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Showing posts from January, 2018

Counting on Time

It’s the end of the first month of a new year as I write about time.  Time takes so long yet it rushes away.  It seems the longer I live, the worse I become at calculating time.  When I don’t have time to get to everything I want to do today, I assume I can catch up tomorrow.  I always think I have more time to cram more tasks into a morning before I arrive at work.               I wasn’t created to become a slave to time.  In the original creation time was not a constraint.  It was simply a measure of God’s goodness.  The first day began a succession of many other days, each a gift to receive.  That was before sin.  Time became a burden after the fall of mankind.  Limited time is a fallout from sin and death.  Time sentences my existence on earth to a number of years, months and days.                Still I would not want unlimited time on earth—this earth filled with sin—even if there were no death.  God has limited the time we live on earth as a gift.  He did not c…

The Sanctity of Life

Sanctity of Life Sunday rolls around every third Sunday in January. It is celebrated near the date of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision date.  This sometimes makes Sanctity of Life seem to be only about abortion and making laws against its legal practice.  Sanctity of Life is so much more than changing one law.  It is about drawing attention to the reality that life is God’s gift.  God highly values life.  It is not a political debate; it is a recognition of the work of our Creator God.  He breathed life into His creation.  Seeing life (all lives) as sacred stems from a love of God. Death is our problem.  God never wanted death to be a part of His creation.  God warned Adam and Eve about death.  We have death because we have been deceived by satan.  Once death entered our lives, it left us powerless to do anything about it.  God never wanted death in our lives, and He is still intent on helping us escape death’s grip.  Jesus told us that He came to bring life and …

Wanting to Avoid Temptation

The Pope has suggested that we reword the Lord’s Prayer when it comes to temptation.  Why would the Lord’s Prayer be altered?  As a Christian I am amazed by how many people can basically quote these few phrases of a prayer.  Most cannot tell you the Ten Commandments, but the Lord’s Prayer is heard frequently enough that many can join in once it is started.  Why would Christians want to mess with that?               I heard JI Packer, an evangelical theologian, give a talk on Ephesians 6 (Christian instruction about how to defeat Satan).  As he introduced this topic, he told us that in his late 80s he has dedicated the rest of his life to training Christians to be true disciples of Christ.  He said Ephesians 6—how to defeat the evil one—is the place he would start.  I love and respect JI Packer; but I thought this should be the second thing taught Christians, and the first should be our identity as children of God and coheirs with Jesus.  We need to understand that we ar…

Prayer Changes Things

As you interact on social media and watch the news, do you ever grow frustrated about harsh realities that you feel powerless to address?  Do you ever feel like you don’t want to hear any more bad news?  Are you heartbroken about friends who are diagnosed with incurable illness or have to go through the painful cure of radiation and chemotherapy for cancer treatment?  The ills of this world can become too much.               When evil is most overwhelming, we have prayer.  After the Transfiguration, when Jesus took His inner circle up to the mountain to reveal his physical glory to them, the rest of the disciples were in the valley fighting evil with the tools Jesus had given.  Even after being trained by Jesus Himself, they faced an evil that was too much for them.  You can read the dramatic retelling of this story in Mark 9:14-32, Matthew 17:14-19-23; and Luke 9:37-45.  Mark’s (and Matthew) gospel gives this detail.  Once the disciples were away from the crowd they as…

The Name Above All Names

The name Jesus means salvation.  God named His Son Jesus.  He told Mary and Joseph separately to use this name for the child born from Mary.  The first mention of the name Jesus was from Gabriel when he came to offer Mary her role in God’s plan to send Jesus to take on human flesh.                The name Jesus is a precious name.  It is the name above all names (Phil. 2:9).  It is a name not to be taken in vain (Ex. 20:7).  It is a name in which you ask the Father (Jn. 16:23).  It is the name by which all men will be saved (Romans 10:13, Acts 4:12).  His name brings His presence (Matthew 18:20).  It is a name that will be misused to gain power over others (Matthew 24:5).               On January first the church celebrates the naming of Jesus.  It is called the Feast of the Holy Name.  In Hebrew, the name was similar to the name Joshua.  On the eighth day when Hebrew custom required that a male child be circumcised, both parents declared His name.  No one seemed alarm…