Long before Jesus was born, God called Abram to be the father of a nation. Abram probably had a hard time believing he would be the father of anything, considering he was 75 and he and his wife Sarai had no children. But he believed. He followed God anyway.
We talk about “Advent” a lot in the church, but what does that actually mean? The word Advent means “to come” or “coming.” In this case, it refers to the four weeks before Christmas when we celebrate and prepare for the “coming” or the birth of Christ.
In this 4th chapter, Paul expresses his thanks to the Philippians for their concern about him and their generosity. He gives advice from his own experience as to how to be content. Contentment is found when one believes that what God has given is enough for every situation.
Happy day after Thanksgiving! Now that Thanksgiving Day is over, we are called and challenged to continue to live with thanksgiving in our hearts. This is not as easy as we would like it to be.
Happy Thanksgiving! The above passage is one of my favorites and is one that continues to be chosen by many couples for use in their wedding ceremony. I think verse 15 is a perfect reminder for us today: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.
As Jesus enters a village, 10 lepers approach him and call out for Jesus to have Master mercy on them. They are desperate for healing, but as unclean people, they are forbidden to rush up to Jesus. Jesus agrees to heal them, and he does so by giving an unusual command:
Mary: Attention to the Living Word Jesus said Mary chose better. She chose being near and listening to Jesus over preparing the meal. While Martha wanted to get things done, Mary felt that some things were worth stopping for—especially Jesus. Both sisters were trying to love the Lord.
Martha: Hospitality and Service Jesus unexpectedly decides to drop in on Martha and her sister, Mary, Martha’s first impulse was to get something prepared in the kitchen. Mary chooses to stay with Jesus. The way this story is set up, it seems like Luke wants to pit the sisters against each other and have us choose sides. We will take a different approach.
We are constantly in transition, at every age, giving up what has been to grab hold of what is yet to be. This is the nature of life. As soon as we think we have this thing figured out, something changes or shifts and we have to learn a new way. It is often in these vulnerable times of unrest and uncertainty that God can do the most work.
The Bible speaks of the soul often. This verse about is one of the most misunderstood statements about the soul in the Bible. Jesus asks, “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” Many people think this means it does no good to get a lot of money and pleasure if you end up spending eternity in hell.
This passage precedes the Last Supper as told in the gospel of Luke. Jesus has sent the apostles ahead of him to prepare the Passover meal. In verse 14, once they were all gathered in the upper room, they “reclined” around the table. I can just imagine them getting comfortable, laughing, talking about their day, relaxing and settling in for the evening.
Psalm 88 is not one we tend to use for daily devotional reading. It is a lament, a cry for help. But if you are like me, you can probably relate to these verses from time to time. Most of us experience periods when we feel God is distant or times when we wonder if God is ignoring us.
That shooting. In a church. In small-town Texas. The tragedy, pain and confusion are overwhelming. Add it to the natural disasters in recent months and another mass shooting in Las Vegas last month, and we as a people are weary. We are overcome with sadness and fear.
In this passage, Jesus, a Jew, is talking with other Jews. They continue to question him about his true identity. Jesus has told them over and over and he has demonstrated many times that he is the Chosen One, the Messiah, the Son of God.
This piece of scripture is dense. I would like to draw specific attention to verse 18: The one who guards a fig tree will eat its fruit, And whoever protects their master will be honored.