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Find the Joy of Christmas

Jesus once said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”

Do you know that feeling? When the work energizes rather than depletes you? There are days like this. But there are other kinds of days too, when the words of the old carol feel so true:

And ye, beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow…

Christianity, Humanism, and Civilization

It was just a trailer for a video game. But to me it was something more. The music came from one of my favorite pieces ever. The visuals and narration portrayed the striving of humanity to better itself.

The striking last lines of the video:

“There’s no end to our imagination and no limit to civilization.”

It’s a compelling vision for humanity. It’s also incomplete. The story of mankind needs a hero, and that hero can only be God himself.

You’re a Legalist If You Draw a Clear Moral Line?

Man by a cross kneeling down and praying

In the Gospels we see Jesus drawing one clear moral line after another. But today we are told it is the legalist or the Pharisee who draws moral lines.

Thus, when pastors release the Nashville Statement or similar statements of belief, the accusers salivate. The wolves descend.

“How dare you agree with Scripture.”

“It’s [the current year]!”

“How un-Christlike.”

What are we to make of this?

What Did Jesus Mean By “Judge Not”?

close-up of a the eye of a person thinking

Those two words, “judge not,” can threaten to stop a dialogue.

But two more words can restart it: “keep reading.”

The “judge not” in Matthew 7:1 is not the end of the chapter.

By the third verse Jesus has pointed out that we should indeed be judging our own spiritual state:

“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

By the fifth verse Jesus commands that a hypocrite ought to take the beam out of his own eye:

“And then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”