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 […]

Blessed are Those Who Mourn?

““Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:3–4, CSB) We often read Jesus’ famous Beatitudes as virtues for which we should strive. But is it good to be spiritually impoverished? Is it good to mourn? Maybe we’re reading […]

Love is the Answer

“But you, dear friends…” (Jude 20, CSB) That’s how Jude begins the final section of his short letter. Sometimes the most important words are the smallest and seemingly inconsequential. Imagine a scenario in which I tell my wife, “Babe, you’re beautiful, but…” I’d never say this, of course! She’d miss the fact that I called […]

Fire from Heaven?

“When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” (Luke 9:54) I’ve got to be honest with you: This is sometimes my default response when things don’t go my way. In this passage, a village refused Jesus entrance. They rejected […]

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 Gospel According to Mephibosheth

Paul Harvey once told the story of “The Man and the Birds (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddai8rkXWRs ).” It’s about a man who wanted to help a flock of birds, caught in a snowstorm, get into the safety of his warm barn.  He tried to shoo them…he tried to catch them…he tried to lead them with a trail of […]

Responding to Christmas

“When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about (Luke 2:15, NIV).” The shepherds give us a great example to follow when we hear God’s word.  They responded immediately.  We […]

Where’s the Real King?

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1-2, NIV) Try to imagine, for […]

The Cradle, Cross, and Crown

One of the reasons we love Christmas is because of tradition. There’s an old saying that tradition is a clock that tells you what time it was.  And for many of us, that time was our childhood…or when the kids were little…or before a loved one passed away. So it stands to reason that many […]

Plastic Jesus?

“But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, […]

Take Heart

“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? […]

Choking on Worry

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.“ (Philippians 4:6-7, NLT) Have you ever seen someone […]