My new Immerse class is called “Owning Your Faith.” That, essentially, is the call of God’s people throughout all time: to make their faith their own, to experience it and live it for real. Saving faith in only Jesus is meant to be tangible, not abstract. It is meant to infuse and transform every facet of our lives. While the strength or quality of our faith in Jesus may vary from time to time, our pursuit of Him should never grow stale.Continue Reading
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” Matthew 26:41
Watchfulness is necessary for a healthy spiritual life. Jesus tells his disciples to “watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation” The letters of Paul, Peter, and John repeats the same note, urging us to exercise moral vigilance and watchful prayer. Read the following verses to get a deeper understanding; 1 Cor. 16:13, Gal. 6:1, Col. 4:2, 1 Tim. 4:16, 1 Peter 4:7 and 2 John 1:8.
I know in my own life and in the church body as a whole, watchfulness needs to be a higher priority for us. An interesting aspect of watchfulness is pointed out in Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life”. You see the word guard is a verb, requiring action on our part. One commentator wrote this; “Whatever the heart loves, the ear will hear and the eyes will see.” If we pollute that wellspring, the infection will spread; before long, hidden appetites could become open sins for us. Guarding our heart is critically important for us every day.
Tomorrow is the eve of one of the grandest miracles of all time. Eternity will not be enough time for us to consider even the slightest glimpse of the grandeur of the idea that God almighty became a baby; Oh, how wonderful a thought; Lean in brothers and sisters.
As we seek to celebrate this vast miracle, each of us, in our own way, are seeking to bless our loved ones (I may or may not be still seeking gift ideas for Julie). It is a native desire of this time of year. We find ourselves proclaiming to loved ones, with Bing Crosby, “…May your days be merry and bright.”; Our language even shifts to a version that would make King James proud, singing, “God bless ye merry Gentlemen!
I have been pondering the question of suffering lately. In the question of comfort, the world would have us believe that we are dealing with a new and different era. We are currently battling an “Opioid Crisis” or an “Epidemic of Narcotics”. I would argue that currently we do not have an opioid epidemic any more than we have an Insulin epidemic. What we have now and have always had is a pandemic of suffering. Suffering is the process of dealing with some sort of pain. Opiates work on both physical and psychological aspects of pain so well that we have turned to them almost exclusively with the most dangerous side effect, that to a large extent people quit asking the question of “Why do we have suffering”?Continue Reading