“For I declare mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgement of God rather than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6)
If we are not sincere when we attempt to turn away from our sin and trust in God’s grace over our failures, then we will likely end up falling back into that same sin repeatedly or any other pattern of sins. If that cycle sounds familiar to you, then let me help you out and let you know that’s not the way it’s supposed to be. (more…)
Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize it was Jesus. He called out to them, ‘Friends, haven’t you any fish?’
‘No,’ they answered.
He said, ‘Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.’
When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.” (John 21:4-6)
While there were many fish to catch in the Sea of Tiberias where the disciples were casting their net, they were unsuccessful in their efforts. That is, until the presence of Jesus and obedience of His words changed everything. (more…)
“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17)
Try washing the dishes in your sink without water, or washing the clothes in your laundry machine without water, or taking a bath without water. Pretty difficult and ineffective right?
We can’t expect those things to be thoroughly cleaned without immersing them in water, and we likewise can’t expect to live a sanctified life (set apart for use by God, cleansed, made holy) without immersing ourselves in His Word. So why do so many Christians think they can? (more…)
“But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, ‘Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.’ He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.” (John 12:4-6)
Several years ago when my family and I still lived in the SF Bay Area, we attended a large church that puts on an annual Easter production for the community. One year I played the role of Judas Iscariot, who is known as the disciple who betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. It was challenging for me to play that role, for as a born-again Christian, I had to put myself in the complete mindset of the one who betrayed the Lord.
While it was difficult to put myself in Judas Iscariot’s shoes, the life of Judas is a clear demonstration of those who claim to believe in and follow Jesus, but whose thoughts and actions reflect anything but. And I had been there before. (more…)