God’s Grace Is Enough For You (Mark 16)

But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee.  There you will see him, just as he told you.’ (Mark 16:7) There are moments in time when we're all tempted to believe that God could never love us because of something that we've done in the past or present.  Such thinking is not from God, however.  In fact, one of my favorite parts of the ... [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]

The Overflow of the Heart (Matthew 12:22-50; Luke 11)

For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. (Matthew 12:34b) We're pretty good at censoring our words (although even that is a practice that's somewhat waning in our culture), but every once in a while a person slips.  Out comes this expletive or nasty thought that surprises everyone around us, including ourselves.  Where did it come from? Jesus said that, from the ... [Continue Reading]

Healing River (Ezekiel 45-46, 47:1-12)

Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river.  Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail.  Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them.  Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing. (Ezekiel 47:12) All good stories end with hope, don't they?  I watched a movie a number of years ago ... [Continue Reading]

Restoration (Psalm 48; Hosea 1-4)

I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’  I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.’” (Hosea 2:23) There's something beautiful about old, broken things being restored, isn't there?  I believe that, when we see such beauty, we get a taste of what's to come ... [Continue Reading]

Unique Prayers (Numbers 12-14)

So Moses cried out to the Lord, “Please, God, heal her!” (Numbers 12:13) At first glance, there's nothing unique about Moses' prayer for his sister.  Most people pray for God to heal a loved one at some point in time - even those who profess no faith in anything other than themselves. What makes Moses' prayer unique is the situation leading up to it.  Faced by all ... [Continue Reading]

The Power of Forgiveness (Genesis 32-34)

But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept. (Genesis 33:4) Forgiveness is a powerful force.  It says: debt cancelled - you don't owe me any longer. In the relationship between Jacob and Esau, Jacob had built up a huge debt.  First, he monopolized on a situation of weakness and manipulated Esau into ... [Continue Reading]