Growing up, I learned quickly that my parents knew a lot more than I did. If my parents told me to do something, I learned early on that the word “but” isn’t allowed. The word “but” is talking back. “Shea, I need you to take care of the animals, watch your brother, mow the fields, run this to the bank, etc.” The only good answer was yes. Sure, I made plenty of attempts to try other answers but none worked.
The prophet Jeremiah began his ministry in about 626 b.c., during the reign of King Josiah. King Josiah had rediscovered the scroll of Teaching, or in Hebrew, Torah. This was the Law of God as revealed to Moses, the first five books of the Old Testament, and it had sadly been overlooked and forgotten by the people of Israel for hundreds of years.
Sometimes we forget things we should remember. Joshua knew well Israel’s habit to forget God’s past acts for them, to complain way too much, and to be ungrateful. He knew that remembering and being thankful was the secret for the days ahead that would come when they were challenged to possess the promised land.
Who was this woman we know as Mary Magdalene? If you’ve been around the church for any length of time, you probably have heard she was the prostitute Jesus forgave, or she was the prostitute who anointed Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair, etc. This is the rumor, in spite of the fact that the Bible doesn't refer to Mary of Magdala as a prostitute in any context.
Today I am continuing my “Run the Race” series where we are taking a look at how we can each run this race we call life well. Last week we focused on alignment, and this week, we’ll take a look at core strength.
Jesus taught his disciples and us how to pray. He gave us what we now refer to as the “Lord’s Prayer.” For me, one of the most significant lines in this prayer is, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” That one line could be a stand-alone prayer all on it’s own.
As the fog of pandemic continues, our vulnerability to wander and lose sight of our purpose increases. Lost in the restrictions of all we can’t do, is the persistent message of the gospel that never changes and sets the faithful aside for ministry regardless of circumstances. Keep the faith brothers and sisters. Never give up encouraging one another.
I often come back to these three verses of Psalm 27 to find hope and an extra measure of patience. Even though the Psalms were written thousands of years ago, they still model for us a way to think about and pray through the threats of life we may be facing today. The enemies of our life may not be the same as in biblical times, but they are no less real.
Christianity, being a disciple, following Jesus is deeply personal. Its about a relationship with Jesus, its about belonging to Him, it's about following Him reflecting that relationship by the fruit we bear, the life we live, the way we love.
In this scripture, Paul is telling his story. He was, as he says, blameless under the law. But that was his story before he met Jesus, the Christ. That encounter changed forever his story. As the hymn says, and as Paul says, “This is my story.” His story continued through imprisonment, trials, beatings and, literally, running for his life. In fact, much of what we know about Paul was written from a prison cell.
As a teenager, one of my favorite Olympians was Michael Johnson— “The man with the golden shoes.” He was an incredible athlete, having won four Olympic gold medals and eight World Championships. However, he had what some experts at the time characterized as an “unorthodox form.” Where most of his competitors ran leaning forward, Mike ran completely upright.
ames, the brother of Jesus, sought to offer spiritual guidance to the church. And this meant not only calling people to move toward the ways of Christ, but also to turn away from their less desirable ways. James’ first words in this passage gives us a hint to his perspective. “What causes fights and quarrels among you?
It is our relationship with God, being made in his image, and nothing else that elevates our status over other creatures and the rest of creation. It is our relationship with God that governs our stewardship of the planet. He has crowned us with glory and honor and made us rulers over the works of his hands.
Sometimes, I struggle to find the words that I think are just right for prayer. Sometimes, I think I might be asking God for something outside of God’s will. Sometimes, when praying is the very best thing to do, I allow myself to remain stuck in distractions. Do any of my prayer life struggles resonate with you?
If God exists, then everything in life ought to be about knowing Him. I have spent many hours in my life with people who were nearing the end of theirs. I learned much in those moments. What is important? What really matters? What makes a difference? What was worth it?