[Note: I'm on vacation next week so the devotional will go on pause after today and will return on March 20th.] Certain events and experiences can shake and unsettle us. A world war can do that. So can events like September 11, 2001. I still remember the day. When terrorists flew planes into the World … Continue reading An unshakable kingdom
Joy is a diet (not a pill)
“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence…” (Psalm 16:11) We live in the age of the quick-fix. Instant gratification is on the menu. If I have a craving for a cheeseburger I can go to a drive-thru window. If I want my house to … Continue reading Joy is a diet (not a pill)
With the Paraklete you are plural
In the previous devotional I highlighted that the Holy Spirit is our Helper. Jesus said: “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever…” (John 14:16, ESV) In Greek, the word is Parakletos. It’s a word that is also translated as Counselor, Advocate and Comforter. J.I. Packer … Continue reading With the Paraklete you are plural
A recipe for national happiness?
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?
Desperation at the feet of Jesus
John 4:47 describes a desperate scene: “When this [royal official] heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.” This was a world of honour and of strict social convention. The royal official humbled himself before Jesus—something … Continue reading Desperation at the feet of Jesus
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?
People we don’t like—and our true source of unity
Hebrews 10:24-25 says: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing…” Let me say something which is perhaps a bit awkward. People can be difficult. They can rub us the wrong way. You know … Continue reading People we don’t like—and our true source of unity
Sustained by his powerful word
Bible scholar Luke Timothy Johnson says the most important question we need to answer is whether or not Jesus is alive. Not only do we believe in the Jesus of history, but in the Jesus who was raised and continues to be alive—reigning and ruling at God’s right hand. See Hebrews 1:3: “The Son [i.e. … Continue reading Sustained by his powerful word
Seinfeld and the Good Samaritan
The story of the Good Samaritan is known for what it teaches about showing mercy to others. Luke 10:36-37 famous reports: “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus … Continue reading Seinfeld and the Good Samaritan
Do you need wisdom to ground you? To make you more stable? Me too. Fortunately, Jesus’ half-brother James (a prominent leader in the early church), tells us what to do: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. … Continue reading Well-grounded people