In a previous post, we saw that according to the Bible true Christian transformation isn’t brought about by an improvement in behavior, or by acting in a way we think is more Christ-like. Instead, it’s the result of God’s life operating and growing within us.
Second Corinthians 3:18 tells us we’re being transformed as we behold and reflect the Lord like a mirror. As we behold Him, more of Christ is infused into us, resulting in a spiritual “metabolic” process: our old, natural element is replaced with more of Christ, and we spontaneously live according to Him.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at 2 Corinthians 3 with help from notes from the New Testament Recovery Version to see the things that can hinder us from being able to behold the Lord and how we can deal with them.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is an essential tenet of our Christian faith. It’s only by the redeeming death of our Savior and His resurrection that we are justified before God and eternally saved.
Romans 4:25 makes this clear:
“Who [Jesus] was delivered for our offenses and was raised for our justification.”
But in addition to this, did you know that the Bible speaks of three wonderful things that happened when Jesus was resurrected from the dead?
In this post, we’ll read verses and helpful notes in the New Testament Recovery Version that reveal these three things. We hope this will give us a broader view of and deeper appreciation for the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
In 2 Timothy 2:22 the apostle Paul gave this strong command:
“But flee youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
This word is as urgently needed today as it was when it was written nearly two thousand years ago. In order to have a proper Christian life, we need to take this word to heart.
In this post, we’ll discuss what this verse means and how it applies to us with the help of other verses and notes in the New Testament Recovery Version.
Anyone considering the Bible in an objective way would conclude it’s an extraordinary book. It’s filled with fascinating stories and the riveting history of God’s people over many centuries. It also contains deeply moving poetry, words that are a source of profound comfort and wisdom, and passages that convey the highest standard of ethics and morality.
This is reason enough for anyone to read the Bible.
But we believers treasure the Bible for much more than those qualities alone. We treasure it as the very speaking of God.
In this post, we’ll discuss just seven of the many wonderful ways we benefit from reading the Bible. We’ll look at key verses and notes from the Recovery Version that present compelling reasons to read God’s Word regularly throughout our entire Christian life.
The question in this post’s title might seem odd to you. Most of us wouldn’t think of ourselves as being a vessel.
But if we want to know not only who God is but what His thought is concerning us, we must come to the Bible. It’s the Word of God that reveals God to us. And it also reveals that we human beings are created by God as vessels.
We’ll read some key verses, together with notes from the New Testament Recovery Version, that reveal this fundamental truth to us. Knowing the meaning and significance of being a vessel will greatly affect our Christian life.
At one time or another, we’ve all glanced at our cell phone only to see that the battery is in the red zone. It has so little power that it might run out completely while we’re on an urgent call, or cause us to miss an important email or message.
All too often, our Christian life can look like it’s in the “red zone.” The unending demands of day-to-day life, family, work, and financial woes wear us out. On top of that, we’re discouraged by our sins and failures, and we feel powerless to follow the Lord. It seems like we barely have enough “juice” to deal with everything in our lives. We’re perpetually in a state of “low battery,” on the verge of completely running out.
Feeling drained and weakened indicates we’re in need of more spiritual power. But how do we get it?
In this post, we’ll read some verses in Philippians and Ephesians, along with their insightful notes from the New Testament Recovery Version, to discover the source of power for our Christian life.
The Bible reveals that the depths of God’s love are unfathomable. We simply don’t have the ability to comprehend all the details of God’s great love for us.
But in this post, we’ll read just a few verses and notes in the New Testament Recovery Version to increase our appreciation of God’s love for us.
Imagine you haven’t eaten for a while; you’re hungry and weak from the lack of food. Suddenly, a delectable aroma floats by. It makes your mouth water, but simply smelling the aroma of food doesn’t satisfy you. You’re still as hungry as you were before.
Simply reading something in the Bible and being temporarily inspired is kind of like smelling a delectable aroma. It’s not that we don’t receive anything at all, but the inspiration quickly fades. Nothing solid actually “sticks to our ribs” or satisfies us inwardly. For that, we need to eat the Word of God.
“Eating” the Word of God may sound strange to us. But as we saw in a previous post, God gave us His Word to be food to us. It’s by eating the Word of God that we can be spiritually nourished and strengthened in our Christian life.
