Circulation

First Thessalonians three finds Paul relieved that the Thessalonians are continuing to believe Jesus despite persecution: “For now we live, if you stand firm in the Lord” (1 Thess. 3:8).  This is an expression of happiness but also much more. Paul has written much about the Thessalonians’ participation in the sufferings of Jesus, as well…

Copycats

For you, brothers, became imitators of God’s churches in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, since you have also suffered the same things from people of your own country, just as they did from the Jews who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets and persecuted us” (1 Thess. 2:14-15). For the second time,…

God with the Smelly and Beastly

With Christmas just past, I’ve been thinking about one of the names by which Jesus was announced: Immanuel, “God with us.” “God with us” was a prophetic name first uttered by Isaiah in a prophecy (Isaiah 7:14).  Matthew tells us Jesus fulfilled this prophetic appellation when he was born (Matt. 1:23). Jesus’s birth as a…

Life through the One New Man

Early in my walk with the Lord, I attended a prayer meeting at church. As we prayed, Adam’s formation came to mind: I imagined particles of dust swirling together, sculpting Adam’s body in mid air (Gen. 2:7). When the body was formed, God breathed life into the whole of him. Adam rose to his feet….

This Cross

This cross, this cross I know so well, each wood-grain scar, each bloody dell; each splinter broken from this tree, which once in him, is now in me; each splinter growing like a knife that plunges deep with worship’s life; a sacrifice my life to be, for Him, for Him who died for me.

The Biggest Small Word

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ….” (1 Peter 1:1) “Of” is a mighty word in scripture.  It can show source–something that originates in something else and shares its nature, substance, reality.  Ownership is another connotation.  “Of” also suggests “from”; coming in another’s stead and on their authority.  Such big ideas in such a little word!…