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From one perspective, our Sunday morning gatherings seem to only involve a handful of people in those formal and familiar positions that allow them to build others up (for example, someone praying up front, the worship leader, the pastor, etc.). And yet, acknowledging these examples, we should also ask, "What might 'building up' look like for everyone else?"

For the majority of Western readers, these verses (about women covering their heads) are likely to inspire images of sisters in a separated, Amish community or wives in a far-off, Islamic nation. But that's not the only challenge with this text. One obstacle to addressing this cultural disconnect, to helping modern readers understand the relevance of these words, is the complexity of Paul's argument in this passage. So how might we make sense of these Spirit-inspired words?

In a world that regularly preaches about doing whatever "feels good" or "feels right" sexually, a world that ferociously advocates for sex/sexuality as a 'judgment-free zone', the Corinthians' flawed reasoning might sound to many like ancient wisdom to be celebrated. But many who rightly speak of sexuality as a beautiful, natural part of human existence wrongly assume that our sexuality is not also tainted by the ugly, me-centeredness that lies behind so much of our suffering.

When John writes in the book of Revelation that at the opening of the "sixth seal... the sun became black as sackcloth" (6:12), was he witnessing some future solar eclipse that heralded the end of the world? Or when Jesus spoke about the sun being "darkened" before his second coming (cf. Mark 13:24), was he calling us to watch the skies for signs like an eclipse?

As Ephesians 4:11-12 remind us, Christ has given to his church “the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ”. This has always been true, in each century of the Church's existence. We pray you're encouraged by three of these teachers, one from the 2nd century, and two from the 4th century, as they proclaim the power, purpose, hope, and wonder of Jesus' resurrection.

Paul makes two prayer requests in Romans 15:30-32. First, he asks these Christians in Rome to pray that he would "be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea" during his upcoming trip to Jerusalem. Second... that his "service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints".

Though positive examples abound throughout church history, over the centuries, Christians have also (and often) struggled with the biblical concept of "good works"... To understand these not-so-good pitfalls regarding "good works"... Consider three pitfalls related to Paul's teaching in Ephesians

While Thanksgiving may be (for most people--including most of us) an occasion for traveling, gathering, and eating, for God's people, the season is also a great opportunity for worship and as a reminder of the grateful posture we should have all year long.

As horrific and heartbreaking images flow from the Middle East, images of terrorism, war, and the profound human suffering of both Israelis and Palestinians, many within the Church have rightly been driven to prayer. But such difficult times also generate conversations among believers about the people and places involved in today's news headlines, and specifically how all of this is connected to God's word and work.

Some key quotes from Message #1 in our "The Work of Ministry" series, along with some helpful quotes from others on this foundational topic. We pray these are an encouragement to you!

During the pandemic, I noticed that local Jehovah's Witnesses had begun sending outreach letters to local residents in lieu of door-to-door or public book stalls. Post-pandemic, this practice has continued. My household has received a number of these letters over the past three years. Maybe you have as well. A recent letter from a Witness neighbor gave me the chance to put down and send some thoughts

The story in 1 Kings 3:16-28 of Solomon and the two mothers (in fact, "two prostitutes") has always bothered me. The reaction of the second mother in verse 26, her willingness to put the child to death and accept half his corpse, just seemed unbelievable.

Love alerts us to what is dangerous. And it's dangerous to believe that our belief has placed us on the inside with God, when in reality, we are on the outside, ignoring the only "door" (John 10:9) that can give us access into that wonderful place, forever.

"Heavenly Father, as our nations think and talks about election day, we come to you as a pilgrim people; as "sojourners and exiles" (I Peter 2:11) in a world that is "passing away along with its desires" (I John 2:17)"

No, this is not a tirade. No, I will not be pointing a finger of condemnation at those who celebrate Halloween in one way or another. I simply want to offer some thoughts for you to chew on. Almost every year I talk with my children (one in particular) about why we don't celebrate Halloween. Our most recent conversation on this subject led me to write some of these thoughts down. Maybe they're helpful to you. Maybe they're not. I'll let you decide.

“I think many who are unfamiliar with the Bible might find it surprising that only three chapters into the first book of the Old Testament, one of the characters is a talking snake. If you were helping a person like this make sense of the story we find in Genesis 3 (a person whose only experience with talking snakes was from a children's storybook or a Disney movie), how would you explain this unusual character?"

