Let’s take a look at how Jesus’ character is manifested through some of the key events in His life.
Born in a barn
[Mary] wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.—Luke 2:7 ESV
Being a Christian can feel like an uphill fight, because much of what Jesus taught goes against human nature. Look at the list below and ask yourself if what Jesus said comes naturally to you.
Be right with God.
He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.—Proverbs 28:13
If our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.—1 John 3:21
The Bible records many instances of Jesus praying.Sometimes He prayed all night.1 Other times He got up before dawn to prayalone.2 Occasionally He prayed in front of His followers as an example to them.3
He prayed for His disciples and for all of us who would come to know Him throughout the ages.4 He offered prayers of praise and thanksgiving to His Father.5 He also prayed in times of anguish and personal difficulty.6
One definition of tolerance is “a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one’s own.” It’s fairly easy to be tolerant of others when your differences are minor; it becomes more challenging when the differences are major and there is little common ground.
God wants us to live at peace with all.
The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born.—Leviticus 19:34 NIV
The Bible is much more than a history of God’s dealings with individuals, peoples, and humankind in general, interspersed with a number of prophecies about future events. It was also written for now—whether “now” is AD 112, 1112, or 2012.
What direction, comfort, or assurance does the Bible have to offer? The following worries and troubles resonate with many of us today, and the Bible addresses them all.
In Acts chapter 17 we read about apostle Paul’s first experiences in Thessalonica and Berea, two cities in what is modern-day Greece. Both cities had Jewish populations, synagogues, and apparently a number of prominent Greeks who had converted to Judaism.
In Thessalonica, “as was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. ‘This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,’ he said.”1 Some of his listeners were persuaded, but others were not. Those who weren’t stirred up persecution, and Paul and Silas fled to the nearby city of Berea.
1 Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
Praise Him in the heights!
2 Praise Him, all His angels;
Praise Him, all His hosts!