah. Habakkuk starts by complaining to God about the evil surrounding him in his nation: “Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise” (1:3).... Keep Reading

Trusting God in the Wilderness

November 3, 2016 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

Any marriage counselor will say that trust is essential for a successful marriage relationship. They will also say that trust must be earned or built through faithfulness and integrity. Similarly, trust is essential for our relationship with God. When life is riddled with trial and mystery, however, our trust in God is shaken. How do we grow in our trust in God? King David was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). He penned some of the most important psalms that teach us about living by trust and hope in God. And yet, his life was marked by trials, some of his own doing (Bathsheba) and some by the hands of others (Saul seeking his life; Absalom seeking his life). How can any of us maintain and grow trust in God when life is so tumultuous? Let’s consider David’s example.... Keep Reading

What’s All the Fuss About Justification?

October 27, 2016 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

Have you ever read the prophet Habakkuk? If you have, could you identify the time this prophet addressed and the theme of his message? Not many of us could without some sort of review or study Bible help. And yet, in this obscure writing prophet’s work we find one of the most important verses in all of Scripture: 2:4, “the righteous shall live by faith.” Paul quotes this verse twice, in Romans 1:17 and Galatians 3:11, in his efforts to explain the gospel. It is Romans 1:17 that became the watershed verse for Martin Luther to rediscover the magnificent truth of justification by faith alone, and so launching a reformation of the church that impacts us even today. Paul writes in Romans 1:17, “In it [the gospel] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘the righteous shall live by faith.’” Luther, growing up in the Catholic church, understood the phrase “the righteousness of God” as meaning “the righteousness by which God Himself is righteous.” Therefore, Luther understood the gospel as revealing God in his holiness and the holy standards by which one must live. Luther came to “hate God” and feel oppressed by such standards.... Keep Reading

This is the ninth in a series of reflections on Jesus’ teaching about money and wealth in the Gospels. Randy Alcorn, writing in The Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving, says, “15 percent of everything Christ said relates to this topic ... Keep Reading

This is the eighth in a series of reflections on Jesus’ teaching about money and wealth in the Gospels. Randy Alcorn, writing in The Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving, says, “15 percent of everything Christ said relates to this topic ... Keep Reading

This is the seventh in a series of reflections on Jesus’ teaching about money and wealth in the Gospels. Randy Alcorn, writing in The Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving, says, “15 percent of everything Christ said relates to this topic – more than his teachings on heaven and hell combined” (p. 9). How does Jesus want us to think about money? How does the Gospel affect our attitude toward the use of money? Join me on this multi-week exploration of what Jesus teaches about money. Even in the 1st century, money was a big deal. The wealth and convenience we enjoy in 21st century America by far outweigh the wealth enjoyed in the 1st century. That’s why Jesus’ perspective and teaching on money and wealth is so vital for our spiritual health in relationship with God. We need to heed his warnings about the poisonous treasuring of money.... Keep Reading

This is the sixth in a series of reflections on Jesus’ teaching about money and wealth in the Gospels. Randy Alcorn, writing in The Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving, says, “15 percent of everything Christ said relates to this topic ... Keep Reading

This is the fifth in a series of reflections on Jesus’ teaching about money and wealth in the Gospels. Randy Alcorn, writing in The Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving, says, “15 percent of everything Christ said relates to this topic ... Keep Reading

This is the fourth in a series of reflections on Jesus’ teaching about money and wealth in the Gospels. Randy Alcorn, writing in The Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving, says, “15 percent of everything Christ said relates to this topic ... Keep Reading

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