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Bible Insights

Five Trustworthy Sayings From the Apostle Paul

Five Trustworthy Sayings From the Apostle Paul

The phrase “trustworthy sayings” occurs five times in the Bible. It likely refers to phrases that were commonly used and accepted by the early church. Paul’s inclusion of these phrases in his letters affirms them as reliable truth.

Here are the five trustworthy sayings that Paul recorded:

1. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).

2. If someone aspires to be an elder, he desires an honorable position (1 Timothy 3:1).

3. Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come (1 Timothy 4:8-9).

4. If we die with him, we will also live with him. That is, if we endure hardship, we will reign with him. If we deny him, he will deny us. And if we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is (2 Timothy 2:11).

God saved us because of his mercy. Click To Tweet

5. When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.

He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior (Titus 3:5-8).

Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Reviews of Books & Movies

Book Review: Megashift

Book Review: Megashift

Megashift

By James Rutz (reviewed by Peter DeHaan)

If you want to be challenged in your understanding of what it is to follow Jesus—in the way that he modeled and how the Bible teaches—then Megashift is the book for you; it is sure to exceed those expectations. 

If, however, you desire an easy-to-read, feel-good book, wish to maintain your life’s status quo, and remain comfortable, then this book will cause you consternation and make you angry.

Megashift gives ample evidence that a “megashift” in the church is occurring right now. Click To Tweet

Starting with numerous documented miracles from around the world in the prior twenty or so years, Megashift gives ample evidence that a “megashift” in the church is occurring right now.

Unfortunately, most Christians in the United States and Western Europe are not only missing it, they are ill-prepared to accept it.

Divided into five copiously end-noted chapters (even the endnotes are worth reading), the book covers:

“The New Kingdom Explosion,”
“The New Engines of Change,”
“The New Saints,”
“The New Church,” and
“The New Meetings.”

However, that’s not all; there is an inspiring epilogue, three appendices, a resource list, and a“”What’s Next?” guide.

This is a must read for any serious follower of Jesus.

[Megashift, by James Rutz. Published by Empowerment Press, 2005; ISBN: 978-0966915822; 259 pages.]

Read more book reviews by Peter DeHaan.Save

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

Investments You Can Bank On

Investments You Can Bank On

In these times of economic concern and faltering financial markets, it is easy to worry about the future. Interestingly, the Bible has much to say on this topic:

“Tell those rich in this world’s wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous.

“If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life.” [1 Timothy 6:17-19, The Message]

We are to trust God, not money. God will give us what we need. Click To Tweet

So, we are to trust God, not money. God will give us what we need. We are to use what money we do have for good, thereby putting our “savings” into lasting things.

With the stock market going down, this is certainly something to think about.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is 1 Timothy 4-6 and today’s post is on 1 Timothy 6:17-19.]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

Training for the Best

Training for the Best

In Paul’s letter to Timothy, he contrasts physical training (which is good) to spiritual training (which is better).

I wonder, how often do we pursue things that are good, while pushing aside God’s things that are better?

That’s something to think about next time we’re working out or pursuing some leisure time activity.  After all, I don’t want to live a good life, but the best life possible.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is 1 Timothy 4-6, and today’s post is on 1 Timothy 4:8.]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Personal Posts

Leaves Be Gone!

Most of my leaves have finally fallen from my maple trees, making quite a covering in my yard.

Today the leaf removal service came and took them all away! It’s nice to see green grass again (until it snows).

Thank you, God, for the amazing variety of the changing seasons and the wonderful nature you created.

Do you like this post? Want to read more? Check out Peter’s book, Bridging the Sacred-Secular Divide: Discovering the Spirituality of Every Day Life, available wherever books are sold.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

The Allure of Mystery

The Allure of Mystery

There are things about God, Jesus, and salvation that the Bible simply describes as “mystery,” that is, hidden truth or a mystic secret.

This drives some people crazy. They want to understand all and be able to fully explain everything. Anything less causes frustration and angst.

For me, I relish the realization that some things of God are but a mystery.  That draws me to him; it is an allure. Daily, I strive to unravel his mystery and know him more fully.  This is as it should be.

Some things of God are but a mystery. Click To Tweet

To explore this mystery motif more fully, consider the following verses that evoke the mystery explanation:

The word mystery is used in other contexts in Daniel 2:18-47, 4:9, 1 Corinthians 13:2, 14:2, and Revelation 1:20, 17:5, 7.

