[Note: After today The Up Devotional will go on pause for a week. It returns on November 21, 2022.] Some Greeks wanted to see Jesus. “Anyone who loves their life will lose it,” he said, “while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:25). Talk about heavy! … Continue reading Something greater than ourselves
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
Jesus brought Mary’s brother Lazarus back to life. Not only did he restore a heartbeat, but he restored hope, joy and the certainty of eternal life. At a dinner in Jesus’ honour, Mary wanted to show her gratitude. She “took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet … Continue reading Costly devotion
A Christian in China was about to be baptized. The pastor asked her a question to ensure that she understood the meaning of the cross: “Did Jesus have any sin?” The answer, of course, was “No.” Hebrews 4:15 says that Jesus “has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.” Since … Continue reading He had mine
“Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:8). Violence upsets me. Does it upset you? I’m deeply saddened by the death of children. Perhaps this is a strange way to say it, but even though I’m shocked at the presence of real evil in our world, I’m not surprised by it. That itself is a reason to … Continue reading Violence vs. Love
In A Tale of Two Cities two characters named Sydney and Charles love the same woman. The two men look a bit alike, but she ends up marrying Charles. They have two children together. Much later, Charles is put in prison and sentenced to death. In a powerful act of self-sacrifice, Sydney breaks into the … Continue reading He experienced your death sentence to set you free
In his book The Closing of the American Mind, Allan Bloom describes an outlook on the world which has become very popular. Montreal philosophy professor Charles Taylor summarizes: “relativism was itself an offshoot of a form of individualism, whose principle is something like this: everyone has a right to develop their own form of life, … Continue reading Being true to who?
This might sound strange, but there are good kinds of hurt. Obviously, not all hurt is good, but some of it can be. Here’s what I mean. What I’ve just said is very counter-cultural. A case could be made that our society is highly hedonistic. That’s where the pursuit of pleasure and happiness is the … Continue reading Good kinds of hurt?
What is “faith” to you? The reason I ask is because we need to guard against a troubling trend. Since we live in a highly individualistic society, “faith” can degrade into a series of fuzzy beliefs that are all about us. When that happens, we discard beliefs we don’t like and only adopt those that … Continue reading If your faith demands nothing…
“And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27). When Jesus talks about carrying a cross, he’s using bold language to teach us a bold principle: Whoever does not crucify their own self-serving desires and instead pattern their lives on him cannot be his apprentice. This kind of … Continue reading Liberated for greater things