Morning Musing: Luke 1:30-31

“And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.” (ESV – Read the chapter

We often hear Mary’s story here told and think, “Wow, how amazing would it be to have God think so highly of us?” And certainly Mary has occupied a large place in the story of humanity because of what God had planned for her. But before we stop at this thought of how great it would have been to be Mary, let’s back up just a bit. Mary was surely blessed by God, but walking in her shoes would have been a bit more complicated than the neat and tidy version of the story lets on. 

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Digging in Deeper: Ephesians 4:28

“Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

God’s love moves outward.  That’s its nature.  It exists for the benefit of the other, whoever the other happens to be.  If we think we have love for someone else, but that love is not primarily oriented toward seeing them advanced in the direction of who God made them to be regardless of any benefits such a commitment might have for us, what we have is something other than love.  It might be strong, positive feelings, but it isn’t love. Read the rest…

Morning Musing: 1 Corinthians 2:9

“But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him’–”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

I love this verse.  Here’s how good our God is: We cannot even imagine all the good things he has planned for us.  We cannot even fathom them.  Some of them, perhaps, have not even been invented yet.  And God is prepared for them. Read the rest…

Morning Musings: Genesis 12:2

“And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

God’s blessings when we experience them are an amazing thing.  Have you known the blessing of God before?  Have you experienced the weight of His presence in a hard moment?  Have you worn the lightness of His burden when you were deep in the trenches of life?  Have you had one of those moments when everything was going right?  That must have been something like what Abram was feeling. Read the rest…

Morning Musings: 1 Timothy 1:15-16

“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.  But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Paul was called to receive the gift of salvation so that others might come to a saving faith as well.  We know this is true from Paul’s own testimony, but also from the example of his life.  Do you know who else was saved so that others might come to a saving relationship with Jesus?  You were!  So was I.  So was every person who is a follower of Jesus or who has ever been in the past.  God gives us the gift of salvation not only for ourselves, but so that others might come to a saving knowledge of Him through us.  In other words: If you have been blessed by God, the purpose of that blessing was so that you might be a blessing to others. Read the rest…