Growth in Wisdom and Stature (29.12.2019)
Joseph was willing to change his mind despite all societal pressure. Mary treasured all in her heart. Even Jesus is shown as growing in wisdom. Faith is a process of learning, growth, and deepening understanding.
The call of Christmas is celebration and praise. The words of Christmas are “glory to God in the highest.” In a world of darkness, Jesus is the light, and that is worth celebrating.
O Holy Night (15.12.2019)
The encounter with holy comes at the point of quiet and simple. The inn was crowded; the place where Christ was born was quiet. Zachariah was accustomed to ritual, but was sent into silence. Silence, quiet, and simplicity is where we often experience the holy.
Mary, Did You Know? (08.12.2019)
For generations, they anticipated the Messiah; and when he arrived, they did not understand. Even Mary struggled to fully grasp the situation. The challenge for every Christian is to continually learn about Christ and not simply create the savior we want.
O Come, Emmanuel (01.12.2019)
This is our continual prayer and it is continually answered. It is an unfolding truth. For this we rejoice.
The Woman at the Well, Part 3: Worship (24.11.2019)
Jesus moves beyond where or how worship is practiced. He teaches that worship is a work of the spirit.
The Woman at the Well, Part 2: Reputation (17.11.2019)
Every norm in society at that time taught that Jesus should not have a conversation with this woman. Jesus shows no concern for her reputation or his.
The Woman at the Well, Part 1: Sin (10.11.2019)
Jesus understands this woman's sin. He also understands the sin against her. Jesus' task is not to condemn her, nor overlook her sin. Instead, Jesus offers understanding and grace.
Pit Survival Strategy (03.11.2019)
Even devoted Christians have lows in their life, when they feel drained physically, emotionally, and spiritually. There are steps we can take before and during such lows to help us make it through them. Let's learn some important lessons from what Elijah went through and how God responded to him.
A Beautiful Calm (27.10.2019)
People can be cruel. Even friends, family, and co-workers can upset us with hateful words. The question is, how do we react? Wisdom teaches us that we do not have to react at all. We are better off to simply let it go.
A Segmented Life is Not Wise (20.10.2019)
A common pattern of life is to segment our time and attention into different groups. We have work life, social life, family life, hobbies, secret indulgences, and our spiritual life. However, the Scriptures teach us to avoid such a life. Our spiritual life needs to permeate everything we do. It need not be a segment of life but the foundation for all of life.
So Which Is It? (13.10.2019)
This scripture is an obvious contradiction. This illustrates that the Bible is there to guide us but not as a rule book, situational manual, or playbook. The Bible is there to guide us into a relationship with the Spirit of God. The Bible often seems contradictory because the Spirit must speak to us in any given situation to show us what to do.
True Focus (06.10.2019)
When it comes to time, attention, spending of money, where is your focus? These are the things to which your life is dedicated. The challenge in Proverbs is to dedicate our focus to spirituality which leads to wisdom.
A Pattern of Faith (29.09.2019)
Wesley said that nothing happens outside the prayers of a righteous man. Praying for ourselves in times of trouble. Praying prayers of gratitude in times of celebrations. Praying for each other in the midst of our sin. These are the patterns of faith.
Never Know About Tomorrow (22.09.2019)
Life is not predictable. We can plan all we want (and some plans are very appropriate); but, ultimately, we are not going to be able to plan our way into the life we hope for. The only plan that truly works is the plan to follow the Spirit of God in our lives.
Getting What You Want (15.09.2019)
What causes such evil in the world? Much of it comes from the phrase, “I want.” Our own selfish desires lead to everything from arguments to murder. As a people of God, we are called to be humble and let God give us what God wants us to have. This is much more important than what we want.
The Practice of Faith (08.09.2019)
Faith is not about knowledge or correct thinking or alignment with a particular group. Faith is a practice, and those who grow in faith are those who practice faith every day.
The Picture of Wisdom (01.09.2019)
Wisdom is much more than knowledge or common sense. It has many components, but ultimately it is a spiritual journey. Spirituality and wisdom are the same thing—two sides of the same coin. Wisdom only comes from God.
Miracles and Mission Work (25.08.2019)
Do you ever feel like God is not using you in His kingdom work? God's miracles are going to happen, whether in big ways or in smaller, more mundane ways. It's not about you—it's about what God is doing. Whenever God does a miracle, it is simultaneously exactly right, and just enough.
Never Alone (18.08.2019)
The author shows himself to have a great understanding of human psychology. During tough times, we tend to think we are all alone in the world and that no one can understand. We need others around us that have been through the struggle. (Alcoholics Anonymous for example.) One way to do this is to understand what Christ has gone through and the “great crowd of witnesses” that have persevered in the faith.
Faith Makes All the Difference (11.08.2019)
It is by faith that we overcome the things of this world. There is no particular strategy that will ultimately work; this is because life is simply unpredictable. It is only by following the Spirit of God that we find our best life.
A New Life (04.08.2019)
When Christ died on the cross, it was more than simply the man, Jesus, dying. Through a supernatural act of God, we died as well—that is, our sinful life died and is risen with Christ. Therefore, the only life sin has is if we choose to give our lives to it.
Spiritual Life is Christ (28.07.2019)
Paul draws a distinction here between following Christ in a spiritual manner, and the illusion of following Christ by following human rules. This is the difference between Christianity and Churchianity.
