• The future is as bright as God’s promises.

  • Hope in God. An anchor for the soul.

  • Prayer is climbing up into the heart of God.—Martin Luther

  • Put your hand in the hand of God.

  • Seeking first His kingdom.


User-friendly devotionals with audio

  • Denying Ourselves

    A compilation

    Audio length: 11:52
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    There’s an old story about a Roman soldier named Caius. He was one of the footmen in the ever-advancing Roman army. Caius had a sickness that he knew was terminal. He knew that there was no medicine or doctor, at least not one he could ever afford, that could reverse the course of his illness. Despite his condition, Caius continued to serve the empire as a soldier. In fact, he seemed to care little for his life and was often found in the thickest and bloodiest parts of the battle. Caius reasoned that death already had a hold on him, so he might as well bring down as many of Rome’s enemies as he could. And if he perished in the fight, it was just as well. He would be honored to die for the empire.

    Caius’ commander noted the fearlessness with which Caius fought and sought out the reason for his soldier’s valor. When he learned that Caius was terminally ill, the commander reasoned that certainly such a warrior was an asset to the empire, and he determined to seek out a cure for his soldier’s sickness. After conferring with the best doctors in the empire, a cure was found, and Caius’ health was restored.

    The commander was glad to have preserved such a worthy warrior, a soldier who had often been instrumental in the legion’s victories. However, a curious thing happened. Caius, who now had the prospect of a long and healthy life, was no longer found in the thick of the fray. Now that he had something to lose, he was no longer unafraid in battle. His desire to preserve his life made him less valuable in his post.

    When you think about people who have changed or impacted the world, a common thread that weaves its way throughout many of their lives is that they were not self-preserving. Jesus, His first disciples, the apostle Paul, Joan of Arc, Martin Luther, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Aung San Suu Kyi, Nelson Mandela, and countless others are known for their fearless commitment to their beliefs, regardless of personal cost.

    Paul said, “But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.”1 What gave Paul’s life value in his mind was not the promise of a long and comfortable life, but fulfilling the task that God had given him. To that end, he endured hardship and was beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, imprisoned, ridiculed, and finally executed.

    What Paul was trying to impress upon his listeners was the fact that we will never experience the satisfaction of knowing that we were used by God to the full if we are only out to preserve our lives. The resolve to live up to our personal calling will always come with some sacrifice or risk, but also with the reward of knowing our life counted for God.

    During the course of her trial, Joan of Arc said, “One life is all we have, and we live it as we believe in living it. But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief, that is a fate more terrible than dying.” When Martin Luther was standing before the Diet of Worms (1521), he also made a strong testimony of his dedication to his beliefs when he declared, “I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand; I can do no other, so help me God.”

    Of course, Paul, Martin Luther, and Joan of Arc each had a special calling and a God-given ability to fulfill their particular life’s work. God may not have called you or me to be a martyr, but He does call us to be courageous.

    When Jesus told His disciples that if they wanted to follow Him, they would have to deny themselves and take up their cross,2 I suspect the disciples didn’t fully grasp His meaning. After all, Jesus had not yet taken up His own literal cross. It is when they later reflected on what He had told them that these words would have an even more powerful impact.

    In that same talk, Jesus went on to say, “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.”3 I have found that it’s important for me to periodically ask myself if I am seeking to hold on to my life or to give it up for Jesus’ sake.

    This doesn’t mean that I need to seek to do the riskiest, most painful thing I can think of doing, but rather making sure that I’m not holding back from what God needs me to do, whatever that may be.—Mara Hodler4


    Self-denial for the Christian means renouncing oneself as the center of existence (which goes against the natural inclination of the human will) and recognizing Jesus Christ as one’s new and true center. It means acknowledging that the old self is dead and the new life is now hidden with Christ in God.5

    From the moment of our new birth into Jesus Christ, self-denial becomes a daily exercise for the rest of this life on earth.6 ... Only by God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit can we learn to deny self: “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”7

    Through daily self-denial and crucifying the flesh, our life in Christ grows, strengthens, and develops more and more. Christ now becomes our life. These famous words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer help us understand the meaning of self-denial: “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” A follower of Jesus must be prepared to die if death is where the path of discipleship leads: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”8

    Denying yourself means seeking the good of others before looking out for yourself.9 When Ruth followed Naomi, she practiced self-denial for the benefit of her mother-in-law.10 When Esther put her life at risk to save her people, she demonstrated self-denial.11

    When you are willing to sacrifice your time, energy, rights, position, reputation, privileges, comforts, and even your very life for the sake of Christ, you exemplify what it means to deny yourself: “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”12Got Questions13

    The deep joy of self-denial

    Jesus gives us commands—“demands,” we might call them. They are words issued to us from his comprehensive authority in all of heaven and earth, all linked together in some way, forming a beautiful tapestry of what it means to live under his lordship.

