The Puritans are often given a bad rap. If someone says you are “puritanical,” they are not giving you a compliment. This is an unfortunate result of people not knowing what they’re talking about. The actual Puritans (and not the modern, dismissive caricature) were a group of Protestant Christians who primarily lived from the mid-1600’s … Continue reading Make our hearts a map of heaven
Can we earn heaven?
I was recently asked this question: “What Jesus says in Matthew 7:21 unsettles me because it indicates that you can only get into heaven if you do God’s will. I thought we couldn’t earn heaven so this seems a bit confusing to me. I'm also very aware of my many faults and sins! Can you … Continue reading Can we earn heaven?
When nice things become ultimate things
Jesus said: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth… But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven… For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21). Last week we spent time talking about your soul and about how your soul has an appetite. Fill it with the wrong thing … Continue reading When nice things become ultimate things
Will you knock in vain on a closed door?
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?
One day a week for rest and worship is heaven’s appetizer. Here’s what I mean. Think of an appetizer. It’s something that tastes good and is satisfying, but makes you anticipate or look forward to the full meal that is yet to come. It whets your appetite. That’s what the day of rest and worship … Continue reading Heaven’s appetizer
Great is your reward… in heaven
Jesus said: “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven…” (Matthew 5:11-12). I’d like to share a comforting thought. You might not think it’s very comforting at first, but hear me … Continue reading Great is your reward… in heaven
What rules you?
What rules you? No, seriously. What RULES you? Fear? The pursuit of success? An unquenchable desire to be liked? In Colossians 3:15 Paul writes: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.” As “members of one body” (i.e. the church), we should seek peace … Continue reading What rules you?
When you have something good to look forward to
When you have something good to look forward to, it softens the blow of what you’re currently going through. We all know it’s true. If a child doesn’t want to go to school on a Thursday, remind them that the weekend is almost here and it helps. If you’re having a tough week, and if … Continue reading When you have something good to look forward to
Your reward is great
In Jesus’ day, it was assumed that his followers would face trouble and persecution. Although many of us in North America haven’t yet faced overt persecution because of our faith, I truly think we’re headed in that direction. With this in mind, last week we discussed how we should expect to be different, how we should … Continue reading Your reward is great
Getting in the way of God’s way
Here is what Jesus preached in Matthew 4:17: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” The “kingdom of heaven” refers not only to life after death, but to the quality of our lives before death. In this sense, the “kingdom of heaven” and the “kingdom of God” are the same. Maybe it’s obvious, … Continue reading Getting in the way of God’s way