CHRISTMAS FROM BOTH ENDS So who would you invite? Two polar opposite groups received an official invitation to check out the birth of Jesus: shepherds and wise men. But why them? Shepherds were the working class poor and social outcasts. Wise men were rich rulers, well-known [...]
Shepherds had a dirty job. That’s because sheep are dirty. Therefore, so are the shepherds. Not only that, but shepherds had to live away from town, away from other people. Their job prevented them from attending religious services, social events or meetings. They weren’t respected or included. Their job made them virtual outcasts. [...]
My first thought when someone mentions God is often that of a cosmic ruler, someone evaluating my life while keeping the universe in motion. Not good. I have to remind myself that is not the image Jesus brought us. But it is my default setting.
Freedom is central to our redemption. Guard it. Protect it. If you lose your freedom in Christ, you begin to lose your joy in living and your love for the Lord. Freedom is a big deal. Not everyone will celebrate your freedom in Christ. Rest assured, freedom irritates a lot of Christians. But freedom is still worth it.
But aren’t we supposed to believe in ourselves? Isn’t that healthy? No, absolutely not. Mixing faith in Jesus with faith in yourself will get you tangled up. You get snarled every time.
We have misinterpreted the word “flesh” in the Bible. Flesh does not mean bad actions or wrong desires, what we call “sin.” It means human effort. That’s a game changer.
Is your stomach growling? No, not your biological stomach, your spiritual stomach. Are you hungry for something spiritually? I’m through hungering for righteousness. This is not a misprint.
God is not confined by any of our human organizations. He goes wherever he wants. He does some amazing things in places you wouldn’t expect. The Jews made the mistake of thinking God only operated within their framework. And one time in the synagogue…Jesus blew up their box.
Why doesn’t Jesus act immediately when I want Him to do stuff? I’m freaked out! Why isn’t He? I have a crisis and I need it solved now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Certainly not next year. Now! Why does’t He understand that?