A few weeks ago, the IRS issued its ?Dirty Dozen? list of tax scams to avoid. In the last article, we talked about a few of them. You may have already filed your tax return by now, but these scams occur all year long, and tend to be repeated year after year.
The lessons this month all relate to extraordinary relationships. For Christians, the most important relationship, and the one that affects all others, is the one we have with Jesus Christ. That one relationship is fundamental and foundational to every other relationship we have. It is imperative, then, that we get this relationship right.
As support for immigration reform continues to grow among Southern Baptists and other evangelical Christians, the Southern Baptist Convention's chief executive officer said April 17 in South Carolina that the U.S. stands ?at a crossroad of opportunity? for dealing justly with the nation's undocumented immigrants.
While many Christians have a grasp of important doctrinal positions, some churchgoers struggle with basic truths about salvation, the Bible and the nature of God. A LifeWay Research study on ?Doctrinal Positions,? released April 5, shows 81 percent of churchgoers agree, in regard to salvation, that ?when you die, you will go to heaven because you have confessed your sins and accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior.?
?Keep on keeping on? is an expression we often use to encourage one another to be faithful. Paul senses that the end of his earthly life is near and it is time to pass the mantle of leadership on to his friend and partner in ministry. He writes of his own faithfulness in order that he might encourage young Timothy to remain faithful to the end. The apostle desires that his associate put his full confidence in the Lord, who will supply all that he needs. In light of this, there are several things Timothy must keep doing.
George Beverly Shea, the longtime soloist for Billy Graham Crusades, died April 16 after a brief illness. He was 104.
The debt trap. Millions of Americans are caught up in it. It's easy to get in debt and often very hard to get out. This is especially true if you live on the edge of poverty. People on the edge of poverty have very little room for an unexpected expense. So what do they do when one inevitably occurs? Many turn to payday lenders. And in doing so, they often make their poverty worse.
It's a familiar prayer. Too familiar, some say, to mean much. ?Lord, bless the missionaries.? For church folks of a certain age, these words are as comfortable and automatic as ?Bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies? or ?Bless the gift and the giver.? Mission leaders who?ve heard this prayer uttered countless times sometimes criticize it as perfunctory, meaningless or ritualistic. Which missionaries? Where? Bless them how? And what about the people the missionaries are trying to reach with the gospel? Don't they need prayer, too?
Jeremy Lloyd had completed the Boston Marathon in just over three hours, a ?pretty good? time for him. After crossing the finish line on Boylston Street, he cooled down for several minutes, then gathered his belongings and sat down on a curb on a side street about a block away.
Last week I was typing the name ?Kermit Gosnell,? and my phone auto-corrected the name to ?gospel.? I shuddered momentarily. After all, what could be more contradictory than the name of a notorious abortionist on trial for child murder, and the good news of the mercies of God in Christ? My smartphone, it turns out, was smarter than I was.