Love one another

“I give you a new commandment – to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. Everyone will know by this that you are my disciples – if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35 NET).

Just after Jesus finished washing the feet of his disciples (John 13:1-17) and Judas had departed (John 13:18-33), Jesus began to give his final instructions to the men who had been with him for so long. Jesus loved these men (John 13:1) and he wanted to prepare them for what was about to happen (John 13:33). Continue reading “Love one another”

Separating love and approval

The Mosaic generation represents a wide diversity of values and characteristics. Yet many of these young adults share a common value which sometimes might cause them to view older Christians as hypocrites. However, before we become too critical of older adults, it would seem both sides of the generational divide could learn something from each other regarding following Christ.  Continue reading “Separating love and approval”

Full of grace and truth

Some time ago I was doing the children’s singing at a Vacation Bible School. I was asking the kids what song they wanted to sing next when one voice piped up:

“Jingle bells!” he cried.

I could see the smiles on the faces of several adults in the room, but before they could respond, his buddy responded, clear as a … as a bell:

“He means Jesus songs, Bozo!” Continue reading “Full of grace and truth”

Let all you do be done in love

As Paul concluded his letter to the Christians in Corinth, the one we call 1 Corinthians, he had a number of last minute concerns to mention to them as well as a number of people to comment on.

He began by talking about the special collection they were taking up to help in famine relief for the Christians in Judea. He was concerned that it would be ready on time. He hoped to visit them after he went through Macedonia and warned them that he might even spend the winter with them. Continue reading “Let all you do be done in love”

Six things Jesus shows us

“After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, ‘Follow me'” (Luke 5:27).

While in the construction industry some years back, I sometimes found myself in a pickle. I would come across something I had never seen or done before. A few times I actually went to the library and got out a book to try to understand what I needed to do (those were not pre-Google days, they were pre-internet days!). I usually struggled with the descriptions and diagrams in the book.

But when I had someone with me, actually showing me how, I was able to grasp the concept and duplicate it fairly easily. I would not be surprised if this was the very method by which Jesus learned his trade (Mark 6:3). Continue reading “Six things Jesus shows us”

The two greatest commands

During the week leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion, he was almost daily teaching people, usually in the temple. One day in particular seems to have been very busy as one group after another came to Jesus with questions they considered to be either difficult or with no answer, in an attempt to trap him in what he was saying.

First came the Pharisees and Herodians. These two groups were opposed to each other politically, with the Herodians supporting Rome and the Pharisees opposing Rome. Yet they put their differences aside to attack their common enemy: Jesus. They asked a question about paying taxes which Jesus skilfully answered, to their amazement (Mark 12:13-17). Continue reading “The two greatest commands”

The new commandment

“A new commandment I give you, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:24,25).

It’s interesting to note that “love” can be commanded. How can love be a command? Remember your first teenage crush? Did someone command you to fall for that 14-year-old girl? Of course not! You just had hormones! Continue reading “The new commandment”

Whether through difficulty or ease

Some scriptures tend to be more popular than others. Often these verses are memorized and are characterized by offering us hope and relief. Among these popular texts, Paul’s letter from prison to the Philippians contains a number of texts that stand tall offering comfort and inspiration.

In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of contentment, whether I go satisfied or hungry, have plenty or nothing. I am able to do all things through the one who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:12,13).

Paul’s secret can be ours. A deep satisfying contentment can be ours. Real freedom from crushing situational distress exists. They need not rule our lives nor how we evaluate our lives. However, all of this comes at a price.  Continue reading “Whether through difficulty or ease”