A Change in Perspective

“If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, so that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:3) Jesus said that to his disciples on the night of the “Last Supper.” He had just explained to them that he would be betrayed, denied, […]

Blessed are the Meek?

In his same Sermon on the Mount when Jesus said blessed are the peacemakers, he also said this: “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5, NIV84) Later, Jesus would describe himself with the same term: “Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in […]

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 […]

The Anatomy of Conflict

“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” (James 4:1) Conflict is the collision of differing desires – when someone wants his own way and someone else wants something different…and tension builds. Dr. David Cimbora of Biola University says there are several major differences in each […]

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

“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 […]

A Disciple’s Response to the Impossible

When it was late in the day, and the crowd of people listening to Jesus were hungry, Jesus’ disciples suggested Jesus send them away for dinner. This exchange followed: “But he answered, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “That would take eight months of a man’s wages! Are we to go […]

Wall of Hostility

“For he is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility…He did this so that he might reconcile both to God in one body through the cross by which he put the hostility to death.” (Ephesians 2:14, 16, CSB) The English word “hostile” describes an enemy and comes […]

Leaving the Lies Behind

“I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me. Save me, O Lord, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues.” (Psalm 120:1–2) Psalm 120 isn’t the happiest of psalms. The psalmist begins in “distress.” The psalm ends with the word “war.” But happy or not, it is honest…and quite relevant. We’re surrounded […]

Holy Week

It’s been a strange year, hasn’t it? February had 28 days and March had like 350 days. April may be even longer! With so many schedule changes, I often don’t know what day of the week it is. So, public service announcement: It is Wednesday. But not just any Wednesday…it’s Wednesday of Holy Week. Last […]

Week of Thanksgiving

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6) This is one of my favorite verses in one of my favorite passages of Scripture…and probably never more relevant than today! We are all learning a new vocabulary, aren’t we? COVID-19, Corona Virus, […]

Be Perfekt

“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48, CSB) There are some folks out there that will tell you: “Jesus was a great moral teacher who came to show us how to treat each other better. All we need from Jesus is his Sermon on the Mount.” While I agree that Jesus […]