• Discipleship

    Giving Thanks in Every Circumstance?

    Giving Thanks Most of us have just celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday, but the practice of giving thanks is for more than just the fourth Thursday of November every year. You’ve probably heard the Bible verse that says “give thanks in all circumstances” (it’s found in 2 Thessalonians 5:18). As Christians, we’re supposed to rejoice and give thanks all the time. It can be easy to do this when everything seems to be going fine. Following this command gets a little difficult, however, when we face trials. What Are We Giving Thanks For? Being thankful when you get a pay raise is easier than being thankful when you’re laid off. Being thankful…

  • Faith

    Giving Thanks for Salvation

    Thanksgiving With Thanksgiving coming up it’s natural to reflect on the things we’re thankful for.  For Christians, our salvation in Jesus Christ should be at the top of that list. Unlike material blessings, this gift is permanent. Unlike the happiness of the world, it’s not dependent on our circumstances. Unlike everything sold in stores during Black Friday sales (as good as those prices may be), it’s free. Black Friday and Good Friday Speaking of Black Friday, they say that name stuck in reference to the day after Thanksgiving as an allusion to retailers making a profit during the holidays after operating at a loss the rest of the year. In…

  • Discipleship

    Seven Bible Study Resources

    Seven Resources for Studying the Bible Regular Bible reading is important, but sometimes it can be hard to know where to start. These Bible study resources can help illuminate how to study the Bible, provide tools to enrich your Bible study, and answer questions you might have about the Bible. I’ve loved these resources for years and have turned to them many times as I continue to learn how to study the Bible. Bible Hub and Blue Letter Bible My number one Bible study resource to recommend for you is actually two. These are two different resources that are very similar: Bible Hub and Blue Letter Bible. Both have websites,…

  • Mountains, valleys, and L.A. Skyline in the distance

    How Can We Practice Our Faith?

    Practicing Our Faith Have you ever thought about what practicing our faith means? The things you practice are the things you want to improve; it demonstrates your priorities, what you want to accomplish. For example… I love hiking. I’ve hiked in the mountains once—at Griffith Park to see the Hollywood sign (see one of the pictures I took above). It wasn’t a very long hike and we were only there for a few hours. I was in pretty good shape at the time and thought it wouldn’t be too hard. But the truth is it was a lot of work. The mileage was no problem, but the steep incline was…

  • Rainbow in the sky

    What Does it Mean that ‘God Remembers’?

    If God Remembers, Did He Forget? To remember something means to think of what you had previously forgotten. Several passages in the Bible speak of God ‘remembering’ something or Israel asking God to remember them; does this mean that God forgets things too? If the Bible says that ‘God remembers’ something, does it mean that He forgot? God is Omniscient Theologians describe God’s knowledge as omniscient, which means all-knowing. 1 John 3:20 says that God knows everything and Romans 11:33 describes His knowledge as deep and His judgments unsearchable. Jesus said even the hairs of our head are numbered (Matthew 10:30). Isaiah 40:13-14 says “Who has measured the Spirit of…

  • Theology

    Understanding the Wrath and Love of God

    God in the Old and New Testaments Have you ever thought that God seems loving and merciful in the New Testament, but angry and wrathful in the Old? How do we understand God’s wrath and love? How do we reconcile the God of the Old and New Testaments? God’s wrath and love. God’s Wrath and Love The Bible teaches that God doesn’t change (Malachi 3:6) and that with Him there is no variation of shadow due to change (James 1:17). Because of this, we know that God isn’t actually different in the Old and New Testaments—the difference is in our perspective. The reason God seems more wrathful in the Old…

  • Prayer

    What Does it Mean to Pray in Jesus’ Name?

    “In Jesus’ Name, Amen” Ending a prayer with the words “in Jesus’ name” has become common practice in most evangelical circles. But have you ever thought about why it’s done or what it means? Or maybe you’ve read John 14:13 and wondered why prayers prayed ‘in Jesus’ name’ seem to go unanswered? Why We Pray in Jesus’ Name This practice comes from John 14:12-14 where Jesus says, “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” This is an incredible statement. Whatever we pray in Jesus’ name He…

  • Grand Canyon

    Is Doubt the Opposite of Faith?

    Understanding Doubt and Faith Have you ever felt doubt? We don’t always like to talk about it, but the fact is, doubt is something all believers deal with at one point or another. Because of this, understanding and knowing how to address doubt is vital for Christians. Many people operate on the assumption that doubt and faith are enemies, that doubt is the opposite of faith. But, if we have a biblical understanding of faith and doubt, we will see that this isn’t necessarily the case. What is Doubt? Doubt is a reality that all believers will face throughout their lives, but there are actually different kinds. Typically, believers deal…

  • two white flowers in dirt

    Understanding Biblical Faith

    What Does it Mean to Have Faith? In spite of the fairly secular climate of much of American culture, faith is a recurrent theme in pop culture. The idea of faith comes up in movies, TV shows, and books marketed to a wide audience, but there is a significant difference between biblical faith and faith in media. Of course, the topic of faith also surfaces in media marketed specifically to Christians, and these productions aren’t immune to shallow theology. As Christians, we should be able to distinguish the real faith of those who are rooted in Christ from the imitations we see in the world around us. Faith in Culture…