As Jesus traveled to Jerusalem for the last time before His crucifixion, many thought He would be crowned as a king and immediately begin ruling over Israel (Luke 19:11). Jesus addressed this assumption with a parable, which is recorded in Luke 19:12–27. In Jesus’ story, a nobleman leaves his servants at home as he travels to receive a kingdom, giving each of them money to invest in his absence. His servants and citizens respond to these circumstances in different ways—some in rebellion, some in disobedience, and some in faithfulness. When Jesus reached Jerusalem, He didn’t sit on a throne; He…

Media gives MENA Christians the opportunity to “share their sorrows, joys, faith, and hope” amid persecution and unrest. Walking along the dusty streets of Cairo, Terence Ascott had an epiphany. Having served in literature ministry in the Middle East and around the world, the British missionary grew somber as he passed by the local bawab (gatekeeper), his wife, and three children. “How can such an illiterate family ever be exposed to the Christian faith?” Ascott mused. Hired to guard a construction site, the Egyptians sat huddled under a makeshift tent with only the most rudimentary of kitchen items—and a television…

Culture informs faith. Faith informs culture. Here’s wisdom for finding the right balance between the two. In this episode of VOICES’ Where Ya From? podcast, Dr. A.R. Bernard teaches us that there are no small churches or small impact—just small thinking. Learn how God took A.R.’s four-member, store-front church and expanded it to the Christian Culture Center and understand that we all can make positive change in our communities by being faithful to whatever plan the Lord has in store for us. A graduate of Alliance Theological Seminary, Dr. A.R. Bernard is a visionary whose teachings have lifted his church,…

There are more unaffiliated African Americans, but they’re also more likely to return. African Americans are among the most devout groups in religion research, often outranking other demographics in areas like religious practice, attendance, and belief. As a result, some predicted that young Black adults would resist the moves away from faith seen among white millennials. Even with all the shifts in the faith landscape over the past several years, Black Americans remain more religious than other groups and more likely than the average American to stay in the tradition they were raised in, according to a massive report released…

Amid ongoing turmoil in national health system, orthopedic surgeon practices “practical Christianity.” Tongai Chitsamatanga just finished treating an 8-year-old with dislocated hips, two children with bone infections, and another two with clubfoot. It’s hard work, requiring great patience and greater skill. The 41-year-old doctor could be earning a lot more for his expertise at his old hospitals in Oxford and Derby, United Kingdom. But instead he is here, in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, in a 13-bed children’s hospital that opened in April 2021. He personally doesn’t think the decision is that hard to explain, though. “To me that is practical Christianity,” Chitsamatanga…

In his book The Madness of Crowds, Douglas Murray observes, “People in wealthy Western democracies” now have “absolutely no explanation for what we are doing here, and no story to give life purpose”1—no overarching narrative that guides our sense of where we fit on our earthly journey and in the unfolding panorama of our world. As the children’s nursery rhyme would have it, “All the king’s horses and all the king’s men” cannot “put Humpty together again.” We have, as a culture, fallen off the wall, and we lie in pieces on the ground. A German Monk and Me More…

From online messages to ministry in resettlement communities, church leaders approach this missional moment with prayer and patience. Mike Christian and his wife lead a small congregation called the Afghan-American Church of the Bay Area. But their main ministry is not gathering with a dozen or so Afghan believers during the week. It is engaging with the tens of thousands of Afghan seekers from around the world who reach out through messaging apps, social media, and online outlets. Mike, who was born in Afghanistan and worked alongside the US military there, adopted the name “Mike Christian” after his conversion. It…

Inconsistent and insincere appeals for exemptions to public health rules are undermining important freedoms. If you believe in religious liberty only when it’s good for society, then you really don’t believe in it. A sincere commitment to religious liberty requires support for exemptions that allow people to do things you might disagree with, whether that’s Mennonites refusing to serve in the military, Catholics declining to work with same-sex foster parents, or Native Americans doing drugs. So supporters of religious liberty and robust religious exemptions might feel conflicted about a court ruling in Pennsylvania that rejected religious exemptions to mask mandates…

Multilevel marketing isn’t a hobby. And its workers need discipleship. When LuLaRoe leggings showed up in my small community a few years ago, a farmer in our church dubbed them “tight britches.” Colorful and comfortable, the style quickly became de rigueur for women and girls in our area. But the trend took off for a much simpler reason too: network marketing. Sometimes known as direct or multilevel marketing, network marketing leverages established social circles to sell directly to consumers through local representatives. Companies like LuLaRoe do particularly well in communities that have thick relational networks, which is likely why they…

Written to scattered believers facing a variety of troubles, the Epistle of James addresses a universally relevant question: How are God’s people to live in God’s world? This side of heaven, trials and tribulations crowd into our lives, confronting us with failure and tears, doubts and disappointments, sorrow and groanings. In response, James offers us practical help, with an eye toward not becoming Christians so much as behaving as those who have been redeemed “by the word of truth.” Volume 1 (James 1:1-27) – Listen (Free) | Download (Free – 170 mb) | Purchase CD ($17.20) | Purchase DVD ($17.20) |…

