Inadequate Understanding of Love


Our understanding of God’s love is so raw since it is shaped by our culture we were born in and raised, books that we read, music that we listen to, and movies that we watch. What we understand as love is only what we are capable of ourselves doing it to others. That is utterly inadequate definition of love. Jesus Christ is the embodiment of what love really is. God is love,[1] and His love is actualized and demonstrated in the person of Jesus Christ on the Cross in Calvary. He is no less than the incarnate Son of God, preexisted with the Father, not made but begotten, the fullness of Deity lives in bodily form.[2] Without diminishing his divinity, he voluntarily took a human form to deliver the humanity from the bondage of sin by offering himself as the ultimate sacrifice.[3] For the penalty of sin is death.[4] Jesus paid the price by his own blood even when we were still sinners.[5] And that is love.


Scripture References:

[1] 1 John 4:8

[2] Colossians 2:9; Philippians 2:6-8

[3] Hebrews 10:10

[4] Romans 6:23

[5] Romans 5:8

The Key of Bonding: Dine Together


“And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,…” Acts 2:46 ESV.

“So then, my brothers and sisters, when you gather to eat, you should all eat together.” 1 Corinthians 11:33 NIV

This “eating together” is not unusual for some, especially with friends and coworkers. On the other hand, it is a very big thing for some. In the hustle and bustle of our everyday life, we find it hard to have a meal together with family. People take two or three jobs to provide for their family. In some families, spouses take jobs in two different shifts. Husband taking job at night shift while wife working on second shift allows them to watch kids at home. When was the last time some of you had dinner together with your family? It was most likely the weekends or holidays for some! Dining together is a very special ritual for my family. My parents always expected all four of their children to come eat with them every day. That was something special I still cherish; our conversation, sharing bit and pieces from our everyday life, and planning for things etc., was big part of our family. The Bible also highlights about the significance of eating together. In the ancient Jewish culture, coming to table and eating together was a matter of spirituality. It required them to keep the Old Testament dietary laws and also maintain table etiquette by staying ceremonially clean. Without going into the details of dietary laws of the Bible, let me explain why we should dine together as a family or church small-group.

1) Getting to Know Each other Food or hard liquor, they are somehow more appealing to people and thus bring people closer. We can see how quickly food or drink can turn perfect strangers to connect and relate to each other as if they had known each other for ages. When we invite someone or go with a group to eat together, we talk. Don’t we? As we talk, we also start opening up. That helps us to know about each other. Knowing each other is important to bond in a relationship, thus it fosters warmth and sense of belonging. It also helps a new member of the group connect to the core group members. I see the invitation to the table as a genuine effort to know them personally. Knot

2) Strengthen Communication Communication is vital in every relationship. As we come to eat together, we may talk on wide varieties of topics that interests people in the table once we get to know each other. Everyone in the group can be asked about their input on certain things or simply carry casual conversation. Next, getting to know each other also helps us to open up more and communicate about ones well-being. When we listen to each other or show interest in someone’s story, it demonstrates that the person is valued and his or her ideas or opinions do matter in the group or family. Honest communication can be very meaningful to strengthen the relationship in a family or church small-groups. When we are open to talk, we can express ourselves and accordingly plan things for the best interest of the group. Eating together now means we are not merely communicating ideas in the table but also learning from each other at the same time. This can be a unifying experience for all involved members of the small-group.


| Eating together can be a head start to begin to know someone and garner relationship that is built on trust and carried on by honest communication which promotes sharing with each other.|


3) Strengthen Relationship Eating together can set a tone for carrying out meaningful conversations. Opening up and communicating graciously and honestly builds up each other and overcomes division and rifts if ever existed. It brings healing to the broken hearts, renews and strengthens relationship. Eating together just gives you the sense of intimacy. To have this sense of gratitude and belonging in the group is to have a confidence in members of the small-group. In this sense, we hold each other accountable.

4) Promote Sharing Ministry is a teamwork. Any group that maintains healthy relationship with group members, communicate effectively and in clarity will most likely succeed in the mission or ministry. Sharing requires trust of each other in the group. Without having known each other and bonded with group members, people cannot merely share about their lives, issues, struggles or anything that’s personal. The level of trust in the group determines how much one is ready and open to share. Therefore, the idea of sharing your personal life and struggles with someone certainly requires that you can trust and count on the persons or group you are with. Eating together can be a head start to begin to know someone and garner relationship that is built on trust and carried on by honest communication which promotes sharing with each other. So, be sure to include others, since the Gospel narratives make known of Christ too many times around the table with bread and wine.

Ravi Zacharias – Unplugging Truth in a Morally Suicidal Culture


The pursuit of the Hebrews was idealized and symbolized by light. “The Lord is my light and my salvation.” “The people that sat in darkness have seen a great light.” “This is the light that lighteth every man that comes into the world.” The pursuit of the Greeks was symbolized by knowledge. That’s why the Biblical writers say, “These things are written that you might know that you have eternal life.” For the Hebrews, it was light. For the Greeks, it was knowledge. For the Romans, it was glory. For the Romans, it was glory, the glory of the city of Rome, the glory of the city that wasn’t built in a day. And here we have it. The apostle Paul, a Hebrew by birth, a citizen of Rome, living in a Greek city, had to give to them the ideal of his ethic. And he says this: “God, who caused the light to shine out of darkness, has caused His light to shine in our hearts, to give to us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus our Lord.” For the apostle Paul, the ultimate ethic was not an abstraction, not symbolized merely by light, not merely by knowledge, not merely by glory, but in the very face of our Lord. “God who caused the light to shine out of darkness has caused his light to shine in our hearts to give to us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus our Lord.

Source: “Unplugging Truth in a Morally Suicidal Culture”

Biblical Nuggets: Coins of the Gospel- A Silver Shekel


A Silver ShekelRome operated a mint in Tyre that produced silver shekels of high purity (94 percent silver or more). These and half-shekels were the only coins accepted by the temple in Jerusalem. The high priests paid Judas with silver shekels like this one to betray Christ (Matt 26:15). This was also the coin Jesus told Peter to find in the fish’s mouth (Matt 17:27).


Source:

Hubbard, Shiloh, Elliot Ritzema, Corbin Watkins, and Lazarus Wentz with Logos Bible Software and KarBel Media. Faithlife Study Bible Infographics. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2012.

Seminary Scholarship


Just as the SeminaryScholarship says that “Going to Seminary is expensive,” indeed, it is very expensive. If you enroll for M.Div, it’s going to be even more costly due to its credit hours that is between 92-96. For a normal full-time student would take 4 years to complete the degree. There are certain things like room and board are going to become a straw that breaks a camel’s back when you come out as a graduate from the seminary. You and I are most likely to owe $40,000.00 when we can call ourselves the graduates of Master’s in Divinity from this or that seminary!

Finding a scholarship can be really tiring. Sometimes, we just don’t know where to go and look for scholarships. Search on any online search engine brings swaths of search results that have a word “scholarship”. Some of them might not even be relevant to what we are looking for. But when I found this website in Faithlife‘s blog today, I applied for the scholarship. All I had to do was watch a short video and answer few questions about your personal information and previous school and what you hope to do after finishing your school. This took me only 5 minutes to do it.

Seminary Scholarship is giving away a $1,000.00 scholarship and a digital theological library to the winners. The best part of this scholarship program is that if you put my name as the person who referred you when you apply, and if you win the scholarship, both of us could get a $1,000.00 scholarship and digital theological library. So, do us both a favor and go apply for the Seminary Scholarship today.