A New Master (Romans 4-7)

For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. (Romans 6:14) I'll never forget my first official job.  I was a soda jerk.  Working at a local cafe, my job was to serve food and dip ice cream.  I'll never forget the experience because of the person I worked for.  Generally, the owner was a nice man who had a desire for ... [Continue Reading]

The Law of Sowing and Reaping (Galatians 4-6)

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. (Galatians 6:7) Have you ever tried to plant something?  My wife, Kari, has an uncle who is a farmer.  One day we went out reaping the harvest of corn with him in his big farm machinery.  It was pretty fun.  I learned an important but simple lesson: if you plant corn seed then you have corn grow.  ... [Continue Reading]

Your Move (James 4-5)

Come near to God and he will come near to you. (James 4:8a) Your relationship with God is up to you.  If you want to be close to Him, then the only thing stopping that from happening is your willingness to put forth time and effort.  James tells us that if we draw near to Him, then He will draw near to us. Among the twelve disciples, Jesus had three that were closest ... [Continue Reading]

Do Hard Things (Luke 23)

But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. (Luke 23:23) When the angry mobs pull out their pitchforks and torches it's easier to let them prevail than it is to stand up against them with reason and right thinking.  After all, standing up to a mob could be dangerous, and you never know if they may turn on you.  Perhaps ... [Continue Reading]

Evil Doesn’t Wait (Matthew 27)

Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed. (Matthew 27:1) It's interesting to me that the chief priests and elders didn't waste any time in making their plans for having Jesus executed.  Rather than taking time to think through the ramifications of their actions, their minds were set, and nothing ... [Continue Reading]

Are You In the Closet? (Mark 11; John 12)

...for they loved human praise more than praise from God. (John 12:43) The miracle involving raising Lazarus from the dead was a pretty convincing sight for those who hadn’t yet decided what they thought of Jesus.  It’s hard to deny the deity of a man who is able to bring someone else back to life.  John (as well as other Gospel writers) tells us that the Pharisees wanted ... [Continue Reading]

A Crowd Pleaser (Matthew 20-21)

The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!”  “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”  “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (Matthew 21:9) There's a reason why people enjoy pleasing the crowd: it opens the door to acceptance.  As people, we're acceptance magnets.  Our hearts gravitate to environments of ... [Continue Reading]

Confessions of a List-maker (Luke 10-11; John 10:22-42)

A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.  So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. (Luke 10:31-32) I'm curious if you've ever done this before.  Have you ever seen a need and realized that you really want to have nothing to do with it?  So instead of coming up ... [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]

Too Hard? (John 6)

On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” (John 6:60) In most things that matter in life, you will face adversity of some kind.  There will be a point in time where you'll need to make a decision of whether or not the sacrifices are worth the reward.  The same is true when it comes to faith.  It's better to understand all ... [Continue Reading]