Jessica Udall holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Bible and a Master of Arts degree in Intercultural Studies. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Intercultural Studies and writes on the Christian life and intercultural communication at lovingthestrangerblog.com.
There’s something powerful in writing down our communication and intentionally sending it across the miles to another person. And such is the case with the personal letter written by Paul to Philemon which has become the book of Philemon in the New Testament.
During his famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus stated "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:34). Tony Evans put it this way in his Bible Commentary on Matthew 6:34: "Today is the tomorrow you were worried about yesterday. Focusing on living for God’s kingdom today is the antidote to worry."
Too many of us are familiar with it. A tight feeling in the chest. Butterflies in the stomach. A sense of impending doom. Even for those not previously plagued by anxiety, it is hard to remain unaffected by the fog of worry that settled over the globe in 2020. Worrying seems like a natural response to the challenging nature of life on the earth, but Scripture provides insight on the supernatural means of thriving even amidst uncertain times. So, how do we live in a way that we do not worry about tomorrow?
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God’s grace is not bestowed on us because of our good works, but it is bestowed on us to enable us to do the good works that God had in mind for us to do before the creation of the world!
The best time to start reading the Bible with your child is when they are in the womb. The second best time is today! We have been known by God even before we were born and were created to know Him.
Do you think of your glass as half empty? Do you feel like there’s never enough? If you do, don’t feel too bad – this is human nature. But there is good news!
In the book of Ephesians, Paul turns our natural mindset on its head and instead magnifies the God who graciously fills our cups to overflowing and supplies us with more than we could possibly imagine in Christ. The book is like a treasure trove full of mysterious riches which have been given to us freely and with the greatest love the world has ever known.
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The book of Ecclesiastes provides relevant wisdom for Christians today who struggle with the seeming meaninglessness of life. Why are we here? What is it all for? Does what we do even matter? What is truly important in life?
The Bible says in the book of James that “every good and perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17). But surely this doesn’t mean that the birthday gift from a friend or the drawing from our preschooler is actually from God, does it?
Envy puts our focus on the wrong things—looking at others and resenting their blessings and success rather than looking to God and seeking his true and wise perspective on the world. The distraction of envy leads us down a path that is ultimately destructive to others and to ourselves. The antidote to envy is gratitude to God for what he has blessed us with.
Idols, whether physical (statues) or intangible (power, fame, wealth, etc.), will passively receive love and worship, but they will never give back nor do they have any power to save their worshippers. They are an addiction, not a relationship.