It is late May, the Day of Pentecost. The past few months have been momentous. Almost two months ago the prophet from Nazareth was executed – crucified – by the Romans, although we hear it was instigated by the Jewish leaders. Yet within days many of his followers were saying that he had come back from the dead. Some claimed to have seen him within the past few weeks! You can’t help but wonder what might happen at Pentecost.
Jews from all over the world have come home for this great Jewish festival. It is now about nine o’clock on Sunday morning. Many have gathered for the morning sacrifice and prayers. Suddenly, we hear the sound of a great gust of wind but, strangely, we can’t feel even a breeze stirring the air. Continue reading “What should we do?”
“Then Jesus traveled throughout towns and villages, teaching and making his way toward Jerusalem. Someone asked him, ‘Lord, will only a few be saved?’
“So he said to them, ‘Exert every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, then you will stand outside and start to knock on the door and beg him, “Lord, let us in!” But he will answer you, “I don’t know where you come from.” Then you will begin to say, “We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.” But he will reply, “I don’t know where you come from! Go away from me, all you evildoers!”
“There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves thrown out. Then people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and take their places at the banquet table in the kingdom of God. But indeed, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.’” (Luke 13:22-30 NET) Continue reading “The narrow door”
Texas is a state of wire fences. If one wants to learn how to construct a barbed-wire fence, Texas is the place to go. In Texas, they call the fence wire, “bobwar.” There are different fences to keep different kinds of animals. There are fences for horses and cattle, which (I’m told) is the easiest to build, and there are specific fences for sheep, goats and hogs.
Palestine was not a country of fences. Shepherds kept flocks usually in a walled enclosure at night. The enclosure didn’t have a door. So, the shepherd laid down across the opening, forcing wolves to attack him to get to the sheep. Continue reading “The Prince of Peace is the door”
Randomly grab part of a child’s hot air balloon mobile and you are likely to hold a collapsed tangled mess. However, if you pick up that same mobile using the center string securing the upper most support, the entire mobile falls into place displaying the proper relationship between its various components.
Each part of the mobile is important. Yet priority is built into a mobile’s proper functioning. The church can learn a lot from a child’s mobile. Continue reading “What a child’s mobile can teach the church”
“Be cleansed” (Luke 5:13).
Behold the impact of Jesus’ words:
- Jesus said, “Be still!” and the storm stopped immediately (Mark 4:39)
- Jesus said, “Be cleansed,” and the leper was cured instantly (Luke 5:13).
- Jesus said, “Come forth,” and Lazarus walked out promptly (John 11:43).
- Jesus said, “Come out” and demons fled fearfully (Luke 4:35-36).
- Jesus said, “Let there be” (Genesis 1:3,6,14) and the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, sprang into existence from nothing, unhesitatingly (Exodus 20:11; Psalm 146:6; John 1:3).
Continue reading “What happens when we ignore the Composer?”
When we catch up with Moses in Exodus 3, forty more years have gone by. Moses is now eighty years old and a shepherd for his father-in-law.
Although Moses seems to have forgotten what he already knew, that God would use him to deliver Israel from Egyptian slavery (see Acts 7:24-25), God had not forgotten. God spoke to Moses from a bush that was burning but not burning up. The message God had for Moses was simple: now was the time for him to go and deliver the Israelites from slavery. Continue reading “Excuses, excuses”
Water drips from the chin. Smiles abound. God’s power has created a new life in Christ Jesus. Yet, major questions remain.
What can we expect in living this new life? Clearly, God plans for Christians to be transformed into the image of his Son (Romans 8:29). Continue reading “Christian transformation”
My wife teaches eighth-graders reading, spelling and language. One of her biggest pleas is the same heard by students in all classes: “LISTEN!”
Hearing is more than just receiving an audible sound in the ears. Hearing means true listening. It means applying the mind to what the ear hears and to what the eyes see. Continue reading “Listen”
As a plant addict and gardener, I am often asked questions concerning plant or insect identification, or plant care questions. Most of the time, I feel blessed when I can help a less experienced gardener to make her world more beautiful, even if it’s just the world of her back porch. Continue reading “I don’t know”
Why is it that the term “Pharisee” has such a bad connotation? And what exactly does it mean to be “Pharisaical” today?
Jesus’ speech in Matthew 23 is directed at this sect, and gives us a lot of insight as to what made many Pharisees contrary to God. Jesus calls them hypocrites 7 times.
There are 2 particular elements constituting their hypocrisy, which are as follows: Continue reading “Modern-day Pharisees: let’s get it right”