Do you ever struggle to know how to pray for other Christians? One possible (and common) approach is simply to pray for whatever people ask you to pray. That’s fine, as far as it goes, and we do see the Apostle Paul sometimes asking people to pray for him (Col 4:3; 1 Thess 5:25). Another … Continue reading One Thing You Can Do to Improve the Way You Pray for Other Christians
I recently read through Stephen Payne’s new devotional book, I Lift my Eyes to the Hills: God’s Help in Times of Trouble. Steve is a former college housemate and long-time friend. He sent me an advanced copy. What makes this book different from other devotional books you may have read in the past is that … Continue reading A Truly Beautiful Devotional Book
I just returned from a weekend in Philadelphia where I spent two days with individuals and organizations laboring to counter a dangerous pandemic. No, not that pandemic…. I’m talking about the pandemic of biblical illiteracy. I enjoyed numerous conversations with some really dedicated Christians who are on a mission to address a pandemic that ultimately … Continue reading Advocating for Biblical Literacy
Not every door that appears to be is an open door. And not every door that appears to be closed is a closed door. Just because a ministry setting looks like it’s going to be hard doesn’t mean that it is a closed door. For the Apostle Paul, an open door was a God-given opportunity … Continue reading What is an “Open Door”?
A few years ago, a delightful young college student came up to me and asked, “Would you like to see my tattoo?” “Um…OK,” I mumbled, somewhat unsure of where on her body the tattoo might be located. She lifted her long hair so I could see what was engraved on the nape of her neck. … Continue reading Tattoos and Biblical Greek
In a former post, I tried to answer the question of whether Paul was a literal tentmaker. In this post, I ask whether Paul was a figurative tentmaker—one who was self-supporting in ministry. I often interact with Christians who say, “I want to be tentmaker like Paul.” What they mean is that they want to … Continue reading Was Paul a Tentmaker? Part 2: Did Paul Financially Support Himself?
In today’s post (part 1), I will try to answer the question of whether Paul literally sewed tents. It turns out that this is a disputed question. In a follow-up post (part 2), I will try to answer the question of whether Paul was a metaphorical tentmaker, that is, whether he worked with his hands … Continue reading Was Paul a Tentmaker? Part 1: Did Paul Make Literal Tents?
It has become increasingly popular in recent years for teachers of the Bible (myself included) to disparage people who apply Jeremiah 29:11-13 to their lives. “You’re not paying attention to the context!” they loudly protest (…as I have). This post will explore whether such disparagement is appropriate, and conclude that often it is not. I … Continue reading Jeremiah 29:11-13: “For I know the plans I have for you…” Do these verses apply to us…or not?
Here’s a blog post that contains more footnotes (historical notes) than main text. That’s because this is my own attempt to sort out the chronology of Paul. Have you ever wondered when Paul did what? Here is a possible chronology. 33 A.D.Death of Christ34Conversion of Paul36First Jerusalem visit (Gal 1:18)44Famine visit to Jerusalem (Acts 11:29-30/12:25, … Continue reading Chronology of the Apostle Paul
After an extended time of prayer in the mountains last year, I left with one perspective that has proven extremely helpful to me. Here is that perspective: God has apportioned to each of us who are part of his kingdom not only specific ministries to build up the church and extend God’s kingdom work in … Continue reading How Wide is the Sphere of Ministry God has Given You?