St. Paul gave us some good advice in his letter to the Corinthians. He helps us today in removing the stumbling blocks in our seeking the Lord: “You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of human masters. In whatever condition you were called, brothers and sisters, there remain with God.” (1 Corinthians 7:10-24 NRSV).
St. Paul fires out at us over the law of his time versus the relief Christ gives us in His suffering for us in saying:
“For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the things written in the book
The resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is the anchor of our Christianity. Jesus wanted to be sure that His resurrection was real and not a hoax, so he planted some seeds. He did this after His human death: “But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my
David moved from doing things his way to doing things God’s way. He says in Psalm 5: “But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, so that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover them with
St. Paul speaks to the Thessalonians about crediting God for His Words: “We also constantly give thanks to God for this, that when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word but as what it really is, God’s Word, which is also at work in you believers.” (1 Thessalonians
The world is full of leaders in all aspects of life. In reading the Gospel according to Matthew, we hear just what our Lord’s explanation of leadership is: “...but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came
Paul’s teaching time with the Corinthians using their own words: “’All things are lawful for me,’ but not all things are beneficial.’All things are lawful for me,’ but I will not be dominated by anything.” (1 Corinthians 6:12-20).
Paul quotes what some Corinthians had said, that “All things are lawful for me,” and warns them of the danger of
St. Paul reminds us concerning the origin of the word: “We also constantly give thanks to God for this, that when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word but as what it really is, God’s word, which is also at work in you believers.” (1 Thessalonians 2:9-13,17-20).
In Paul’s letter to the Romans we hear: “For just as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:15b-19).
The bad news is that Adam ate the forbidden fruit. The good news is that Christ has brought abundant consumable fruit. A number of
In the Gospel of Mark, we hear a man say something that many have a hard time saying today: “Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, ‘Truly this man was God’s Son!” (Mark 15:33-39).
On our last day will it be said of us that, “Truly this
This portion of Psalm 91 meant much to me as I faced a hurdle in life: “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.” (Psalm 91:11-12).
This psalm impacted me in a time
We hear in Psalm 50 how thanking the Lord and living right is all He wants: “Gather to me my faithful ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!...Those who bring thanksgiving as their sacrifice honor me; to those who go the right way I will show the salvation of God.” (Psalm 50)
Everything that we do should
We hear in the Gospel of Matthew: “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven...” (Matthew 5:43-48).
If anyone needs praying for, your enemies do. If we were in a right relationship with God, would we pray for harm to come
In 1 John we venture into our true relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit: “For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. Who is it that conquers
In the Acts of the Apostles we hear Jesus telling Paul: “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent; for I am with you...” (Acts 18:1-11).
Paul was opposed and reviled in the synagogue in Corinth. He then went out to proclaim Jesus to the Gentiles in the surrounding area. The Lord spoke to Paul in
The Bible seems to connect with everything in life. In Leviticus we hear: “You shall not revile the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind; you shall fear your God: I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 19:14).
A week and a half ago my cochlear implant was activated. While my hearing ability has been deteriorating for several years
In the Acts of the Apostles we hear St. Paul speak to the Ephesian Elders: “But I do not count my life of any value to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the good news of God’s grace...remembering the words of the Lord Jesus,
In 1 John we see our second chances: “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins
In 1 Peter we hear of God’s gift to us through Jesus: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in
In the Gospel according to Luke we hear this concerning Peter: “And he went out and wept bitterly.” (Luke 22:52-62).
Peter is destroyed as he realizes his denials, which Jesus had predicted. This was a low point in Peter’s life. He had committed everything to Jesus. He had gone the whole way of Christ’s ministry. Now, as Jesus is
In Psalm 62 we hear, “For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.” (Psalm 62:1).
Are we willing to wait in silence for God? We are hyperactive and impatient when it comes to waiting on God. In our fast-pace world we need answers and solutions now! God doesn’t work that way. He’s more like your
We hear about a positive way of connecting with the Lord in Psalm 100: “Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come into his presence with singing. Know that the LORD is God. It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of
We hear St. Paul say in Colossians: “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily and you have come to fullness in him, who is the
In the Gospel of John we hear Jesus say, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:37-52)
St. John’s explanation of these words of Jesus is, “Now he said this about the
In John’s Gospel we are told: “Jesus answered them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.’ “ (John 8:31-47).
