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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.

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.”

Matthew 5:40–42 and the Charity Question

Since I believe the bible contains zero evidence that Jesus would support an involuntary, government run, inefficient “charity,” what do I think about Matthew 5:40–42?

And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you (ESV).

Running with God’s Word: Yielding to the Character of God

Every July in Pamplona, 200 to 300 people go to the hospital for contusions and falling injuries. It is the famous “running of the bulls.”

How would it be to stand in that narrow Spanish street, seeing the stampede come at you? There are only two choices: you hide, or you join.

That’s what God’s word is like to us. Hebrews 4:12 calls it a double-edged sword, quick and powerful.

As Christians, we face a choice: will we dodge the oncoming force of the character of God? Will we miss the whole frightening thing, or will we choose to place ourselves directly in its path?