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Among the "spiritual" Commands, few are so illusive as this. Jesus concludes his Do not be anxious about your life discussion of the birds of the air and lilies of the the field in Matthew 6 with the words: Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as wel…
 
One of the profound mysteries of the Christian Church is that human goodness has not comprised more focus in its theology. While it is true that greater good has been done throughout history by Christianity than any nation, movement, or creed, one is hard-pressed to find goodness at the center of any doctrinal teaching. From The Commands by Michael…
 
If we transplant Peter's question and the Lord's response from Matthew 18 into the sixth chapter where the theme of forgiveness emerges out of the Lord's prayer, we would have a succinct teaching on prayer, forgiveness, and the reach of forgiveness. From The Commands by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar…
 
We noted that forgiveness is one of the least understood components of Christian doctrine. Sadly, it is misunderstood by Christians and non-Christians alike. From The Commands by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purchase The Commands and …
 
Righteousness is one of the more curious character qualities of the committed Christian disciple. Jesus tells us to let our light shine before men, but to pray, fast, and do good in secret. If it is visible obedience by Christians that changes the world, why are we also commanded to be invisibly righteous? From The Commands by Michael Phillips. Rea…
 
It is fearfully easy to read the Do Not Commands and assume, "Oh, I would never do that." Because the context of examples used by Jesus sometimes seems so ludicrously absurd, we too easily overlook our own glaring presence in the midst of the Gospel pages. From The Commands by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and …
 
Created by his hand and in his image, all humanity are God's children. Yet we are put upon this earth to become something more, to become true sons and daughters of chosen obedience. Given life and, in time, independence, our destiny is gained by yielding back that independence into the hand of our Creator, and thus, by that relinquishment, discove…
 
Separation from the world is not high on the list of objectives for third millennium Christians. Just the opposite. From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purchase The Commands of the Apostles and other book…
 
Countless sermons and devotions have been based on Jesus' exchange with the man we know as the "rich young ruler." The first three gospels recount the story using largely identical words and phrases. Indeed, this passage is one of those upon which scholars base their conviction that Matthew and Luke founded their writings upon Mark's gospel. From T…
 
It might be said that there are two kinds of Christians in the world--bumper sticker Christians and character Christians. From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purchase The Commands of the Apostles and othe…
 
One of the hallmarks of youth is zealous energy and passionate vision. How well I understand! From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purchase The Commands of the Apostles and other books by Michael Phillips.…
 
Paul was no fan of the welfare state. His disdain for laziness was so strong that he gave the Thessalonians the memorable command, If a man will not work, let him not eat. (2 Thessalonians 3:10) From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the…
 
Having seen that scriptural modesty is undermined by an obsessive attempt to fit in with every fashion, we now find ourselves facing the question: How then are we to look in the world's eyes? From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the In…
 
From the elusive Command, Lose your life, we now encounter one of the most down to earth of all the Commands: Be a servant. No mystery exists here. We all know what it means to serve, to put someone else's need ahead of our own...the good deed, the kindness shown, the helping hand, the burden shared, the load lifted, the feet washed, the cup for th…
 
It is probably true that on the whole Paul's commands are more difficult for women to swallow than men. Paul irks modern sensibilities. From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purchase The Commands of the Apo…
 
We take the world's habits and attitudes far too easily and thoughtlessly for granted. From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purchase The Commands of the Apostles and other books by Michael Phillips.…
 
Christians in all times have found this a particularly odious command. Many today manufacture a variety of justifications why in this or that case Christians are not obligated to heed the strict letter of its requirement. From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings ma…
 
We have spoken about unity within Christ's body as the fulfillment of Jesus' intimate prayer to his Father of John 17. But the harmony of humanity we are to exhibit as God's ambassadors to the world, and as avowed disciples of his Son, goes much further. From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More informatio…
 
Most of Jesus' Commands are reasonably straightforward, easy enough to understand, uncomplicated, unambiguous. Easy to obey--no. Easy to understand--yes. It is not usually a question of being confused about what is required. Rather it is a question of how serious we are about wanting to obey. From The Commands by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael K…
 
One of the first scriptures my mother taught my sisters and me was Romans 12:18. To this day the words are emblazoned on my memory where they were Scotch-taped to our refrigerator: If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all. From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on …
 
Unity is the great neglected virtue of the New Testament. It may, in fact, be the most important of all the virtues the church is to display to the world. From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purchase The …
 
We find ourselves here facing a sometimes confusing, often misapplied, and complex command. From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purchase The Commands of the Apostles and other books by Michael Phillips.…
 
This command contains two elements. One, when problems and conflicts arise in the church--deal with them. Two, when problems have to be resolved, don't involve outsiders. As much as possible keep them in the church. From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be f…
 
The great moral teacher interpretation of the life and impact of Jesus Christ is surely one of the most naive perspectives ever proposed for such an important historical figure. C.S. Lewis has memorably argued that anyone making the claims Jesus did must either be a lunatic, a madman, or what he claimed to be. It is not merely Jesus' claim to be on…
 