Some thoughts on the challenges of interpreting Revelation 20.

"Drew, I understand that you believe Scripture teaches a true believer can fall away; that a person who is born again, a new creature in Christ, and a child of God, born of imperishable seed, can somehow reverse or lose all that. But I believe that idea is soundly refuted by God's word."

When Paul wrote “rejoice always” to the Thessalonian believers in 5:16 of his first letter to that young church, was this short command also meant to communicate the idea that there's no place for grief or discouragement or disappointment in the life of the believer? I don't believe so. Here's why.

In times of mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual exhaustion, we can, in light of God's word, find rest at the cross. Here are just some of the ideas revealed by Scripture about the cross of Jesus, ideas that should inspire comfort, peace, and encouragement. Consider how you might worship, give thanks, and pray in light of these ten truths...

As God graciously works among us to transform our minds and hearts (to renew us in light of the truth, that we would love what is good), I pray as you ponder them, these brief thoughts on the difficult topic of abortion would do that very thing:

Jesus, who was crucified on a Friday two-thousand years ago, amazingly, rose again, rose to life on the following Sunday. This radical reality should, above everything else, reframe your reality. But has it? Does it? Strangely, many people today who accept Christ's resurrection as an historical reality don't seem to actually live in light of that reality.

What is the Apostle describing in Ephesians 6:10-17? He's describing life on the battlefield. Conflict. Forces of Evil. Putting on armor. This is the language of warfare, of a battle taking place in which the Ephesian Christians are involved. And if we believe their faith is our faith, if we believe this was and is God's word to his people, then we are on that same battlefield.

Will a genuine follower of Christ, one who has truly been “born again”, a person genuinely filled with the Holy Spirit, struggle with sin? The answer from the New Testament is an emphatic “yes”. And there are many passages that speak to this reality of the believer's struggle with sin. But though many want to offer these verses as evidence and use their language, Romans 7:14-25 isn't one of those passages.

Maybe you've heard this identification before: “Yes, when we were ministering to that homeless gentleman in front of the old firehouse, I knew we were ministering to Jesus himself, just like the Bible says.” Of course the individual in question could be any number of people in need: an incarcerated relative, a child in 'the system', a dying neighbor. But does the New Testament really teach that when we bless such people, we are actually blessing Jesus in disguise?

...When visiting the different, themed sections of Disneyland, Fantasyland is not typically high on my priority list. But even those who enjoy the Tea Cup ride or King Arthur's carousel know there's much more to the Disneyland experience. Think about it: who would pay full price for admission, but then simply cycle through just the ten or eleven rides in Fantasyland? No one. But God's word warns us that, too often, we're the kind of people who do something very similar when it comes to everyday life: we regularly choose to pitch our tent in a land of fantasy rather than reality.

The fallacies I have in mind are ones that have been circulated over the centuries by what some call popular or folk Christianity. Undoubtedly, these kinds of 'Christian' beliefs can be found in all sorts of categories, not just the one labeled 'Christmas'. But these Christmas fallacies are some of the best known, since they are promoted annually through things like nativity scenes/sets, television and movies, and even Christmas carols.

In light of the moral universe revealed by the Scriptures, I suggested modern ideas regarding 'self-forgiveness' make very little sense. But this doesn't mean there are not areas of overlap between biblical concerns and modern, therapeutic concerns. Care for hurting individuals is the common goal. So where are the points of connection, and how does God's word address modern concerns?

Have you ever heard someone say, “I just can't forgive myself”? If you're a follower of Jesus, than this struggle should stir our hearts to help. But as I think many would agree, we must help in light of God's word. Here's the challenge: while it's a well-known concept in both counseling contexts and popular culture, attentive readers of Scripture know that 'self-forgiveness' is not an explicit concept in the Bible.

While Christians are not called to keep the day, Yom Kippur can serve as a powerful reminder that this yearly ritual was only a picture of the perfect sacrifice God would provide and did provide through Jesus (cf. Isaiah 53:10).

As we mark the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, many people will undoubtedly be reflecting on the significance of what happened two decades ago and how it should shape our outlook today. While historians, security analysts, and those who focus on foreign affairs have had and will have a lot to discuss, it's just as important to reflect on the spiritual significance of those tragic events.

