Earn God’s Love

“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself in love.” (Galatians 5:6) We may confess salvation by faith with our mouths, but in our hearts we work to keep (or earn more of) God’s love. The proof is in our pride: the false belief that we are somehow better than others because of what we’ve done for God. There …

undiscovered opportunities

“… it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you…” (Galatians 4:13) Scripture tells us that Paul’s illness was a trial for the Galatians. He praised them for not treating him with contempt or scorn–implying that their response was uncommon, unique, mature. If it was a trial for them, imagine how difficult it must have …

Why we become ashamed of the gospel

“… for I am not ashamed of the gospel …” (Romans 1:17) What might move a follower of Jesus into a Peter who denies his savior? The gospel calls us to be DIFFERENT, and in our world, no one likes to stand out from the pack. Just look at rebellious youths, even they all look alike (just don’t tell them …

Speak the truth in love

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow…” (Ephesians 4:15) The self-righteous wield the truth like a weapon of mass destruction, ambivalent to the the devastating consequences. When confronted, the predictable response follows: “WHAT? All I did was tell the truth?” Their fortress of foolishness is unassailable. Mostly. Speaking the truth without love ignores the greatest truth: we are …

You should tell more lies

… there is nothing false about [Jesus]. (John 7:18) I’ve seen people tell lies–“white” ones too–for the following reasons: To ACCOMPLISH their agendas. To AVERT undesirable, yet deserved, consequences for their actions To AVOID conflict with others. The first group is far too practical, they will say whatever works in the moment in order to get what they want. Justification is …

What good comes from telling the TRUTH?

[Jesus] is a man of truth. (John 7:18) Why should we tell the truth, what good comes from it? When we tell the truth, we follow Jesus’ example. He is our model, the shape our souls ought to take is his. The spiritual life is about becoming more like Jesus. This means fighting off the powerful temptation to bend the …

What’s Your Worship?

You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions. Mark 7:8 In the beginning of our spiritual life, everything is new and we are constantly learning what it means to honor God. Over time, that which is new becomes normal. Habits form: we park in the same spot, sit in the same place, talk …

When God is distant

The Lord is near. (Philippians 4:5) We forget and ignore God for many reasons, this passage illuminates us with at least three: Anxiousness Lack of prayer Lack of thankfulness Proximity is power. In the dark, a light close by allows us to see. In times of grief, the presence of a close friend gives comfort. In seasons of confusion, access …

You don’t have to change anything

For you have heard of my previous way of life … . (Galatians 1:13) Paul grew, he didn’t stay the same. This is remarkable, uncommon among the ranks of seasoned believers. After years of powerful actions fueled by deep convictions, Paul still allowed God to speak to his assumptions. Paul was passionate and sincere, but he was headed in the …

How human is your gospel?

I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. (Galatians 1:11-12) I want you to know In a world obsessed with gaining glory and self promotion, Paul’s example is …