Paul wrote these words to sum up the 14th chapter of 1 Corinthians in which he had been setting forth guidelines for the use and operation of the spiritual gifts. From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purch…
 
At first read, this command seems so obvious as to be unnecessary. Who would choose to use a gift unwisely? From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purchase The Commands of the Apostles and other books by Mic…
 
It is occasionally easy to read Paul's words about the "weak on faith" from the self-aggrandizing perspective of my maturity. From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purchase The Commands of the Apostles and …
 
Encouragement is personal. This command clearly comes as a corollary to building up the body of Christ. It is not limited, however, to our relationships with Christians or a church environment. We are exhorted to encourage all men, all women, all children, in all circumstances. This is a 24/7 command. From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Ph…
 
The enormity of this Command is of such scope and magnitude that it is impossible to overstate. If Love is the first Command, this surely represents one of the most important dimensions of Love itself. Indeed, unity with our fellow man is one of Love's significant visible expressions. If we would "Be righteous," this is where it begins. From The Co…
 
The analogy of building is used throughout Scripture as symbolic of spiritual growth and development. It is an especially apt image with respect to the church. From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purchase…
 
Christian teaching is built on maturity not celebrity. Gray hair not star power is the guide for leadership in the church. From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purchase The Commands of the Apostles and oth…
 
The "young prodigy" and "famous star" syndromes represent constant temptations for modern Christendom, especially in an era of worldwide entertainment and media exposure. From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon …
 
We climax this series of commands to build mature beliefs (Hebrews 6:1: Let us...go on to maturity) with an exhortation that expands maturity out of the merely personal. From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon t…
 
It has been mentioned before that Jesus occasionally uses overstatement and exaggeration to get his point across. This is obviously again the case here. No one seriously believes this Command is to be obeyed literally. None of Jesus' own disciples, to our knowledge, obeyed this Command as it stands, nor did Jesus expect them to. From The Commands b…
 
The two "D's" we considered earlier are intrinsically linked--Discernment and Deception. Obviously they are opposites. It is discernment that guards against deception. From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to …
 
What was the favorite intellectual pastime of Christians? We all know the answer because we've engaged in it ourselves probably more times than we can count--arguing over doctrine. From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Vis…
 
It has been customary in recent years to equate what we call "discernment" with the spiritual gift mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:10. But discernment exists in a much broader and more life-encompassing context than what might be evidenced in a worship setting as a singular "gift." From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michae…
 
Three kinds of shallow beliefts are constant internal battles for the serious Christian. If we are not alert, they will infiltrate at every opportunity, and turn rigorous, practical, dynamic, growing faith into shallow, dogmatic, formularistic religion. From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information…
 
The Commands of Jesus seem to come in two broad categories: Those that are straightforward and relatively simple to obey...and those that are impossible to obey. From The Commands by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purchase The Commands …
 
It is customary to think of religious "legalisms" as superficial rites, rituals, and observances such as those Jesus identified in Mark 7. From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purchase The Commands of the …
 
There is an enormous difference between loving truth, loving doctrine, and loving opinion. It is fearfully easy, however, to confuse the three. From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purchase The Commands of…
 
Theological interpretations, doctrinal precepts, and individual spiritualizations abound to explain what it means to "build on a foundation" of Jesus Christ. From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purchase T…
 
What is knowledge of God? From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purchase The Commands of the Apostles and other books by Michael Phillips.Written by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. による
 
There are fewer more perplexing, misunderstood, misappropriated Commands in the Gospel than this. How many disappointments have been based on grandiose prayers for healing, for financial provision, for restored relationships, and for thousands of other good and worthy things... that have not happened? We have all experienced the ache, frustration, …
 
Speaking personally from the depth of my heart, I consider this among the most imperative of all the commands for our time. From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purchase The Commands of the Apostles and ot…
 
Few commands give such a wide berth to a diversity of interpretations as this. How do we define "spiritual warfare?" The question is complex and raises a multitude of scripturally entangling conundrums that are not simple to resolve. From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar…
 
If one were to formulate a perspective of What Christianity is from the preaching and teaching of modern evangelicalism, many might conclude it is a religion whose foundation is a Genie in a bottle ready and able to do man's bidding if we just rub the right place, while repeating the correct doctrinal incantations. From The Commands of the Apostles…
 
We are familiar with Paul's timeless words in 1 Corinthians 13, "Love...does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right." The NIV has it, "does not delight in evil." That simple word change may reveal a great deal about ourselves. From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and simil…
 
It is sometimes difficult to know how to live in the practical reality of Jesus' admonition in the latter half of Matthew 6: Consider the birds of the air and the lilies of the field. They neither sow nor reap, yet your heavenly father cares for them. So don't worry about what you shall eat or drink. We are all familiar with his words. But do they …
 
Humility is a quality of character and an attribute of Jesus' being that we can wear. From The Commands of the Apostles by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purchase The Commands of the Apostles and other books by Michael Phillips.…
 
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