Bible Tips And Tidbits:
Savoring God’s Word One Bite At A Time.
The Testimony that Honors God
Testimonies are powerfully persuasive expressions of faith when centered on God, not self. Sadly, many testimonies in the church today, especially celebrity testimonies, subtly focus on the person more than on God. Paul’s testimony is powerful because it is God-centered, not man-centered. “They kept hearing, ‘the one who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy.’ And they were glorifying God because of me” (Gal. 1:23-24).
Battling for the Gospel
We downplay theological disputes today. “Just give them Jesus” or “doctrine divides” are slogans of the modern church. Perhaps these are helpful cautions when it comes to peripheral matters of the faith over which we have too often divided but not the gospel. There can be no compromise over the gospel. Battling with others about the gospel gets messy, even ugly sometimes, as we see in Galatians 2, but we must be willing to divide if the gospel is being corrupted. A “Jesus Lite” gospel is no gospel at all. Click to read more…
Foggy Doctrine
Many churches intentionally tolerate fuzzy theology to attract a wider audience. They say, “We don’t care about doctrine here. We just love Jesus.” A murky picture of Christ emerges through the haze. Paul argues in Galatians that fuzzy theology actually denies the Christ we claim to love. Foggy doctrine leads us to betray God. “I am astonished that you are so quickly betraying the one who called you by the grace of Christ for another gospel” (Galatians 1:6).
Serving in Obscurity
Far from the centers of Christian influence, they faithfully preach the gospel in little towns and out of the way villages. Hardworking pastors devoted to Christ serve with minimal outward success. I meet them in the small towns of New England, the inner city neighborhoods of Ukraine, and the barrios of Panama. These faithful servants of the Lord support their families by holding down jobs so they can preach the Word of God, sacrificing family, time, and money to serve in obscurity.
Falsely Accused?
Have you ever been falsely accused? Someone has impugned your integrity or questioned your veracity? Perhaps others have circulated stories about you that painted a negative picture. Guilt by association or statements taken out of context were used to undermine your credibility. The stories went viral through social media. Your ministry is threatened because people wonder if you can be trusted to tell the truth. How should you respond? Should you defend yourself? 
 
Our Missional Purpose
God saves us to send us. Every Christian serves Christ’s mission from the moment of conversion to the last breath of life. We must not live aimlessly but purposefully. Paul illustrates the urgency of this mission in Galatians when he tells us that God revealed Christ to him “so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles” (Gal. 1:16). The purpose of saving was sending! Paul did not go up to Jerusalem to be credentialed by the apostles but went straight to Arabia before returning to Damascus (Gal. 1:17). 
 
Avoiding Isolationism
Paul established his apostolic independence by stressing that he received the gospel through a revelation of Jesus Christ (Gal. 1:11-12) and not through the instruction of the other apostles. He spent the first three years of his ministry preaching in Arabia independent of any apostolic credentialing, approval or support. Paul needed no one to validate his missional calling to preach Christ to the Gentiles
(Gal. 1:16-17).
Religious Pacifiers
Many today offer religious pacifiers instead of the true gospel. Some sell a watered-down gospel of cheap grace and easy believism to attract crowds. Others peddle moralism or ritualism to give people a false sense of security because they can keep selective rules or practice special rituals. Religious pacifiers appease people by offering them something they can do to be right with God. But when we preach to please people, we distort the gospel and displease Christ.
 
A Rabid Devotion
There is a zeal for God and country that ravages all compromisers – a devotion that becomes destructive, a patriotism that breeds fanaticism. Paul possessed a rabid loyalty to Judaism that drove him to zealously protect the traditions handed down from his forefathers (Gal. 1:13-14). His misplaced zeal justified his persecution of Christians as enemies of the Most Holy God and corruptors of his national traditions. There are few emotions more unholy than a holy zeal gone rabid. 

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