But to eat the Word of God, we must go deeper than simply reading it. So in this post, we’ll discuss how to eat the Word of God.
Prayer is a fundamental part of our Christian life. It’s how we contact God, converse with Him, and enjoy fellowship with Him. But have you ever considered that prayer is our spiritual breathing?
Today we’ll look at some key verses from the Bible to see what this means, and how we can practice this kind of prayer in our daily life.
Over the span of thousands of years, God gave us His precious Word. Now we have His complete revelation in our hands: the Bible. History tells us that the Bible has profoundly affected countless people throughout the centuries. It has served as a guide for how to live, and it has even been taught in schools as great literature.
But the Bible isn’t merely a book full of doctrines about God and the Christian faith, a work of literature, or a self-help manual telling us how to have a good life.
Actually, God’s intention in giving us His Word is that it would be our spiritual food to nourish us. How do we know? The Bible itself reveals this to us.
Have you ever wondered what spiritual growth is? As believers, we may have heard people mention spiritual or Christian growth. But what is Christian growth?
The matter of growth is a tremendous subject in the Bible. But in this post, we’ll look at a few key verses in the New Testament to get an overview of the growth that God desires to see in us believers.
The Bible tells us we believers have an excellent remedy that’s more than able to deal with the sins we commit: the blood of Jesus Christ.
When we first believed in Jesus as our Savior, God forgave us and washed us of our sins. This is because the blood Christ shed on the cross satisfied all God’s righteous demands that were upon us.
And the same is true after we’re saved. We’re forgiven of our sins not because of anything we can do but because of the precious blood of Jesus.
But have you ever wondered whether you were really forgiven after you sinned? Have you felt troubled by the fear that the stain of your sin would be with you forever?
To address this problem, we need to see the powerful effectiveness of the blood of Christ in dealing with our sins. For this, we need to know the truth from the Word of God regarding this matter. Then we’ll put our complete faith in the blood of Jesus.
The blood of Christ is truly precious, and the Bible reveals many marvelous aspects of what it does for us. In this post, we’ll focus on just four of these aspects by looking at verses and notes from the Recovery Version. This will fortify our faith in the blood of Jesus and its effectiveness for our whole Christian life.
Nowadays, it’s not unusual to hear someone described as being a “spiritual person.” But if you ask people what they mean, you’ll probably hear different things.
For instance, some would say a spiritual person acknowledges the existence of a higher power in the universe, which may or may not be defined as God. Others say spiritual people are those who cultivate their inner feelings and thoughts to love themselves, other people, and the planet. Some might say someone who is spiritual rejects materialistic values and engages in humanitarian works.
Many find it hard to define what they mean or what their view is based on.
But as those who believe in Jesus Christ, our definition should come from what God says in His Word. If we know the biblical meaning of what it is to be spiritual, we won’t spend time pursuing something that’s not according to God.
In this post, we’ll look at verses and read some notes from the New Testament Recovery Version to help us understand what being spiritual means according to God’s Word.
Many people are familiar with the precious words of Psalms 23 in the Old Testament about the Lord as our Shepherd. But did you know that the New Testament also shows us how Jesus is our Shepherd today?
Today we’ll read some verses and notes from the New Testament Recovery Version that reveal different aspects of what Jesus as our Shepherd did in the past to care for us and how He continues to shepherd us today.
Have you ever felt discouraged after you experienced a failure in your Christian life? Maybe you wondered why God let you fail, especially since He could have prevented you from making that mistake. After all, doesn’t God want us to have a good testimony as Christians?
In this post, we’ll explore why God sometimes lets us fail, and how our failures can actually help us grow in our Christian life.
Human beings need each other for camaraderie and mutual protection. The same is true for us believers; we need the support and companionship of other Christians. Whether we’re a new believer or we’ve been a Christian for a while, we all need spiritual companions.
When you read the Bible, you’ll notice that the Holy Spirit is mentioned in numerous verses. This, of course, is the divine Spirit of God. Many verses also mention the human spirit. As we saw in a previous post, our spirit, the deepest part of our being, was specially created by God with the ability to contact and receive Him.
In the post, we’ll look at three key verses in the New Testament that mention the two spirits—the Holy Spirit and the human spirit—together. We’ll also read notes in the New Testament Recovery Version to see what these verses reveal to us about our Christian experience.
