Digging in Deeper: Mark 2:5

“Seeing their faith, Jesus told the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Sometimes, when a good thing is done in a way or at a time that no one was expecting, it doesn’t seem so good anymore. Have you ever noticed that? I believe the cynical adage is that no good deeds goes unpunished. That could have been the theme of Jesus’ whole ministry. He did a whole lot of good things during His three years in the spotlight and yet again and again He did them in ways that broke the mold. They broke the mold for a people who were very much fond of their molds. The result was a whole lot more conflict than you would think someone so committed to doing good would attract. This first story in Mark 2 is a perfect example.

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Digging in Deeper: 1 Peter 3:10-12

“For the one who wants to love life and to see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit, and let him turn away from evil and do what is good. Let him seek peace and pursue it, because the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do what is evil.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

We all want the good life. All of us. Now, our definitions of what constitutes the good life can vary pretty wildly from one person to another, but it’s our goal all the same. Culturally, the good life is generally defined as being economically prosperous, materially abundant, vocationally successful, and socially respected. However you happen to define the good life, though, the real question is how you come by it. What Peter offers us here is a pathway to one particularly worthy destination.

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Digging in Deeper: Matthew 7:3-5

“Why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the beam of wood in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the splinter out of your eye,’ and look, there’s a beam of wood in your own eye? Hypocrite! First take the beam of wood out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

So, yesterday morning we started talking about judgment. Or rather, we started talking about not judging people. Well, no, that’s not quite right either, is it? Jesus said we shouldn’t judge, but as we thought about it together, we realized that wasn’t really what He was saying at all. And I’ll admit, it was a little tough to follow (including what I had to say!). This morning we’re going to try and clear things up a bit…or at least make them a little less muddy. Let’s talk about sticks in our eyes.

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Digging in Deeper: James 1:13-14

“No one undergoing a trial should say, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ since God is not tempted by evil, and he himself doesn’t tempt anyone. But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desire.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever gotten caught doing something wrong? I remember disobeying my parents and throwing dirt clods from our garden at the side wall of our shed when I was growing up. I had invited my cousin to do it with me. The reason I had been told not to do this was because there was a window in the wall and they didn’t want me to break it with an errantly thrown clod. But the dirt clods splattered so satisfyingly against the wall. So I threw them anyway…and you can guess what happened next. I broke the window. Because, of course I did. When my dad asked me about it later, do you know what I told him? You can probably guess that too: My cousin did it!

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Morning Musing: James 1:12

“Blessed is the one who endures trials, because when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Sometimes life is hard. I’ll preach a funeral service today for a good and godly man. This will be the third funeral I’ve been a part of in the last two weeks. That’s three mourning families. Two were guys for whom you could have said, “It was their time,” (although that never makes the loss sting any less). One makes you want to rage against the injustice of a broken world. Sometimes life is hard. How do we handle it?

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