    But the question remains for us in how they are connected. How do we understand them in relation to one another? Take, for example, the commands to rejoice and renounce. Jesus tells us in Luke 6:22–23, “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.”

    This command is to rejoice. Paradoxically, we are blessed when we’re reviled on account of Jesus. And when that happens, “in that day,” Jesus tells us, we should rejoice and leap for joy. Why? Because our reward is great in heaven. ...

    Then Jesus says in Luke 14:33, “Any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” This command is to renounce. In fact, if you want to be a disciple of Jesus you must renounce all that you have. This is good old-fashioned self-denial—the stopping, quitting, halting of anything and everything that might impede our fellowship with God.

    So Jesus demands that we rejoice in our heavenly hope, and renounce all that we have. Rejoice and renounce. Is there a connection?

    It has to do with the true meaning of self-denial. In What Jesus Demands from the World, John Piper explains that the command to renounce all means to abandon our pursuit of everlasting joy in earthly things. It is, as Jesus says in Matthew 13:44, our selling all we have in order to buy that field which possesses a treasure of infinite value.

    “Renounce everything on earth,” Piper writes, “in order that you might have Jesus. ... Jesus’s demand for self-denial is another way of calling us to radically pursue our deepest and most lasting joy.”14

    So rejoicing and renouncing are two sides of the same coin. If we are to rejoice in our heavenly hope—the fact that our reward is great in heaven—it must be because we ultimately have renounced our vain hopes in the things of this world. … We renounce them, and we set our eyes on heaven, even through the things of this earth, for behold, “[our] reward is great in heaven.”—Jonathan Parnell15

    Published on Anchor August 2022. Read by Gabriel Garcia Valdivieso.

    1 Acts 20:24 NLT.

    2 Matthew 16:24.

    3 Matthew 16:25 NLT.

    4 Adapted from a Just1Thing podcast, a Christian character-building resource for young people.

    5 Colossians 3:3–5.

    6 1 Peter 4:1–2.

    7 Titus 2:11–13 NIV.

    8 Galatians 2:20.

    9 1 Corinthians 10:24.

    10 Ruth 2:11.

    11 Esther 4:16.

    14 Pages 85–86.

  • Aug 12 Six Approaches to Reaching People
  • Aug 9 Casting All Our Cares on Him
  • Aug 3 Making Sense of Unanswered Prayer
  • Aug 2 Freedom from Comparison
  • Aug 1 Hope in Heaven
  • Jul 28 Overcoming Grief in Times of Loss
  • Jul 27 The Clematis Vine
  • Jul 22 Preparing for Christian Persecution
  • Jul 21 Something to Be Done for Jesus

Directors’ Corner

News, writings and thoughts from TFI Directors

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Final Appearances of Jesus (Part 2)

    The Long Ending of Mark

    In the last chapter of the book of Mark (Mark 16), we read that Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome brought spices to Jesus’ tomb in order to anoint Him.1 When entering the tomb, they saw a young man (an angel) sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed.2 The angel instructed the women to “Go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.3

    It is at this point (Mark 16:8) that some translations of the Bible bring the Gospel of Mark to its end. However, other Bible versions include twelve more verses (Mark 16:9–20). These verses are referred to as The Long Ending. When they are included in Bibles today, they are usually printed in italics, and often have brackets at the beginning and end in order to set them off from the first eight verses of this chapter. Some early Christians, such as Justin Martyr (ca. 100–165), quoted Mark 16:20 in his writings, as did other first- and second-century Christian writers, so there is some basis for accepting them as original. However, these last twelve verses are absent from some of the oldest Greek, Latin, Syriac, Coptic, and Armenian manuscripts, so it is also possible that they were a later addition.

    Since some Bible commentators include these verses in their commentaries on the Gospel of Mark, and since The Long Ending is included in most Bibles, comments on these verses will be included here.

    Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept. But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.4

    We’re told that on Sunday, the first day of the week, Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene. The Gospels of Luke and John also tell of Mary Magdalene’s involvement in discovering that Jesus was no longer in the tomb, and her going to the disciples to tell them that Jesus’ body was missing. In the Gospel of Mark the disciples, who were mourning and weeping over Jesus’ death, refused to believe that Mary Magdalene had seen Him and that He was still alive. Their response echoes what is told us in the Gospel of Luke: these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.5

    After these things he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them.6

    This echoes what the Gospel of Luke tells of two disciples who were walking to Emmaus when they met Jesus on the road but didn’t recognize Him.7 We’re not told what His other form was when He appeared to them, nor whether they immediately recognized Him. Like the disciples who were walking to Emmaus, these disciples returned to where the rest of the disciples were in order to tell them they had seen Jesus, but the disciples didn’t believe them.

    Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen.8 

    When Jesus later appeared to the eleven as they were eating together, He reproached them for their doubts and their hard hearts. It’s hard to imagine that the eleven didn’t believe that their fellow disciples were telling them the truth, but considering all that had preceded—Jesus’ arrest, crucifixion, burial, and resurrection—it was probably a difficult and confusing time for the disciples.

    He said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”9

    Jesus expressed the commission to His followers as taking His message, the gospel, and sharing it with everyone, including Gentiles. The last words in the Gospel of Matthew express these instructions in a more detailed fashion. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.10 Preaching the message to the whole creation meant that Jesus’ message was to be taken beyond Israel, beyond Judaism, and shared with “all people.” The disciples were to share the gospel with everyone, everywhere.

    Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.11

    Faith and belief in Jesus are key to salvation. This point is made throughout the Gospels. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.12 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.13

    These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.14

    The promise of the signs which would accompany believers echoes what is stated in the book of John: Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.15

    The book of Acts also speaks about the fulfillment of the signs that Jesus said would accompany believers. Many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles.16 It also describes instances when the disciples would cast out demons and speak in tongues. One example is when the apostle Paul cast out a spirit from a woman.

    As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.17

    As for speaking in tongues, in the book of Acts we read that when the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.18

    The last two verses of The Long Ending of the Gospel of Mark say:

    So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.19

    This Gospel ends with Jesus’ ascension into heaven.

    The Ending of the Gospel of Matthew

    The last five verses of the Gospel of Matthew tell of Jesus’ commission to His disciples.

    Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.20 

    While the other Gospels tell of Jesus’ appearances in the area of Judea, the Gospel of Matthew only mentions the appearance of Jesus to the two Marys in Judea, and then focuses on Jesus’ presence in the area of Galilee.

    A few verses earlier, Jesus had instructed the women to “go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”21 Here we are told that Jesus had instructed the disciples to go to a specific mountain in Galilee. There is no way for us to identify this mountain, but the disciples were familiar with Galilee and knew the location Jesus was referring to. Once they were on the mountain, the risen Jesus appeared to them.

    Their response to seeing Jesus was to worship Him. This was a natural response on the disciples’ part, as He who had been crucified and was buried was now standing before them alive. He was stronger than death, so worshipping Him as their risen Lord was the expected response. However, we’re also told that some doubted, though we’re not told why they doubted or were hesitant. One author wrote:

    Perhaps they were not sure that the person they were seeing was the one who was crucified. Perhaps they were not sure that Jesus really was risen; they may have wondered whether they were seeing a vision, not a real person. Perhaps they were not sure that it really was Jesus who was before them.22

    In the Gospel of Luke the two disciples who walked with Jesus to Emmaus didn’t know who He was.

    Some authors state that it wasn’t any of the eleven who had doubts, but rather that some other believers were present, perhaps some of the 500 brothers whom the apostle Paul writes about in 1 Corinthians. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.23 In any case, we’re told that even though the disciples worshipped Him when they saw Him, some of them had some doubts.

    Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”24

    Jesus was likely a little distance from the disciples, but then came closer as He began to speak to them. He stated that things had substantially changed. In His resurrected state He was no longer a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief … stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.25 Now He had been given full authority in both heaven and earth.

    Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.26 

    Because all authority had been given to Jesus, He had the authority to commission the disciples to “go” and to “make disciples” everywhere. This direction differs from earlier in this Gospel, when Jesus instructed His disciples to Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans.27 Now they were to go and reach all nations.

    Jesus’ disciples were instructed to baptize believers in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—the triune God, the Trinity. Throughout the New Testament, references are made to the Trinity.

