Mary the sister of Lazarus “took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair” (John 12:3). That pure nard was equivalent in value to about $30,000! That’s how grateful she was to Jesus. She was trying to show her devotion with … Continue reading The best of us, not what’s left of us
In the previous devotional, I shared Mark Sayers’ idea that we are at the start of a new era of human history.* We aren’t there yet. In fact, we have one foot in the previous era, and one foot stepping into the emerging era. He calls this present moment a “gray zone.” There is increased … Continue reading The wilderness
Generally speaking, people want to be happy. But what is happiness, anyway? Is it related to status, money, or an all-expenses paid vacation? What about a lollipop while watching the sunset? I want to briefly share four “ingredients of true happiness” according to John Calvin, a theologian from the 1500’s. I value his insight not … Continue reading A recipe for national happiness?
Crowds can be fickle. One day they’re yelling “Hosanna!” and “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (John 12:13) and later in the week they’re crying, “Crucify him!” (John 19:15) If they weren’t yelling, they had already abandoned him. Where are we in the mix? Are we fickle or faithful? The people … Continue reading Fickle or faithful?
I live beside a cemetery. Some people might think that’s creepy, but not me. Maybe it’s because I’m not afraid of death. A few months ago I wandered through it, looking at the names on the headstones. Some had lived a hundred years, others a hundred days. It was a reminder about the shortness of … Continue reading People-pleasers or God-pleasers?
I’d like to give you a practical suggestion that may be helpful for your own devotional life. In Romans 6:17 Paul tells his readers this: “But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed … Continue reading A practical suggestion: Making those words your words
As we run with perseverance the race before us, Hebrews 12:2 says we are to be “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Let’s look at a few other translations of these words: The CSB translation: “keeping our eyes on Jesus”The NET: “keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus”The ESV: “looking to … Continue reading The wandering eye
Hebrews 6 describes some people who have come so far in their faith, but in the end reject God. Verse 6 has a strongly worded warning: “To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.” It is as if they are figuratively aligning themselves with … Continue reading When a loving heart manifests as growling teeth
They were tired. They were undergoing hardship. They were questioning Jesus. You get the sense that they didn’t think God was noticing their work, their love, and the help they were giving to others. ‘Was any of it making a difference?’ It’s fair to say that they needed some encouragement. So the writer of Hebrews … Continue reading God notices you
We’ve been talking about being God’s house. Hebrews 3:6 says: “we are [God’s] house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.” So yes, we are God’s house—but if we “hold firmly” to our confidence and hope in Jesus. Are you holding firmly to that confidence and hope? … Continue reading Hold firmly, as if someone was trying to snatch it away