In John 10:10 (ESV) Jesus tells us one of the reasons he came to the earth: “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” I recently did a word study of every single occurrence of the word “life” (Greek: zoe) in John’s Gospel. It is used 36 times. I then made eight … Continue reading What is ‘abundant’ life?
Summer is upon us. It’s a time to change gears. A lot of us are still working, but most of us will probably have a bit of vacation time here or there. Kids are out of school and teens are meandering to the beach. But many people still find it hard to rest. And when … Continue reading Over-functioning and under-believing
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?
In the epic story Moby Dick, there is a turbulent scene where a whaleboat races to try and catch the great whale. The scene is frantic. Sailors are yelling and working hard. The enraged Captain Ahab is at the helm. But one person is calm amidst the chaos. He is steady and focused. It’s the … Continue reading Peace not panic
“…the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it… But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid’” (Matthew 14:24, 27). A farmer was looking for a farmhand. There was only one applicant. There was only one sentence on his … Continue reading He sleeps in a storm
In one of his letters, the well-known English statesman Thomas More said: “A soul must be without peace which is ever fluctuating between elation and disappointment from the opinions of [people].”* In other words, we will never have peace if we are disproportionately tethered to the opinions of other people. The end result is an … Continue reading Well-rooted in a world of opinions
In John 5 Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath, the day of rest. Verse 16 tells us that “because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him.” Observing the day of rest has long been important to God’s people. Even today “there are special ‘religious police’ with … Continue reading Stopping not starting
The risen Jesus said: “‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:21-22). What an enigmatic event! But why would Jesus give them his peace? Many of their dreams had been dashed (or so they … Continue reading The most important thing on the to-do list crossed off
When the shepherds saw the angel, and when God’s glory shone around them, “they were terrified” (Luke 2:9). Literally it says that “they feared a great fear.” No kidding! But then the angel tells them to not be afraid. After all, he’s about to give them good news, not bad: “I bring you good news … Continue reading Fear vs. joy and peace
Imagine someone describing you like this: “They’re a pillar! They try to live rightly before God and others, and are free from excessive worry.” Wouldn’t that be great! But hold on, let’s back up a minute. There are times when hardship is discipline from God. I’m not saying that all hardship is discipline from our … Continue reading The future you? A pillar of righteousness and peace