You can read a lot from people’s faces, can’t you? Without ever hearing a word, you can sense irritation, pleasure, doubt, worry, and fear. You can sense condemnation too. You can tell if someone is angry with you before a word is said. How good are you at forgiving people who have done you wrong? Not so hot? Do you hold grudges sometimes?
Sometimes we assume that that’s how God looks at us—never really forgiving completely, still angry, still remembering... Read More
It’s not just sports teams that love to wear their colors. Sports fans, bridesmaids, restaurant waitstaff, and jockeys all proudly wear uniforms that identify them with their team.
The day that you were baptized, you were given the uniform of heaven to wear. You might call them the “colors of Christ.” The Bible says in Galatians 3:27, “All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” You can’t see these clothes (yet). But what matters most... Read More
One of the girls in my sixth-grade class loved to see naughty boys get caught by the teacher. “Cheaters never prosper,” she would cackle.
Ah, if only she were right. Alas, my sad life experience is that cheaters seem to do very well. Everything’s a hustle. Everything’s for sale. Them that’s got shall get.
Do you ever feel as though you are wasting your time trying to get ahead through honesty and hard work? Do you ever fantasize about taking... Read More
In the first week of July you just might hear these Lee Greenwood lyrics somewhere: “I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free.” People who live in the United States are proud of their revolution, proud of their freedoms, and proud of their rights as listed in the first ten amendments to the Constitution. It is worth noting that there is no corresponding “Bill of Responsibilities” to go with the Bill of Rights.
A powerful... Read More
My brother knows more about cars than I ever will. But even he sometimes met his match. He bought a 1950 Ford once that was in pretty rough shape. After working on it for many months, he just felt overwhelmed and gave up on it. The car sat in the driveway for a long time, its dull brown primer making it look like a candidate for the junkyard.
Do you ever feel as though your once-bright hopes will never come... Read More
How are you feeling right now? How are your insides doing? Are you calm and peaceful, or are your feelings all churned up?
All of us live with a lot of stress. The people you walk past on the street—yeah, the ones who look so normal—are dealing with debts, gambling addictions, family breakups, job layoffs, health crises, STDs, and huge auto repair bills. But the worst kind of stress is to live with a permanent fear that God is angry... Read More
A repeated human tragedy that always hurts my heart is to hear about a child who was abandoned by both parents. The kid later says, “I’ve been on my own since I was _______ (fill in the blank here with some terribly young age).
Satan seeks to destroy you spiritually, and so he lies to you. He wants you to fear that you’ve been abandoned by your God, that you’re on your own in life, that God only watches from... Read More
When you’re making a list of the things that make the world look out of control, surely death will be near the top. What is more terrifying than seeing someone you love in a coffin or watching your own life slip away? Are you afraid of death?
In Luke 7:11-17, the Bible tells the story of how Jesus interrupted a funeral procession leaving the little town of Nain. First he told the sobbing mother, “Don’t cry.” Then he did something... Read More
Sometimes the world we live in seems like a beautiful, peaceful place. But our environment can be nasty too—sometimes it seems as though nature itself is trying to destroy the people who live in it. Wildfires, hailstorms, typhoons, avalanches, hurricanes, tidal waves, and earthquakes can destroy property and people.
St. Paul explains why nature sometimes seems so broken. It’s because it is. “The creation was subjected to frustration . . . in hope that the creation itself will be liberated... Read More
There are times in our lives when we feel strong, smart, invincible, immortal, and totally in control. And then there are those times when we know we are broken, miserable, weak, lost, and trapped. The apostle Paul didn’t mind those times. God had told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
That’s why Paul could conclude, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that... Read More