Current events and culture wars can easily push faith concerns to the side. But equally dangerous is when the media's “what matters most” begins to shape our faith instead of sidelining it.

It's often called the 'protoevangelium'. That's a Greek word that simply means “first gospel”. What is this 'first gospel'? It's an interpretation of Genesis 3:15 that argues this verse is ultimately speaking of Jesus and his victory over death and Satan. But is that actually what the verse is saying?

Pray with us in the coming weeks in light of our relaunch on October 3! Each week includes a biblical theme and related Scriptures around which we hope you will pray.

When we consider what the Bible tells us about hell, it is undoubtedly awful. But is it absurd? Is the idea of hell unreasonable? Some people believe so. But hell is clearly taught in Scripture. In fact, Jesus spoke about it more than anyone else. So what can we do? What should we do with this Christian concept of hell in a 'hell no' society?

Are you experiencing the “much more” of Christ's resurrected life? Specifically, are you reassured by His resurrection that God's purpose, God's plan for your life is alive and well because Jesus is alive and well?

Based on what he included in his account, it seems reasonable to conclude that John provided this simple note about the woman leaving her water jar because that minuscule detail said so much about the massive work God had done (and was doing) in her heart. In the same way, I believe God has seen fit to preserve this detail for our encouragement

While a show like this may be a good introduction to Jesus for someone who knows very little about him, why should followers of Christ watch a show that unabashedly goes beyond what Scripture itself reveals about the earthly ministry of Jesus and those who followed him? Let me offer a few reasons.

Join us this Holy Week as we read through this short but sweet book, "The Glory of the Cross"

If [ancient church] directories did exist, and were made available to every believer in each local church, what might the apostles say in their letters about this kind of resource? As those who have just received a newly updated copy of our own church directory, this question is certainly relevant.

The 'faith emphasis' (or focus) of the New Testament doesn't direct us away from the God of the Old Testament. It fulfills it. But in doing so, it confirms that Jesus must be God, for only God is worthy of being the object of our saving and sanctifying faith.

I'm excited to begin an Advent journey with you using Pastor John Piper's book, "Joy to the World: Daily Readings for Advent"

How could Thanksgiving be the same in a year when almost everything else has been 'out of sorts'? Sadly, it won't be. But while many will understandably miss the familiar holiday habits and hugs, the troubling issues of 2020 cannot change the word that God has issued about giving thanks: "...give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (I Thessalonians 5:18)

Did you know Proverbs includes around fifty verses that mention (or are part of a passage that mentions) either a “king”, “ruler”, “prince”, or “noble”, or that speak to a royal context or function? If we desire healthy and effective leadership in our lives, prayer is one powerful way to genuinely make a difference. To that end, here are seven Proverbs-inspired prayers for our leaders.

A list of around fifty verses from the book of Proverbs that mention (or are part of a passage that mentions) human leaders like "kings", "ruler", "princes", and "nobles". Consider what these reveal about God's wisdom and design for human leadership.

Every Christian is a disciple of Jesus. But that doesn't necessarily mean every Christian is walking in spiritual healthiness as a disciple... In light of [the reality of spiritual] unhealthiness, it is vitally important for every follower of Christ to take his or her spiritual 'temperature'.

Looking for a simple way to bless others this Christmas... even if they live thousands of miles away? Here's your chance. We want to send an expanded Christmas 'e-card' to all of the individuals around whom our Away Teams have been formed.

Contrary to what you might be hearing (even from some respected, Christian leaders), who you vote for in the upcoming presidential election is not a biblical mark of genuine, saving faith, nor is it inherently an unrighteous act if you vote for the so-called 'wrong' candidate (whoever that is in your context).

When we hold on firmly to the biblical definition of church, public health measures may force us to revise our plans, but they simply cannot restrict the church from being the church. Throughout history, and throughout the world, even today, the Church has always been flexible enough to adjust the form of its life together, without veering from the function of its life together.

When we read often-neglected stories like this, we're reminded that it's very easy to slip into a mentality of, “Jesus? Oh yeah, I know Jesus. I know all about Jesus.” But God is so good to unsettle us in terms of the often unsettling truth about the real Jesus.

Faithful fans of Hamilton will certainly know how the play ends. But few people know how the final hours of Alexander Hamilton's life actually 'played out'... yes, “in the room where it happened”.