The world today is full of troubles—wars, environmental crises, senseless violence, economic uncertainty, troubling new viruses, social upheaval. When you look at the chaos around the globe it can make you wonder, Does God have a plan? Why did He create everything? And if He does have a plan, how do we fit into it?
In this post, we’ll look at verses from both the Old and New Testaments, along with some key notes from the Recovery Version, to find the answers to these pressing questions.
As Christians, it’s crucial to know the central items of our faith. One of these key beliefs is the following:
God is eternally one, and this one God is eternally the Father, the Son, and the Spirit; yet the three, being distinct, are not separate.
This statement about the eternally one God being the Father, the Son, and the Spirit is profound. It’s impossible to cover this subject comprehensively in a single blog post. But since it’s essential for us to have a basic understanding of who God is, we’ll point out some important verses related to this crucial truth.
In the New Testament, all four Gospels give the account of the crucifixion of Jesus. But in John 19:31-34, details are recorded that don’t appear in the other three accounts:
“Then the Jews, since it was the day of preparation and so that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath day was a great Sabbath), requested of Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man and of the other man who had been crucified with Him. But coming to Jesus, when they saw that He had already died, they did not break His legs; but one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water.”
The Roman soldiers routinely broke the legs of those they crucified to hasten their deaths. Since Jesus had already died, they left His legs unbroken. Yet one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, and out of His side came blood and water.
Why are these details about the piercing of Jesus’ side recorded only in the Gospel of John? Do they have a special meaning?
Have you ever felt like you didn’t know how to pray, or like you didn’t know the right words to say to God?
Throughout the years, thousands of books have been written on the subject of prayer. This great matter has many aspects. But in this post, we’ll discuss just one simple aspect of prayer: talking to God.
We’ll look at a few instances in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke that can help shed light on this aspect of prayer.
In previous posts, we discussed the meaning of consecration, the basis and motivation for consecrating ourselves to God, and how to consecrate ourselves to the Lord.
In this post, we’ll take a look at a moving story of consecration recorded in the Bible about someone who loved the Lord Jesus and gave her all to Him. We’ll also read some notes in the New Testament Recovery Version to help us see how this story relates to us today.
In previous posts, we discussed the crucial significance of consecration for our Christian life. We saw that consecration means putting ourselves in the Lord’s hands and becoming a living sacrifice. We also saw that God’s purchase of us and His love for us are the basis and motivating power for us to give ourselves to Him.
In this post, we’ll discuss how to consecrate ourselves to the Lord and how we can live a life of consecration.
The Sermon on the Mount, the traditional name for what Jesus spoke in Matthew chapters 5-7, begins with nine blessings known as the Beatitudes. These blessings are full of rich meaning for our Christian life today.
In a previous post, we discussed the meaning of the very first blessing recorded in Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.”
In this post, we’ll explore the meaning of another blessing. Matthew 5:8 says:
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
Today we’ll read verses and notes from the New Testament Recovery Version to help us understand what it means to be pure in heart, and how this results in seeing God.
As believers in Christ, we all desire to be under His blessing. In Matthew 5, Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” Have you ever wondered what that means and how it applies to you?
In this post, we’ll take a close look at this phrase in the Bible. With the help of notes from the New Testament Recovery Version, we’ll dig into the meaning of being poor in spirit and see how it applies to us today.
Human beings are complicated. Each one of us is unique; we come from various backgrounds and have different personalities.
But with respect to how God created us, we’re actually all the same. The Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 that we were all created with three parts—a spirit, a soul, and a body:
“And the God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
In this post we’ll read an extremely helpful note on this verse in the New Testament Recovery Version to help us understand these three parts.
In Matthew 6:6, the Lord Jesus said:
“But you, when you pray, enter into your private room, and shut your door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”
These words aren’t hard to understand, but we may find they’re much harder for us to put into practice.
The Lord Jesus said in Mark 12:30:
“And you shall love the Lord your God from your whole heart and from your whole soul and from your whole mind and from your whole strength.”
What does it mean to love the Lord from our whole heart, our whole soul, our whole mind, and our whole strength? Do we even have the ability to love Him with our whole being like this?
