Posts from April 2016

Posts from April 2016

Sign Me Up for Suffering

Many years ago I worked in a warehouse in North Carolina. The man who was the boss was a member of the church where I pastored and so I went into this job, as I have with every job I’ve held, with an understanding I would need to represent the Lord and my boss well in order to maintain my witness. What I soon discovered was rather amazing. Throughout the whole operation, there was an attitude by the workers that…

The best of times, the worst of times | 1 Peter 1

I saw it again on a bumper sticker some time ago: “The worst day fishing is better than the best day at work.” I used to think that was a cool little saying until I went fishing one day and a blinding snowstorm came up. I ended up soaking wet, putting metal chains on the tires of a truck and trying to pull a boat out of the water in several inches of snow and ice. I’ve had better days at…

King on a Cross

And the inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.” And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left. And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!”  So also the chief priests with the scribes mocked him to one another, saying, “He saved others;…

True Giving

Last week we received a special offering at our church for Missions projects we feel God has called us to participate in this year. We called it a “Hands and Feet” offering because we believe we are commissioned to be His hands and feet around the globe and across the street. As the elder team received the initial report of the total amount given, we were blown away. In the first week of giving, we reached 93% of our initial…

Mark 10:17-22 | Walked Away Sorrowful

At least by modern standards, the Son of God was a failure when it came to evangelism. Nowhere is that more evident than in the account of Jesus’ brief encounter with the so called ‘rich young ruler’. All the Synoptic writers include this encounter between the majestic Son of God and this moral young man seeking salvation. But Jesus violates every known stricture that modern evangelism says is so important when it comes to personal evangelism, For one, this young man…

Jesus and Political Allegiances

Jesus’ ministry took place during a time of great socio-political turmoil. Rome occupied Palestine and the local rulers were proud, self-aggrandizing, rash and conflicted people. Other local rulers were completely misled, thinking they could force changes on a nation from the outside, without altering the hearts of the people. Some things never change. Chapters six and seven of the gospel of Mark reveal powerful truths to us. In the midst of the social and political madness of his day, common…

Breaking With Tradition

Our focus in today’s reading of Mark 3 is on verses 1-6 – the healing of “a man with a withered hand”. This is the last in a series of five stories that extends from Mark 2.1-3-6, all designed to demonstrate Jesus’ authority: He teaches with authority (1.22, 27), commands obedience from demonic powers (1.28), forgives sins (2.1-12), eats with the “riff-raff” tax collectors and sinners (2.13-17), ignores religious expectations about fasting (2.18-22), and side-steps respected Jewish tradition regarding healing…