Posts by Mark Medley

Posts by Mark Medley

1 Corinthians 13 | What’s So Great About Love?

It is the one thing a human soul needs most. It is perhaps the most overused and least understood word in our language. I am speaking, of course, of love. In our culture, we speak of it all the time but we throw the word and the concept around very cheaply. I love hamburgers. I love the mountains. I love my wife. I love God (hopefully not in equal measure). It is an ever-present theme of songs, poems, books and…

1 Corinthians 7 | God, Sex and Faithfulness

One Christian theologian called the book of First Corinthians an interpreter’s nightmare – and chapter seven is one of the most difficult chapters in the entire New Testament to understand. There are several reasons why this is true. First, Paul says his remarks are in response to “matters about which you wrote”. As Pastor Kelly pointed out in a previous blog, we are only hearing one side of the conversation, which makes it very difficult to accurately interpret what Paul’s…

Romans 15 | Playing Second Fiddle

An admirer once asked Leonard Bernstein, the world-famous orchestra conductor, what was the hardest instrument to play. He replied without hesitation. “Second fiddle. I can always get plenty of first violinists, but to find one who plays second violin with as much enthusiasm, or second French horn or second flute, now that’s a problem. And yet, if no one plays second, we have no harmony.” If no one plays second, we have no harmony. No beauty. No symphonies. No glory. One of…

Romans 13 | God and Government, Laws and Love

“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” Romans 13:1 Wait. Our political leaders are ordained by God? Seriously? I know that is what Paul says, but it can’t be what he means, surely. Especially in this election year where all the bets are off and conventional wisdom is out the window – and most available candidates do not think like we…

Romans 6 | The Highway of Holiness

Romans chapter six saved my life.  It happened many years ago. As a new believer, I was still struggling with old habit patterns—the behaviors that had caused a horrible mess in my life. Deep inside I wanted to change, but old habits have a way of wrapping their tentacles around you a squeezing tight. Someone challenged me to memorize Romans chapter six, and everything changed. I am fairly convinced that I would not be alive today had I not experienced…

Romans 3 |Speechless Before God

I had nothing to say. I had done the deed and was caught. I knew the rules and I had thought it through. I had calculated the punishment and decided it was worth the risks. So, even though underage, I took my parents car on a joy ride with my friend Greg. The adventure went well until we stopped at a convenient store to get a chocolate milk and a honey bun (staple foods for a teenager). Backing out of…

2 Peter 3 | Reckoning Day

I was a young engineering student preparing for reckoning day.  My team of student-researchers had worked hard all semester to create a project using a primitive robotic arm and a series of mechanical processes and electrical circuits. Truth be told, it wasn’t going that well. The arm failed to perform as planned in most trials and we were down to the wire. And the judges were coming. The university president and several state officials who made decisions about program funding…

1 Peter 1 | The Best of Times, the Worst of Times

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…

Mark 7 | 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…

Mark 3 | Sabbath Seriously

The Gospel of Mark is like an action movie. It records the events of Jesus’ ministry in scene after scene using words like “immediately” or “at once, without delay.” It can be a challenge to keep up with all that is happening. For example, in this chapter, we have five scenes involving Jesus interacting with hundreds (or thousands) of people. We see a man, a group of religious leaders, a large crowd, the twelve, another large crowd, and Jesus’ own…