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The Way

    by Kevin Pauley

January 18, 2022

Although these have a reputation of wisdom by promoting ascetic practices, humility, and severe treatment of the body, they are not of any value against fleshly indulgence. - Colossians 2:23 HCSB

A young girl began wearing long-sleeve shirts all the time. She was very careful to not show her arms but one day, as she was washing some dishes, her father noted some cuts on her forearms. At first, she tried to say she’d simply gotten scratched by her playful dog but there was something about her tone that made her father keep questioning. Soon it became apparent that she…  ( Click for more )

January 11, 2022

If your brother becomes destitute and cannot sustain himself among you, you are to support him as a foreigner or temporary resident, so that he can continue to live among you. Do not profit or take interest from him, but fear your God and let your brother live among you. You are not to lend him your silver with interest or sell him your food for profit. - Leviticus 25:35-37 HCSB

With so much poverty in the world, how do we decide who to help? What should be the goal of our assistance? What measurable marker can we use to know where and when to draw those lines?

The phrase…  ( Click for more )

January 4, 2022

"Then the king will do whatever he wants. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god, and he will say outrageous things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, because what has been decreed will be accomplished. He will not show regard for the gods of his fathers, the god longed for by women, or for any other god, because he will magnify himself above all. Instead, he will honor a god of fortresses--a god his fathers did not know--with gold, silver, precious stones, and riches. He will deal with the strongest fortresses with…  ( Click for more )

Then Jesus came near and said to them, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." - Matthew 28:18-20 HCSB

It is interesting how many Christians believe that a physical act could lead to their salvation after God spent so much time trying to pound the very opposite into our heads. If a physical act was…  ( Click for more )

December 21, 2021

The LORD then said to Joshua, "Today I have rolled away the disgrace of Egypt from you." Therefore, that place has been called Gilgal to this day. While the Israelites camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, they kept the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month. The day after Passover they ate unleavened bread and roasted grain from the produce of the land. - Joshua 5:9-11 HCSB

Most Jews tend to focus on the first Passover at this time of year. You know - the one in Egypt when Yahweh delivered His people from Egyptian bondage and made freedmen…  ( Click for more )

December 14, 2021

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, and will bring swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their unrestrained ways, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. In their greed they will exploit you with deceptive words. Their condemnation, pronounced long ago, is not idle, and their destruction does not sleep. - 2 Peter 2:1-3 HCSB

Adonai destroys the omens of the false prophets and makes fools…  ( Click for more )

December 7, 2021

Follow the Lord’s rules for doing his work, just as an athlete either follows the rules or is disqualified and wins no prize. – 2 Timothy 2:5

I walked into our living room and watched a couple of my children playing a game called Spy Hunter. It involves a James Bond-like car that chases evil cars around and generally causes mayhem while saving the world. What drew my attention was a warning whoop that kept sounding. When I walked in and saw what they were doing, I couldn’t help but laugh. They were actually going through the course backwards!…  ( Click for more )

November 30, 2021

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. As soon as He came up out of the water, He saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending to Him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: You are My beloved Son; I take delight in You! - Mark 1:9-11 HCSB

There are many verses in which the Trinity may be demonstrated. For example, at one time a false doctrine was introduced to the Church that was called Sabellianism. Sabellians taught that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are different modes or aspects of one God that appear…  ( Click for more )

November 23, 2021

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. As soon as He came up out of the water, He saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending to Him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: You are My beloved Son; I take delight in You! - Mark 1:9-11 HCSB

Even the most cursory examination of the Scriptures will indicate to the careful student that the members of the Trinity do everything as a unified team. Each is involved in every function of the other.

The Trinity created all things. We are told that the Father created…  ( Click for more )

November 16, 2021

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. As soon as He came up out of the water, He saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending to Him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: You are My beloved Son; I take delight in You! - Mark 1:9-11 HCSB

God is undivided unity expressed in the threefold and equal nature of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Being so far beyond our normal human experience, it is and will likely ever be a great and incomprehensible mystery.

Augustine of Hippo (AD 354-430) tried to illustrate…  ( Click for more )

November 9, 2021

Brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. - 2 Thessalonians 3:13 HCSB

The father gazed at his young child with a weary expression on his face. The recalcitrant child had disobeyed once again. “How many times?” he thought to himself. “How many times have I dealt with this?”

The police officer rubbed his face in a gesture motivated as much by frustration as by fatigue. The man before him had been arrested several times for the same offense and seemed stubbornly unfazed by anything the law had to throw at his misbehavior.

The humanitarian…  ( Click for more )

November 2, 2021

The LORD commanded us to follow all these statutes and to fear the LORD our God for our prosperity always and for our preservation, as it is today. Righteousness will be ours if we are careful to follow every one of these commands before the LORD our God, as He has commanded us.' - Deuteronomy 6:24-25 HCSB

In the Torah, Moses gave (according to ancient rabbinic tradition) 613 laws. The Scriptures do not give us this number, but if we carefully work our way through the Sinaitic Law, we will find (depending on how we divide things up) approximately 365 negative commands and…  ( Click for more )

October 26, 2021

Then John's disciples told him about all these things. So John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord, asking, "Are You the One who is to come, or should we look for someone else?" - Luke 7:18-19 HCSB

When studying biblical texts, it is critical to make sure that we understand their full context: historical, geographical, cultural, political etc.

