“Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?” (Matthew 2:2).
“Are you Jewish?” The young man asked me. “No, I’m not,” I answered. “Well, you look a little Jewish,” and he muttered something about my nose as he walked away. I didn’t know there was such a thing as a Jewish nose, did you? God’s word tells us that we can’t know if someone is Jewish from their appearance. It says, “A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly; nor is circumcision only outward and physical. A man is a Jew if he is one inwardly and circumcision is circumcision of the heart by the spirit, not by written code.” (Romans 8:28). God’s word goes on to say, “But now a righteousness from God, apart from the law, has been made known. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Roman’s 3:21-22). “The law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).
We owe a great debt to the Jewish people. Through them, we received the Law and the Law was, and is, good, but the Law cannot save. Also, never let us forget as Christians, the disciples were Jews and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was a Jew.
To hate or discriminate against Jews or any other group of people, is a clear indication that you do not have the mind or the heart of Jesus. I hope you do not do it, or even listen to anyone who does.
Robert Wilkerson is a minister, Christian author, and co-founder of People For the Christian Way. firstname.lastname@example.org
A growing number of people in America seem to be church haters. Their main spoken objections to churches is that they are tax exempt. However, there are at least five reasons why they should be exempt.
- Churches do not sell a product.
- They exist only on donations. The money given has already been taxed.
- They perform acts of charity. They feed, clothe, counsel, educate, and provide shelter, housing, and medical care for the poor and needy. They provide children’s homes and orphanages. They provide shelter and food for the homeless and helpless. Church members continuously give millions of unpaid, volunteer hours to hospitals and nursing homes. It is impossible to list all the good that is done by churches and their people. In recent years, churches have formed disaster relief teams and go into areas after floods, tornadoes, and other things and provide help that the government doesn’t. The Saddleback Church went into Louisiana after the Katrina disaster. They sent 17 semi truckloads of food, diapers, and formula to help the needy. Each Monday, they help 300-400 families with bags of groceries and do many other charitable things.
- Any organization that exists off donations and does charitable work qualifies for tax exemption. If you take away that exemption from churches, fairness dictates that all charitable organizations should lose their exemptions as well. Wouldn’t that be a sad day?
- They make valuable contributions to society. Churches, synagogues, and mosques, through their teachings of the Law (The 10 Commandments), and love (the teachings of Jesus) contribute to the order and stability of society. Without such invisible under girding, people revert to the law of the jungle.
Robert Wilkerson is a minister, Christian writer and co-founder of People For the Christian Way.
Can you remember that old song we sang as kids, “Oh, You Can’t Get to Heaven”? It listed several different ways you couldn’t (such as a motor car, a boat, etc.). It was sung in fun, but there are several ways adults try to get to heaven that won’t work, and one way that will.
You can’t get to heaven by following the law. The law is good as a guide, but the law can’t forgive. As the Bible says, “The law was given by Moses, but grace (God’s unearned favor) and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).
You can’t get to heaven by following man. John the Baptist is referred to in the Bible as one of the greatest men, yet he said, “After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mark 1:7-8).
You can’t get to heaven by only belonging to a church. An old evangelist said going to a church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile. The question is not to what do you belong. It is to whom do you belong.
The one way that anyone and everyone, no matter how good or bad, can get to heaven is through Jesus Christ. He said plainly, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
Have you found the way yet?
Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister and Christian writer. He is the founder of People For the Christian Way. He can be reached through peopleforthechristianway.com
People for the Christian Way is dedicated to promoting the use of Christian principles, ethics and values. See our books and People For the Christian Way Devotionals
(I Corinthians 13:13).
The little dog came into my study and started making noises at the foot of my desk chair. When I turned, she jumped into my lap and started loving me, and I her. Then I started thinking:
“Thank you Lord for loving creatures
both great and small,
And thank you for loving people,
most of all.”
“But the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it” (Matthew 14:24).
Are you in trouble? If you are, you are not the first, and you won’t be the last. Life is full of trouble. For the disciples, trouble came in a fragile little wooden boat in the middle of an angry sea. For you and me, it comes in many ways. It may be through death of a loved one or the reality of our own mortality. It may be through divorce, job loss, loss of health, loss of income, or a number of other reasons.
You may ask why there are so many troubles. Sometimes, we bring trouble on ourselves by not obeying God (Jonah 1:3). And amazingly enough, sometimes we bring trouble on ourselves by obeying Him (Mark 1:45); going against what’s widely accepted but wrong (racism, lying, cheating, war, etc.). Sometimes we simply have trouble because we are human and its part of the human condition (Job 14:1).
If you’re in trouble—I have good news for you. Jesus cares! He loves you! He often comes in your darkest hour when you realize you can’t fix the problem.
When we ask for His help, He comes to us in different ways. He comes to us through the Bible; through prayer; and through other people.
The story of the disciples in the middle of a terrible storm is not just an ancient story. It is a sign and symbol of what He always does. He said, “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Robert Wilkerson is a minister and Christian writer. He is co-founder of People For the Christian Way.