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]

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]

Say “Thank You” (Luke 17:11-18:14)

Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed?  Where are the other nine?  Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” (Luke 17:17-18) One thing that my parents drilled into me from a young age was the importance of thanking someone when he or she does something for me or gives something to me.  If someone gives me a gift, then I need to send a card ... [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]

Humble or Humiliated? (Luke 14-15)

“For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11) Humility isn't something that is lauded in our culture.  In fact, the advent of YouTube, Vine, and other self-promotion avenues on the Internet encourage people to draw attention to themselves.  The problem in having the world's attention is that, when you ... [Continue Reading]

Let Tomorrow Worry for Itself (Luke 12-13)

“Consider how the wild flowers grow.  They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!” (Luke 12:27-28) I tend to be a futuristic thinker.  By ... [Continue Reading]

Ignore the Naysayers (John 9:1-10:21)

[The man born blind] replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know.  One thing I do know.  I was blind but now I see!” (John 9:25) Personal experience is hard to disqualify.  People may tell you that what you experienced wasn’t real, but deep down, you know what happened.  You know what to believe. When it comes to faith, personal experience is of utmost ... [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]