MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

Should Christians Care if Christmas was December 25th?

December 8th, 2016 Viewed 811 times, 1 so far today

christmasfamily07.jpgThe Bible is right to consider people sheep.  We do a lot of things because we have always done them.  Whether it’s where we work, our patterns for the day or the things we get involved in, there’s a combination of enjoying the familiar and not causing ripples that keeps most people from doing anything different.

This is part of the reason that I believe we have a celebration of Jesus’ birth in the middle of winter, and why it will probably never change.

Now, you could obviously start this conversation with a discussion of whether we should be celebrating His birth at all. The New Testament is devoid of decreeing any kind of celebration of days– in fact Romans 14 goes so far as to say that regarding any day better than another is something that really isn’t all the Spiritual, but a personal preference.

The Power of Principle

November 30th, 2016 Viewed 470 times

benjamin-251.jpgGetting older, I’ve mused upon the fact that one way to mark the passage of time is through the number of options that are left to you in life.  While the number of options are finite while at home, once a child leaves the home and is off in the world there are so many options that they have before them (more so if they’ve prepared while they are home).  Each decision that we make can have a limiting effect at the number or character of the future decisions that we make.  The older we get, the fewer the decisions that are available, or the ability to rationally choose them.

This is part of the reason that having principles is foundational to making good decisions– and making those decisions beforehand is paramount.  Many life events are going to happen that seem larger than life when they are in the midst of them, but in the long view of them may be relatively small.  Some decisions we are to make may seem like they have to be made at the moment, when more time would be advised.

Some large decisions could be greatly different based on principle– things like whether to go into debt to buy a house/car/toy/etc., whether or not you should marry someone of a different faith, what political leanings you have, and you philosophy on abortion are just some of the things that can affect all areas of your life.

However, what I’ve found is that either people are unwilling to make decisions on principle, or unwilling to do what it takes to stick to principle.  This is only something that is learned through practice and through walking through walking through adversity.  Life is not going to be full of happiness and joy– we are going to face opposition and people saying something against our idea and ideals.  Principles help guide and instruct us, and when based properly they will cause us to make the best decision regardless of the circumstance.

Satan Wants Us to Consider Ourselves First

November 29th, 2016 Viewed 588 times

Alone-amongst-the-dead_thumb.jpgIn A.B. Bruce’s Training of the Twelve, there is a discussion about the third of the way in about the first time that Jesus was crystal clear about the fact that He would literally die– something that goes against the concept that the disciples had for what would happen to their Messiah.  Peter, just coming off of his pronouncement that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God, wades in to tell Jesus that He won’t let him die, echoing Satan’s temptation back at the beginning of the ministry with a plea to Jesus to do something else, other that God’s will, to find something convenient and to fear the death that would follow.

Sardis or Laodecia?

November 24th, 2016 Viewed 570 times

Prayer-is-the-language-by-Leland-Francisco.jpgIn my recent Bible reading I found myself in Revelation 3 considering the churches that are presented there.  I believe that I’ve only ever heard of this present age being Laodecia for a couple of reasons.

First, many in the circles I travel are pre-tribulation1 , pre-millenialists2 , and these people hold to the idea that the ordering of the churches in the book of Revelation has significance to the time periods before Christ’s return.  Therefore, to be in Laodecia– the last of the churches mentioned– means that the Lord’s return is not just imminent but soon.


  1. The Rapture of the saints will come before the 7 year tribulation of the Earth. []
  2. There is a real tribulation before a literal 1,000 year rule of Christ on the Earth before the final judgment []

Be Quick To Resolve Offenses and To Seek Forgiveness

November 23rd, 2016 Viewed 576 times

Man-Woman-Fight.jpgThe Bible is a practical book, teaching us not just who God is but how He wants us to live.  Within the pages of Scripture we see both principle and example of many different life choices.  The one I want to focus on today is the idea that we are not to let things go on long when there is an issue with other people.

