Sometimes we have a pretty high opinion of ourselves. We easily and skillfully detect the many splinters in the eyes of those around us and we feel pretty smug about how good we ourselves are doing. Maybe it’s human and everybody seems to be doing it at times, but that still doesn’t make it right. Jesus didn’t exaggerate when He mentioned that at such times we often overlook the beam in our own eye. With such an attitude, it is virtually impossible to build bridges, and what’s more, you cannot forgive. Forgiveness feels like opening cell doors, so horrible people go free without being properly punished. But the truth is different. It’s true that forgiveness is all about setting a prisoner free, except it wasn’t that horrible person that got liberated. Forgiveness liberates the person who does the forgiving. When we don’t forgive we are chained by fetters of darkness that leave us dry and unhappy. There’s an anecdote about the famous painting of the Last Supper made by LeonardoContinue reading »

Who doesn’t like to go out to a fine restaurant with friends and have a wonderful time without having to worry about the bill? Isn’t it wonderful if you can simply shrug your shoulders and smile when the mailman drops an unexpected, big bill on your doormat because you can easily handle it? Having money in this present world makes things easier, but the downside is that money has become the driving force for many in our materialistic society, and God has been pushed out of the picture. However the Bible doesn’t say that money is the root of all evil. It calls the love (and lust) for money the root of all evil. Money and how to handle it can easily become a temptation, even for sincere Christians. As with everything, it’s all about balance. “A false balance is an abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is his delight.” * A young woman visited an old friend of her father’s. This man had been very successful andContinue reading »

Rahab was a prostitute but believed in God. When the two spies came to Jericho, she immediately put her faith in action, sheltering them and allowing them to escape unharmed. In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? James 2:25 (NIV) So instead of professing faith only, she showed off her faith by helping God’s men. If she says, I believe, but is then afraid to help the spies, she repudiates the faith she just professed. If you believe God, you must act like it. She believed God would deliver her and her household when everyone else was lost. I am as guilty as anyone of asking God to help me, but then I act like I don’t believe He will. For example, one morning I asked God to heal my foot. For some reason, I was having trouble walking on it. After my prayer time, I gotContinue reading »

Isaiah 1:18 (New Living Translation) “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool. We all sinned; every woman, man and child. We have no way to save ourselves, which is why God had a plan. He knew that Adam and Eve would commit sin, causing a domino effect on all people. Many years later, the great plan was to send His Son, Jesus Christ to live a life of purity and show God’s Kingdom on earth…to give HOPE to people who desperately need it. Because we have no way of saving ourselves from sin, Jesus’ precious shedding blood can only cleanse us. No good works, not attending a church service every Sunday or special event. It all came down to this: Jesus Christ died not only for our sins but also to have a deep relationship with us. It’s like going toContinue reading »

“It is in them that I am glorified” – John 17:9-10 Toward the end of his ministry, and life, Jesus spoke of his relationship with his disciples. He was their teacher, companion, leader and Messiah. Jesus knew that he had to face the Cross alone and it would be he alone that would conquer sin and death in His Resurrection. However, he also knew that in His followers His ministry would be extended and carried forward to new generations. The importance of his followers in maintaining his ministry is vividly, and touchingly, illustrated in Jesus’ exchange with Peter. Jesus entrusts Peter with the care of His flocks (John 21:15-17). Unlike many business owners and leaders of His time, and the present, Jesus did not see glory in the profits and monies that flowed into a bank account. He did not teach that one should isolate himself in wealth, propagating income inequalities and corporate greed, which corrupts many businessmen. The leadership model of Jesus did not allow for corporate gluttony, theContinue reading »

“I am free to do as I please . . . am I not?” -Matthew 20:15 Matthew, a tax collector and no stranger to business dealings, presents a parable of Jesus concerning a rich man who owned vineyards. The man hired day laborers, as was the custom of the time, in the early morning, midmorning, noon, midafternoon, and late afternoon. However, he paid them all the same amount. This meant that those who worked all day received the same day’s wage as those who only worked an hour. To some of the workers this seemed unfair and to many in our present age this is an unusual practice. Businessmen do not get rich by overpaying their workers. The owner replied to the complaints that it was his money to with as he pleased (Matthew 20:15). Jesus’ parable tells us that God’s labor relations are different than those of man. So it is with entry into the Kingdom of God and being granted Salvation. God grants entry to the Kingdom andContinue reading »

“Who are my . . . brothers?” – Mark 3:33 With these words Jesus puts forth a question of family and brotherhood. While scholars debate, and renounce, interpretations that claim that Mary had other children the words of Jesus speak clearly- following the Word of God forms a bond as strong as that of blood among Christians. Jesus knew the unique relationship which exists among brothers. No one can fight with each other the way two brothers, no one can get one as angry as a brother can, but no one can help like a brother can. The connection between brothers surpasses and can not be limited by time or distance. The blood and history which exists between brothers- or sisters- has the power to overcome such obstacles. Past insults or hurts are forgiven when a brotherly connection is made. My only brother lives many hundreds of miles away from me and I have not seen him in years. We have had close times and tumultuous times in our lives. Continue reading »

“With God all things are possible” – Mark 10:26 Jesus gives this comforting thought in the midst of his teachings about the danger of riches. Christianity does not oppose riches or success; it is not a religion of deprivation and suffering. However, the road to wealth is laden with difficulties for the Christian. Money intoxicates and compromises judgment. Money becomes an end to itself, not means to an end. For many, money is not a tool that can served, but a demanding taskmaster that is to be served. The gaining of wealth can become addictive; there is never enough money and always more to gain. The singular pursuit of wealth was as common in ancient times as it is today- and Jesus was well aware of the dangers. Jesus states that it is easier for a camel to pass through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God. The “eye of the needle” is something that few people can agree upon. Many scholarsContinue reading »

Anyone who comes to Him (God) must believe that He is and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. Hebrews 11:6 Intellectually we know God can do anything. He is able to save and bless to the uttermost. Why don’t we act like we believe? Perhaps I am unique in this attitude, but somehow I doubt it. I actively pray to God throughout the day as a continuous conversation in my head; sometimes I feel a specific request warrants a physical and mental pause to focus my prayer completely on this request without the distractions of physically doing other things as I pray. Sometimes the request is small and seemingly insignificant. I pray when the lights go out and when a storm is coming. I believe God cares about what I care about and will move on my behalf, as He has done before, and I give Him the praise for it even when others scoff, calling coincidence what I call an answer to prayer. So I believe forContinue reading »

God puts people on our hearts to pray for and to come alongside as Aaron and Hur did for Moses during the battle between the Amalekites and the Israelite army led by Joshua in Exodus chapter 17. The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.” So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. Continue reading »

The dynamics of the totality of the Trinity are very hard to understand. The mind cannot fully grasp or understand the concept no matter how hard one tries. This is, perhaps, intentional on the part of God, or simply beyond our human intelligence in this fallen state. Either way, someday we will know all things, this included. Paul said, “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12 NIV). But for now, we must be content with the mystery, accepting that things we cannot dissect as God’s plan and accept this in faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Of course being unable to grasp this concept fully does not deter us from trying. The concept of the Trinity becomes a stumbling block on the way to the faith for many, again, I believe, intentionally. If you cannotContinue reading »