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]

Those Powerful Desires (1 Thessalonians 3-5)

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: ...that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable... (1 Thessalonians 4:3a, 4) Desires aren't wrong in and of themselves.  In fact, I would argue that desires are God-given.  The desires to eat and sleep are absolutely essential to life.  Other desires aren't essential, but they're ... [Continue Reading]

Be Slow (James 1-3)

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. (James 1:19-20) I’m a hurried sort of person.  There’s always one more thing to do on my list and one more place to go… typically a place to which I am running about 5-10 ... [Continue Reading]

Victory or Defeat? (Matthew 26)

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.  The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41) Can you imagine being a soldier on a battlefield and curling up to take a nap in the midst of enemy fire?  Napping doesn't make sense in the midst of physical combat any more than it makes sense in the midst of spiritual combat.  I believe that's why ... [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]

How Extreme Will You Be? (Matthew 5-7)

If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away.  It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.  And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away.  It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. (Matthew 5:29-30) I've known ... [Continue Reading]

What Do You REALLY Want? (John 5)

When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6) Sometimes what we think we want isn't actually what we really want.  The fact is, we're often content with life the way it is, and because it's "normal" we've become accustomed to it.  It's only in the late hours of the night ... [Continue Reading]

Tell Him to Go Away! (Matthew 4; Luke 4-5; John 1:15-51)

 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan!” (Matthew 4:10a) Did you know that you can tell Satan to go away?  In fact, that's the method that Jesus used to get rid of the Tempter on more than one occasion.  The great news for people who are trusting in Jesus' death for the forgiveness of sins is that we're not simply forgiven of our sins, but the power of sin is also ... [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]

Defending What’s Right (Nehemiah 10:28-39; 11:1-2; 12:27-47; 13)

But I warned them and said, “Why do you spend the night by the wall?  If you do this again, I will arrest you.”  From that time on they no longer came on the Sabbath. (Nehemiah 13:21) It is believed that Edmund Burke once said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.”  Sadly, the great temptation of many good men and women is ... [Continue Reading]