When we started GraceLife© in 1990 our intention was to teach through the Bible methodically and inductively. We had started doing that almost 20 years earlier in churches, conferences, study groups and on radio and television and wanted to move in the direction of publishing books and other materials that would help Christians in their lives and ministries. Then we were introduced to the World Wide Web in 1995 as part of a project at work. The Internet opened a new opportunity to publish Christian materials and GraceLife Thoughts was born.
GraceLife Thoughts started with short articles about living life based on the Grace of God. Those “short” articles grew longer and longer through the years and many became series and eBooks. Some are verse-by-verse studies of books of the Bible. Some are topical studies from the Bible. An important point in all of our studies is to think contextually. That’s the foundation of methodical and inductive Bible study that leads to rightly dividing the Word of Truth. Text and context.
I tell you that to tell you this. We’ve decided to return to our “roots” and publish shorter articles as we did many years ago. We’ll continue to write the longer studies, including series and eBooks, but we thought it might be helpful to also offer shorter articles that can be read in just a couple of minutes.
We’ve received feedback from readers recently about wanting shorter studies and we want to help make that happen. However, our desire is not to write Christian ‘devotionals.’ There are plenty of devotionals available to Christians – some good, some not so much. What we want to do is help Christians think about what’s really important in living lives committed to God. Thinking, I think, is what Christians need right now. We need to think carefully and critically about what we believe and do.
Here’s why I say that.
I’m concerned about the condition of modern Christianity. We are about eight years away from considering and celebrating two thousand years since Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Son of Man, died on the Cross, was buried, rose from the dead and was seen alive by hundreds of people. Those of us who make up the visible Church on earth need to do some serious thinking about where we are after two thousand years.
The fact that so many people who call themselves by the name “Christian” do not believe in the most basic tenets of the Christian Gospel is sobering, heart-breaking and dangerous. How did we get here? Jesus and His apostles warned us about times like this in the life of the Church and how to deal with it, so let’s pay attention.
Serious thinking can and should lead to serious course adjustments for all of us. If we take an unbiased (as unbiased as we can as flawed human beings) look at the spiritual and physical condition of our world and the spiritual and physical condition of the Church on earth, I think we’ll find that we are in great need of a major course adjustment. That’s the reason to return to our roots as God’s people on earth and that is a driving force behind our published studies – short and long.
We also need to return to the Revelation God has given us. I’m often reminded of something Moses wrote and something Jesus said:
The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever ... Deuteronomy 29:29
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Revelation 2 & 3
God has many secrets. Those secrets belong to Him. God has also revealed many things to us and those revelations belong to us and our children forever. The Spirit of God speaks those revelations to us as often as we hear them and think about them. Jesus repeated that phrase to all seven churches in Revelation – those that were obedient and those that were not obedient. What do you think Jesus is saying now? If you have an ear, if you’re listening, “hear what the Spirit says.” When the Eternal Son of God repeats something like that seven times to seven churches in the same context – it’s probably wise to pay attention and do what He says.
Revelation is simply that which is revealed. Whatever God has revealed to us belongs to us and to our children. Our prayer is that both our longer and shorter articles will inspire you to think carefully and critically and to “hear what the Spirit says.” Our prayer is that pastors and other church leaders take stock of where they are leading the Church that God’s Son is building. We need to work “with” Jesus – not “against” Him.
How often will we publish shorter GraceLife Thoughts articles? Our objective is to be regular with them. Our goal is every other week – probably on Tuesdays.
Please read and share both the short and long articles with family and friends as God leads. Our desire is to testify about the Grace of God and to glorify His Holy Name.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.