    May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.28

    Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.29

    Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.30

    There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.31

    We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.32

    The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”33

    Besides going out and making disciples, Jesus’ followers were to teach them to observe all that I have commanded you. Some Bible translations say teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.34 Believers are called to both teach and personally obey Jesus’ teachings, to apply them to their daily lives. Living and sharing the message of God’s love, of Jesus’ sacrificial death, and of His gift of eternal life is a commission for each of us.

    As we live our lives in love and service to God, as we do our best to share His message of love and salvation with others, we can rejoice and be at peace as we hear Jesus’ promise:

    Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.35


    Unless otherwise indicated, all scriptures are from the Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

    General Bibliography

    Bailey, Kenneth E. Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2008.

    Biven, David. New Light on the Difficult Words of Jesus. Holland: En-Gedi Resource Center, 2007.

    Bock, Darrell L. Jesus According to Scripture. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2002.

    Bock, Darrell L. Luke Volume 1: 1:1–9:50. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1994.

    Bock, Darrell L. Luke Volume 2: 9:51–24:53. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1996.

    Brown, Raymond E. The Birth of the Messiah. New York: Doubleday, 1993.

    Brown, Raymond E. The Death of the Messiah. 2 vols. New York: Doubleday, 1994.

    Carson, D. A. JesusSermon on the Mount and His Confrontation with the World. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1987.

    Charlesworth, James H., ed. JesusJewishness, Exploring the Place of Jesus Within Early Judaism. New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1997.

    Chilton, Bruce, and Craig A. Evans, eds. Authenticating the Activities of Jesus. Boston: Brill Academic, 1999.

    Edersheim, Alfred. The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah. Updated Edition. Hendrickson Publishers, 1993.

    Elwell, Walter A., ed. Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1988.

    Elwell, Walter A., and Robert W. Yarbrough. Encountering the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005.

    Evans, Craig A. World Biblical Commentary: Mark 8:27–16:20. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2000.

    Evans, Craig A., and N. T. Wright. Jesus, the Final Days: What Really Happened. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009.

    Flusser, David. Jesus. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, 1998.

    Flusser, David, and R. Steven Notely. The Sage from Galilee: Rediscovering JesusGenius. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2007.

    France, R. T. The Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2007.

    Gnilka, Joachim. Jesus of Nazareth: Message and History. Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 1997.

    Green, Joel B. The Gospel of Luke. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1997.

    Green, Joel B., and Scot McKnight, eds. Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1992.

    Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology, An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Grand Rapids: InterVarsity Press, 2000.

    Guelich, Robert A. World Biblical Commentary: Mark 1–8:26. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1989.

    Jeremias, Joachim. The Eucharistic Words of Jesus. Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1990.

    Jeremias, Joachim. Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1996.

    Jeremias, Joachim. Jesus and the Message of the New Testament. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002.

    Jeremias, Joachim. New Testament Theology. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1971.

    Jeremias, Joachim. The Prayers of Jesus. Norwich: SCM Press, 1977.

    Keener, Craig S. The Gospel of John: A Commentary, Volume 1. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2003.

    Keener, Craig S. The Gospel of John: A Commentary, Volume 2. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2003.

    Keener, Craig S. The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009.

    Lewis, Gordon R., and Bruce A. Demarest. Integrative Theology. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996.

    Lloyd-Jones, D. Martyn. Studies in the Sermon on the Mount. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1976.

    Manson, T. W. The Sayings of Jesus. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1957.

    Manson, T. W. The Teaching of Jesus. Cambridge: University Press, 1967.

    McKnight, Scot. Sermon on the Mount. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2013.

    Michaels, J. Ramsey. The Gospel of John. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2010.

    Milne, Bruce. The Message of John. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1993.

    Morris, Leon. The Gospel According to John. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1995.

    Morris, Leon. The Gospel According to Matthew. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1992.

    Morris, Leon. Luke. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1988.

    Ott, Ludwig. Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma. Rockford: Tan Books and Publishers, 1960.

    Pentecost, J. Dwight. The Words & Works of Jesus Christ. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1981.

    Sanders, E. P. Jesus and Judaism. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985.

    Sheen, Fulton J. Life of Christ. New York: Doubleday, 1958.

    Spangler, Ann, and Lois Tverberg. Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009.

    Stassen, Glen H., and David P. Gushee. Kingdom Ethics: Following Jesus in Contemporary Context. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2003.

