Hosea 11 illustrates God’s persevering love for his children – a love so strong that it continues despite rebellion, a love that leads God to restore his people after he has punished them.
References to: Right Column
The letter to the Hebrews weaves theology and practical application. After each doctrinal section, it urges the readers to do something as a result. This often takes the form of “Therefore, let us do such and such.”
As part of that pattern, chapter 4 begins with the word therefore, meaning that the exhortations we read in chapter 4 are built on a point made earlier. So our study of chapter 4 must begin with a review of chapter 3. Chapter 3 tells us to look to Jesus, because he is superior to the angels and to Moses.
In Romans 5, Paul says that Christ saved us even while we were sinners. We are saved by grace, not by keeping the law. He ends that chapter by saying, “Where sin increased, grace increased all the more” (Romans 5:20). God’s grace is always larger than our sin.
"Sell everything you have and give to the poor," said Jesus to a rich man (Luke 18:22). Jesus' demand is shocking. Is there something wrong with owning things and having money? Did Jesus make similar demands of all his disciples?
We learn answers in Luke's Gospel. Both Luke and some of his readers had reason to be especially interested in Jesus' teachings about money. Luke had come from the wealthier part of society — his literary skills reflect an education available primarily to families who could afford private schooling.
Most Christians are in small churches. Though megachurches usually get more attention, small churches are the backbone of Christianity. People are more likely to come to faith in a small church than in a megachurch.
Of all congregations in the world, most are small, averaging less than 100 people in attendance, so it is important to understand how small churches function. They are not miniature imitations of multi-ministry megachurches. Rather, they have a dynamic of their own, often a slower pace and a more friendly face.
In one of Paul’s most emphatic statements, he declared, “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Corinthians 15:14). If Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead, everything else is a waste of words. If he is not alive right now, Christianity is a hopeless fraud. But the good news is that Jesus has indeed risen from the dead—as our Savior, and as the promise that we will also rise from the dead.