Having just finished another study in the deeply meaningful, but often misunderstood, book of the Revelation, I couldn't help but reflect on how John's vision in chapter 7 speaks to our current, culture-wide conversation about race and inequality.

Social influences, insecurities, selfishness, and many other factors can keep us from the faith-shaped relationships we read about in Scripture. Currently, it is the unexpected reality of a global pandemic that has not only distanced us socially, but also tempted many of us to fizzle rather than fight when it comes to fellowship. But why?

From now until the end of the month, you can, amazingly, provide over 100 meals for a person in need in our community for just $15! We are pleased to partner with All Faith Community Services in Buckeye to bless so many who are struggling in light of the current crisis.

Behind that question is one that's been asked for millennia. It's often referred to as 'the problem of evil'. Why does God's plan include the rescue of some and not others, the severe suffering of some and not others? Frankly, there are no easy answers to such questions. But the assumptions behind our questions can be helpful. Your piece assumed the value of all human life. You touched on the importance of gratitude, and the unwelcomeness of pain and suffering. In short, you, like most, assumed an 'ought'.

Resurrection apart from death is not resurrection. It is reconfiguration. It is reinterpretation. It is renovation and remodeling. But it isn't resurrection.

Many people today are looking for answers. Pandemics, like most crises, have a way of driving us in that direction. But many seem hungry for more than just health advice, social guidelines, and up-to-date statistics... I would offer up that these people are looking for what we might call spiritual answers. That collection of ancient scriptures we call the Bible is (and for thousands of years has been) widely recognized as a place to find spiritual answers.

At a time when sickness is on the minds of so many, the 'benefits package' offered by the often-termed 'prosperity gospel' might seem especially appealing. What is the prosperity gospel? It's the belief (popular in many Charismatic and Pentecostal circles) that Jesus came, not simply to save you from sin and self, but from disease and debt as well... But is this really what the Scriptures teach? Is this prosperity gospel the genuine gospel of the New Testament?

We're excited for the opportunity to bring a Christmas blessing to the community on Monday evening, December 23rd at Sundance Park. Our hope for this "Christmas in the Park" event is to host a kind of informal Christmas Eve service, under the stars from 6:30pm to 8:00pm. But to pull this off WE NEED YOUR HELP!

For many, painful circumstances drive us toward one of three, general stress responses: fight, flight, or freeze...But what if we added “faith” to that list? It was C.S. Lewis...who said: “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Join us for a new six-week study on the how and why of sharing Jesus with others.

Ever wanted the "big picture" of the Bible? Eager to know the whole story of Scripture, and how all the pieces fit together? Join us for "The Story of Life" workshop.

How exactly should we use the Lord's Prayer? In some traditions, consistent repetition of the exact words of this prayer seems to be done in a mechanical way, as if the prayer were some kind of 'magical mantra'. Others have emphasized the idea that this prayer is not a mantra, but a model, intended to shape the broad contours of all our prayers. So which is it?

Youth and Youth Parents! Take a look at the volunteer needs/time slots for our Rummage Sale Fundraiser and let us know how you can help....

Like the operator of a nuclear power station, effectively handling the power of your digital device requires careful consideration and consistent discipline. Without this mindset, experiencing a relational or emotional or mental or spiritual 'meltdown' is a very real possibility.

While colorful hearts and cartoonish cupids are common images around Valentine's Day, the cross was the image the Apostle Paul wanted his reader to be informed and inspired by above all others. As Paul wrote in the opening verses of Ephesians 5, God has called us to “walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us”

Divorce is a hard subject. As I mentioned in a recent message, there's hardly anyone these days who has not been touched in some way by the shadow of divorce. Even when it feels like liberation or relief to a weary spouse, it remains a painful loss for both the individuals involved and those around them.

So many people today believe it's perfectly normal to make room in your life for lust. They think, “As long as I'm not hurting anyone, what's the big deal... ?” Such people might be surprised to learn there are many ways sexual lust harms you and those around you.

...I'd like to do more than just encourage you to vote. If you are a Christian, I'd like to encourage you to vote as an independent. No, I'm not talking about your party affiliation. But I am thinking about the idea of party affiliation.

Needy. Do any of us want to be needy? Do any of us want to be thought of as needy? If you are needy in our society, does it, from the culture's perspective, make you a hero or a 'zero'?

