WHEN IS DIVORCE ALLOWED?

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Writing to the Corinthian church, Paul tells married couples to stay together (1 Corinthians 7:10-11). Jesus also taught that marriage is permanent (Matthew 19:3-9). Paul states that having a non-Christian spouse is not a valid reason for divorce. If the unbelieving spouse deserts and will not return, Paul makes an allowance for the dissolution of the marriage. Jesus, meanwhile, listed unfaithfulness as another ground for divorce. Continue reading WHEN IS DIVORCE ALLOWED?

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IF A WIFE IS TO SUBMIT TO HER HUSBAND, HOW MUCH? IN WHAT AREAS? AT WHAT COST?

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Many a marriage has fizzled because both husband and wife latch onto the nation of submission, and both are destroyed by it. The husband may like the feeling of dominance, but he discovers too late he no longer has any emotional tie with his wife. Sometimes, tragically, the husband’s sense of dominance becomes perverted and hurtful. Sometimes a wife submits as a survival strategy, fails to grow as a person, loses her love for the man, questions her value as a believer, and settles into a half-life of emotional and spiritual solitude. But submission is meant to help a marriage, not hurt it. So how does it work? Continue reading IF A WIFE IS TO SUBMIT TO HER HUSBAND, HOW MUCH? IN WHAT AREAS? AT WHAT COST?

DEFINITION OF THE DAY (PRESENCE OF GOD)

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God’s initiative in encountering people. Biblical words for the presence of God usually relate to the “face” of God. Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (PRESENCE OF GOD)

GOD’S POWER REVEALED

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People of Bible times wore inner tunics and outer robes that covered the entire body (read 1 Samuel 19:24 and 1 Kings 18:46). The bare arm could be exposed quickly by pulling it from under this loose clothing. “Baring the arm” was a metaphor for swift, decisive action. Continue reading GOD’S POWER REVEALED

MEN OF THE BIBLE (SHADRACH, MESHACH, AND ABEDNEGO: INTO THE FIRE)

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The Old Testament story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego runs parallel to that Daniel. Like the prophet of lions’ den fame, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were Jewish captives living in Babylon. Like Daniel, they earned positions as wise and trustworthy advisers of the king of Babylon. And like him, they inspired envy and enmity among their Babylonian counterparts in the king’s government. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (SHADRACH, MESHACH, AND ABEDNEGO: INTO THE FIRE)

WHY IS ISRAEL CALLED THE “PROMISED LAND”?

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Because of God’s great promise to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3). God challenged Abraham to leave his homeland and extended family and to follow divine guidance. God promised to bring Abraham to a new land and to make his offspring a great nation. Continue reading WHY IS ISRAEL CALLED THE “PROMISED LAND”?

MAKING DECISIONS BY LOT

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This verse refers to the ancient custom of casting lots to settle disputes or make important decisions (read Josh 1:7). We might compare the practice to flipping a coin or drawing straws in modern times. Continue reading MAKING DECISIONS BY LOT

DEFINITION OF THE DAY (FORNICATION)

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Various acts of sexual immorality especially being a harlot or whore.

Old Testament – Normally women are the subject of the Hebrew verb zanah, but in Num 25:1 “people began to play a harlot” (NASB). The clearest example is that of Tamar sitting on the roadway to entice Judah (Gen 38:24; Lev 21:9; Deut 22:21). Fornication meant being unfaithful to a marriage commitment (Judg 19:2). Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (FORNICATION)

MEN OF THE BIBLE (SAMSON: A STRONG AND WEAK MAN)

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Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Those words would have made a good motto for Israel during its period of the judges. The seemingly endless cycle in which the Israelites found themselves went like this: The people of Israel would rebel against God, so God would allow their enemies often the Philistines-to mistreat them. After serval decades of oppression, the Israelites would call out to God for help. Then God would send a judge-a military leader-to deliver them from their enemies. One of the last of these judges was Samson.  Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (SAMSON: A STRONG AND WEAK MAN)

A FUNERAL PROCESSION

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This verse gives us insight into a burial custom from New Testament times. A widow’s son had died, and a coffin with his body inside was being carried outside the city for burial. The woman’s friends and neighbors were walking along with her. Continue reading A FUNERAL PROCESSION