When man sinned in the garden, Satan won a significant victory. Sin entered the world. Man was separated from his God. The world, fashioned by the Creator, was spoiled. The struggle for men’s hearts became apparent.
Yes, Satan won a victory, but it would not be lasting. The God who declares the end from the beginning showed us the ending, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15).
God would be victorious over sin, over sin’s effects, and over sin’s greatest proponent. But that victory would not always be evident. At times, in the struggle with sin, Satan would appear to have the upper hand. Continue reading “The Ruler of this world”
How does one glorify God? Like many words, the context makes the meaning possible.
If we mean worldly glory, then election to high office might define it. Or, if the subject is a rich person who has many possessions and friends that might help us understand the meaning of glory. Continue reading “The vehicle to glory”
And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself (John 12:32 ESV).
God desires to draw us to himself. As a host invites guests to a party (Luke 14:16-24), and as a shepherd leads his sheep (John 10:1-4), God invites us to join him in the kingdom and to follow Jesus through a life of personal growth and Divine glory.
We may be inexorably drawn to that which is beautiful, to that which is unique, to that which is lovely. While Jesus is all of that and more, God desires to draw us to the crucified Jesus. The drawing power Jesus refers to is his death upon the cross (John 12:33).
Continue reading “Drawn or Driven”
Crucifixion was Rome’s way of dealing with people it didn’t like. Crucifixion was Rome’s way of dealing with enemies. Its gruesome nature was a part of Rome telling people they’d best behave or they might find themselves hanging from a cross one day.
Jesus had a discussion with his disciples that put the figure of the cross front and center. In Luke 9, Jesus told the men following him that if they were his disciples, they must deny self and take up a cross. The condemned was required to carry his own cross to the place of execution. The figure is clear. Continue reading “Following Jesus involves a cross”
Dozens of portraits depict Jesus with a crown of thorns crucified on a cross. In all of them, there is the look of pain and sorrow accompanied by such a long and painful death.
What we don’t see in any of these portraits is Jesus’ joy.
Yes, that’s right. Joy.
Humans always equate sorrow with pain and death. Have you ever thought death could bring joy? Continue reading “Joy at the cross”
“Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mark 14:38, NASB) Jesus’ ordeal on the cross was not only extremely painful, it was humiliating. It was not only … Continue reading Why Peter failed, and Jesus didn’t
The way people treated Christ is basically how they’ll treat his disciples. Since persecution is a fact of life for Christians (2 Timothy 3:12), we shouldn’t expect anything less.
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you” (John 15:18, NKJV).
Everything about Jesus’ trial was illegal (Mark 14:53-59). Their hatred consumed them (Isaiah 53:7-9). The mob took to the streets with blood on their minds. They were willing to free a notorious murderer and a thief just so they could see Jesus killed (Matthew 27:17-20). Continue reading “Christ, Christians and the mob mentality”
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The greatest promise ever made
“For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption” (Psalm 16:10, ESV).
When it comes to raising children, proactive, positive reinforcement and the promise of reward is really the best way to motivate. Continue reading “Unspoken words from the cross – Pt. 4”
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My heart is glad
In 1976, Stevie Wonder released the album, Songs in the Key of Life. One of the enduring songs on that album is an upbeat, harmonica-laden, “Isn’t She Lovely,” a song that attempts to capture his feelings in the moments after his daughter, Aisha, was born: Continue reading “Unspoken words from the cross – Pt. 3”
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“I have set the LORD always before me” (Psalm 16:8).
Continue reading “Unspoken words from the cross – Pt. 2”