Quick question: What's your favorite praise song or hymn about fearing God? Struggling to come up with examples? You wouldn't be alone. Compared to songs about loving God or worshiping God, songs about fearing God are few and far between. And there's a good chance that poverty is also reflected in our prayers and preaching as well.

When a biblical passage appears to be at odds with the current scientific consensus, the problem may be that we simply have further to go in understanding the true meaning of the text...But in other cases...the issue is not the limitations of our biblical knowledge, but rather, the limitations of scientific knowledge.

A free Blue Letter Bible workshop on May 19th. Sign-up today!

Even though we struggle with ideas of judgment and hell, they are important expressions of God's own nature.

Funny how God works. He can even use the misguided pairing of Dodge and Dr. King, on a Super Bowl Sunday, to point us back to true greatness and the One who makes it possible.

I Corinthians 13:4-7 is not necessarily a definition of love. Rather, it is a description of love, a description that challenges anyone who simply says “I'm loving,” or “I love you”. It tests the talk in light of the walk. And one of the ways it describes love is, "Love bears all things". But what exactly does that mean, and how can a dinosaur help us understand God's word here?

For many, the phrase "in Christ alone" reminds them of the beautiful song by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty (from 2002)(opening line: "In Christ alone, my hope is found; He is my light, my strength, my song.). But there is an older song by the same name (from 1991), one that many may still remember.

What is striking about Paul's argument in Romans 4 is not simply the idea of being justified (right with God as one declared innocent) by faith, but that Paul goes on to describe the hope-inspiring, endurance-producing nature of this saving faith; the fact we can “grow strong” (4:20) in faith, no matter what is happening to us or around us.

Each and every day, all of us have been and will be leaving Las Vegas. We will leave the news coverage behind and head back into our daily routines and everyday commitments. But how will this tragedy change us? Beyond the grief and confusion and anger, what are we taking away from this awful event? What should we take away?

God dwells in the midst of his Church. Therefore Leviticus is extremely relevant for us, especially knowing that “whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction...”. So what can we as followers of Jesus learn about a life with God in the midst? Well, one answer to that question comes from the beginning of Leviticus. Specifically, the first three chapters reveal that a life with God in the midst should be a life of sacrifice.

Today, most are not frightened by an eclipse. But our scientific understanding has not made this cosmic event any less powerful. David's confession in Psalm 8 points us to two important lessons, any time we are awed by the sky above.

Next time you are at a church or event where there is some kind of gospel presentation, be sure to listen carefully. A clear, biblical declaration of the gospel of grace is profitable for both the saved and the unsaved. But how can we be sure such a presentation is in fact biblical?

...if we claim familiarity with the cross, the reality of what He did then must have a radical impact on who we are now. Good Friday should remind me not only of His death, but also the death to which He calls me.

In light of God's command through Peter in I Peter 3:15, what would you say to someone who asked you about your hope in Jesus Christ? Are you prepared?

But while some searching children and uncertain teens may find comfort in a character who is apparently questioning his sexuality, sadly, both the film and the general, cultural dialogue will never venture beyond the boundaries set by the 'new tolerance'. If they did, it might just expose the disturbing foundation that upholds the modern stance.

Kids in the worship service? Kids being kids in the worship service? What are we to do?

Every voter is a 'faith-based' voter. But if you are follower of Jesus, then the worldview that informs your vote should first be informed by God. That means the clear picture of reality painted by the words of Scripture should always be our first reference point when it comes to the candidates and issues for which we vote.

While cooler autumn weather begins to blanket our country, the political climate of the nation is still sizzling with confusion and conflict...But what if I were to tell you this polarizing and fever-pitched political atmosphere is not simply “good”, but is actually great for the Church.

The death of the prophet Ezekiel's wife is a shocking episode. Could God be to blame?

Not even Google or Bing could search out His understanding. Consider how Isaiah encourages us in our first memory verse of 2015-2016.

Thoughts on the recent ruling of the Supreme Court regarding same-sex marriage.

Remembering the reality of Satan's frustration and fury.

Considering how a life perspective shaped by the Bible affects how we see our job.

Thinking about whether or not there are limits when it comes to submitting to authorities.

Are there good historical reasons to believe Jesus really rose from the dead?

Tackling the interpretive challenges of Revelation 11:1-14