How Good? (Acts 20:1-3; Romans 1-3)

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) I heard an analogy once about throwing a baseball.  If a group of friends of mine and I were to line up and each try to throw a baseball to the North Pole, some would definitely throw the ball further than others.  However, none of us would actually make it to the North Pole.  Similarly, no matter how ... [Continue Reading]

The Clarity of the Crucifixion (John 18-19)

[Joseph of Arimathea] was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night.  Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. (John 19:39) The crucifixion of Jesus brought many things to light and it was a clarifying event in the lives of those who were Jesus' followers.  In fact, it was until after the crucifixion that ... [Continue Reading]

Still In Control (Mark 15)

Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So!  You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!” (Mark 15:29-30) In the world's darkest moment – when Jesus hung in misery on the cross – God was still in control.  It’s a truth that’s so hard for us to understand sometimes.  How ... [Continue Reading]

A Crisis of Faith (Mark 14)

[Peter] began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know this man you’re talking about.” (Mark 14:71) There are moments in time when a crisis of faith comes about, and even people with deep resolve call into question the things they believe.  How does a person like Peter, who promised that he would never leave Jesus' side, somehow come to the point of ... [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]

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]

How Much Do I Trust? (Matthew 9-10)

Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” (Matthew 9:2) Trust seems like such a simple thing, and in some respects it is.  It's simple to trust that the chair I'm sitting in won't collapse under my weight.  After all, I have lots of experience sitting in chairs.  It's ... [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]

A Nice Story (Luke 1; John 1:1-4)

Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this?  I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” (Luke 1:18) Sometimes it feels like things just aren't going to work out for me.  Yes, I've heard about what God has done in the past for other people, but it seems unlikely that He'll show up in my situation.  And yet, there's something about reading the story of ... [Continue Reading]

Me Before You (Haggai)

Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” (Haggai 1:3-4) I'll never forget one of the first years when I was a homeowner.  Halloween came, and I was really excited to have trick-or-treaters come to the house.  I was not, however, prepared for the woman ... [Continue Reading]