Taking

“He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist.” John 13:4 For thirty-three years Jesus had practiced laying aside everything in order to make “himself nothing” and fulfill his calling as Savior. On his final night with his favorite people it was fitting that he would continue the process. The […]

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Suspended

“Jesus replied, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead.'” (Luke 10:30) Love hangs suspended on Valentine’s Day like a brilliant bunch of heart-shaped balloons, and our speaker for the night naturally chose that theme for her […]

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Matters

“Weeping may tarry for the night.” (Psalm 30:5) It matters that they lived, regardless how short the span. It matters on a scale of enormous significance that your friends’ loved ones drew breath for a wisp of time or for a lengthy chain of years. A life that was loved is worthy to matter to […]

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Hope Surge

“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4) We hear reports from distant shores and nearby corner stores of friends who bear the marks of loss of one kind or another. Cancer has made itself […]

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The Agony of Love

“Know and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake the Lord your God; the fear of me is not in you, declares the Lord God of hosts.” (Jeremiah 2:19) People disappoint. God understands that gut-wrenching condition perfectly. His chosen ones regularly fell short, broke his heart, spurned his love. His ache […]

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Last of All

“If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” (Mark 9:35) Their rules and rituals infuriated Jesus. The Master of mercy, the King of compassion, disdained fabricated religion that overturned the message of the Kingdom. Jesus had come for helpless children and broken men, for honest seekers and repentant […]

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I Beg You

Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him, saying, ‘Send us to the pigs; let us enter them. So he gave them permission.’”    Mark 5:11-13 People regularly begged Jesus for help. The Gospel stories reveal one desperate person after another imploring the Lord to assist them […]

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Well Shaped

“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory at the revelation of Jesus […]

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Whole Way

Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” (Mark 1:41) The ghastly label of leper was his sole identification, for we are not privy to his name or the city of his origin. Banished from society, his kind would not presume to scale the […]

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Waiting in Line

“When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd.” (Mark 6:34) Compassion is not a flimsy garment slung across the Savior’s shoulders; this attribute is woven through the perfect fabric of his being. When unwelcomed crowds surged forward, disrupting his vacation […]

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