Jesus has a few choice words to say about what you should do when other people cause bad things to happen to you. His way of handling these situations is sometimes called “the Matthew 18 approach,” because that’s where he tells his followers what to do. Friends, relatives, neighbors, and even enemies can hurt us … Continue reading Anybody Done You Wrong Lately?
Jesus said to his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Matthew (16:24), Mark (8:34), and Luke (9:23) all agree that Jesus told his followers that they must deny themselves. Mark and Luke include the whole crowd as well as the disciples … Continue reading What Did Jesus Mean about Self-Denial?
The way we think, and especially the times when we are thankful, have real physical effects on our brain and on our character. Modern neuroscience has shown that the things we think about, the places where we direct our attention, really do shape us and help us grow. A couple of weeks ago I needed … Continue reading Give Thanks
Luke’s gospel, chapter 14, describes a social event during Jesus’ teaching ministry, as he was traveling around the countryside. Jesus was one of many traveling teachers, some with a large following and some with only a few followers. As these traveling teachers came through a town, the local religious leaders would like to take a … Continue reading Who Is Invited?
The Good Samaritan is probably the most famous story Jesus ever told. Even people who don’t know much about Jesus can often tell you all about the good Samaritan. They’ll tell you it’s a simple story: A guy gets beat up and left lying on the road. Some supposedly good guys walk right around him … Continue reading How Do You Treat a Stranger?
One of the really hard concepts to understand in the Christian faith is the idea of the trinity: What does it mean, really? Are there really three people who are God, or is there really only one God the way the Bible says? If both three and one are true, how can they both be … Continue reading What Is the Trinity and Why Does It Matter?
I have some friends who aren’t Christians, who simply don’t understand the nature of the Holy Spirit. They don’t understand that the Spirit’s a person and not a thing. Mostly they get their theology out of movies like “Star Wars,” and they think that the Holy Spirit is just the “Force” with a different name. … Continue reading Who Is the Holy Spirit?
On Pentecost we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit into the world, come to live with all those who follow Jesus. Jesus told his followers what it was going to be like, to have the Holy Spirit in the world. He said, When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all … Continue reading What Happened on Pentecost?
Have you managed to avoid ever getting angry? … Let me try something easier. Have you managed to avoid getting angry this week? … Well, have you managed to avoid getting angry so far today? After all, Jesus said, “I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will … Continue reading Advice from Jesus about Anger
Right in the middle of his busy ministry, Jesus comes into a time of transition, and this always makes me wonder what life was really like for him. Transitions aren’t comfortable times. Change isn’t easy. Things ahead are going to be different. Up to this point Jesus has had an exciting and successful time of … Continue reading What Was Jesus Looking for on the Mountain?