Three Warnings From Jesus

Jesus taught the crowd: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” (Luke 12:1) A little yeast, when worked through the entire dough, radically transforms the bread. The yeast of the Pharisees was hypocrisy. Some of the things they said weren’t true, they lacked a consistency believers ought to have. Presumably they had a “Do …

His Name is Jesus

TEACHING NOTES (PDF) OUTLINE (PDF) My wife and I have had five children, all boys. Before each one was born, we had lengthy discussions about their name. For every child, I made an argument to name him MAGNUS. It’s unique. It’s Latin for magnificent. His nickname could be Gnus (pronounced, Guh-nus) and everything would be awesome. Needless to say, I …

Leadership Principles of Jesus, part 1: Matthew

A survey of the book of Matthew yielded the following reflections. But first, a few notes. (a) Reading Matthew’s gospel in two sittings showed me things I wouldn’t have seen if I was reading smaller sections. Both kinds of readings–small parts and large parts– are needed for a healthy spiritual life. (b) I read with the intention of discerning the …

Confidence or presumption

Scripture says: “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16) And scripture also says: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof.” (Luke 7:6) Great faith walks the line between confidence …

So, what are you waiting for?

Anticipation is powerful. It sharpens our focus, helping us to ignore the irrelevant and look for what’s important. Expectation get’s us ready for what’s next. Waiting is often a necessary prelude for change. Everyone lives with some degree of anticipation. Every morning we get out of bed with some kind of anticipation, we are expecting something to happen. We may …

everyone ought to be a scribe

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…”Hebrews 12:2 (NIV84) I love the imagery in this scripture: Jesus as the author of our faith. In ancient times, scribes were important. Their job was to listen to the author and record their words. The letter belonged to the author, but it was the scribe who …

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 …

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 …

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 …