    Stein, Robert H. Jesus the Messiah. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1996.

    Stein, Robert H. Mark. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2008.

    Stein, Robert H. The Method and Message of JesusTeachings. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1994.

    Stein, Robert H. The New American Commentary: Luke. Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 1992.

    Stott, John R. W. The Message of the Sermon on the Mount. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1978.

    Talbert, Charles H. Reading the Sermon on the Mount. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2004.

    Williams, J. Rodman. Renewal Theology: Systematic Theology from a Charismatic Perspective. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996.

    Witherington, Ben, III. The Christology of Jesus. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990.

    Witherington, Ben, III. The Gospel of Mark: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2001.

    Wood, D. R. W., I. H. Marshall, A. R. Millard, J. I. Packer, and D. J. Wiseman, eds. New Bible Dictionary. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1996.

    Wright, N. T. After You Believe. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 2010.

    Wright, N. T. Jesus and the Victory of God. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1996.

    Wright, N. T. Matthew for Everyone, Part 1. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004.

    Wright, N. T. The Resurrection of the Son of God. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2003.

    Yancey, Philip. The Jesus I Never Knew. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995.

    Young, Brad H. Jesus the Jewish Theologian. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1995.

    1 See Jesus—His Life and Message: The Resurrection (Part One).

    2 Mark 16:5.

    3 Mark 16:7–8.

    4 Mark 16:9–11.

    5 Luke 24:11.

    6 Mark 16:12–13.

    7 See Luke 24:13–16. See also Jesus—His Life and Message: The Resurrection (Part Two).

    8 Mark 16:14.

    9 Mark 16:15.

    10 Matthew 28:19–20.

    11 Mark 16:16.

    12 John 3:36.

    13 John 3:18.

    14 Mark 16:17–18.

    15 John 14:12.

    16 Acts 5:12.

    17 Acts 16:16–18.

    18 Acts 2:1–4.

    19 Mark 16:19–20.

    20 Matthew 28:16–17.

    21 Matthew 28:10.

    22 Morris, The Gospel According to Matthew, 745.

    23 1 Corinthians 15:6.

    24 Matthew 28:18.

    25 Isaiah 53:3–4.

    26 Matthew 28:19–20.

    27 Matthew 10:5.

    28 2 Corinthians 13:14.

    29 Matthew 28:19 NIV.

    30 2 Corinthians 1:21–22 NIV.

    31 Ephesians 4:4–6.

    32 2 Thessalonians 2:13.

    33 Luke 1:35 NIV.

    34 Matthew 28:20 NIV.

    35 Matthew 28:20.


  • Aug 2 Jesus—His Life and Message: Final Appearances of Jesus (Part 1)
  • Jul 26 Communication in Marriage
  • Jul 19 Jesus—His Life and Message: The Resurrection (Part 4)
  • Jul 12 The Blessing of Reminders
  • Jul 5 Jesus—His Life and Message: The Resurrection (Part 3)
  • Jun 28 Encouraging Others
  • Jun 21 Jesus—His Life and Message: The Resurrection (Part 2)
  • Jun 7 Jesus—His Life and Message: The Resurrection (Part 1)
  • May 31 Reminding God


  • Our fundamental beliefs are generally in accordance with those held by Christians the world over; we also embrace some untraditional doctrines. Our application of the foundation principle of God’s Law of Love that Jesus taught—to love God, and to love our neighbor as ourselves, which He said fulfills “all the law and the prophets”—is a defining feature of our lives and our faith.


  • The primary goal of the Family International is to improve the quality of life of others by sharing the life-giving message of love, hope, and salvation found in God’s Word. We believe that God's love—applied on a practical level to our daily lives—is the key to resolving many of society's problems, even in the complex and fast-paced world of today. Through imparting the hope and guidance found in the Bible’s teachings, we believe that we can work toward building a better world—changing the world, one heart at a time.


  • Pursuing God’s Spirit

    We desire to know and understand the truth of God’s Word, the essence of His divine nature. We value the foundational principles of the written Word, hearing from God, and following His guidance.

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Latest Series

Better Days Ahead
Faith-boosters for meeting the challenging times we are living in.
The Heart of It All: Foundations of Christian Theology
A book compiled from a series of articles covering the basics of Christian doctrine.
Living Christianity
Applying the teachings of the Bible to our daily lives and decisions.