Audit!
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Ever been through an IRS audit? Ever gone through a comprehensive job performance review? a third-party department audit? No fun. I’m told that they are miserable experiences. Jesus told a parable about a shrewd manager who was being audited: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management’” (Luke 16:1,2). Either through mismanagement or through... Read More
Jesus is faithfulness
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“Take This Job and Shove It” is an old Johnny Paycheck country music song that expresses the longings of millions of people who hate what they do and would like to quit. Every day people give up on their relationships as well, running and walking away from stress and pain. Every day people give up on their own lives and end them. People are often weak and fickle. Jesus is not. Of all the things you worry about, you know... Read More
God and my salvation
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David, king of Israel, was a great military hero. He knew the hardships and thrills of military life. David was also a liar and poseur. He knew from firsthand experience how unconfessed sin builds up like a dark cloud overhead. It never goes away by itself. Time does not heal all wounds. Debts incurred do not just disappear; they linger and accrue interest. How great the relief that pours into a sinner’s heart when he trusts God enough to confess... Read More
Crabgrass
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Dear Lord, I don’t thank you enough for my husband. Come to think of it, I don’t thank him enough either. He brings a lot of stability into my often turbulent life. I know I take him for granted. I often get upset, and then I see with such clarity all his faults, faults I just can’t seem to forget. When I’m angry, all my past irritations come flooding back and just keep accumulating. Lord, I need your forgiveness and... Read More
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You and I are sinners with needs just as great as anybody of Old Testament times. We can’t bridge the chasm between us and God any more than they could. But the need for human priests passed away with the coming of the Great High Priest, Jesus Christ. His great work on Calvary offered the One Sacrifice. No more are needed. “Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices,... Read More
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The features of the Old Covenant that God designed for his minor children involved many visual dramas to help them understand crucially important spiritual truths. One was the priesthood. People are by nature sinful. They are largely ignorant of God’s works and rebellious against what little they do know. Sin separates people from God. It makes us unfit for his presence during our lives and completely unfit to live in his heaven. People can’t bridge that gap by themselves. They... Read More
Reconciliation
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Dr. King wasn’t always a hero of mine. In fact, all of the great Americans whose faces are on our money now were hated by many during their lifetimes: Jefferson, Lincoln, Hamilton, Jackson, Grant. Sometimes a little historical distance enables us better to see greatness. Dr. King didn’t bring about racial reconciliation in America single-handedly, but he was a leader in articulating two powerful truths: that all people have worth and that social change must be advocated nonviolently. He said,... Read More
Courageous mothers
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When the subject of adoption comes up, there is generally a good vibe when the transplanted child succeeds in the new home. We may be dimly aware of the strains and expense on the adoptive parents, and we acknowledge that the day a child finds out he or she was adopted can be traumatic. But we rarely think much about the birth mother and her grief, since we rarely know who she is. Think about an Israelite woman named Jochebed.... Read More
The strong bear with the weak
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Everybody hates bullies. I would imagine that most men have painful memories of playground humiliations by older and bigger boys. I would imagine that most women have painful memories of being made to feel homely by a clique of prettier girls. While our memories of being bullied are strong, I doubt that we are even half aware of the pain we have inflicted on others. Our culture glorifies the strong and beautiful and has only contempt for the weak and... Read More
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When you were a kid, did you ever build sand castles? I did, and it was fun to watch my kids build them too. They invested many hours in setting up plastic soldiers and stick artillery for their imaginary wars. But the castles and forts didn’t last long. Other kids running around on the beach kicked the towers over. Waves, sun, and wind eroded them into shapeless lumps of sand. Do you ever feel that futility with the things you... Read More