Divine Nature Ancestry (DNA)

Genesis 24 finds Abraham getting on in years. He asks his head servant “who managed all he owned” to find a wife for his son, Isaac.  Abraham insists his servant not find a wife for Isaac among the Canaanites; he asks him to return to the land of his family to find a wife for…

Jesus Is Coming. Look Busy.

Paul ends his letter to the Thessalonians with final instructions for the community. His directives culminate in verses 23 and 24: “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept sound and blameless in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will…

Am I Growing?

Not long ago, it was my turn to share from scripture at a men’s group I attend.  As I asked the Lord what to talk about, I found my mind turning to questions: Am I growing spiritually?  If so, how do I know?  I decided to raise these questions at the men’s group to see…

Which Nature?

The other day, a guy in a truck blew a stop sign, pulled right in front of me, and sped down the road.  I was super annoyed and wished all kinds of misfortune on him (“LET HIM GET PULLED OVER, LORD!”). Seconds later, I thought about my reaction and judgments.  The driver was reckless and…

What a Waste

One night as I sat praying, I found myself thinking what a waste spirituality is (in one sense).  Case in point, there I was, sitting, doing nothing.  Not long ago I wrote that much of my prayer time is taken up just sitting with the Lord, feeding on His presence.  There aren’t many great revelations;…

Everything Will Fall

On December 1st I woke from a dream that left me unsettled.  It was a long rambling dream, but I knew the end was from the Lord.  In the dream, I was talking with a friend who pastors a church.  He was telling me the church suddenly fell apart and closed.  He said, “Everything seemed…

IN

In 1 Thessalonians chapter four, Paul turns to discussing behavior and growing in separation to the Lord (1 Thess. 4:1-12).  But he starts with a phrase, easily overlooked, that provides vital context for what follows: “We ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus….” (1 Thess. 4:1).  In other words, “in Jesus” is where Paul’s…

Christmas Presence

The following appeared in our local paper this past weekend. It is a revision of a post previously published under the title, “Those Jell-o Loving Antichrists. *** Scripture tells us “God is love,” and that God’s love was most profoundly shown through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross (1 John 3:16, 4:16).  At one point in my…

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,…