Bible Posts

The Irony of Evil

The Irony of Evil

If you’re anything like me, you quickly get overwhelmed and even physically exhausted by story after story of evil happening in our world today. Previous generations lived without knowing the extent of evil worldwide while today our social media feed brings every encounter to our doorstep. It’s too much. Michelle and I talk about this often because we have enough examples of evil just through the people directly connected with us in life and what happens to them. Let alone the evil done across the globe.

It’s easy to lose sight of the goodness of Jesus in the midst of this. It’s even easy to doubt God’s sovereignty, although we rarely give words to those thoughts. Instead, we wonder why God continues to allow stuff like that. I read through Psalm chapter seven this week and found encouragement in the way King David addresses evil.

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How Long Does it Take to Change Your Mind?

How Long Does it Take to Change Your Mind?

This week I was reading through the story of the Apostle Paul meeting Jesus when a new detail stood out to me. You can find the entire story in Acts 9:1-19. Saul goes from actively pursuing Christians to kill them and then changes into one of the dominant figures to propel the new church forward in the New Testament. That’s a cataclysmic shift in perspective. The catalyst for the transformation was Saul hearing the audible voice of Jesus and losing his vision as a result of a blinding light. Then,

“Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.” Acts 9:8-9

After this, a man named Ananias comes to Saul and the transformation kicks into overdrive. This quickly became, and still stands, as one of the greatest transformations we’ve ever seen. Which is why that small detail about three days is so interesting to me. Imagine Saul contemplating his life for three days. He’s blind. He’s not eating or drinking. He’s processing. All his life up to this point has been misguided. The person who He assumed was a phony is  God Himself. Everything must change. His relationships with his friends and his family. His career. His future. All that he holds dear is now different.

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Who’s Laughing Now?

Who’s Laughing Now?

Ever had the feeling that people were laughing at you behind your back? Or worse (maybe), you saw them laughing at you to your face? None of us want to be in that position. Seth Godin recently wrote a great post about failure and choosing pessimism (see: Sharpening Failure). One of his lines stood out in particular:

“The universe is not laughing at us. It doesn’t even know we exist.”

I agree. That’s an excellent way to overcome the nagging appeal to choose pessimism when a situation doesn’t play out the way you hoped it would. Despite what you read online or heard from that one friend of yours (we all have one), the conspiracy theory against you isn’t real. That’s good news.

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The Difference Between Oranges and Bananas

The Difference Between Oranges and Bananas

The picture above may not look like much. Actually, it isn’t much. It’s a picture of three small mandarin oranges. But they were given to me as a very sentimental gift. That’s because they come from a sermon illustration I used back in August of 2014. You can see the tree they come from in this sermon called “The Vine.”

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From Hermes to Murder

From Hermes to Murder

To anyone who has followed Jesus for any amount of time, you’ve likely experienced how differently people react to you. For some, a Christian is viewed as a person who has it all together, who is blessed by God, or who could show them something about truth they’ve been missing. For others, a Christian is viewed as a person who is hypocritical, untrustworthy, and deserving to be ridiculed and avoided (or worse).

We see these extreme reactions all within a matter of verses in the book of Acts. In Acts 14:11-18 the people of Lystra watch Paul heal a man and then conclude he and Barnabas must be gods.

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The Refugee Crisis Shows Faith in God Makes No Sense

The Refugee Crisis Shows Faith in God Makes No Sense

I’ve been stewing all last week on whether or not to write about the refugee crisis. There’s already plenty of voices in the conversation. As I considered what I might say, it’s changed depending on which day of the week I considered writing it. At the risk of being just another voice, here’s what I would like to encourage you as you make up your mind on this discussion.

It’s all about fear.

Too simple? Fear of others, fear of the unknown, fear of the future, fear of what any of this might cost us. And I get it. I’m afraid too. In fact, as I write these words I’m sitting in Washington DC. You know, the place ISIS said they would target this week. I’m just a few blocks away from the White House, their prime target. I received more than a few looks and comments when we told people where we were going this week. As I walk around these streets and notice all the police with their guns, it’s easy to dwell on how much there is to fear.

But as a Christian, I’m not called to live in fear.

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