In this post, we’ll briefly discuss what it means to love God with our entire being using verses and notes from the New Testament Recovery Version.
We may have heard the phrase “witness for Christ.” But what does it mean? Witnessing simply means telling others what we’ve personally experienced of the Lord Jesus.
For instance, when we received Jesus as our Savior, maybe we told our friends or family about our salvation experience and how wonderful it was. That was our witnessing to them.
Numerous verses in the New Testament tell us we should witness for our Lord and Savior so sinners can be brought to salvation. Let’s get into some of the reasons why we must witness.
The terms born again and regenerated are fairly familiar to many people and are usually associated with becoming a Christian.
But what does it mean to be born again? Does it mean to have a fresh start to live a moral life? If that’s the case, does a person who is already good, upright, and ethical even need to be born again?
In this post, we’ll look at what the Bible says about being born again.
Because the Lord Jesus died for our sins, when we believed in Him, we were forgiven and washed of all traces of our sins. We shouldn’t feel troubled by what we did or who we were before we were saved. We must be very clear about this.
But when we were saved, we also became a new person in the Lord with a new life. We were born again with the life of God. From that point on, we have a new life, and we should also have a new living.
If we continue to live the way we did before we were saved, the things of our past life will hold us back. To progress in our Christian walk, we need to put an end to our old way of life so we’re no longer under its influence.
So how do we do this?
When we consider how Jesus Christ loved us and gave Himself on the cross for us, we can’t help but love Him. We often want to do something for Him in return.
So we might ask the Lord questions like: “What do You want me to do for You?” and “How can I be useful to You?”
The problem with questions like these is that they suggest God created us primarily to do something for Him. But is that really why He created us? He already had a multitude of angels to serve Him. Why did God need to create mankind, if it was for the same purpose?
The name Jesus is a special name. It’s actually the most special name in the universe! Philippians 2:9 tells us that God highly exalted Jesus and bestowed on Him “the name which is above every name.”
In addition to Jesus, in the New Testament we can find many other names for our Lord that are rich in meaning and communicate a particular aspect of what He is to us.
In this post, we’ll cover five names for the Lord mentioned in the books of Matthew and John, using notes from the New Testament Recovery Version that explain their meaning. Taking a closer look at these names will increase our appreciation for this wonderful Person and help us know Him in a deeper way.
In a previous post, we discussed the meaning of consecration and how giving ourselves to God makes a tremendous difference in our Christian life and relationship with the Lord.
But knowing that we should hand ourselves over to the Lord may not be sufficient. We have to realize the underlying basis for our consecration to the Lord and the motivation for us to do so willingly. If we see these two things, our consecration will not be something we do reluctantly or half-heartedly merely because it’s good for us. Instead, it will be a sweet experience that will deepen our relationship with the Lord Jesus.
When we were saved, we were born again with the life of God. What a truly wonderful and joyous experience! But regeneration is only the beginning of our spiritual journey.
After we’re regenerated, the next step is to consecrate, or give ourselves to the Lord. In this post, we’ll look at the meaning of consecration, and why it’s a crucial step in our life-long journey with the Lord.
People all over the world have heard the story of Jesus’ birth. But have you ever wondered whether there’s more to the familiar story? Since the Bible records the birth of Jesus in detail, is there a deeper meaning to that event?
In this post, we’ll use verses and notes from the New Testament Recovery Version to see something of the significance of Jesus’ birth. Catching even a glimpse of its real meaning will increase our love for Jesus and uplift our worship of Him.
A troubling question many Christians have is whether they can lose their salvation. Perhaps when you first believed in the Lord, you were sure that you were saved. But after a while—maybe because you sinned, or failed in some way—you aren’t so sure anymore, and feel like your salvation might be in jeopardy.
However, the Bible tells us that once we believe in Christ, we can never lose our salvation. In this post, we’ll look at seven proofs from the unchanging Word of God that show our salvation in Christ is irreversible and eternally secure.
Our Christian life is a life of faith, and the Bible says that as believers, we walk by faith, not by sight. But in our experience, especially when we encounter difficult circumstances, we often become discouraged and find it hard to put our trust in God. We try to believe, but sometimes it feels like we simply don’t have enough faith.
