Overcoming the Obstacle of Self

Healing of the Lame Man, Raphael, public domain
Healing of the Lame Man, Raphael, public domain

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 1

And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. 2

One of the biggest obstacles that gets in the way of myself living missionally is myself. By that I mean, I try to do it myself. I may enlist the help of friends, family, and followers of Jesus, but I am trying to act under my own power. Continue reading

A Brief Reflection for Earth Day

Photo Credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video via Compfight cc

Today is Earth Day. For most Christians, this an ordinary day and many will probably fail to recognize the day, but I think it is appropriate for Christians to celebrate the day more than anyone else. We are in the Easter Season (the time between Resurrection Sunday and Pentecost) and have just gathered to celebrate the resurrection. I believe we ought to celebrate not because the earth is divine, but because God made it. We should celebrate because the resurrection of Jesus began the process to restore all that was broken, including the earth. Continue reading

How will they know we are disciples?

Photo Credit: Lawrence OP via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Lawrence OP via Compfight cc

“So I give you a new command: Love each other deeply and fully. Remember the ways that I have loved you, and demonstrate your love for others in those same ways. Everyone will know you as My followers if you demonstrate your love to others.” (John 13:34-35 The Voice)(1)

On the church’s calendar, today is Maundy Thursday. This day derives its name from the Latin word that is the root of our word mandate. It’s called this because of Jesus’ words in John, “a new command I give to you” or a new “mandate.” This mandate comes after his washing of the disciples feet. With this “new mandate,” Jesus instructs his disciples to do the same to one another and then says that this is how the world will know that they are his disciples, by their love.

Much of what we classify as discipleship often falls under the realm of teaching and learning, but it’s important not to miss what Jesus has shown his disciples in this moment. Our discipleship isn’t displayed by our knowledge of God’s word or dedication to church attendance, but instead our discipleship is shown through our acts of love.
continue reading

The Sin of Older Brother

Now the man’s older son was still out in the fields working. He came home at the end of the day and heard music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what was going on. The servant said, “Your brother has returned, and your father has butchered the fattest calf to celebrate his safe return.”

The older brother got really angry and refused to come inside, so his father came out and pleaded with him to join the celebration. But he argued back, “Listen, all these years I’ve worked hard for you. I’ve never disobeyed one of your orders. But how many times have you even given me a little goat to roast for a party with my friends? Not once! This is not fair! So this son of yours comes, this wasteful delinquent who has spent your hard-earned wealth on loose women, and what do you do? You butcher the fattest calf from our herd!”

The father replied, “My son, you are always with me, and all I have is yours. Isn’t it right to join in the celebration and be happy? This is your brother we’re talking about. He was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found again!”(1)

continue reading

Why is Scripture a Story?

Last week, I wrote about how it is a common misconception that the Bible is a series of do’s and don’ts. In reality, the Bible is primarily stories. The majority of the Old Testament comes to us in narrative form. The first five books of the New Testament comes to us in the form of stories as well. The Bible is far from being primarily a book of rules and laws. While there are many directives in scripture, the most important parts of the Bible come to us in the form of stories.

Why did God do this?

continue reading