October 31, 2018

"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
— Matthew 5:11-12

Have you ever really experienced persecution when you shared your faith with others or stood your ground for Jesus? In America, probably not. Maybe the worst response you received was a rolling...

October 24, 2018

"Just say a simple, 'Yes, I will,' or 'No, I won't.' Anything beyond this is from the evil one."
— Matthew 5:37

Have you ever let your mouth get on overload? Have you ever said more than you should have or promised more than you could deliver? Of course you have, and so have I. Jesus knew that was the nature of man, so He taught and warned His disciples about making broad and rash statements, while trying to back them up by pious talk or, more literally, a...

October 17, 2018

"Haven't you read the Scriptures?" Jesus replied. "They record that from the beginning 'God made them male and female.' And he said, "This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one." — Matthew 19:4-5

LeRoy Sullivan is the pastor of the Bread of Life Church, a small African-American congregation in Kansas City, Kansas. When he began to notice in his church that many couples were cohabiting, he...

October 10, 2018

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. — Hebrews 4:12

There's a story about a man who finally convinced his unbelieving neighbor to attend church with him. But when the preacher announced that his text for that day was on the "Descendants of Adam" (Genesis 5:1-32), he was disappointed. Who in the wo...

October 3, 2018

But the Lord said to Samuel, "Don't judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn't see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." — 1 Samuel 16:7

I say this by way of observation and not a judgment call, because I'm not sure I know. God knows, but when it comes to the optics of the church, does God care? Let me lay it out for you.

The mega-church pastor where we visited...

September 26, 2018

"You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David." — Luke 1:31-32

One of the songs I remember when I first became a Christian was a song by the Gaithers, "There's Just Something About That Name." It's lyrics were simple but stunning. It goes like this:

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
There's just something about tha...

September 19, 2018

"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men." — Matthew 5:16

Jesus often used natural objects in His teachings such as birds of the air, flowers of the field, mountains, wheat fields, etc. One of the figures of speech that speaks about our role in the world is "salt of the earth," from the Sermon on the Mount.

I love the w...