Fundraiser for Jesus (Romans 15.25-29)

Listen to The Daily Word online. We all know that the Apostle Paul was one of the greatest missionaries of the first century (or any century). But did you know that he was also one of the greatest fundraisers? Paul mentions his fundraising activities in Romans 15.25-29:  Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the saints there. For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in … Continue reading Fundraiser for Jesus (Romans 15.25-29)

The Unretiring Christian (Romans 15.23-24)

Listen to The Daily Word online. There’s no retirement from Christian service. When you sign up with Christ you sign up for life. The Apostle Paul is an excellent example of the unretiring Christian. In Romans 15.17-22, Paul speaks freely about the scope of his Christian service. “So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum,” he writes in verse 19, “I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.” Geographically speaking, the area between Jerusalem and Illyricum includes the modern nations of Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, and several Balkan nations (Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, and Slovenia). I tire just thinking … Continue reading The Unretiring Christian (Romans 15.23-24)

Ambitiously Pursuing Christ’s Purpose (Romans 15.17-22)

Listen to The Daily Word online. Looking back on your life, have you spent your time well?  In Romans 15.17-22, Paul reflects on his life so far with evident satisfaction: Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done—by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. It … Continue reading Ambitiously Pursuing Christ’s Purpose (Romans 15.17-22)

Grace to Remind Boldly (Romans 15.14-16)

Listen to The Daily Word online.  I have been writing and emailing The Daily Word for more than five years. During this time, I have expressed my opinion on what the Bible means and how it applies to our lives. But sometimes I ask myself, “Is my opinion really worth sharing with others?” I asked myself that question again when I read Romans 15.14-16, where Paul writes:  I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another. I have written you quite boldly on some points, as if to … Continue reading Grace to Remind Boldly (Romans 15.14-16)

A Religion of Hope (Romans 15.13)

Listen to The Daily Word online.  Christianity appeals to both our hopes and fears.  Every two years, Americans endure the “silly season” of a national election. Candidates for political office appeal first to the hopes and then to the fears of their prospective voters. They try to paint a picture of what could be if voters elected them, and what would be their opponents were elected.  Politicians may be stupid, but they’re not dumb. Hope and fear are two of the most basic motivators in the human psyche. Hope pulls us toward the future we want. It is fundamentally optimistic. … Continue reading A Religion of Hope (Romans 15.13)

John Mayer, Continuum

I haven't been posting many lectures lately, mostly because I haven't been lecturing lately. Last Monday and Tuesday, I had tests in both Worldview and New Testament Survey. On Wednesday, I began a Worldview lecture on John Mayer's album, Continuum, but it failed to record. On Thursday, I canceled NT Survey. And Friday was a school holiday of some sort. Today, however, I got back into the swing of things by finishing my lecture on John Mayer, Continuum. You might think it's a bit weird to be reviewing pop albums in a Worldview class, but it is my conviction that pop … Continue reading John Mayer, Continuum

No Exceptions to Acceptance (Romans 15.7-12)

Listen to The Daily Word online.  In the Christian worldview, there are no exceptions to acceptance.  This was a novel principle in the first-century intellectual milieu in which Jesus Christ was born. Jews distinguished between themselves and the Gentiles. Romans distinguished between citizens and non-citizens, between the freeborn and slaves. Greeks distinguished between themselves and barbarians. These various groups might interact, but they did not think of themselves as equals in any way. They did not accept one another.  Jesus Christ broke down the racial, religious, and cultural barriers people erected against one another. He accepted all people in order … Continue reading No Exceptions to Acceptance (Romans 15.7-12)

A Prayer for Christian Unity (Romans 15.5-6)

Listen to The Daily Word online. How about a joke to start your day?  Comedian Emo Philips tells this joke about Baptists:  I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said “Stop! Don't do it!”  “Why shouldn't I?” he said.   “Well, there's so much to live for!”  “Like what?”  “Well…are you religious?” He said yes. I said, "Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?”  “Christian.”  “Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?”  “Protestant.”  “Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?”  “Baptist.”  “Wow! … Continue reading A Prayer for Christian Unity (Romans 15.5-6)

Christian Self-giving-ness (Romans 15.1-4)

Listen to The Daily Word online. When I was a bachelor, I was selfish. When I married, I realized that selfishness is no way to build a home. My motto for marriage is, “Happy wife, happy life.” Something similar could be said of all good relationships. Paul writes about the relationship of “strong” and “weak” Christians in Romans 15.1-4: We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as … Continue reading Christian Self-giving-ness (Romans 15.1-4)

Sinful Personal Preferences (Romans 14.22-23)

Listen to The Daily Word online.  Can personal preferences be sinful? Maybe. Throughout Romans 14.1-15.13, Paul is teaching Christians how to live with their differences over personal preferences. His teaching assumes a distinction between moral principles (which are absolute and require Christian unity) and personal preferences (which are relative and allow for Christian diversity). When it comes to things like adultery, lying, and murder, for example, there is only one Christian principle: Don’t! But when it comes to things like eating meat or vegetables, drinking alcohol or abstaining, Christians are free to do as they wish. So, it would seem … Continue reading Sinful Personal Preferences (Romans 14.22-23)