Our Substitute

Our Substitute

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!” (Ephesians 2:4–5) I read a story recently of an ancient nomadic tribe in the great expanse of Siberia. The tribe had […]

Peacemaking and Rebuke?

Peacemaking and Rebuke?

I don’t know about you, but several of Jesus’ commands to his disciples make me uncomfortable. Here’s one: “Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to […]

When Conflict Strikes

When Conflict Strikes

Job’s friend Eliphaz said: “…humans are born for trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.” (Job 5:7) And it often seems that trouble comes out of nowhere, doesn’t it? A spouse suggesting divorce. A pink slip with 20 minutes to clear out your desk. A call from the principal…or from jail. Even in church – […]

Loving the Unlovely

Loving the Unlovely

“But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:27–28) In our pursuit of “waging peace” – being peacemakers in a world of conflict – we eventually have to come to grips with […]

The Heart of Reconciliation

The Heart of Reconciliation

“Let all bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.” (Ephesians 4:31–32) I can’t tell you how many people have come into my office over the years for prayer […]

Empowering Others

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32, NIV) You might remember this moment: Simon promised Jesus that, though others might abandon him in his hour of need, Simon […]

Broken

“While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.” (Mark 14:3, NIV) The week before Jesus’ death, he […]

The Joy of Forgiveness (1 John 1:9)

“The Secret of Joy” (2 Cor. 8:1-4)

Most, maybe all, of us have sinned more often and more grievously than anyone knows … I don’t know what skeletons you’d rather keep hidden in your closet, but God does. And he’d like to clean that closet out for you.

But Christ…! (Heb. 9:11)

“The Secret of Joy” (2 Cor. 8:1-4)

The Bible and history are divided into two parts by two words: “But Christ…” The same two words divide our lives into two segments.

When Others Fail You (2 Tim. 4:16-17)

“The Secret of Joy” (2 Cor. 8:1-4)

A major source of such forgiveness and grace is your deep realization of how much and how often you’ve been the recipient of God’s forgiveness and grace: “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32).

Forgiving Others Ain’t Easy

“The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.“ (Luke 17:5-6, NIV) We just love that verse, don’t we?!  The disciples utter a beautiful […]