Jesus healed a man who was born blind. This irked some of the Pharisees. They peppered the man who was healed (and his parents) with questions, trying to discredit the man or the miracle. Quite understandably, he got tired of repeatedly explaining how it happened. “I have told you already,” he said, “and you would … Continue reading Will you knock in vain on a closed door?
What did Stephen say in the very moments in which he was being killed (by stoning) for his faith? Let’s listen in to Acts 7:60: “Then he fell on his knees and cried out, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’” Picture the scene. While he was being pelted with stones by grown men, … Continue reading His love was greater than his fear
If someone gave you a compliment, and then someone else gave you a criticism, which would you spend more time thinking about? What if you got an A in geography and a D in science? Thomas More said: “We write in the sand the benefits we receive, but injuries upon marble.”* It’s a poetic way … Continue reading Writing benefits in sand, injuries in marble
It is Shrove Tuesday? Or Pancake Tuesday? Let me answer that question with another. Is Christmas about the birth of Christ, or about Santa? Of course, it’s about the birth of Christ. But the headliner tends to get sidelined in an increasingly secular culture. Now, before I sound ornery, it’s not like Shrove Tuesday is a … Continue reading Pancake vs Shrove Tuesday
In Luke 7:41-42, Jesus told a story about two people who had their debts forgiven. One of them had a particularly big debt erased. As a result, they reeeeeeaaaally loved the person who forgave them. No kidding! In verse 47, Jesus summarized his point like this: “whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” Or, put … Continue reading Forgiven people love people
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32). There’s a medieval story about two monks. They came to a choppy river that was very fast moving, but … Continue reading The baggage of bitterness
Today is Shrove Tuesday. But what is it all about? Lent is the time of spiritual preparation leading up to the main event in the Christian faith: Easter. Shrove Tuesday is the day before Lent begins. The name comes from a practice in England to “shrive” on this day: seeking and receiving forgiveness from God … Continue reading Shrove Tuesday explained
No matter how often we’re told otherwise, it’s easy to slip back into the thinking that God only loves us if we do a really, really good job of loving him back. All the time. ‘If we’re really bad,’ we think, ‘he won’t forgive us.’ ‘If we miss the mark, have an off day (or … Continue reading God’s grip on you—kind of like a sleepwalking rope
Many of us have memorized the Lord’s Prayer, including this line: “And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” The original Greek word for “trespasses” is epheilemata which could also be translated as debt, or sin. But what I want to emphasize today is how the entire sentence should actually … Continue reading You’ve ALREADY forgiven them, right?
Forgiveness. It’s a big deal. But have you ever thought about WHY God offers forgiveness? Yes, it’s because of his incredible and unceasing love for you, and because of his desire for you to have peace and joy with him in the great ever-after. But there is also an implication for THIS life. Psalm 130:4 … Continue reading Liberated to serve