All in Scripture and Life

2 Timothy 3:16-17 — Proof-texting and other unhelpful tendencies

There is an old saying: “He can’t see the forest for the trees.” No doubt you have heard it. What I find amazing is how easy it is for many of us to get into exactly that position. We live is a world where everything is dissected to the nth" degree. Why talk about not seeing the forest for the trees? Because you and I have been going through the Letter to the Colossians in painstaking detail. I am enjoying it. I am also challenged to keep the big picture—the forest, if you will allow—in front of me. I believe this is especially important as we come upon verses that speak to how husbands, wives, children and more are to relate to one another.

Luke 22:44 — The Hardest Day of Jesus’ life: Muscle Memory in Action

What have been some of the hardest days of your life? I do not mean to bring up painful memories, but let me ask a question. Do you have any memories where, although the day or situation was hard, now in hindsight, you can see how God prepared you for it? For me, I will be honest, for some of the situations I have been through I can see God’s hand was preparing me—and for others situations, the pain is still too present, and the emotion too strong. I have written here about how following Jesus is not about having an easy life. No, whether we follow Jesus, or not, we all will face challenges. The question is more: how will we face those challenges—and who will be with us?

Certainty and faith: does having faith imply being blind?

I am writing this post as I am reading Colossians. I am about to move from chapter 2 into chapter 3, which starts with the words “If then you have been raised with Christ...” and then offers all sorts of instructions. Before we tackle them, some questions might be asked: should do those things? Why? Am I really confident in Jesus? Am I confident that following him is really the best path?

How do I follow the Holy Spirit?

“But God told me to do it!” Thoughts about how and when God leads:

We’ve all heard the news reports: someone carries out a horrific act, and then claims that God told them to do it. Now we know that it wasn’t God, but somewhere along the way, God’s reputation, and the reputation of the Church, takes a hit. People who don’t believe in God note that we, Jesus’ followers, are crazy and one-step away from making our own horrific news story.

Add to this situation our own real dilemma. How do we make decisions? How do we know when God is leading, as compared to when we are possibly projecting our desires on God?

So, just how do we navigate the big and small decisions of our lives? How do we hear His voice? How do we know His voice?

The Devil made me do it

Recently, the movie The Darkest Hour, captures the struggles of Winston Churchill during a small window of his critical first year as Prime Minister.  Churchill often to be the only person in his circle who seems to understand that there is such a thing as evil—and that evil will never be satisfied until it dominates – indeed destroys – all that it possesses. For evil, possession equals consumption. Evil is real. And not only is it real, but it is not something “out there.” We are in the battle.

Coffee with Jesus

I want to invite you, on this day in between Good Friday and Easter Day, to take a moment and imagine sitting with Jesus. If you were to sit with Jesus, where would that be? Outdoors, indoors, your living room… where might you sit with Him? I envision us sitting in two chairs with coffee. It is quiet.

Sin

Sin, not a popular party topic. Not a popular topic at all. It seems that in our world today we don’t talk about sin. Is sin even real? Is sin the invention of religious types to keep the masses under control?

Forgiveness

“Forgive and forget.” Well, maybe. We want others to do that for our offenses.. but could you punish the jerk next to me! Forgiveness: we want it for ourselves. We want something else for those who hurt us. I suggest thinking through this concept of forgiveness is key to living. 

Suffering: God, Buddha, Jesus and C.S. Lewis

Yet while a certain amount of suffering is the result of these billions of daily decisions, there is a next question that arises when we ponder what it means to hold a Christian view of God and to believe in Jesus. We accept that God loves us and that God is love, and yet we experience pain. Cannot God orchestrate the world so that His people escape pain?

Love... the risk

Love: we long for it, chase after it, become confused by it. We seek the perfect computer software to find it. Can we however describe it? I love ice cream – I love my wife – I love my dog. These aren’t the same, are they?