The Blue Box Blog
by:
Bob Kinzel

Selective Outrage

We’ve discussed before how folks can be so outspoken against cruelty to animals, and at the same time, promote the killing of unborn humans. We’re witnessing the same kind of double-think in our nation’s current events.


Read more...

“I just couldn’t help myself!”

Yesterday we explored human diversity, and concluded that our unity depends, at times, upon our ability to “rein in” our own preferences and prejudices. But what if they are strong and ingrained? What if I’ve demanded my way for so long that I’ve become a little too aggressive in getting my own way?

Rather than resolving to turn over a new leaf or otherwise making promises you can’t keep, a good place to begin is the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23). The Spirit’s fruit is the evidence, or, evidences, of God’s life within us. It includes love, joy, and peace, along with patience and goodness.

But one of the more overlooked segments of spiritual fruit is the last one Paul mentions, namely, self-control. That one got my attention decades ago, during the charismatic revival when folks seemed to be saying that the Spirit made them do things, bypassing their will. They spoke of being “controlled” by the Spirit (often due to an unfortunate translation in Romans 8:6), as if we were passive.

The implications of the Spirit enabling and empowering our self-control are staggering and practical. I no longer can blame my temper on my ethnicity or family history. I don’t have to cave in to addictive behavior because of my personality type. I need not ask for power to resist temptation.

Instead, I can appropriate the power that the Lord already has given, in the person of His indwelling Spirit. I can “just say ‘No!’ when I need to do so (1 Corinthians 10:13). But this places the responsibility back on us, doesn’t it? We make the decision to believe God and answer the temptation, whatever it may be, in the power of God and the reinforcing of our will through His Spirit. It is grace, transforming grace, which enables and empowers and transforms my very will (Galatians 2:20).

This tracks precisely with what Paul says is evidence of our having God’s life within us as we, “through the Spirit, put to death the deeds of the flesh” (Romans 8:13). Just as Jesus came to take away our sin, He also came to give us power to oppose sin within us.

In other words, when God gives us a command, He empowers us to carry it out. As we believe His Word and appropriate His power, we can break away from the sins that bind us, even the sin of constantly demanding our own way.

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of
power and love and self-control.”
2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV)



Delightfully. . . and Dangerously Different

Our God is infinite, and therefore infinitely creative. One of the more creative things He did in Creation (from our very limited point of view) was to involve the various combinations


Read more...

God is love. . . but that’s not all.

Perhaps the most comforting three words in the Bible are in the sentence, “God is love.” The Apostle John emphasizes this quality of God, and reminds us that His followers are to imitate His example by loving one another (1 John 3:14-18; 4:7-16). In fact, it’s one indicator that we are, indeed,


Read more...

“More than conquerors. . .”

Many believers languish in the backwater lagoons of the Christian life because they never really lay hold on God’s promises. It is so easy to get caught up with the day to day scene (“seen”) that we miss the unseen. So we live in a kind of frustration,


Read more...

“Look and live!”

During their forty year sojourn in the desert, the nation Israel had several confrontations with God. There were various forms of discipline for this, none more memorable than this story in Numbers 21:


Read more...

Life’s P.U.D.’s

A few years ago I was reading a book by an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker when I came across a term I had not seen. His sentence was something like this: “It was a frustrating day of hiking, taken up mostly with P.U.D’s.” I was stumped.


Read more...

God’s Greatest Revelation

God’s greatest revelation is also His most complex attribute, and that is His righteousness. We miss this sometimes, for most people equate righteousness with justice, and while they are related, they are not the same. In fact many older theology books don’t list “righteousness” as an attribute of God,


Read more...

Happy New Year!

I was never very good at keeping New Year’s resolutions, so many years ago I made a New Year’s resolution not to make any more New Year’s resolutions, and so far, I’ve kept that one.


Read more...

The Last Blue Box

Of the year. . .

And what a year it was. We mused on this a few days ago, and it bears repeating. Many who are looking for a different and somehow miraculously better year in 2021 may be disappointed.


Read more...