In Spirit or in Truth?

In John chapter four the woman at the well asked Jesus what must have been the burning controversy of her time: Where was the proper place to worship? The Samaritans worshiped on nearby Mount Gerizim. “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain,” (it is easy to imagine her gesturing towards Gerizim’s summit) “but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem” (John 4:20).

Jesus’ answer indicates what is less important in worship, and what is vital. What is of less importance? The location where worship took place: “The hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the father,” Jesus began. Next he suggested that there was something that was important in worship: “True worshipers,” he declared, “must” worship God “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). From the divine perspective, the location of worship was not as important as the attitude of those who worshiped there! Continue reading “In Spirit or in Truth?”


One church: the intersection of scripture and today’s world

Money, politics and religion can stir up controversy. Within Christendom, opinions about church run deep. Yet, most agree what the New Testament teaches, such as its insistence there is one church. Disagreement arises over how this teaching should be applied to our world.

Can we understand how the Bible’s teaching regarding one church relates to our world? Can the confusion be untangled? I believe yes.  Continue reading “One church: the intersection of scripture and today’s world”


Let’s abandon the fake war between Bibles and cell phones

Popularity doesn’t concern itself with reason or practicality. We just join the crowd without asking the right questions.

For example, Christians have built a fake war between Bibles and cell phones. They say, “What if you spend as much time with your Bible as you do with your cell phone?” Continue reading “Let’s abandon the fake war between Bibles and cell phones”


Hard roads

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14 NRSV).

As I write this I am in a small town in the mountains of Nepal, at the beginning a a major trekking route in the Himalayas. We are approximately 60 miles at most from Katmandu, the capital of Nepal from where we began our journey. That trip took us eight hours in a private four-wheel drive SUV. The car was fine and the driver was skilled. But, oh, that road! Continue reading “Hard roads”


His blood be upon us

“O LORD, do save, we beseech You; O LORD, we beseech You, do send prosperity! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD; We have blessed you from the house of the LORD” (Psalm 118:25-26 NASB).

The words of Psalm 118 are important because they are almost word-for-word what the Jews in Jerusalem said to Jesus only short days before his crucifixion.

More than 100 years before Jesus was honored as a conquering king, the Jews greeted Simon Maccabaeus in an almost identical fashion, waving palm and willow branches crediting him with saving their nation.

Days later, however, the crowd’s voice changed. Instead of proclaiming his innocence before Pilate, they cried, “Crucify him!” (Matthew 27:22). The change in the crowd is odd for more reasons than the obvious. Continue reading “His blood be upon us”


Who is this man?

Jesus was travelling through Samaria with his disciples. While his disciples went into the city to buy something to eat, Jesus sat down at the well. A woman came to draw water.

Jesus surprised the woman by asking her for something to drink. This was surprising to the woman for two reasons. First, this man was speaking to her, a woman, in public – that just wasn’t done. And secondly, this man was a Jew and she was a Samaritan – Jews did not have time for Samaritans. So she asked him, “How can you – a Jew – ask me, a Samaritan woman, for water to drink?” (John 4:9 NET). Continue reading “Who is this man?”


Beneath misty mountains

“A good man (and a good woman) leaves an inheritance to his children’s children …” (Proverbs 13:22)

Let me tear away the mists of time and let you see the valley where my parents made a home. It was a city sheltered by misty mountains. One of the mountain ranges is even named for the mist – the Vumba (or sometimes Bvumba) is the local word for mist or drizzle. Continue reading “Beneath misty mountains”


Always Jesus

The motto for our Brazilian national ministry is “Always Jesus.” It means that the Lord Jesus is always the center of our attention. He is the focus of our faith. He must be in first place, for the kingdom of God is also his, Ephesians 5.5; Matthew 6.33; John 18.36.

We can and should deal with many topics that the Bible mentions. And these are considered in the light of Jesus Christ as the wisdom and power of God for salvation. If we speak of the church, the end times, the family, money, employment—whatever the subject—we must bring the subject to the feet of Jesus and submit it to his Lordship. Continue reading “Always Jesus”