Fighting Against God

Paul of Tarsus was a disciple of Gamiliel, the famed Jewish rabbi.

This story in Acts 5, following the divine judgment enacted upon Ananias and Sapphira, has always been both chilling and instructive to me.  It says,

Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings! The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross. God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death.

But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. Then he addressed the Sanhedrin: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men.[Continue Reading…]

How to Properly Receive Jesus

The 73rd episode of my podcast has just been published.

Frank Viola

Episode Overview

  • Bob Crittenden of Faith Broadcasting pelts me with questions about how to properly receive Jesus Christ and why the story of Jesus in Bethany is so critical for Christians today.
  • Christian Book Distributors (CBD) discusses with me how the message of God’s Favorite Place on Earth changed my life.

Listen to the Episode

A New Book From My Friend Jon Acuff

Update: My new book, God’s Favorite Place on Earth has already reached #13 out of all 7 million books on Amazon.com. I want to thank you all for making this happen, as unbelievable as it is. If you haven’t picked up the book yet, do so now. Click GodsFavoritePlace.com.

My friend Jon Acuff also has a new book out. His book released a week before mine did. And since we be down wit friendship and all, yo, I’m pimpin’ his book in my blog hood. :-)

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I met Jon Acuff for the first time when we were speaking at a conference together in Colorado. Jon works with the Dave Ramsey organization, the famed radio host and financial guru.

Jon has a great sense of humor, which is in short supply among Christians today. So for that alone, I love the guy. He’s my kind a peeps, you know.

Johhny A’s  new book is called Start. Here’s a description.

“Jon Acuff used to be a Serial Quitter. He had eight jobs in eight years, constantly hoping the next one will be different. From writing advertising for The Home Depot, to branding for companies like Bose and Staples, he’s no stranger to the cubicle. This book is the result of that 12-year adventure in closing the gap between a day job and a dream job, something Jon did when he joined the Dave Ramsey team in 2010 to become a full-time author.”

Click here to order Start by Jon Acuff

Why Mary of Bethany is My Hero

This story of Mary of Bethany’s extravagant act of anointing Jesus for burial holds many profound lessons for every genuine Christian today.

The narrative contains the only sermon that Judas ever preached. Listen to his three-word protest. 

“Why this waste?” 

When Judas saw Mary’s worshipful act, he exploded with criticism, saying, “Why are you being so wasteful? You could have helped the poor with this small fortune!” 

But Mary stepped out in faith. Her act of extravagant love was shameless, selfless, and risked both embarrassment and the sneers and jeers of harsh criticism.[Continue Reading…]

Rejected in All Quarters But One

From the Lips of Lazarus . . .

It’s been more than thirty years since I met Him. The day He first entered our home is etched in my mind forever. I shall never forswear those memories.

My sisters, Mary and Martha, are no longer with us. Neither is my father, Simon, whom Jesus healed of leprosy.

Most of the Teacher’s close disciples, all of whom I had the privilege of knowing, have rendered their lives for His Name’s sake.

A number of them committed to the written page their own encounters with Him. Words that I’ve read and consider to be God-breathed. Since I am not sure how much longer I have left on this earth, I wish to leave behind the story of the times Jesus came to my hometown, Bethany, and of all the people He forever changed while He was here.

The One who lived before the earth existed spent only thirty three years on the planet. And God gave me the unique honor of sharing some of those years with Him.

I did not know it at the time, but the Galilean prophet was rejected everywhere He went. When I discovered this, the irony dawned on me.[Continue Reading…]

Anointed for Burial

From the lips of Lazarus . . .

Living after you have died is strange.

You appreciate life like never before. Martha’s lentil soup never tasted so good. Even the capers, which I had never relished, were suddenly exquisite.

It had been months since Jesus brought me back to the realm of the living. And as was His custom, the Teacher visited us once again on His way to Jerusalem.

We did not know it at the time, but this visit would mark the last week of His earthly life. That entire week, He would visit the holy city in the day and retreat in the evening to our home, where He and His disciples lodged overnight.

When we received word that Jesus was coming, my father decided to host a private dinner party to celebrate my resurrection. Jesus would be the guest of honor.

As usual, Martha served as hostess and Mary assisted. Before the banquet began, Martha insisted that I sit next to Jesus, which I gladly did. My father sat at the head of the table with Jesus at his right hand in the place of honor.

Our house was packed to the brim that evening. Voices rose to the roof. Bright colors of clothing dotted the public room. Some of our closest friends were present, including relatives from Bethany and Jerusalem. It was a reunion of everyone we held dear.

The dinner party was held six days before Passover. And Jesus brought all of His disciples.[Continue Reading…]

4 Ways in Which I Help the Poor

Before I plunge into today’s topic, I want to give a report that’s both sad and encouraging.

I’ve been blogging since 2008 and my recent post, Rick Warren’s Horrific Tragedy & the Sickening Response of Some Christians was the most viewed article that I’ve ever written, by far and away.

At the present time, that post has had over 4k Facebook shares.

The reason why this is sad is because of what I felt forced to write in that post. I was once again addressing the sickening behavior of “Christians” who eat their own. That would include the act of judging, misrepresenting, and even lying about their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

The encouraging part is that more and more evangelical Christians are fed up with the ugly behavior of their “professing” Christian friends who don’t wince at attacking other followers of Jesus. And they are no longer standing for it. See my post Warning: The World is Watching How We Christians Treat One Another, another article on the topic that has had massive views.[Continue Reading…]

New Concept in Christian Music – This is So Awesome

In May of last year, I spoke at a conference in Kentucky. I delivered 3 messages on God’s Favorite Place on Earth. Those messages gave the people who attended the conference an early peek at the book by the same name, which releases on May 1st.

It was the first time I shared the content of the book.

After one of the sessions of the conference, one of the young men in the audience announced that he had just written a song in his motel room during the afternoon break. The song was based on the messages I had delivered.

As we heard the song, we were all blown away. It was powerful and clearly anointed.

The young man’s name is Michael Sweet.

If you wait to order God’s Favorite Place on Earth between May 1st and May 7th, you will receive 25 bonus gifts from 15 different authors. Among them are all the messages I delivered at the “God’s Favorite Place” conference last year. In addition, you will also get to hear Michael’s song live when he first played it for all of us.

Michael has since perfected the song, added a new stanza, and professionally recorded it. You will also get the professionally recorded version as part of the 25 bonus gifts.

I’m confident you will be blessed by it.

Today, I interview Michael Sweet about how he wrote the song as well as his music ministry. The story is fascinating. Enjoy![Continue Reading…]