Who do you think you are?

Meditate on Romans 8. Let it sink in. Pray through Romans 8, declaring the incredible victory of WHO YOU ARE in Christ!

37 But in all these things we win a sweeping victory through the one who loved us. 38 I’m convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus our Lord:not death or life, not angels or rulers, not present things or future things, not powers 39 or height or depth, or any other thing that is created. (Rom. 8:37-39, Common English Bible)


I am the immigrant

The increase in violence against Christians in Pakistan and Kenya are times to be reminded in my own life that I am the immigrant. I am a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven and that will call on allegiances the U.S. can never get from me. May my allegiance to the Kingdom of God grow stronger in these hard days for my brothers and sisters in Pakistan and Kenya.

11 Dear friends, since you are immigrants and strangers in the world, I urge that you avoid worldly desires that wage war against your lives. 12 Live honorably among the unbelievers. Today, they defame you, as if you were doing evil. But in the day when God visits to judge they will glorify him, because they have observed your honorable deeds. (1 Peter 2:11-12, Common English Bible)

Great Translation on the Proclamation of Jesus

“Change your hearts and lives. Here comes the kingdom of heaven!” (Matt. 4:17, Common English Bible)

Get ready… the King has entered his realm and when he acts, there is a response called for. The best response? Change your hearts and lives.

The power of the Kingdom of God is unleashed. It is time to pay attention.

Justified Through Faith

Attention all Greek scholars! Figure this one out for me!

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (Rom. 5:1, NIV)

Therefore, since we have been made righteous through his faithfulness combined with our faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom. 5:1, CEB)

Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (Rom. 5:1, NET Bible)

Faith? Whose faith? There is an interesting variety here.


The Common English Bible — A Year Later

Last Advent season I was part of the blogger series for the Common English Bible. They extended their blogging series through Lent, then to Pentecost, so I spent many months using the Common English Bible along with the NIV2011 in my teaching and preaching.

Once the blogging event was over last spring, I still found myself drawn to the Common English Bible. While my main teaching and preaching continued to be from the NIV, I would always refer to the Common English Bible for a fresh look. The more I kept using the Bible, the more I have grown to really admire this translation. It is completely “modern,” in that the vernacular will wear out in about ten years or less. It means fresh updates frequently. That’s one downside.

I’m still getting through that “Human One” vs. the “Son of Man” thing. That’s another downside.

But this translation is really a decent read for me. I rarely trip up over words if I read it publicly. The reading is very smooth. Also, I am desiring more and more to have access to the Deuterocanonical Books, and my edition of the CEB in print and on my Olive Tree Reader has that. While I don’t access those books often, I want to have them available. Reading the Deuterocanonical Books in the CEB is refreshing.

I think this is a good translation to give to people who can’t slog through a King James like experience. It is easier to get into the text, and that should be the point. It is a faithful translation, in my view, of Orthodox Christianity, and useful for study and reading.

The Great Reversal I Long For

Now that the world hasn’t ended (again), maybe we could continue on with the actions we might want to take as the people of God.

We need to live out Advent in our world. Christ has come. He makes the difference.

19 The poor will again find joy in the Lord,
    and the neediest of people will rejoice in the holy one of Israel. (Isa. 29:19, CEB)

Let the light of our great King shine through us in this dark world.