This week I’m sharing some thoughts about facing trouble and persecution for your faith. When you look at the New Testament, it was expected that Christians would experience this. An example is 2 Thessalonians 1:4-5. Paul writes, “Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you … Continue reading Prepare to be persecuted?
In Mark 4:16-17 Jesus says that some people will fall away from their faith because of the trouble and persecution they will experience because of it. Since they have “no root” he says, “they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.” In the New … Continue reading Expect to be different
Here in Canada it’s Thanksgiving Monday. I remember an episode of the iconic Little House on the Prairie. The dad and farmer in the family was Charles Ingalls, played by Michael Landon. It was harvest time. He walked through his bountiful field, swaying his hands through his beautiful crop. As he did so he looked … Continue reading A simple ‘Thank you, Lord’ — from Little House to yours
Last year a man came to a worship service I was leading because he was curious about this whole Christianity thing. The next week he emailed me because something had bothered him. He had read in the Bible that we should “fear God.” This made him uncomfortable. Perhaps he had read something like Psalm 33:8a … Continue reading “Fear” God. Really?
Have you heard the expression that “misery loves company”? It’s the idea that people who are miserable find some sort of comfort by being around other people who are miserable. I’ve also heard it used to express the idea that people who are miserable find some sort of comfort by sucking other people into their … Continue reading The opposite of ‘misery loves company’
Psalm 62:1 is so honest: “From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint…” It reveals total desperation, and a request for help from the only One who can truly give it. Sometimes you just don’t feel great. I get it. Maybe you also feel like you’re … Continue reading For when you’re struggling with contentment
In July 2007, 23 missionaries were held hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Two of those missionaries were killed by the Taliban before the rest were released back to South Korea. One of the survivors tells a little-known story about their time together in captivity as prisoners. On their last night together before they were … Continue reading A Bible in 23 pieces
The parable of the sower is one of Jesus’ most famous. It describes a farmer who sows some seed. The seed represents God’s word—in short, the message of and about Jesus. Some of that seed falls on a path and some birds quickly eat it up. Some of the seed falls on rocky terrain and … Continue reading Cherish the life-giving gift
Bob Russel tells a story about a farmer who once grew discontent on his farm.* The lake needed to be stocked and managed and the farm itself was an incredible amount of work. It was hilly, the cows needed tending, and the fences needed mending. He decided he was unhappy and wanted to move somewhere … Continue reading What you’ve already been given
This week we’re wrestling with worry. After all, if we don’t find a way to take it down, it will gladly do so to us! Today’s idea goes hand-in-hand with what we’ve talked about already—about rooting yourself in the voice of Christ, about using a worry filter, and about practicing gratitude proactively. Here it is: … Continue reading The virtue of material modesty