Being a slave
In St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans we hear, “What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring charges against God’s
In the Book of Isaiah 42:1-9 we hear foretold, “I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench...He will not grow
In First Peter 4:7-19 we hear: “Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things
We hear Mark quote Jesus in Chapter 4:35-41: “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?”
This story of Jesus causing the wind to cease and the sea to be calm while the disciples were fearful for their lives is a snapshot that lives in the photo albums of every generation. We are all challenged. It’s the same
In 1-Thessalonians 5:12-28, we hear St. Paul say: “See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.”
Paul reminds us
In John 4:46-54, we see how Jesus deals with someone who initially wants Him to perform magic. Someone who is not a believer: “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.’ The official said to him, ‘Sir, come down before my little boy dies.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your son will
In 2nd Kings 2:1-18 we hear Elisha seek something special from Elijah: “When they had crossed [the Jordan], Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.’ Elisha said, ‘Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.’”
Have you ever known someone whose spirit impacted you the way
In Colossians 2:8-23, we hear St. Paul say to us: “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fullness in him,
There is a difference between falling in love with someone and loving the Lord. Falling in love is a wonderful experience, but God’s love is what we should fall for. We share that kind of love with all human beings. It’s hard work sometimes.
In Deuteronomy 6:1-9 we hear Moses sharing: “You shall love the LORD your God
God wants us to connect with His eternal kingdom while we are still in the natural world. By sending us His Son Jesus the Christ He is making that connection for all people forevermore. It is hard for us to think eternally.
In Revelations: 212:1-7 we hear in part; “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will
In Acts 17:26-27 we hear, “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one
You have probably seen TV commercials for a medicine or treatment that describe a product while showing people doing lots of neat things as if the medicine or treatment would turn their lives totally around. As the joy and wonder on their faces is being shown and the product is described, there is something else going on in the
We hear this story in John 6:60-71, “Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. So Jesus asked the twelve, ‘Do you also wish to go away?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know
People tend to contemplate life as they live it from childhood to late life. A person’s particular take on life will guide them in how they see themselves in their life. There’s always a chance to change our direction in life, whether we seek guidance from God, a friend or take it on ourselves - or maybe
Isn’t it a pity that the relationships with others in the environments in which we live can be like ships passing in the night? We move past our fellow citizens without even noticing that they exist. Ministry to others is the furthest thing from our minds. We have our things to do and seek activity with our favorite groups
In receiving Holy Communion, we connect with Christ Jesus through His Body and Blood. Another way of understanding this connection we make to Jesus is actually being part of His Body and Blood. A way we describe this is by understanding we are in the vineyard with Jesus. The gospel of John enlightens us with the description by Jesus.
We live in a country that is managed by politicians and government. Fortunately, we are a democracy and not a dictatorship. We get to vote who goes into political office. While our democracy was founded by faith based leaders, we are not a theocracy. In our democracy, the Church and State are separate, but live together in some sort
Imagine the World Globe with dots all over it. Using dots on the globe is a way learning institutions, governments and the media show us certain information about things that impact us. It’s a way of describing the places that certain things are happening. As I watched some dots on a television documentary the other day, I began to
In 1-Peter 2:1-10, Peter pulls the worldly rug out from under us in saying: “Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation--if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.”
In one statement Peter
In Psalm 62, we are reminded of the waiting we must do in seeking God in our lives: “For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation.”
Are we willing to wait in silence for God? We are hyperactive and impatient when it comes to waiting on God. In our fast-pace world we need answers
Sometimes we need to get down to the bare bones of our professed religion. In James 1:17-18, 21-27, we are challenged: “If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows
There is much pressure on each one of us to be what the world wants us to be. It is so easy to cave in to the world and miss being who we really are. Seeking who we really are is not an easy task for us. We need to rely on the Word of God in the Bible
Many have asked the question, ‘Why does God let bad things happen to good people.” Our life on earth is by its nature sometimes pretty dangerous. Just leaving the house and driving to work or shopping can be dangerous as we operate our vehicles in wild and crazy traffic.
The many illnesses and diseases that we can experience in
Are we prepared to surrender things in our lives in order to obtain a relationship with Christ? It is our path in seeking a relationship that will guide us and support us going forward as we strive to do the Lord’s work in this world. In this we become a part of Christ and reflect His every call.
In this, our natural life, we have difficulty believing that God is really at our side delivering His Grace. If we don’t receive a concrete sign that God is working in our lives, we don’t always trust in Him.
