Faith in the Shadows: Finding Christ in the Midst of Doubt

This month’s book was one that I was truly happy to have read. This book came across my desk at a time when I was really down and had trouble keeping up with my faith. God seemed so far away that I felt that He truly did not care about me. Then I read this month’s book, Faith in the Shadows by Austin Fischer from InterVarsity Press. This book came out in 2018 and is designed with discussion questions in the back so you can have a small group discuss the content of this book. But what is the content?

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This month’s book was one that I was truly happy to have read. This book came across my desk at a time when I was really down and had trouble keeping up with my faith. God seemed so far away that I felt that He truly did not care about me. Then I read this month’s book, Faith in the Shadows by Austin Fischer from InterVarsity Press. This book came out in 2018 and is designed with discussion questions in the back so you can have a small group discuss the content of this book. But what is the content? Continue reading “Faith in the Shadows: Finding Christ in the Midst of Doubt”

The Gospel of John: John 21

This week, we will finish this study with a look at the third and final time John records the resurrected Jesus appearing to his disciples.

This is it. The final week of our study of John. We have come quite a long way from Jesus being with God before time began. He was born and spent time among humanity He was crucified because the Jewish authorities did not understand who Jesus actually was. Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to his disciples. This week, we will finish this study with a look at the third and final time John records the resurrected Jesus appearing to his disciples. Continue reading “The Gospel of John: John 21”

The Gospel of John: John 20

Last week Jesus was faced with questions and was ultimate paraded through town to a hill where he would be nailed to a cross and die. The disciples were scared. But the story does not end there. As a professor of mine has said, the Resurrection is the biggest “but” in all of history. This week everything changes.

Last week Jesus was faced with questions and was ultimate paraded through town to a hill where he would be nailed to a cross and die. The disciples were scared. But the story does not end there. As a professor of mine has said, the Resurrection is the biggest “but” in all of history. This week everything changes. Continue reading “The Gospel of John: John 20”

The Gospel of John: John 14

On the night Jesus was betrayed he took the role of a servant and washed the disciples feet. Knowing that he was above all creation, he took the role of a servant to serve those that were below him. Yet Jesus knows that there is still more the disciples will need in the time to come. Simply serving them is not enough. They need something else.

On the night Jesus was betrayed he took the role of a servant and washed the disciples feet. Knowing that he was above all creation, he took the role of a servant to serve those that were below him. Yet Jesus knows that there is still more the disciples will need in the time to come. Simply serving them is not enough. They need something else. Continue reading “The Gospel of John: John 14”

The Gospel of John: John 13

Last week we saw how we cannot make it on our own. We need someone to help guide us. But what if we do not understand them? What if they are so beyond our comprehension, we cannot see what is right in front of our faces? The disciples faced that, leading into the last days of Jesus’ life. What they expected was not what was done, and maybe that is the way it is supposed to be.

Last week we saw how we cannot make it on our own. We need someone to help guide us. But what if we do not understand them? What if they are so beyond our comprehension, we cannot see what is right in front of our faces? The disciples faced that, leading into the last days of Jesus’ life. What they expected was not what was done, and maybe that is the way it is supposed to be. Continue reading “The Gospel of John: John 13”

The Gospel of John: John 11

Last week Jesus continued to explain how he is God. He pointed towards testimonies of others, Scripture, and even the miracles he was able to perform. There were many who believed, and still many that did not. This week Jesus shows us that he is in the messiness of life with us. He does not sit above it all and never gets touched. Rather, being human, God experienced the same pain and struggles that we have to deal with on a regular basis.

Happy Thanksgiving! I know that this time of year might be hard for you with the loss of someone special. I think this week’s chapter is a good reminder that we can still be joyous through pain.

Last week Jesus continued to explain how he is God. He pointed towards testimonies of others, Scripture, and even the miracles he was able to perform. There were many who believed, and still many that did not. This week Jesus shows us that he is in the messiness of life with us. He does not sit above it all and never gets touched. Rather, being human, God experienced the same pain and struggles that we have to deal with on a regular basis. Continue reading “The Gospel of John: John 11”

The Gospel of John: John 10

Last week, Jesus healed a blind man. This miracle began to cause division among the Jews as they were not sure what to make of it. Jesus kept pushing the people in charge, telling them that they did not know as much as they thought they did. Jesus pointed out how they were missing out on seeing him for who he is. This week, Jesus continues to teach the Pharisees the truth.

