One of life’s bitterest ironies from God’s point of view is that the lowlifes of Jewish society, the tax collectors and prostitutes and “sinners,” were more likely to listen to Jesus and welcome his message of grace and forgiveness. The church people, the Pharisees and teachers, didn’t need him and didn’t want him.
It’s because they weren’t aware of their many sins and because they rated themselves proficient and advanced in personal holiness by comparison with the lowlifes that they... Read More
Could there be a better example of God’s transforming grace than Rahab of Jericho? She is usually identified as “Rahab the harlot,” for at one time she apparently plied the ancient trade of prostitution. But our God uses all kinds of people to advance his plan of salvation. She listened to reports about the advancing Israelite nation and rightly concluded that Jericho was doomed because Israel’s Lord was the true God of all.
She sheltered the scouts that Joshua had... Read More
Most people know the experience of being chewed out by a boss or put down by fellow workers. Abuse from people around us starts early. Every schoolkid knows what it is like to be picked on; gossiped about; or mocked because of his or her clothes, shoes, grades, hair, or speech.
Where do children go when they’ve been made to feel worthless, stupid, and ugly? You know the answer: they go to Mom. Mothers have great restorative power in their... Read More
I don’t play golf competitively or for money, and that’s a good thing. I’m just not that good. The duffers I play with will, after smirks and some appropriate remarks, occasionally give me a mulligan after a particularly horrible swing.
Jesus Christ has paid for the ultimate do-over. Even though we will be sinners till the day we die, his grace means that he has chosen to love us unconditionally. It means that every day we can start fresh, for... Read More
Jesus’ disciples were often an embarrassment to him during their three years of training. The four gospels report in painful detail when the Twelve exhibited confused priorities and uncaring people attitudes. Two of the four books, Matthew and John, were authored by men who had to describe their own spiritual immaturity in those years.
But after the outpouring of the Spirit on Pentecost, the disciples (“learners”) became apostles (“sent ones”), and they grew mightily in wisdom and understanding. Their former... Read More