“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” (1 Timothy 1:15)   These are the words of the Apostle Paul, and we know from Scripture that he did indeed do some truly horrible things before Jesus entered his life. But what I want you to understand is that Paul was living in a time of complete depravity, under the authority of an emperor who was truly insane. And yet he still thought his sin was the worst. He was right. Just as my sin is the worst, and so is yours. All sin is created equal, just as all sinners are created equal. The act itself may seem minor, or truly horrible, but it is the decision behind that act that matters to Jesus.   When a person sins, he or she CHOSE to sin. Jesus doesn’t love that person any less, but He does hate the sin. That is why He came to earth and gave His life to save all of us from the consequences of our sin. He didn’t come just to save the murderers, the drug addicts, and the thieves who have repented. He also...

Humans have developed a very bad habit. That of underestimating our Lord. Most of the time that habit starts because you and I underestimate ourselves and those around us, and that doubt directly reflects how we view God’s ability to work in and through our lives. We aren’t the first to let this happen in our lives. Look at how some of our Bible heroes underestimated themselves and others. Moses continually underestimated his abilities because he doubted. He felt he couldn’t talk right. God gave him the words he needed to secure the freedom of the people of Israel. He underestimated God when he was told to part the waters with his walking stick. God used that simple walking stick to part the waters of an entire sea so the people could cross to safety. Samuel underestimated David when God said David was the one who would one day rule Israel. Samuel actually doubted the choice so much he argued that surely God didn’t want David. “He’s too young. He’s just a shepherd boy. He can’t possibly be the ruler You describe.” God did in fact raise young David from shepherd boy to giant slayer, and then on to be a great...

God tells us in His word that having faith in Him will see us through even the greatest of trails. He doesn’t promise there will be no trails. In fact, a study of Scripture gives examples of the troubles we may face, shows how others have responded to those trials, and most importantly gives us HOPE that God will faithfully walk with us through even the darkest times. When we respond in faith, accepting the Hope and Peace only He can give us, we become an example to others of God’s Love for all humankind. Scripture promises us certain rewards when we accept His Hope and share it with others. • We are promised the perseverance, character, and hope that comes from the indwelling Holy Spirit. (Rom. 5:3-5). • We are able to witness the greatness of Christ’s glory as He walks with us and shields us, resulting in a joy that shines out from us like a beacon, drawing others close to Him. (1 Peter 4:12-13) • We become stronger because we have allowed God to work through our weaknesses. (2 Cor. 12:9-10) • Through our faith, we are promised a heavenly reward. (Matt. 5:11–12) • Most amazing of all is the promise of abiding...

What is a Jesus Follower to do when faced with disappointment, disaster, and despair? We know from Scripture “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28). Yet when we encounter difficulties and tragedy we often ask “Why?” The truth is we may never understand why something bad happens. Sin and free will are not caused by God, but the results of sin and free will can still be used by God for good. As we choose to trust God and accept the grace He gives us in these situations, the Holy Spirit will work in us and we will gain Hope. Here are ways you can endure tragedy and trials through God’s grace:   Give thanks. Being thankful in a difficult situation is sometimes the most difficult thing you can do. Scripture is very clear about this, though: “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (I Thess. 5:18). To be thankful rather than to complain takes a conscious act of the will, but it opens the door for God to directly act in your life.   Rejoice! We are instructed to rejoice in...

Partnership is a concept we usually think of in worldly terms like business partners, two or more people undertaking a venture together that features risk and/or profit. Partnership from a biblical standpoint is different. It isn’t based on potential profit, or a risk/reward analysis. Biblical partnership is based on love. In fact, Jesus says love relationships/partnerships are of extreme significance (Mark 12:28-34). The greatest example of partnership in the Bible is that of The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who provide a perfect model of partnership for us. They exist in complete harmony, each supporting the others in all ways. We see examples of their relationship throughout the entirety of Scripture (Gen. 1:26-27; Matt. 28:19; John 14:26; 15:26; 1 Pet. 1:2; Rev. 1:4-5). What makes their relationship significant to our understanding of partnership is that God also calls us, His children, into a relationship with Him, He calls us to partner with Him to fulfill His plan for redemption, and He mandates that we watch over His creation (Gen. 1:28; Ps. 8:3-8). Jesus reaffirmed our relationship when He said, “All authority in heaven and earth is given to me. Therefore (you) go and make disciple of all nations … and surely I...