Last week, Jesus healed a blind man. This miracle began to cause division among the Jews as they were not sure what to make of it. Jesus kept pushing the people in charge, telling them that they did not know as much as they thought they did. Jesus pointed out how they were missing out on seeing him for who he is. This week, Jesus continues to teach the Pharisees the truth. Continue reading “The Gospel of John: John 10”

The Gospel of John: John 9

Last week we saw Jesus make his testimony about himself. Now his attention goes to show himself to a man that was in desperate need.

Last week we saw Jesus make his testimony about himself. Now his attention goes to show himself to a man that was in desperate need. Continue reading “The Gospel of John: John 9”

The Gospel of John: John 8

Last week’s chapter ended with a call from Nicodemus (yes, the same Nicodemus from chapter 3) for the Pharisees to hear Jesus’ testimony. This chapter is Jesus’ testimony, but first we have to make a small detour. There are some older manuscripts that do not have 7:53-8:11. There are some scholars that might say I should skip over it, but it is in my Bible so we are going to look at it anyway.

Last week’s chapter ended with a call from Nicodemus (yes, the same Nicodemus from chapter 3) for the Pharisees to hear Jesus’ testimony. This chapter is Jesus’ testimony, but first we have to make a small detour. There are some older manuscripts that do not have 7:53-8:11. There are some scholars that might say I should skip over it, but it is in my Bible so we are going to look at it anyway. Continue reading “The Gospel of John: John 8”

Become More Like Christ for Advent

“Then a shot will spring from the stem of Jesse,
Anad a branch from his roots will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and strength,
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
And He will delight in the fear of the Lord,
And He will not judge by what His eyes see,
Nor make a decision by what His ears hear;
But with righteouness He will judge the poor,
And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth;
And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,
And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.
Also righteouness will be the belt about His loins,
And faithfulness the belt about His waist.”
–Isaiah 11:1-5, NASB

This is a really big post for this site. This will be the 200th post and the first one I’ve made in over 21 months! As we head into the Advent season this year, I thought it would be a good time to begin using this tool again. I won’t be posting daily like I used to, but I do aim for weekly posts.

This week’s Scripture comes out of Isaiah. Isaiah is writing about a person who will be a descendant of Jesse. This person will be filled with the Spirit, wise, and knowledgeable. Israel rightly believed that this is a list of attributes for the Messiah. We know, today, that Jesus fulfills each of these attributes. What can this mean for us today during this season?

As we walk out our faith, there is one thing we should always be doing; we should be becoming more like Christ. That means we should be working to be full of the Spirit, wise, and knowledgeable.

When we accept Christ into our lives there is something amazing that happens to us. Paul writes, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NASB) Part of this change is that you receive the Holy Spirit live inside of you. Many people to tend to ignore this or just brush it off, but think about it for a moment. Our understanding of God is found in the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This means for us, there is a piece of the Almighty that lives within you! That’s how Paul can write later in his ministry, “If God is for us, who is against us?” (Romans 8:31b, NASB) The Creator lives inside of each and every one of His believers, so there should be no reason that the Church should be afraid.

How can we become wise? This seems like an odd question. Wisdom feels like a thing you are either born with or not. The early church leader, James, writes “But if any of you lacks in wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5, NASB) We simply have to ask God for more wisdom and He gives it. It’s what we do with that wisdom that really matters. I believe that wisdom is a gift from God to help lead His people. It isn’t for our own benefit, but God’s.

Becoming more knowledgeable seems to have an easy answer, just read/study your Bible more. While this is true, it truly is only part of the entire picture. In order for us to become more knowledgeable, we must filter our entire lives through the lens of Christ. This helps us see how God is moving through the world’s events and through the events/people of our lives.

We should also be reading. Reading what, though? Read your Bible. Read the newspaper. Read blogs. Read books. Read teachings from good teachers. While there are many good reasons to read, Reading gives you new knowledge and exposure to new ideas. You simply cannot grow in knowledge without reading something.

As we begin this Advent season let’s think about how we can become more like Christ, accept the Holy Spirit, gain wisdom, and learn about God.