Spiritually speaking, the only thing we have in suffering is what we bring with us. In other words, we must cultivate a strong and loving relationship with God before we are stressed, pressed, or transgressed.
Is God’s forgiveness enough, or does complete forgiveness require self-forgiveness? The biblical answer is: “God's forgiveness completely absolves us of our sin.” Self-forgiveness, is not a biblical concept. However, our emotions are quite real and we must distinguish between the efficacy of God’s forgiveness of sin and the management of our grief and self-condemnation. We … Continue reading Is Self-forgiveness Biblical?
At noon each Monday, I go to the church sanctuary and spend an hour before the cross in prayer. I know, I know, I’m exceedingly holy. This week I had expected to spend the hour asking God to bless a specific family member, but, instead, God wanted to talk about character—mine, mostly. #intimacywithGod Character. Kneeling before … Continue reading Christlike Character vs Sarcasm and Slander
Pursuing Christlikeness was of paramount importance to committed believers in past centuries. Strategies for developing the fruit of the Spirit and Christlike virtue prompted much discussion and analysis, both verbal and written. They painstakingly considered all facets of these character qualities to determine how best to live them out in their daily lives. Quite frankly, … Continue reading External Humility
I first read Gordon MacDonald’s Ordering Your Private World when it was originally released in 1984. He had been our pastor at Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts, for the prior two years where everyone affectionately called him Pastor Mac. Today, he is the chancellor at Denver Seminary. When the book was released, I was in … Continue reading Ordering Your Private World (2017) – Review
The phrase "Intimacy with God" falls awkwardly upon our modern ears. It shouldn't because it reflects the perfect relationship Jesus won the right for us to have with God, and it is the profound relationship that He prayed for us to have, in John 17:20-23 (NAS): I do not ask on behalf of these alone, … Continue reading Intimacy with God
If all the words we ever spoke became embodied in a new human being, what would that person be like? They would look different from us, but they would be an exact representation of us. Imagine: all the good words, all the comforting words, all the encouraging words, and all the other words standing in … Continue reading The Word Became Jesus!
Ever since Jesus ascended into heaven, people have claimed to receive spiritual gifts, dreams, visions, and special revelation. How do we determine if a spiritual experience is genuinely from God? In the Middle Ages, the number of reported spiritual experiences reached a feverish level. Folks got attention for such reports, and in some cases money … Continue reading Spiritual Discernment
A multitude (NAS), or a large number (NIV), of sick would lay around the pool called Bethesda — waiting. Apparently, when the angel of the Lord stirred up the water, the first one in was healed... Recently, a news article reported that archaeologists had identified the remains of this pool. Up until that time, the pool was thought … Continue reading Get up, and Walk! – John 5
The son of one of Herod’s royal officials was close to death. The official traveled 18 miles up to Cana in the hope of successfully pleading with Jesus to return with him to Capernaum to heal his son.... His father was desperate. The boy’s life depended upon Jesus to act. Jesus, however, simply said, “Go, … Continue reading Pleading for a Miracle – John 4:30-54