Who is this Guy Sosthenes?

Paul talks of his Christian brother Sosthenes, but there's an interesting twist to this story. This 1-minute devotion explains. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible

Sometimes big stories are written between the lines of Scripture. For example, Paul writes 1 Corinthians with his Christian brother Sosthenes.

Who’s Sosthenes?

In Acts 18 angry Jewish religious leaders in Corinth brought Paul to the governor, hoping to have Paul punished for preaching the gospel. 

But a group of Greeks were fed up with the Jewish bigotry, so they beat up the Jewish leader…a man named Sosthenes. 

Scripture doesn’t tell us what happened afterwards, but I imagine Paul returned good for evil (Romans 12:21) by helping his enemy Sosthenes.

And Sosthenes went from Christ-hater to Christ-follower. 

If this seems too good to be true, remember this:

Paul was an outspoken Christian-hater before he became an outspoken Apostle of Christ.

Journalist Lee Strobel decided to disprove Christianity and ended up writing about its validity.

Every day Jesus turns drug addicts, drunks, prostitutes, criminals, self-righteous fools, worldly intellectuals, and ordinary sinners into children of God (1 John 3:1).

It's too good to be true, but we serve that kind of God!

Paul talks of his Christian brother Sosthenes, but there's an interesting twist to this story. This 1-minute devotion explains. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible

Bible Love Notes

Straining Gnats

This 1-minute devotion suggests 6 ways that modern Christians are straining out gnats but swallowing camels. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible

Does Matthew 23:24 have any application to us as Christians?

“You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.”

Because the law identified the gnat as “unclean,” the Pharisees would strain their drinks to prevent swallowing one by accident. 

They didn’t actually eat camels, the largest unclean animal, but Christ used this phrase to point out the way they emphasized small things while neglecting big ones like cheating, lying, and self-righteous pride. 

So how might Christians strain out the gnat but swallow the camel today?

1. By following some of God’s commands while ignoring others.

2. By focusing on certain Bible translations or non-essential doctrines, causing divisions.

3. By sharing God’s truth in harsh ways.

4. By emphasizing grace without obedience or obedience without grace.

5. By calling ourselves Christians but having no time for Bible study or prayer.

6. By showing more interest in what people think than what God thinks.

Let’s be careful not to swallow camels, dear Christians.  
------------------------- 
What Scripture says about each of the points above:

1. Christ commanded us to teach everything He taught (Matthew 28:18-20), Paul was careful to preach the whole gospel (Acts 20:27), and Jesus said those who love Him will obey His commands (John 14:21).
See: How Much Can a Christian Sin?

2. Scripture warns us not to focus on non-essential disagreements (Romans 14).
See: Handling Non-essential Beliefs Humbly and Biblically.

3. Colossians 4:6 tells us to share the "salt" of the gospel with grace. 
See: Seasoned with Salt.

4. We're saved by grace alone, but our salvation always results in obedience and good works (Ephesians 2:8; James 2:17).
See: Faith + Nothing = Salvation + Works.

5. Scripture is more important than our daily bread (Matthew 4:4) and we should never stop praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
See: Patio Time with God.

6. Paul made it clear that we answer to God, not man (Galatians 1:10).
See: 4 Signs We're People-Pleasers.


This 1-minute devotion suggests 6 ways that modern Christians are straining out gnats but swallowing camels. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible

Bible Love Notes

I'm Glad God Doesn't Make Sense to Me

This 1-minute devotion offers 3 reasons we should be glad that God doesn't make sense to us. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible

When bad things happen, most of us struggle because it seems like God doesn't make sense.

But the longer I’m a Christian, the more I realize that God doesn’t make sense even when good things happen.

And I’m glad He doesn’t!

If God always made sense:

1. We’d be His equals.
If we fully understood God, He'd be finite like we are. But we serve an infinite God who will forever be revealing new and wonderful things about Himself. As Ephesians 3:18-19 says, we will never fully know the extent of His love for us.

2. We’d be lost.
If God made sense to us, He wouldn't have sacrificed Himself for us sinful, ungrateful human beings (Romans 5:8). But He did!

3. We’d be bored.
God is both known and unknown (Deuteronomy 29:29), seen and unseen (1 Peter 1:8). He gives our lives understanding and mystery (1 Timothy 3:16), principles and promises (2 Peter 1:3-11), trials and joys (1 Peter 1:3-7). These things add depth, meaning, and purpose to our lives.

I’m glad that God doesn’t always make sense. How about you?

This 1-minute devotion offers 3 reasons we should be glad that God doesn't make sense to us. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible

Bible Love Notes
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