Sunday Scripture The word grace conjures images of unconditional love, forgiveness, and a free pass for whatever I bring to the table, and there's truth in this. However, in the closing words of his first letter, Peter has woven together two very different colors and textures of yarn: ...this is the true grace of God. Stand firm… Continue reading True Grace | Find the Power for Obedience and the Basis for Forgiveness
Sunday Scripture This week, I started listening to Christmas music on the way to work. Our 24/7 Christmas music radio station plays everything from crooning Bing to the musical equivalent of an ugly Christmas sweater. One frosty morning, fresh off my Isaiah Advent reading and a mug of hot tea, the radio wished me a… Continue reading Are You Singing the Song of the Servant this Christmas?
Sunday Scripture According to the Apostle Paul, gratitude is more than a pumpkin-spice-feeling. It is a matter of obedience to the will of God. Author and poet Wendell Berry put words into the mouth of a fictional, elderly widow named Hannah Coulter who, in addition to being a crackerjack farmhand when needed and probably making… Continue reading Gratitude: A Matter of Obedience to the Will of God
Sunday Scripture Really? What were they thinking? The Sunday school lesson for my fours and fives featured the life and ministry of John the Baptist. "Perfect," I thought. "He's Jesus's cousin, and two of my little guys are cousins. They'll love that. But what about this...?" "Repent!" That was John's message, and an abstract concept,… Continue reading Do You Have the Right Facts but a Wrong Heart?
My young friend’s question was as deeply earnest as it was misguided: “I know I need to read and pray every day, but isn’t it just hypocritical to go through the motions on days when I’m not feelin’ it?” It’s not hard to trace this line of reasoning to its source. In Western thought, a… Continue reading Hear, Do, Know: The Christian’s Clear Assignment
"My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands; For length of days and long life And peace they will add to you." (Proverbs 3:1, 2) Obedience from the heart is the first evidence of belonging. We don't remember God's laws and keep his commandments in order to become God's… Continue reading Sunday Scripture ~ Proverbs 3:1, 2