How do we defend our faith in Jesus with people who seem smarter than us, more eloquent, or simply angry? Not that long ago I studied with some of the brightest minds at Oxford University. Truth be told, I sometimes felt pretty inadequate alongside their brilliant intellects.Read More
When people are acting destructively, it is sometimes imperative we acknowledge their behavior by calling a spade a spade. However, we live in an ever-increasing contentious, politically correct culture which vacillates between feeling nervous about offending someone to out-and-out name calling.Read More wisdom, calling people out, Jesus' teachings
Pressure can be debilitating. It can cause us to shrink back, diminish our convictions, or shy away from difficult people. And yet, as followers of Jesus, we should expect it, especially from those who appear to disagree with us.
As Jude’s letter concludes, he continues to remind us to stay aware of people who will try …Read More pressure, loving others, depending on God
There’s nothing like the rush of adrenaline when experiencing something firsthand, for the first time. So many emotions emerge! Ones like excitement, awe, ecstasy, and joy. I love going to live sporting events, especially associated with American football. I will never forget the first time I saw …Read More life, experience, Jesus is real
What an incredible passage: light, sin, darkness, and honesty! In John 8, Jesus tells the woman caught in adultery and everyone standing there that he is the light of the world. What does this mean? The religious people were trying to cover up and hide their sin, acting dishonestly.Read More light, honesty, forgiveness, cover up
How do we know we are in Christ? That we are living as his followers the way God desires? The short answer is: his love. Loving others, including our enemies, is what sets us apart. Continuing his letter, John reminds us of Jesus’ commandment: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you. . .Read More light, love, darkness, traps
What happens when we hear something from someone which sort of sounds right, but actually is not the truth? Do we believe it? Do we question what is being said? How do we know?
If John has seemed weak on passion to this point, now he presses the pedal of intense emotion.Read More Holy Spirit, truth
What or who are you depending on? What is most important to you? Is it a habitual behavior, like lying to others or manipulating them to get what you want? Is it self-gratification where you pursue things to feel good, in control, and better than most people? Or is it power by knowing the right people, positioning yourself and saying whatever it takes to get ahead and make more money?Read More love, living in Jesus
The discussion of love continues for John . . . it may seem perplexing . . . why does John care so much about love. What’s the big deal?
It’s hard to know what was the personal, social climate in the first century. Did the normal person feel as isolated as we do? Did they feel a sorrow to their loneliness?Read More love, sacrifice, relational depth
One of the myths we believe in western culture is the importance of being independent. It is a poisonous untruth for us as followers of Jesus. If we are in Christ then not only are we dependent on him for everything, but we belong to him in a family relationship and to his body, the church.Read More Holy Spirit, truth, falsehood, heresy