obedience

Take A Stand (John 19:8-9)

“When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, and he went back inside the palace.” (John 19:8-9a)

This week at my daughter’s school, the 5th grade students were given a presentation assignment. The topic was, “Who is the greatest person to you?”

As my daughter recapped what happened when they were given the task to complete, I realized she had faced a significant decision point that day. (more…)

Just Add Water (John 17:17)

“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…)

Just Like Judas (John 12:4-6)

“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…)

I Must Decrease (John 7:18)

“He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.” (John 7:18)

A few weeks back I asked my 10-year old daughter to pray over me, as I was leading our church’s worship team to prepare for Christmas Service. Out of all of the wonderful things she prayed for, one of the things I remember vividly is when she said, “God, prepare Daddy’s heart so that he isn’t doing this to impress anyone, but that he is only doing this to worship You.” (more…)

Do You Want to Get Well? (John 5:5-8)

“One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?’

‘Sir,’ the invalid replied, ‘I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.’

Then Jesus said to him, ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.’ (John 5:5-8)

We’re all broken. Maybe not physically like this man by the pool of Bethesda, but spiritually. Jesus came to heal our spiritual brokenness, by the breaking of His body on the cross. (more…)