In Ephesians 4:26 we read:

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,

This is a very wise principle, for over time things tend to harden in our minds and the more time passes the harder it is to restore what once was there.  Indeed, while sometimes time will heal some old wounds, it won’t do it until forgiveness and repair have been had– and sometimes what happens is that time has healed the wound, but the relationship has already been destroyed and is now beyond repair.

Jehoshaphat – His Legacy

October 19th, 2016 Viewed 550 times
This entry is part of 4 in the series We Three Kings

We started this series looking at Jehoshaphat’s father, Asa, and the legacy that he left his son.  We saw how Asa had begun the work of removing the high places, and set the groundwork for following after God that his son improved upon.  What should have followed was a story about how great the child of Jehoshaphat was.  Instead, we find out that his legacy was not as good as one could have hoped for.

Jehoshaphat’s Legacy (2 Chronicles 21)

Asa was a good king that left Jehoshaphat a kingdom pleasing to God, and Jehoshaphat continued this legacy.  The kingdom was expanding, and had people from other countries bringing tribute.  The children of Judah were hearing about God, and were being judged righteously. Male prostitutes, high places and idol worship was being removed from the area and things seemed to be going well. Yet because of Jehoshaphat’s alliances, his son did not follow in his way.

Jehoshaphat – Faulty Alliances

October 18th, 2016 Viewed 525 times
This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series We Three Kings
Asa - Jehoshaphat - Joram ( )

Asa – Jehoshaphat – Joram ( ) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you asked me to sum up the key problem that Jehoshaphat had based on the Biblical record, I would have to say is that he entangled himself in faulty or poor alliances.  I believe that this is why the Bible pays a lot of attention in the New Testament about making sure that false teaching is called out and that we separate from it.

Jehoshaphat and Ahab (1 Kings 22, 2 Chronicles 18)

Marriages at the time of the Israelite kings, at the highest level, were often done for the purposes of allying two families or kingdoms.  We see this played out in many accounts all the way up through the Middle ages.  Many of the kings of Judah and Israel seemed to have wanted to join the two territories back together much like the current American Presidents all try for peace in the Middle East.  Both seem to fail regularly, because it’s not the time.

Jehoshaphat – Reliance on God

October 17th, 2016 Viewed 530 times, 1 so far today
This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series We Three Kings
Map of the Levant circa 830 BCE

Map of the Levant circa 830 BCE (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I was a teen I was very involved in my church’s drama/musical programs.  One of my favorites was “Fat, Fat Jehoshaphat” in which I played King Jehoshaphat.  During this play, the focus was on the passage that we are looking at today, and what part Jehoshaphat’s reliance on God had in his dealings with his enemies.

Jehoshaphat Attacked (2 Chronicles 19:1-2, 20)

After his alliance with Ahab, Jehoshaphat is challenged by a prophet of God. God asks him why he is a friend with the enemies of God. The wrath of God will be upon him, yet not to his destruction because he does seek the Lord.  We see this come to play out when the Ammonites, Moabites and Meunites come to attack.  Jehoshaphat gets advanced notice, and instead of calling up an army, like every other time, Jehoshaphat goes to God.

What is a Believer Supposed to Do?

September 26th, 2016 Viewed 575 times

Replicate himself…

I’m a simple guy so I look at it plainly. What is the church supposed to be and do? It seems like the Great Commission is the place to start:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”” (Matthew 28:19–20)

Disciples of Christ are to make disciples (evangelism), baptize them into the church, and teach them to learn and apply the Bible. Then the cycle repeats itself: evangelism, baptism, training.

The Church Needs the Bible

Christian, When Was the Last Time You Read Your Bible?

September 9th, 2016 Viewed 533 times

Professing Christians are not reading their [B]ibles as much as they used to — and some Christians don’t read it at all.  Beth Stolicker of Mission Network makes a good case as to why Christians must read and memorize Scripture.  As Christians “we need to be able to recall full Scriptures, the redemption story, and the Bible’s full frame. That’s hard to do if Christians are only familiar with a few verses here and there.”

Western Christians’ Bible reading crisis

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.