May we embrace the mystery of God.

[Discover more about the Bible at ABibleADay.com: Bible FAQs, Bible Dictionary, Books of the Bible Overview, and Bible Reading Plans.]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

Living in the Prophetic

Living in the Prophetic

In Paul’s letter to Timothy he talks about a prophecy that he made regarding Timothy. (A prophecy is a God-inspired foretelling of the future.)

Often we think of a prophecy as being about some grand, distantly future event—like the end of the world or major catastrophe—but that is not always the case.

Allow God to do in us, or for us, what he said. Click To Tweet

A prophecy can also be given for a specific person that will occur in the near future. So it was when God gave prophetic words to Paul for Timothy.

What is interesting is that Paul says the prophecy is to inspire Timothy and aid him.

This seems to suggest that we shouldn’t just passively accept a prophetic word that may be given for us, but need to intentionally move in that direction.

That doesn’t mean that by our own efforts we accomplish what was predicted, but merely that we expectantly allow God to do in us, or for us, what he said.

That, too, is living in the prophetic.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is 1 Timothy 1-3, and today’s post is on Timothy 1:18.]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

Protection From the Evil One

Protection From the Evil One

To the Thessalonians Paul writes that God will strengthen and protect them from the evil one.This promise and assurance applies to all who follow Jesus.

This excites and comforts me, because I want to be protected.

But that’s only half the of the promise. The other part is that we will be strengthened.

We don't need to endure it alone, for God gives us the strength we need. Click To Tweet

To be protected is passive; it is easy and safe.

To be strengthened is more active; it reminds us that we will undergo trials, temptations, and attacks from the enemy—and for this, we will be made strong in order to withstand it.

Standing strong is not easy or safe; it is hard and risky. But we don’t need to endure it alone, for God gives us the strength we need.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is 1 Thessalonians 1-3, and today’s post is on 1 Thessalonians 3:3.]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Reviews of Books & Movies

Movie Review: Conversations with God

Movie Review: Conversations with God

Reviewed by Peter DeHaan

Both thought-provoking and inspiring, the movie Conversations with God, is based on the book by the same name, authored by Neale Donald Walsch.

This true story is a compelling account of Neale, living among the homeless after being laid off and surviving a car accident.  As Neale struggles for survival and strives to regain his life, simple kindnesses become greatly appreciated gifts.

As he wrote, 'If you want to create abundance for yourself, create it for someone else.' Click To Tweet

When his first glimmer of hope is quickly squelched, Neale calls out in frustration to God—and God answers! Eventually Neale accepts this as a revelation from God, which ultimately turns into a best-selling book.

Neale’s life—and lifestyle—is decidedly changed as a result and we are treated to the generous and sensitive ways he seeks to give back.  As he wrote, “If you want to create abundance for yourself, create it for someone else.”

When asked to summarize God’s most important message to us, Neale condenses it into five words: “You got me all wrong.”

[Read more reviews by Peter DeHaan of other faith-friendly videos and movies.]Save

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Personal Posts

The Last Yard Work for the Season

For the past week, we have enjoyed some unseasonably warm weather, with temperatures in the high sixties to mid seventies.

Last Saturday I mowed my lawn for the last time this season. If you’re thinking that this is rather late for Michigan, you’re right. The grass really hasn’t grown much in the past few weeks, but it’s been on the long side for a while and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to give it the final trim for the season.

My mower wasn’t the only one out on that balmy day. However, all my neighbors were not mowing their lawn, but picking up leaves. Since I don’t have a catcher for my mower, I can’t pick up my leaves. Besides I have no place to dump them if I did. 

As it was, I was chopping up a fair number of them, so the leaves are a non-issue—for a while.

Most of my leaves are still in the trees, waiting to fall. (You may recall I had leaves falling in the spring, and then falling stems, and finally falling branches), but this time the leaves are supposed to be coming down.

Once most of the leaves fall, I’ll hire a lawn service to remove them, as there will be too many to chop up with my mower.

I do hope that the leaves fall soon, as it is supposed to cool off tomorrow and could snow on Sunday. I don’t suspect there is much hope in getting rid of the leaves when they’re covered with snow!

Do you like this post? Want to read more? Check out Peter’s book, Bridging the Sacred-Secular Divide: Discovering the Spirituality of Every Day Life, available wherever books are sold.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.