From this point on we see a divergence between those who follow God and those who go their own way until the culmination in the one man who stops this pattern of rebellion against God, the one who “crushes the serpent’s head”Read More
As I have been writing these notes, and “living” in the world of Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary and Joseph, I have been totally caught up in all the anticipation of Jesus’ coming into the world. It reminds me of the excitement of the days before Christmas that I experienced as a child. But in these notes we’re not quite ready for Luke’s Christmas story. There are two other gospel stories to look at first.Read More grace, light, word, truth
Lies, all of them will eventually “out.” Just ask Lance Armstrong. Or Abraham and Sarah.
Abraham and Sarah’s agreed that Sarah not reveal her marital status. Their deception, (like so many of ours) rose from an instinct of self-protection. But God had a higher plan, and that redemptive plan of the One who set the stars in place could not be thwarted—not even by the pair from whose line Jesus Christ would stem.
“Big Brother is watching.” The phrase, from George Orwell’s book, 1984, has become a common slogan in the modern age, and it always has a negative connotation. We don’t want to be watched because we don’t want to be judged. We don’t want to be judged because we know we are guilty. But the scripture is clear—God watches and there is nothing he misses.Read More grace, justice
When we deceive or rob others we can expect some kind of revenge. That’s just how life works. What a shock when a victim of our actions sets aside their combative attitude and grievance and responds with forgiveness and grace. That is what occurred between Esau and Jacob.
Jacob’s spiritual and character transformation was not complete even after coming face to face with God.Read More grace, forgiveness
The disciples are often amazed at Jesus, both by the wow factor of his miracles as well as his tendency to challenge the establishment and cultural norms. But what amazes Jesus? It’s always faith – faith that shows up in unexpected places (Matthew 8:10) or faith absent when it should be expected (Mark 6:6). So what is it about this Canaanite woman that causes him to cry out, “Dear woman, you really do have a lot of faith!”?Read More grace, salvation, faith
Very often we respond to others in ways we have been treated. When someone is kind to us we are more apt to be kind to others. If someone gets mad at us, we are likely to be in a poor mood and pass on anger to others. The truth is we reflect how we perceive we are being treated. In this parable the man who refused to forgive showed a greater lack than just financial poverty, he lacked pity.Read More grace, forgiveness, kindness
When a rich young man boldly walked up to Jesus and asked what he had to do to inherit eternal life, Jesus answered without hesitation. Jesus stated only God was good.
Jesus made the point of how we can do nothing to earn eternal life. Earning our way into heaven, like the rich young ruler was attempting to do, requires nothing less than perfection.Read More grace, eternity