Confession and the Pure in Heart

I’m so grateful that God gave us a way to stay forgiven, clean, pure, and righteous. It’s called confession. It’s ironic that what often causes the most trouble in our lives and relationships also serves as the mechanism for healing and release. It is the words we speak, our confession to God and to thoseContinue reading “Confession and the Pure in Heart”

Blameless

I’m reading through the Psalms this summer, as I’m apt to do. There’s no wrong time to read the Psalms, but somehow summertime feels like an especially good time for Psalms. Some of the earlier Psalms focus on justice versus injustice, integrity versus deceit, moral depravity versus purity and blamelessness. These are among the manyContinue reading “Blameless”

The Unleavened Bread of Sincerity and Truth

“Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth”Continue reading “The Unleavened Bread of Sincerity and Truth”

What Made Jesus Glad–and Still Does

A few weeks ago, I wrote about things that made Jesus mad. Today, I felt it was important to follow up with some of the things that made Jesus glad. We can assume that if certain behaviors or attitudes were pleasing to Jesus while he was here as a man, they still please him whenContinue reading “What Made Jesus Glad–and Still Does”

Stay Salty!

Jesus was brilliant with metaphors. In a discourse about the cost of being a disciple, Jesus asks audience rhetorically, “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again?” Then he teaches, “Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.” (Mark 9:50). In Luke he adds,Continue reading “Stay Salty!”

Things That Made Jesus Mad (and still do)

Jesus was a remarkably patient man—perfectly patient you might say—because he was perfect in every way. He was especially patient and kind toward those who were slow to understand or had any form of incapacity. He explained things repeatedly, he told stories, he gave illustrations, as we do with children when we are teaching andContinue reading “Things That Made Jesus Mad (and still do)”

The Parts and the Whole

While on my recent trip to the Eastern Sierras in California, I noticed a very interesting thing. I was hiking in one of the prettiest places I’ve ever seen—so pretty that it hardly seemed real, more like a painting. My eyes kept looking out at the panorama of charcoal-colored mountains painted with streaks of springContinue reading “The Parts and the Whole”

Looking for Signs

We rely on signs often for various reasons. They point us in the right direction. They warn or guide. They help to keep the intersections of our complex lives and civilizations in order. The Bible is full of signs—signs in nature, signs of God’s blessing, signs of judgment, signs of the kingdom of God, signsContinue reading “Looking for Signs”

Accommodation for Receiving Christ

As I read through gospel accounts of the ministry of Jesus, I can’t help but notice how ignorant, spiritually immature and emotionally unstable his disciples often were! They were all over the place in their reactions to what they saw Jesus doing and what they heard him teaching. They exhibited on different occasions behavioral manifestationsContinue reading “Accommodation for Receiving Christ”

Astonished by Belief and by Unbelief

There were a few occasions when Jesus was amazed and moved by a person’s faith. The centurion with a sick servant is one example. The woman who’d touched the hem of his robe and received her healing is another, and the foreign woman who asked him to heal her child from the “crumbs from theContinue reading “Astonished by Belief and by Unbelief”