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 – […]

Spiritual Snowflakes

“The Lord asked, “Is it right for you to be angry?” (Jonah 4:4) Ever get mad at God? There are several issues going on in Jonah’s life at this moment (we’ll discuss them Sunday), but one of the issues is entitlement: the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment. Jonah had […]

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 […]

Pride and Prejudice

“My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism.“ (James 2:1, NIV) One of the problems with the church in the first century (and still today) is prejudice.  James begins chapter two with a clear injunction against it, reminding Christians that it is incompatible with the Christian faith. And just to […]

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 […]

Face It: We All Stumble (James 3:2)

You and I can be surprised or depressed by how often we stumble or how badly. God isn’t. “The Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For he knows what we are made of, remembering that we are dust” (Psa. 103:13-14). Our blunders haven’t discouraged Him…

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

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).

No Smiting Allowed (1 Tim. 5:1-2)

What do you do if a fellow Christian sins in a way that hurts you or others? The old word “smite” might come to mind, but it’s not allowed. There’s a much better way both to change them and to honor Christ…

Bread of Life

“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.” (Mark 6:34, NIV) Outside of Jesus’ resurrection, the only miracle recorded in all four Gospel accounts is Jesus’ feeding of the 5,000.  And of those accounts, only […]

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? […]

No Regrets

“So he got up and went to his father.” (Luke 15:20) The word regret carries the etymological idea of looking back to weep.  Repent means to regret to the point of amending one’s life.  Obviously, the difference is huge.  And the key is “change.” This Sunday we’re looking at the story Jesus told of the […]