Hope for Today

Jesus is Risen! We celebrate the truth that has shaped the whole world more than anything else. Check out yesterday’s Easter message. I hope this is a blessing to you. Thanks for reading and listening.

Hope for Today

One of the shows Lisa and I enjoy watching is Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. We loved it when it was on years ago and we are very much enjoying HGTV’s revival of the series (although the excessive amount of product placement and in-show advertising is getting a little old if one of the producers happens to be watching this). One of the best parts of the show for me is the big reveal moment. I love seeing all of the different expressions of joy and delight that people have when they see their new home for the first time. Some are more subdued. Some are wild and over the top. Most land in between those two extremes.

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Digging in Deeper: Mark 13:29, 32

“In the same way, when you see these things happening, recognize that he is near–at the door. . .Now concerning that day or hour no one knows–neither the angels in heaven nor the Son–but only the Father.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Something a little different for you this morning and we’ll get back to Habakkuk early next week. With all the chaos of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world there is a growing question on the minds of many folks with even the slightest amount of spiritual sensitivity: Are we in the end times? Personally I’ve been asked this twice this week. So then, are we? Let’s talk about it.

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Planting Seeds

God designed you to grow. And, when you’re growing like you should, you’ll be producing seeds that can be planted in other people that will affect the way they see and interact with and think about the world around them. The question is: Are these Gospel seeds, or are they seeds for something less savory. As a community, God designed us to be a place where people grow in Christ. Read on to see what this means for us, what it can mean for you, and what we should to about it.

Planting Seeds

I don’t have any corn growing in my front yard.  You can drive by my house any day of the week, any time of the day, and you won’t ever see any there.  It’s the weirdest thing.  It just isn’t there.  I like corn.  I love eating it.  I love it when we buy a whole bunch at the store, strip it off the cob, freeze it, and pull it out months later to enjoy.  Lisa is a wizard with those goodie freezer bags.  But there just isn’t any in my front yard.  There aren’t any green beans either.  That’s really too bad too, because it’s the one vegetable we’ve managed to be able to get all three boys to eat without much in the way of complaint.  I can’t tell you how convenient it would be to simply go out the front door and pick what we need rather than having to go to the store all the time for them.  Alas, though, the yard is bereft of beans.  And greens.  Now, I’m not much of one for greens myself, but Lisa likes cabbage.  You won’t find the first leaf of it in my front yard. 

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Morning Musing: Mark 10:21-22

“And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, ‘You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’ Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”  (ESV – Read the chapter) ‬‬

This is one of those sayings of Jesus that have given people trouble for a long, long time. What did He mean by this? Was He being literal with this command? Was this a one time thing or something He intended for a broader application? Is this something we can reinterpret as metaphorical, or was He somehow saying that just poor people can get into Heaven? What are we supposed to do with this? Read the rest…

Morning Musing: Mark 10:26-27

“And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, ‘Then who can be saved?’ Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.’”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Consider the disciples’ reaction here. Jesus had just made His famous declaration that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle (almost certainly a real camel and a real needle rather than some gate) than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. They understood Jesus rightly to be saying that rich people can’t get to heaven. And now that I have you hung up just like they were, if for a different reason, let me explain. Read the rest…