When you think of being “like Jesus,” what do you think of? Being more loving, humble or forgiving? What about this: Being faithful despite the darkness. Consider Luke 22:44: “And being in anguish, [Jesus] prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” And then he was crucified! He gave … Continue reading Despite the darkness
This week I’ve been sharing some thoughts about facing trouble and persecution for your faith. Maybe this idea is new to you, maybe even bothersome. But even though we usually think of persecuted Christians as people in desperate situations on the other side of the world, it’s going to be an increasing issue here in … Continue reading Like a wounded coyote backed into a corner? Um, no.
In July 2007, 23 missionaries were held hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Two of those missionaries were killed by the Taliban before the rest were released back to South Korea. One of the survivors tells a little-known story about their time together in captivity as prisoners. On their last night together before they were … Continue reading A Bible in 23 pieces
The parable of the sower is one of Jesus’ most famous. It describes a farmer who sows some seed. The seed represents God’s word—in short, the message of and about Jesus. Some of that seed falls on a path and some birds quickly eat it up. Some of the seed falls on rocky terrain and … Continue reading Cherish the life-giving gift
Something that robs us of our contentment is always being reminded of what others have (but we don’t). It has to do with envy, which Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung describes as “feeling bitter when others have it better.”* Can you relate? Come on, be honest. We can sometimes feel bitter when think other people have better … Continue reading Being a spiritual billionaire
I think there can be a darkness within each one of us that loves to reach up, take hold of our confidence, and pull it down into an abyss of self-pity. You know the days. The bad thoughts or feelings start to steamroll. It’s the opposite of positive momentum. You feel deflated. Then you catch … Continue reading When you feel defeated
I forget which grade I was in but it was definitely high school. And it was the day of the big math test. I remember that the problems were complicated. You had to follow all the mathematical rules, what the teacher called the “order of operations.” If you didn’t, your entire answer would get messed … Continue reading Order of Operations… in math and life
In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul writes, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them… Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good” (verses 4, 7). In a profound passage, Paul explains how God gives spiritual gifts to all Christians. If you are a follower … Continue reading Your spiritual gift
I get the opportunity to interact with people who aren’t totally sure about Jesus yet. Sometimes these interactions are online, and sometimes they’re in person. One of the stumbling blocks people identify is that the Bible seems to advocate teachings that are “behind the times” or “morally regressive.” And that makes them uncomfortable. I appreciate … Continue reading Behind the times?
Life can be difficult. The only person who hasn’t experienced some kind of hardship is the person who hasn’t been born yet! Think of Jesus on the cross. He was the only perfect person who ever lived… and even he suffered greatly! None of us are given a free pass in life, but God offers … Continue reading Withness