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Author: Austin Collins

Caring for Others Through Church Membership 

One of the marks of saving faith is a deep love for others. And love always manifests itself in action. If I love someone, I am compelled to care for them not just in word, but also in deed. Galatians 6:10 says, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”  Our lives present us with thousands of opportunities to do good to others. There are so many people out there who need help, who I can serve, who I can care for. Where do I start? Well, Paul says we should do good to everyone, but he then focuses us in on a particular group of people to prioritize — the church.  Why the emphasis and priority on church members over outsiders? One reason is because this pattern of doing good first to the church reflects God’s special...

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Caring for Others through Hospitality

Love in Action One of the most often repeated commands in the New Testament is to “love one another.” But we live in a world where where it seems like no one shares the same definition of “love.” If you were to search online for examples of love, you’d come up with hundreds of stories, quotes, and pictures trying to grasp at what love really is. We ask, is love just a feeling? An emotion? Is it something you give or take? Is it something you do? Is it just some abstract, philosophical idea? How can I know love when I see it? So, in all this confusion, how are Christians supposed to go about loving others if we’re not even sure what love itself is? This problem gets worse when we find out that over one-third of the “one another” commands in the Bible are about loving one another. Jesus himself...

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Angels, Demons, and Spiritual Warfare 

The camera zooms in for a barrage of close-up shots. You hear swords clanging, guns cocking, and body armor strapping. The snare drums rattle, and the music swells.  Finally, the camera pulls back, and there he is– the hero fully locked and loaded. He’s ready for battle, weapon in hand, tools and ammo strapped to his chest, as he gloriously stares into the distance.  Every good action movie has one of these montages. They’re cliché for a reason. They excite you as a viewer and let you know that fights, explosions, and bravery are just around the corner.  And just like the action movie hero, Paul paints a picture in Ephesians 6:10-20 of a Christian suiting up for battle “against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians...

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Biblical Hospitality: Practices of Grace (Part 2)

Practicing hospitality is a way to share God’s grace and bless others. But practicing hospitality requires just that – practice. If hospitality isn’t part of your thought patterns or family’s regular routines, then knowing where to start or how to do it might feel overwhelming. Biblical hospitality presents two challenges to us. First, hospitality in the Bible is a command. It’s not optional. Almost every instance of the word “hospitality” in the New Testament is connected to an imperative (Cf. Hebrews 13:2, 1 Peter 4:9). Second, hospitality is active. Romans 12:13 says we are to “seek to show hospitality.” We can’t just idly sit around and wait for opportunities for hospitality to come upon us, though they might. We are to be looking out for occasions to open our homes and hearts to others. It’s...

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Biblical Hospitality: Avenues of Grace (Part 1)

In this two-part blog, we’ll first look at what the Bible teaches about what hospitality looks like. The next installment will contain a list of practical helps and tips for engaging in real-life hospitality in your home. Biblical Hospitality It’s a scary word – hospitality. It’s a word that often strikes fear in the hearts of Christians. We’re busy, and our homes can be messy, and – oh no – our kids just drew 13 smiley faces on the wall with permanent marker. “Hospitality” conjures to mind elegant table settings, fanciful three-course dinners, and spotless homes with well-mannered children. But thankfully, that’s not what biblical hospitality has to look like. In a single verse, Paul provides for us a biblical definition of hospitality. In Romans 15:7, he says to “welcome one another as...

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