The Real Reason (Luke 18:15-19:48)

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. (Luke 19:10) Have you ever wondered why Jesus came to the earth?  What was his purpose?  When he showed up on the scene around 2000 years ago, He was stepping into a religious system where people were distant from God.  The religious rulers (the Pharisees) had established law after law after law that had to be adhered ... [Continue Reading]

Where Were You? (John 11)

“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:21) There are moments when we wonder where God is.  If only He showed up in the situation, then things wouldn’t have turned out the way that they did… I wouldn’t have lost my job… my loved one wouldn’t have died… the accident wouldn’t have happened… things would be different.  ... [Continue Reading]

Who Wants to Forgive? (Luke 16-17:10)

“Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.” (Luke 17:4) If asked whether you'd prefer to forgive or be forgiven, most people would likely say that they want forgiveness to be granted to them, but they're not always excited about sharing it generously with others.  In fact, sometimes ... [Continue Reading]

Keep Your Stones to Yourself (John 7-8)

When they kept on questioning [Jesus], he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7) It's amazing how quickly people turn against one another.  Just watch an episode of “Survivor” or “The Bachelor,” and you'll see people who are seemingly friends suddenly ready to attack one another.  In the ... [Continue Reading]

Like a Child (Matthew 18)

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.  And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:2-3) When Jesus’ disciples were fighting about who was the greatest, Jesus used the teachable moment as an opportunity to help them understand something incredibly ... [Continue Reading]

The Life of a Servant (Matthew 17; Mark 9; Luke 9:28-62)

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35) There's something unattractive about being a servant.  The hit TV show, "Downton Abbey," has shown the life of the servant class from the old British society, and while being a servant carried a level of respect among the working class ... [Continue Reading]

A Call to Die (Matthew 16; Mark 8; Luke 9:18-27)

For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. (Mark 8:35) Sometimes we make the way of following Jesus far too easy.  It was an amazing moment when Jesus was meeting with His disciples, and He questioned them, “Who do you say I am?”  Peter impulsively gave the right answer: “You’re the Christ.”  ... [Continue Reading]

A Twisted Family History (Matthew 1; Luke 2:1-38)

David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife... (Matthew 1:6b) Legacy matters, doesn't it?  I love hearing stories of my grandparents who are no longer around... and stories of their parents and siblings.  What's amazing about their stories is that they affect my own story.  The legacy that someone else in your family leaves does have an impact on ... [Continue Reading]

Anything But the Best (Malachi)

“It is you priests who show contempt for my name.  But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?’  By offering defiled food on my altar.” (Malachi 1:6b-7a) The book of Malachi highlights something that we don't really talk about much, and that's the heart of worship.  Particularly when it comes to a worship service, there is a temptation to use the time as an ... [Continue Reading]

Heart Surgery (Nehemiah 7:1-5, 66-73; 8-9)

They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the Lord their God. (Nehemiah 9:3) There's a sense in which spending time reading the Bible is like allowing God to perform open heart surgery on your life.  Some read the Bible for the sake of simply ... [Continue Reading]