Posts from February 2016

How Do We Respond?

Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” – John 6:5   (NRSV) In today’s passage, Jesus asks Philip where the disciples could buy bread to feed the multitude that had been following Jesus. The scripture says that Jesus asks Philip the question in order to “test him”…

Taking Notice

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?” —Job 38:4   When I clean my house for a special event, I become discouraged because I think that guests won’t notice what I clean, only what I don’t clean. This brings to mind a larger philosophical and spiritual question: Why do humans more quickly see…

Lifeblood

Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. —Hebrews 9:22   Mary Ann believed in God and His Son Jesus, but she struggled with why Jesus had to shed His blood to bring salvation. Who would think of cleansing something with blood? Yet the Bible says, “The law requires that nearly everything be cleansed…

The Forward Look

Simeon . . . was righteous and devout . . . and the Holy Spirit was on him. —Luke 2:25   When the great Dutch painter Rembrandt died unexpectedly at age 63, an unfinished painting was found on his easel. It focuses on Simeon’s emotion in holding the baby Jesus when He was brought to…

Idols in Our Hearts

“Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put before them that which causes them to stumble into iniquity. Should I let Myself be inquired of at all by them?” —Ezekiel 14:3   I find it interesting that the first two of the Ten Commandments deal with the issue…

Use a Little Faith

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. —Hebrews 11:6   Sometimes our prayers are not answered in the affirmative because we simply do not believe. Jesus could do no mighty…

Be Still

Be still, and know that I am God. —Psalm 46:10   Years ago I responded to letters within a couple of weeks and kept my correspondents happy. Then came the fax machine, and they seemed content with receiving a response within a couple of days. Today, with email, instant messaging, and mobile phones, a response…

Keep a Clean Heart

If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear. —Psalm 66:18   Not only does praying with a selfish motive hinder our prayers, but unconfessed sin can thwart them as well. Isaiah 59:1  –2 says, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it…

Four Ways to Look

I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds. —Psalm 77:12   Joan was struggling with some difficult issues with her children when she sat down for a worship service. Exhausted, she wanted to “resign” from motherhood. Then the speaker began to share encouragement for those who feel like quitting. These…

A Generous Father

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” —John 15:7   A teenage boy who had just received his driver’s license was asking to use the family car. His dad, who was known for being stingy, told him, “I…