Brotherly Love?

Brotherly Love?

“When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.” (Genesis 37:4) As you know, Philadelphia is “the City of Brotherly Love.” As of July 20 of this year, 1,289 people had been shot in Philadelphia so far, which […]

Our High Priest

Our High Priest

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15) Frederick Booth Tucker was a Salvation Army Officer in the late 19th century. One of his sermons in Chicago […]

The Perfect Sacrifice

The Perfect Sacrifice

“…by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” (Hebrews 10:14, NIV84) There’s an old story of a church in England with a stone archway inscribed with the words: “We preach Christ crucified.” Years passed and generations of preachers came and went. By then, the cross seemed too old-fashioned and […]

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 […]

Salvation in Jesus

Salvation in Jesus

When most of us in church talk about salvation, our discussion begins with a test…a test of morality. We ask certain questions of ourselves and sooner or later, even the most upright citizen answers incorrectly. Miss just one question and we fail. The penalty for failure is, of course, hell. Our ticket has been punched. […]

Justice and Grace

Justice and Grace

“When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will refuse to look at you; even if you offer countless prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood. “Wash yourselves. Cleanse yourselves. Remove your evil deeds from my sight. Stop doing evil. Learn to do what is good. Pursue justice. Correct the […]

What is “Doing Justice?”

What is "Doing Justice?"

“He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8, NASB95) There are a lot of competing theories in our world about how to “do justice.” The debate is part of the […]

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 – […]

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 […]