If we consider the parallel passage of the above passage found in Matthew 11:1-9, we discover that John the Baptist[1] was in prison and could not go to Jesus. Apparently, he was not in isolation,…  ( Click for more )

October 19, 2021

Remember that You swore to Your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Israel by Yourself and declared to them, 'I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky and will give your offspring all this land that I have promised, and they will inherit it forever.'" So the LORD changed His mind about the disaster He said He would bring on His people. - Exodus 32:13-14 HCSB

Yahweh made a promise to his friend[1], Abraham, taking him outside and saying, "Look at the sky and count the stars, if you are able to count them." Then He said to him, "Your offspring…  ( Click for more )

October 12, 2021

Now He came near the path down the Mount of Olives, and the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles they had seen: Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heaven! Some of the Pharisees from the crowd told Him, "Teacher, rebuke Your disciples." He answered, "I tell you, if they were to keep silent, the stones would cry out!" As He approached and saw the city, He wept over it, saying, "If you knew this day what would bring peace--but now it is hidden…  ( Click for more )

October 5, 2021

Be imitators of me, as I also am of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1 HCSB

Simply knowing that there are holy people in the world who have reached new heights of sanctity and love can inspire us. We sometimes find it difficult to know how to put God’s commands into practice and it makes it much easier when there is a saint to whom we can cling just as they cling to God. We can bask in the reflected glow of this righteous person. Granted, they are like the moon, reflecting the light of the sun which produces its own light, but we can walk in that reflected light with a certain…  ( Click for more )

September 28, 2021

But God says to the wicked: "What right do you have to recite My statutes and to take My covenant on your lips? You hate instruction and turn your back on My words. When you see a thief, you make friends with him, and you associate with adulterers. You unleash your mouth for evil and harness your tongue for deceit. You sit, maligning your brother, slandering your mother's son. You have done these things, and I kept silent; you thought I was just like you. But I will rebuke you and lay out the case before you. "Understand this, you who forget God, or I will tear you apart,…  ( Click for more )

September 21, 2021

"A good tree doesn't produce bad fruit; on the other hand, a bad tree doesn't produce good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs aren't gathered from thornbushes, or grapes picked from a bramble bush. A good man produces good out of the good storeroom of his heart. An evil man produces evil out of the evil storeroom, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart. "Why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and don't do the things I say?” - Luke 6:43-46 HCSB

A great teacher once set a spiritual exercise before five of his best students. “Go…  ( Click for more )

His wife said to him, "Do you still retain your integrity? Curse God and die!" - Job 2:9 HCSB

Conversing with a fool within the terms of his folly is to lower oneself to his level and to accept his outlook upon life as one worthy of consideration. We should answer a fool, patiently and quietly answering his questions and arguments, so that the foolishness of the proposition is revealed[1]. However, we cannot allow ourselves to get dragged into their methods.[2] We are stewards of God’s time and resources. We should not foolishly allow them to waste too much…  ( Click for more )

His wife said to him, "Do you still retain your integrity? Curse God and die!" - Job 2:9 HCSB

One of the worst elements of a divorce is the apparent need each spouse has to “win.” Each will try to deceive the other. Each will try to not give important information so that the other spouse will look bad. This urge, part of our yetzer hara, must be overcome. Even a believer will struggle with it. At least they struggle. An unbeliever will often simply lie and cheat, seemingly completely unhindered by their conscience.

Once we have caught a person in…  ( Click for more )

His wife said to him, "Do you still retain your integrity? Curse God and die!" - Job 2:9 HCSB

In a society overwhelmed by divorce, the issue of how we should interact with an ex-spouse is one that simply cannot be ignored. As a pastor, I have to help people with the consequences of divorce on a weekly basis: arguments over splitting up the “stuff” every marriage seems to accumulate, child custody, visitation, discipline and schooling; arguments over the selling price of the house…the list is nearly as inexhaustible as the ire.

How does a…  ( Click for more )

August 24, 2021

Then the Twelve summoned the whole company of the disciples and said, "It would not be right for us to give up preaching about God to wait on tables. Therefore, brothers, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and wisdom, whom we can appoint to this duty.” - Acts 6:2-3 HCSB

I very much appreciate the ministry of the diaconate and the tremendous burden that they carry for God’s church. I also understand that they have many things that they must keep in mind as they serve the Lord.[1] However, may I offer a few pieces of advice? …  ( Click for more )

Speak to the Israelites and tell them: When you enter the land I am giving you and reap its harvest, you are to bring the first sheaf of your harvest to the priest. He will wave the sheaf before the LORD so that you may be accepted; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath. On the day you wave the sheaf, you are to offer a year-old male lamb without blemish as a burnt offering to the LORD. - Leviticus 23:10-12 HCSB

Around 1445 BC, Yahweh commanded His people to take the first sheaf they harvested each year and to bring it to the priest who would wave it before the…  ( Click for more )

August 10, 2021

Isn't the fast I choose: To break the chains of wickedness, to untie the ropes of the yoke, to set the oppressed free, and to tear off every yoke? - Isaiah 58:6 HCSB

The International Labor Office (ILO) estimates that there are over 12 million people trapped in forced labor around the world, generating as much as $32 billion each year.

It would be easy for us to shrug and say “business is business.” However, the rich have often yielded to their yetzer hara[2] and abused those under their power.[3]

It would be facile to assuage our consciences by saying “they…  ( Click for more )

August 3, 2021

The LORD appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued to extend faithful love to you. - Jeremiah 31:3 HCSB

The man sat in the congregation; listening to the teacher speak about Bible study. The teacher was passionately exhorting the people to enter into Hashem’s instructions for themselves and know for sure what the Lord God wanted from them.

“Do not rely on what I say!” the teacher cried out. “Each of us must die and after that comes the Judgment![1] I will not be able to stand with you on…  ( Click for more )

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