Sin can be illustrated by an equation, and that can help us understand it and reduce it.
By Mark D, Harris
Our Sunday School class is studying the New Testament book of James, written to the Jewish Christians of the diaspora by James the brother of Jesus in the late 40s AD. James was the pastor of the church in Jerusalem, and He provides powerful, practical advice for successfully living the Christian life. The first eight verses of chapter 1 discuss the Christian’s need for wisdom and God’s promise that He will provide it, so long as the believer asks in faith. Verses 9 to 11 mention the transitory nature of life, and the consequent even more transitory nature of riches.
James 1:12-18 takes a different track, discussing the nature of temptation and sin, and explaining that God cannot tempt or be tempted, but instead creates His people and provides every good thing for them. One could summarize these verses with the following equation:
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How to sense the spiritual aspects of life
By Mark D. Harris
Recently a team of inspectors visited our hospital. After the meeting, two team members, one older white woman and one middle aged African American woman, came into my office. They admired my models of the War of 1812 frigate USS Constitution and the 1990s US Space Shuttle Endeavor. We talked for a moment, but as they turned to leave, the older woman glimpsed a replica of the ancient Celtic worship and burial site Stonehenge on my table.
“Have you been there?” she inquired, with more than a little excitement in her voice.
“Yes, with my wife and our infant daughter in 1994. How about you?”
“Never, but I would love to go” she replied, both excited and plaintive. She took a deep breath, paused, and looked directly at me. Her face was earnest and anxious, like a novitiate approaching an Archbishop with a question of vital importance.
“Can you feel it? Can you feel the spirituality in that place?”
“Yes,” I replied, instantly knowing what she meant. “You can sense the spirituality at Stonehenge. But there are four things that you have to do in order to feel it.”
Her face lit up, waiting for what would come next.
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No form of government, no powerful leader, no set of laws, and no group of social programs will fix our shattered world. The Bible has much to say about the nature of man.
By Mark D. Harris
Man is a magnificent and tortured creature. He is capable of the brilliance of Newton, the dedication of Paul, and the courage of Shackleton. He is also capable of the stupidity of the Three Stooges, the wavering of Congress, and the cowardice of Pontius Pilate. The same race that produced Washington and Lincoln also produced Mao Tse Tung and Shaka Zulu. We are industrious and lazy, courageous and cowardly, selfless and selfish, and clear headed and confused. The Bible has much to say about the character of man.
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