Galatians 5:13-25, Fruits of the Spirit (2/27/12)
Christian behavior is simple – not easy, but simple. Love your neighbor as yourself, and be filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Do this consistently, and you won’t have time for sin.
1 Timothy 3:1-13, Christian Character (2/28/12)
No one knows for sure what the structure of the very early churches looked like. (I suspect it varied from church to church, just as it does today.) Consequently, no one knows for sure exactly how the positions of “elder” and “minister” relate to positions with the same name today – especially since minister and deacon are the same Greek word, but two different offices in the modern church. In vs. 11, the Greek does not have their; it only has a word that can mean either wife or woman; no one knows for sure whether this is talking about deaconesses (like Phoebe, Romans 16:1, whom Paul calls a “deacon”) or about the wives of the deacons.
This we do know for sure, however: the behavioral standard required of elders and ministers is one that all Christians should aspire to meet.
2 Timothy 2:14-26, Avoiding Quarrels (2/29/12)
Isn’t today the first day of Lent? [Note – A few readers pointed out that Lent started last week, not yesterday, showing again that I make mistakes. Be sure to read the Bible for yourself.] I’m always unsure, because where I grew up, Lent was a Catholic deal, not a Methodist deal. Pastor Craig said he’s giving up broccoli for Lent, and I’m going to join him because it will be easy. A fellow reader told me he’s going to give up being judgmental. That would be harder for me.
Here’s an idea from Paul: “Arguing does not do any good but only destroys those who are listening.” Quarreling with our fellow Christians doesn’t hurt us nearly as much as it hurts the unbelievers. Let’s all give up quarreling with other Christians, just for Lent, no matter how hard it is.
Colossians 3:5-17, Christian Clothing (3/1/12)
Does your church have a dress code, either formal or informal? Do the men wear suits and ties? Do the women cover their heads? Do you raise your eyebrows if a stranger or youth comes in dressed “inappropriately”? Paul says that Christians should wear certain clothing: a new nature, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, and love. Once we are all wearing those, what clothes our fellow Christians can afford will matter not at all.
James 1:19-27, True Religion (3/2/12)
Can I just say something here? The Bible doesn’t talk to me nearly so much about your behavior as it does about my behavior. It doesn’t talk to me so much about whether you are a Christian as about whether I am a Christian. So could we all just stop accusing each other of not being Christians and instead each of us concentrate on being the best Christian we can be?
James talks about true religion. Notice that there’s nothing in here about denominations, nothing about style of baptism, nothing about church structure or who’s in charge. He says, “If anyone thinks that he is religious and does not bridle his tongue, but instead deceives himself, his religion is worthless.” Let’s stop wagging our tongues and do the word of God.
More about Living the Christian Life
A Call to Christian Living
Living So It Shows
Sharing the Good News
Who Is Your Legacy?
Five Spiritual Disciplines
New Life and New Standards
Living in the World
Love One Another
Again, Love One Another
And as a Final Word, Love One Another
Copyright 2012 by Regina L. Hunter. All rights reserved.
Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the
author, Regina Hunter, and may or may not be shared by the sponsors or the
Bible-study participants. Thanks to the
Holy Spirit for any useful ideas presented here, and thanks to all the readers
for their support and enthusiasm. All
errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.
St. John’s United Methodist Church,
2626 Arizona NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110
Traditional worship services are held Sundays at 8:15 and
11:00 a.m. in the sanctuary. Casual worship services are held Sundays at
9:30 a.m. in the Family Life Center.
are held monthly on the second Saturday at 5:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. St. John’s feels especially called to the worship of God and to the service of our neighbors through our music program
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