Jesus did not use parables to teach them about the cross, he spoke plainly. It was his life that would be the lesson, his experience that would be their teacher. The Way of the Cross is always so. It is clear and plain and needs no fancy words. It is a path which we must walk, not endlessly discuss. It is the dust of the road on the way to Jerusalem that is the aroma of real life. The question is…and always has been…will we follow?Read More
When I was a young pastor, full of ideals, studying at a great seminary, wondering what the Lord had in store for me, I used to pray that God would show me where the fighting was the fiercest, the issues essential, where lives were being transformed, and put me right there in the middle of it. It took me a while to understand that all that came from arrogance and that I was woefully unprepared for ministry, that I was educated far beyond my obedience, that I was easy prey for the schemes of the Devil.Read More
Money may make the world go round, but love is what makes it all worthwhile. Without love, without relationships it just isn’t worth the trouble. Everybody knows that.
People don’t wish that they spent more time at work or made more money when they are on their deathbed. They just want to be with their loved ones. They wish with all their heart that they could recapture those wonderful moments with their children on Christmas eve when they were young. They regret the hurts and misunderstandings that still hover over their heads and relationships. They want nothing more than that their estranged children, their brother, their ex-wife or friend would come back, that somehow, someway, a miracle would happen and love would be in the air, that Christmas would come in the middle of summer, something, anything that would close the distance and heal their hearts and make it better again.
So my daughter and I were on our way to the mall the other day to watch a movie. I’m not sure why but she asked me a question about something I was writing about and I decided to ask her the “Chicken and the Egg” question. It’s a good question.
“What came first, the chicken or the egg?”
“That’s easy,” she said. “The chicken, of course. God had to create a chicken before you can have a chicken lay an egg.”
Today I want you to help me solve a mystery. It is a mystery, I suppose, of our own making but it is a deeply shocking revelation of the human heart. I know, I know, it’s nothing new. The Bible says that the “heart is deceitful above all things” (Jeremiah 17:9 NIV). And that especially applies to mine. The mystery is really about the ways my heart is deceitful, the manner in which my spiritual blindness manifests itself and what I can do about it. Let me try to describe the problem in some more detail….Read More
Do you have ears to hear? I hope so. This is important. Discipleship is serious business. Many churchgoers will simply not make it to glory because they did not take discipleship seriously. Yes, it is an expression of your walk with God and not a pre-requisite for salvation, but that is pretty serious stuff. If the quality of your walk with God does not look something like what Jesus expects, then shouldn’t you ask yourself whether or not your weak-kneed, half-hearted attempts at church work is more an expression of a religious spirit and not true discipleship? This is the “heavy” stuff and Jesus is pretty blunt about what he expects from us.Read More
The problem with Christianity is that it’s dangerous. I’ve talked with lots of people who were not Christians and they all agreed. But not for the reasons you might think. They all say the same thing. Christianity is dangerous because it teaches that there is a judgment after death. If you are a non-believer, a secular humanist, you generally believe that there is nothing after death. You just die. Like turning off the TV, your consciousness just stops, goes out, loses power and disappears. That’s it.Read More
“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” You can imagine the consternation, the concern, the fear his words must have evoked. They were no doubt taken quite literally since Jesus, himself, not only predicted his death but the manner of his death by crucifixion. And they would no doubt be included. Full of fear but staying the course. Trusting in him.Read More
Just when Peter is on a roll, he puts his foot in it. Badly. What in the world is he thinking? Is he really “rebuking” Jesus? He does it quietly, out of earshot of the other disciples, but they know what’s going on. They feel the same way, no doubt.Read More
Not many people realize that after feeding the 5000, there was a group of people who intended to come and force Jesus to become king (John 6:15). Jesus slips away by himself and then, that night he walks on water to catch up with his disciples during the storm. On the other side of the lake a lot of these same people found him again.Read More
I, Gabriel, the archangel of God, bear witness…. Lucifer unsheathed his great sword and raised it toward heaven with both hands and threw back his head to let loose a demonic scream. ¨This soul is mine!¨ Jerusalem, 66...Read More