A campaign to educate campuses about COVID-19 vaccination shifts from persuading the hesitant to making it easier for the willing. Last week, as President Joe Biden was announcing a new vaccine mandate for large workplaces, students at more than 100 Christian colleges were trying to persuade their communities to get the shot voluntarily. Since those between the ages of 18 and 29 are among the least likely to be hospitalized or to suffer serious illness or death due to COVID-19, swaths of young people didn’t get the shot as soon as it became available earlier in the year. Dozens of…

Paula White leads the 70-member group, which includes evangelical leaders who backed the former president. In another sign Donald Trump is eyeing a run to regain the White House, the former president and his religious advisers announced last week the launch of a national faith advisory board, apparently aimed at reinvigorating his conservative Christian base. The new initiative, first reported by the Jewish news outlet The Forward, was formally unveiled on a conference call organized by Intercessors for America and led by longtime Trump adviser Paula White. The Pentecostal megachurch pastor said the new effort, which includes participation from “70…

Barna study shows Christians age 13 to 18 are skeptical of evangelism, but they’re having deep and personal peer-to-peer conversations. Treyson West doesn’t have a name for it, but if you want to call it evangelism, that’s fine. He doesn’t think he has a strategy or model for trying to change people’s beliefs, though. He’s just interested in friendship and reliance on the Holy Spirit. “The big thing is showing somebody what their identity could be through Christ,” says the 19-year-old high school graduate in the suburbs of Dallas. “Everybody is pushing you to be polarized. And ultimately that just…

The ministry leader believed declining US churches could be revitalized by hearing Wesleyans “with a different accent.” H Eddie Fox, who hoped to renew American Methodism through evangelism and increased connections with global Christianity, died on Wednesday at age 83. Fox led World Methodist Evangelism for 25 years, teaching, training, and empowering Methodists and Wesleyans to share their faith, and encouraging churches to make evangelism a priority. He pioneered several new initiatives that were popular in United Methodist Church (UMC) congregations, and he helped American churches connect with fellow Wesleyans outside the United States, especially in formerly communist countries after…

Jesus never promised His people a pain-free life. In a fallen world, we all experience physical breakdown and decay as we await “the redemption of our bodies” (Rom. 8:23). Sometimes, though, as James 5:13–18 describes, that future redemption breaks into the present, and God graciously heals what ails us. Glorious as the promises of this passage are, it’s not easy to interpret. It must be studied carefully by any who hope to reap its rewards today. The Plain Point and a Caveat The obvious challenge and encouragement contained in James 5:13–18 is simple: pray! All six verses are about prayer….

For churches that take the Bible seriously, doctrine can be dangerous. Where theology is appreciated and taught, the hazard is not vagueness, compromise, or fellowship based on the lowest common denominator; it’s just the opposite. When people begin to take doctrine seriously (which we all ought to), they may also become rigid and demand too much of others—and sometimes even of themselves. In other words, we risk making essential what is actually nonessential. Doctrine Matters We must state plainly up front that even though doctrinal rigidness is a danger, doctrinal indifference is a mistake. Paul says clearly to Titus that…

Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1 ESV) What is my screen resolution? Click Below to Download your Image: Apple Devices: iPhones and iPod Touch iPads iPhone 11 Android Phones: Galaxy S Series, Edge, Nexus 5X, 6P, Google Pixel, Pixel XL, LG G5, Windows Phones Tablets: Amazon Fire Microsoft Surface Social Media: Facebook Header (Top Banner) Facebook and Blog Posts Twitter Instagram Computer Monitors: 1024 x 768 1280 x 800 1280 x 1024 1366 x 768 1440 x 900 1600 x 900 1920 x 1080 *List based on…

Refusing to eat the special diet assigned to them seems a strange place for Daniel and his fellow young Jewish exiles to draw a line. But in the Old Testament, one of the distinguishing features of God’s people was the rules they followed about what they would and would not eat and drink. Dietary choice for God’s people was not just an external manifestation of nothing much; rather, it was an external outworking of their deeply held convictions about what it meant to belong to God. Given where these young men were and what they were doing and what they…

King Nebuchadnezzar sets up a statue of himself and says, in essence, “I have had this amazing image put up, and I want universal submission and worship, from everyone, or else.” Unsurprisingly, everyone says, “Ok—we will bow.” Perhaps for most of them the sight of this magnificent image was sufficient to cause them to bow. Perhaps for some of them, the sight of everyone else bowing made it clear that it was the right thing to do. And for the rest of them, the thought of the furnace was more than enough to get their knees to bend: “As soon…

“Are you a person of faith?” How you respond to that question will depend on what you think faith actually is. Given all the misconceptions and misappropriations of the word faith in our culture, it’s no surprise that you might hesitate to answer. But the questions of faith—its meaning, its object, its content, its significance—are not ones we can afford to overlook. Faith is an urgent matter that we must come to terms with immediately, because “without faith it is impossible to please” God (Heb. 11:6). So, as we consider what faith is, continue to ask yourself this question: “Am…

Dear Friend, It is long past time for those of us who by grace through faith have trusted in Christ to acknowledge that we are “sojourners and exiles” (1 Pet. 2:11) living in a secular culture. At the same time, we face the fact that we are involved in a continual and irreconcilable spiritual war against the Evil One. Ironically, just as we become increasingly aware of these challenges, it is no longer fashionable to sing hymns about “Christian soldiers marching as to war.” What has happened? Are we to excuse cowardice by calling it humility? G. K. Chesterton pointed…