Hebrews 11:1 tells us faith substantiates things we hope for and convinces us of things we can’t see. We all certainly want to experience this in our daily Christian walk, but how do we have this faith? How can we be strengthened in our faith, especially in the face of difficulty?
To answer these questions, let’s take a look at some key verses about faith.
What exactly is faith? Is it positive thinking, or determining to believe something even in the face of difficulties? Do some people just have an innate ability to have more faith than others?
There are two aspects of our Christian life: the seen and the unseen. It’s often easy to focus on the things that are seen—our behavior, church activities, service to God, and care for people. But if we focus exclusively on what is seen, we may neglect the unseen: our hidden relationship with the Lord.
In a previous post, we saw that the best time of day to spend with the Lord Jesus is in the morning, before we get caught up in the busyness of our day. Now, we’ll look at some principles and practical tips that will help us build up this habit.
Hebrews 4:12 says, “The word of God is living and operative.” As such, the Word of God is very active. It functions to do many things, both for God and for us. In this post, we’ll look at some verses that show six of the primary functions of the living and operative Word of God.
Did you know the Bible speaks of something called transformation? It’s found in these two New Testament verses:
2 Corinthians 3:18: But we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit.
Romans 12:2: And do not be fashioned according to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and well pleasing and perfect.
So what does it mean for us as believers to be transformed? How can we experience transformation in our Christian life?
Every morning when we wake up, we have a choice of how we begin our day. Let’s look at two possibilities:
Scenario 1: The alarm goes off. You roll out of bed and start to get ready, already anxious about the day ahead. During a hurried breakfast, you catch up on the news, texts, and emails. Eventually, you rush out the door, preoccupied with your to-do list for the day.
Scenario 2: You hear the alarm go off and immediately say, “Lord Jesus, I love You.” You get out of bed and spend time talking with the Lord in prayer and reading His Word. Refreshed and nourished by His Word, you feel strengthened and supplied for the day’s challenges.
We’d probably all prefer the second scenario. Our spiritual life would benefit greatly, and perhaps even change dramatically, if we started every day by spending time with the Lord Jesus. But building up a habit takes more than fleeting inspiration; it helps to see why it’s worthwhile. In this post, we’ll look at three reasons why it’s critical to spend time with the Lord, and the best time of day to do it.
The fear and anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic can be overwhelming. Worries about our health, the economy, the well-being of the people we’re close to—as well as those all over the world—threaten to engulf us. It’s easy to get swept away by the constant stream of alarming news reports and commentary on social media. At the same time, many things we’ve relied on to comfort or entertain us are rapidly disappearing, and it seems impossible to find lasting peace.
In a previous post, we saw that the first step in understanding the Bible is to read it for ourselves, cover to cover. This is how we begin to acquire the building blocks of Scripture that are the foundation for our understanding of God’s Word. But how do we get started? What can we do to develop this healthy and necessary habit of regularly reading the Bible?
In this post, we’ll go over seven practical tips that will help you build up a daily habit of reading the Bible.
The Bible is an incredible book filled with wisdom, poetry, history, and teachings. It contains mysterious prophecies, symbols, and figures, along with lengthy genealogies and detailed laws. Above all, it reveals who Christ is and God’s eternal purpose for mankind.
As Christians, we may know that we should read the Bible, but we might feel apprehensive about it. Maybe our previous attempts to understand the Bible discourage us, or maybe we think it’s a daunting task to read and digest such an important, complex book. But the Bible is God’s Word written for us. Surely He wants us to read and understand this gift He’s given to us. Today, we’ll take a look at the first important step in understanding the Bible.
We’ve probably asked God at some point, “What’s Your will for my life?” Maybe we wanted to know God’s will regarding what we should study in school, the kind of job we should have, or who we should marry.
It’s human nature to be intensely focused on our own affairs and not on God’s. After all, since God is all-powerful and divine, what could He want or need?
Our God is exceedingly great.
You only have to look up at the stars at night to see how wondrous He is as the Creator. When we view the physical universe, we’re awed by His greatness and wisdom. Yet though His magnificence fills us with wonder, God sometimes seems far away from our personal universe.
As believers, we know God is real, but as we go about our daily lives, it can seem like He’s quite distant from us, way up in the heavens. Sometimes even when we pray, God feels out of our reach. At times we might even find ourselves asking, “God, where are You?”