All Things in Christ (21.07.2019)
Christ existed prior to taking physical form as Jesus. Christ permeates all things, and all things are held together in him. Paul, in this passage, gives a profound teaching that changes the way we approach life and the world around us.
The Picture of Christianity (14.07.2019)
Paul, in his praise of the Colossians, gives a description of what the Christian life really looks like. This becomes a template to compare to our own spiritual journey.
The Power of Faithfulness (07.07.2019)
Sometimes it is not the difficult tasks that keep us from God; sometimes it's that we are looking for the dramatic. God simply needs us to show simple acts of faith. It is these simple things that can unleash the power of God in our lives.
The Power of Belief (30.06.2019)
Elisha had every reason to leave the prophet Elijah, yet he continually persevered. Do we believe to a point that we will persevere despite any obstacle, even when we have every reason to quit?
Covenant of God (23.06.2019)
God is not a God of law but a God of relationship. The same covenant that was given to Abraham (established long before the law was ever given) is extended to everyone through Jesus.
Much More to Learn (16.06.2019)
God has created us "a little lower than the angels" but most Christians don't function in that power and divine confidence. This is because the Spirit must teach us how to live into this kind of life. The spiritual life is learning who we really are as a creation of God.
Then They Will Know (09.06.2019)
Christian unity brings with it great power, rich blessings, but most importantly, it bears witness to the presence of Jesus and the love of God. However, pursuing unity the wrong way can have disastrous results. It takes work to achieve unity with God and with other Christians, but it will certainly be worth the effort.
Sharing God's Love with Our Neighbors (02.06.2019)
Though rituals help some to worship God, much more important is to love God and love our neighbors, as we want others to love us.
Pray for Open Doors (26.05.2019)
Prayer is important, and simple: talking with God. Pray that God will open a door to His message. Are we willing to be devoted to prayer, and take the opportunities that come? Pray, watch, be open to God, and act in faith.
She's Only Sleeping! (19.05.2019)
God sees things differently than we do. What we see as hopeless and dead, God sees as someone sleeping. Christ can redeem any situation.
The Good Shepherd (12.05.2019)
Being a follower of Jesus means learning to hear his voice in our life. It will not necessarily change our circumstances, but we are assured that Christ will lead in the midst of all circumstances if we listen for his guidance.
Life With Jesus (05.05.2019)
Life with Jesus involves both the profound (Saul being transformed from murderous adversary to the great missionary, Paul) and the ordinary (the resurrected Lord having breakfast with His friends). Both the profound and the ordinary interactions with Jesus are important and valuable.
Praise Forever (28.04.2019)
It is easy for us to get caught up in the struggles of the moment, but God is eternal and sees all. We do not have to be slaves to the events and the emotions of the day. We can live in the eternal knowledge that God prevails.
A Whole New Day (21.04.2019)
As Peter tells the story of Jesus, the Holy Spirit moves upon the people. There was surprise that even non-Jews were filled with the Holy Spirit. The Resurrection of Jesus means that Christianity is not a regional or cultural faith; it is a spiritual experience available to all the people.
Hosanna in the Highest (14.04.2019)
The crowd celebrated Jesus when they thought he was going to give them what they wanted. They mocked him when they did not get what they expected. The life of faith is following Jesus even when things seem lost. It is believing even when we can't fully understand.
A New Life (07.04.2019)
Life is not about what we can attain or acquire. God is the creator and giver of life. Placing our faith in Christ at the center of our daily life is the only way to truly experience life.
Who We Really Are (31.03.2019)
There are two types of people: the ones who know they are broken, and the ones who believe they are righteous on their own. Jesus is looking to reconcile both to himself.
Reaching Higher (24.03.2019)
To reach the level of spiritual life God intends for us, we have to realize we cannot do it in our own power. We must allow God to lift us to a new level.
Citizens of Heaven (17.03.2019)
The desire of Jesus is to gather us like a hen gathers chicks under her wing. We live as a citizen of Heaven even in this world. We are not controlled by the things of human life.
Calmly Winning (10.03.2019)
Jesus is the power to overcome every sin and failure. As a Christian, we can have every problem in the world and calmly not care because we have the power of Christ.
Transformed in His Image (03.03.2019)
The life of faith is not a life of excessive rules or exhausting demands. It is a life of wonder and transformation. The closer we come to Jesus, the more glory we witness.
Our Source of Strength (17.02.2019)
Life is Difficult. We are not expected to figure it out or overcome on our own. The life of faith is a life dependent on the power of God.
Made Worthy by God (10.02.2019)
There is often a feeling of unworthiness in Christians. How can I connect with God when I am only human—a sinful human? However, our connection with God is not based on our worthiness, but based on grace.
Jesus Changes Things (03.02.2019)
Jesus didn't come to simply be a teacher or even a martyr. He came to change our life from merely a human existence to a profound spiritual life.
Who We Are (27.01.2019)
We are all part of the divine work of Jesus. We are all gifted uniquely and called to live an extraordinary life in His spirit.
The Joy of the Lord (20.01.2019)
Christ did not come to be a heay-handed dictator. He brings freedom, joy, and fullness of life.
Experiencing Christ (06.01.2019)