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he #Blessed phenomenon that appears all over social media these days has both its followers and dissenters. On the one hand, we can argue that in hashtagging “blessed” we are simply giving thanks to God for what we have or what we’re currently experiencing. But what does this message convey to others who are struggling to receive these same blessings and are not? If one person is #blessed because she’s just had a baby, is another woman not blessed because she’s still struggling with...

by School Of Life on 1 May 2019

When I watch the news, my heart beats a little faster, and I start to feel anxious and concerned about the future. Alarming news of natural disasters, political upheaval, vicious wars, and indescribable suffering and pain strikes fear in our hearts. Is this the end of time? We are not to know the time of Jesus’ return, but there are signs to heed as the time draws near. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all tell how Jesus warned the disciples about the end of time. Jesus told them there would be false...

by School Of Life on 1 May 2019

I used to think being a good Christian was like exercise: get a plan, get serious, and get to work. Spiritual disciplines, church attendance, and service were the cardio, ab workout, and flexibility training for our souls. Neglect anything, and you’d get spiritually flabby. But I was terrible at my exercise regimen. I could not for the life of me read my Bible regularly, and prayer made me panicky as often as it connected me to God. My community at church disappeared after I had kids, and I...

by School Of Life on 1 May 2019

It is the easiest verse in the Bible to memorize, with it being the shortest. “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35) Though short, this one verse raises many questions. Why was Jesus weeping? He was God in the flesh. No matter what challenges He faced He knew how all of this would end. He would be victorious. He would overcome death. He would save the world. So why the tears? Let’s zoom out of this two-word verse to gain a fuller context of what was happening that brought Jesus not only to tears but...

by School Of Life on 1 May 2019

When I first became a Christian, I really didn’t want to hear anything about spiritual warfare. I just wanted Jesus. I didn’t ask for any war. And if I can be honest with you, I was scared. Talk of an enemy that wanted to kill, steal, and destroy me wasn’t something I wanted to think about at all. Interestingly enough, the enemy didn’t want me thinking about it either. This way I’d be an easy target for his schemes and tricks and unprepared for the plans he had to harm me. As I’ve...

by School Of Life on 30 April 2019

Forgiveness is easier said than done. It might be easier to forgive if the offense is minor, but what about a victim of abuse? Forgiveness is a process. If we say we have forgiven someone, yet our blood boils at the mere thought of them, have we truly forgiven? Deep down, we know God calls us to forgive those who have wronged us, but what does the Bible have to say specifically about it? Here are 15 verses on the importance and power of forgiveness: Forgiveness in the Old Testament Leviticus 19:18 “Do...

by School Of Life on 29 April 2019

Shortly before His death, Jesus spoke words of deep assurance to an unnamed criminal hanging beside Him. “Truly I tell you, today you will be with Me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). This simple statement, spoken to a man at the end of his life as he paid the punishment for his crimes, offers unspeakable hope and comfort to all who come after. Jesus’ interaction with this hopeless man thousands of years ago reveals core truths for us to celebrate each Easter season. Here are 5 important truths...

by School Of Life on 29 April 2019

What is peace, really? We can look at it through a common lens and characterize it as calmness, quietness, tranquility, and contentment. Or, we can look at it through a Biblical lens and discover the true peace that God offers – the peace of God. In a world of chaos and instability, there is a peace that exceeds all human understanding – the supernatural peace that God offers through the Holy Spirit. It travels far beyond pretty hillsides and sing-song melodies. It’s a certainty...

by School Of Life on 29 April 2019

In all of history, there is not one more redeeming, liberating, or costly sacrifice than the cross of Christ. For many of us, it has made a powerful difference in our lives, both now, and for all of eternity. Yet the reality is that it can be very difficult to reflect on all that Jesus was willing to suffer and endure on our behalf. We may even find ourselves struggling through questions like these: Why did Jesus have to die? Was it really necessary? How could a loving God allow this to happen? The...

by School Of Life on 29 April 2019

When the apostle Paul—formerly Saul, persecutor of Christians—was converted, Jesus announced, “For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name” (Acts 9:16). Indeed, the apostle Paul suffered much for Christ’s sake. And yet, he seemed to embrace, not resist, this suffering. For this reason, Paul can teach us much about suffering—its causes, its rewards, its effects, and our responses, among other things. Most importantly, we discover that, though suffering is necessary...

by School Of Life on 29 April 2019