Logically right but spiritually wrong

“Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” (Matthew 4:7).

Following Jesus’ baptism, God said: “This is my beloved son” (Matthew 3:17). Immediately afterward, Jesus was taken to the wilderness to fast and be tested 40 days.

Satan tempted him there. His temptations all began with, “If you are the son of God…” He began with something that seemed perfectly reasonable: make stones into bread and feed yourself.

Men easily err when they think of what is perfectly reasonable to them, but fail to consult God. Why not turn stones to bread? He had the power. He had the opportunity. Continue reading “Logically right but spiritually wrong”

He must increase

It hurts when you have worked hard and been overlooked, or when you have toiled in anonymity and were never thanked.

There is humility, and then there’s false humility. The Bible demands one, but actually, not the other.

“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you, do not think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment …” (Romans 12:3). Continue reading “He must increase”

Dark side of humility

Scripture commands us to be humble but that doesn’t mean everyone is doing it properly. Let’s see how we’re hurting ourselves spiritually by misunderstanding what God intended.

Humility brings wisdom and honor (Proverbs 11:2; 18:12). It’s the foundation of all Christianity. Righteousness can’t occur without it. But how is humility being manifested in the lives of Christians? Continue reading “Dark side of humility”

The flavor of crow

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:11).

If there is one thing American society needs in particular, it is humility. (A warning: this is not only a post about the words of Christ, it is also thick with sports talk – at least, the first part).

For Christmas this year, my wife got me a framed picture of one of my childhood heroes: Walter Payton.

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Not everything about Payton’s life was admirable, but certainly as a football player, there was none like him. And one thing that I personally appreciated was that he didn’t showboat on the field. Continue reading “The flavor of crow”

Are we grateful or entitled?

Entitlement is something we feel we deserve because of who we are. Similar to gossip or lying, it’s something others have. We’re never guilty. Yet, it’s more entrenched than most in America realize.

Comfort is addictive. We’ve had it for years. Food, shelter, security and spending money are ubiquitous. We’ve no reason to expect anything else. Gifts are under the tree, a feast is on the table, decorations sparkle around us. Same as it ever was. Continue reading “Are we grateful or entitled?”

We all have filthy feet

If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you” (John 13:14).

The contrast is remarkable. Jesus knew he would be betrayed and arrested any minute, and his disciples were bickering over trivial things (cf. Luke 22:24). We sit here on the high horse of historical advantage and look down on them for their immaturity and lack of perception.

None of them fully understood the gravity of what was happening in front of them. The betrayer was at the table, and Jewish leaders were just waiting for him to give the signal. Within a matter of moments, Jesus would be taken from them, mistreated, unjustly accused, savagely tortured, mocked and nailed to a Roman cross to await the inevitable mercy only death could bring. As they celebrated Passover, little did Jesus’ disciples know that before the same hour the following day, Jesus’ body would be lying in Joseph’s tomb. Continue reading “We all have filthy feet”