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Philippians 3 | Straining Forward

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in…

Luke 2 | Christmas in July

When I was a teenager, I traveled around the U.S. with a Christian Drama Company. I went to 42 states in a year and a half. When you travel that much with a group of people, you tend to become like family. The only real break we had from each other was the two weeks surrounding Christmas break. Because we had all become so close-knit, we decided to start a new tradition of celebrating Christmas in July. We would sing…

2 Cor. 10 | Good Things in Small Packages

“If anyone is confident that he is Christ’s, let him remind himself that just as he is Christ’s, so also are we” (2 Cor. 10:7b). This begins the third and final section of the letter. Paul has already defended his apostolic authority in light of all the charges from his critics (1.12-7.16), he has called upon the Corinthians to help support the poor believers in Jerusalem (8.1-9.15), and now once again, he picks back up the teaching on his absolute authority to…

Romans 4 | An Open Door to Truth

Today I am writing from the 4th chapter of Romans, but I will focus on two verses, two very important verses. Not that the others are less important but sometimes we only need a few words to open an entire realm of truth, these two verses do just that. Verses 7-8 say: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.” First…

Thanksgiving is all about worship

Matthew 2 tells the spectacular story of the wise men who came from the east following a star which would lead them to the King of the Jews. These men were Gentile astrologists who had seen signs in the heavens that made them curious enough to make the long journey to Israel for the singular purpose of worshipping this precious child born to be king. They stopped in Jerusalem to ask those who should have known about this event which…

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…

I Wonder

Last year around Christmas time I tweeted a few fragments of Christmas songs on the days leading up to Christmas.  I got a good response as people enjoyed taking time to meditate on the truths in lyrics such as: “Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing”   “Born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth.”   “Son of God, love’s pure light”   “Till he appeared and the soul felt it’s worth.”   “Dear…

Which God Do You Behold?

Recently I received a letter from a prisoner in Washington State who had had been given a copy of my worship book: “Because He’s Worthy”.  He wrote me a fourteen-page, handwritten letter recounting his life story—a story full of horribly devastating events that most of us will never experience.  He spoke beautifully and articulately about how Christ has changed his heart and how he, even from a prison cell, is now experiencing the joy-filled life of Christ. He wrote a…

The Way We Grow

If I were to ask you what is the best way to grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ, what would you say? Spending time in the Word?  Prayer?  Worship? Of course, all of these things are crucial to maturing as a Christ follower, and they should not be neglected.  But there is one element of the Christian life that often gets overlooked. In Colossians 2:19 Paul urges the church at Colossae to be careful to hold on tight to…

Remember Jesus Christ

2 Tim. 2:8   Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel. At a recent meeting of pastors I attended the question was put forward: What is the greatest need in the Church today? There are many possible answers to that question: revival, spiritual maturity, understanding the message of grace, evangelism, character, or personal renewal. But there is one answer that trumps them all and affects all of these areas. The greatest need for the…
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