First 15: Tuesday, October 27, 2020

October 27, 2020

Other Bible translations translate the word “unwholesome” in verse 29 as “rotten, corrupt, or evil.” I am reminded of a passage from John Wesley’s Journal entry from October 6, 1774, where he is advising others on how to vote in the upcoming elections. Wesley says, “I met those of our society who had voted in the ensuing election and advised them

First 15: Monday, October 26, 2020

October 26, 2020

The Apostle Paul is concerned about harmful comments that cause pain for God and division in the church. Paul pleads with us to remember who we are. We are God’s beloved, sealed with the constant indwelling of the Holy Spirit and marked as followers of Jesus Christ.

First 15: Saturday, October 24, 2020

October 24, 2020

In our revised format for First 15, each Saturday we invite you to look back on how God has spoken to you during your reflection throughout the previous week.

First 15: Friday, October 23, 2020

October 23, 2020

Paul doesn’t condemn anger? Isn’t anger a sin? No, certain things, situations ought to make us angry. Homelessness, injustice, oppression, abuse, inequity, etc. should make us angry. Ask, “Why am I angry?”.

First 15: Thursday, October 22, 2020

October 22, 2020

Have you ever been truly angry? Have you ever felt bad about getting angry, and if so, why?

First 15: Wednesday, October 21, 2020

October 21, 2020

I find it interesting that Paul does not say, “Do not get angry,” but rather “in your anger, do not sin.” Anger is a normal human emotion; to deny it or suppress it is not healthy, and will only cause more problems at some point. In the context of these verses, Paul gives us some help with how to handle our anger, particularly within the church.

First 15: Tuesday, October 20, 2020

October 20, 2020

Even before the fall, we were made to work. There is something sacred about honest work. Using the gifts God has given us to provide for our own needs and to care for and bless others is a shared responsibility we are given from our Heavenly Father. In an ancient context, this work almost always meant farming of some kind.

First 15: Monday, October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

The Apostle Paul’s soul training practice of not letting “the sun go down while you are still angry” is pretty easy to remember.

First 15: Saturday, October 17, 2020

October 17, 2020

In our revised format for First 15, each Saturday we invite you to look back on how God has spoken to you during your reflection throughout the previous week.

First 15: Friday, October 16, 2020

October 16, 2020

Verse 15 sets this passage up by saying, “If you really listened to Jesus, believe the truth is in Jesus…” CHANGE! Change by renewing your thinking, your mind.

First 15: Thursday, October 15, 2020

October 15, 2020

Have you ever wondered what “repentance” means? I’d guess many of us conflate repentance and remorse. I certainly have. I’ve often thought of repentance, like much of the Christian life, as a matter of correcting behavior.

First 15: Wednesday, October 14, 2020

October 14, 2020

Have you ever done something you later realized was not how you wished to behave, or said something and wondered where it came from? As Paul alluded, we can’t understand our behavior, words, and thoughts until we understand the heart and mind.

First 15: Tuesday, October 13, 2020

October 13, 2020

The putting off of the old self and putting on the new is a process of refinement. God saves us by grace through faith and then sanctifies us. To be sanctified is to grow in holiness, becoming more and more like Jesus. There is no such thing as salvation without holiness, yet we can all act like children sometimes, wanting dessert before the meal.

First 15: Monday, October 12, 2020

October 12, 2020

In middle school, I began “trying on” different versions of who I thought I wanted to be. This was expressed through the clothes, friends, attitudes, values and behaviors I chose. Even as adults we can drift in and out of false identities as we seek to “find ourselves.” Self-drifting can lead to confusion and painfully destructive behaviors.

First 15: Saturday, October 10, 2020

October 10, 2020

In our revised format for First 15, each Saturday we invite you to look back on how God has spoken to you during your reflection throughout the previous week.