We hear in John 4:46-54 in part: “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Unless you see signs and wonders you
There are times in our lives when we can experience God’s “unconditional love.” There are times when all the resistance created by social and economic pressures is swept away. And there are times when hatred, jealousy, anger ambition, judgment, fear and insecurity are leveled.
The December, 1988, evening of the memorial service for my mother and the days before
The Bible has many stories of people having close encounters with the Lord during many different kinds of situations in their lives. As we try to relate to God in our lives in the present era, there are many revelation stories not too far away from us in time. Looking back to the book of Genesis, we learn that
The Holy Trinity can be as confusing as we want to make it. God did a really good job in making our connecting with Him, in and through His Holy threesome, a relationship changing event. As we find in the first chapter of John, the Word was with God from the beginning and He sent Him to us in
As we observe the activities of man in this world, we see a variety of outcomes in man’s actions for the world and against the world. There are those who care for their fellow man and those who think nothing of killing their fellow man for their own purposes. Life has no meaning to some and life is most
In Matthew’s Gospel, Chapter 7, Jesus continues His Sermon on the Mount and we hear about road and destination choices in life. He makes us aware of our choice of the easy road in life in saying, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are
As Easter approaches we experience the human Jesus dying on the cross and becoming the Christ we all worship. He came as God’s Word and confirmed for us what God has always been like through His Love and Grace. The life, death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, establishes a connection that we sometimes don’t know
The Bible is full of cries from God’s children to be saved in their lives. In Psalm 69:1-3 we hear, “Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing. I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. I am weary of my
In Psalm 62:5-8 we hear, “My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.
In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God.
Trust in Him at all
“Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” is a popular Christian hymn written in 1907 by Ada R. Habershon with music by Charles H. Gabriel. The first verse and chorus go like this:
“There are loved ones in the glory, whose dear forms you often miss. When you close your earthly story, will you join them in their bliss?
I have never been all that particular about my clothes. I want to look presentable, but I usually don’t go out and purchase the highest quality clothing. My wife tells me that I have no taste. I would rather have lots of inexpensive clothing that wears out fast than a few good items that will last me awhile.
In the Book of Acts 18:1-11 we hear, “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent; for I am with you...” Paul was opposed and reviled in the synagogue in Corinth. He then went out to proclaim Jesus to the Gentiles in the surrounding area. The Lord spoke to Paul in a vision one night saying,
I’ve often wondered what God was thinking when He created the Universe. Was He bored with things and decided to occupy His time in a better way? Was He like an artist and just started painting on His canvas? Maybe whatever came into His mind He would start creating as one thing led to another. Was He getting lonely
Most of us have at least one pet of some kind. We have them for a variety of reasons: It gives us a sense of comfort having them around. They help keep all kinds of creatures from taking over our homes. They please our children. They are a form of security for our home. They are like having children
Have you ever thought that a “wide door” may have opened for you, but the threat of human obstacles caused you to withdraw rather than fight the good fight for a good cause? It is easy to let jealous, negative, self-serving, mean, angry and evil-minded people slow us down, intimidate us and stop us from completing good works.
We are encouraged in our Christian Faith to seek God through Christ and the Holy Spirit in all things. Unfortunately, this is a mission that we are incapable of fulfilling. Try as we will, our daily interferences in life can pull us away from our mission.
We can’t just get it right 100% of the time. Does that mean
In the Book of The Revelation to John 21:22-27 we hear, “I saw no temple in the city, its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb...Its gates will
At Christmastide, the celebration of the birth of Jesus, do we have a sense of being rescued? It is hard to think of rescue when for many of us it is a time of receiving and giving gift upon gift. The material smothers any awareness of rescue. The only rescue that we might contemplate is the rescue from an
In the Gospel of John 7:37-52, Jesus tells us in part, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’”
St. John’s explanation of these words of Jesus is, “Now he said this about the
The thing that troubled me most as I began to seek the Lord in my life was the permanence of it all. In seeking security in God I also experienced a sense of not being able to turn back to my old ways. The more that the knowledge of God was raining on me, the more afraid I became
We should be thankful that God does not operate like the folks in the fairs and carnivals that take your good money to play a game that is almost impossible to win.
The phrase they shout at their clientele when 99 percent of them can’t win the game is, “Close, but no cigar!” This phrase goes back 100 years when
Another Thanksgiving has come and gone, but shouldn’t we continue to be thankful for the blessings of this life? We say there are lots of things in life that we’re not thankful for, but should that stop us from being thankful? I once worked for a man who had a saying something like this: ‘Work is being in a