Track Record

“Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” (Acts 3:19-­20a) We trip awkwardly, sprawling our secret sins in full view of cynical eyes. Later, we cringe, fearful of lifting our heads lest anyone condemn us further for our regretful […]

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Over the Top

“You therefore must be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) An impossible command dangles off the end of Matthew 5 like a daunting challenge. Jesus calls us to the highest of standards, requiring us to be as perfect as our Father in Heaven. What an outrageous claim to make to frail humanity. […]

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Pivotal

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” (Romans 12:12) The disciples could have scattered in a dozen directions after Christ ascended to heaven. Yet, as an act of obedience, they listened to Jesus’ final instructions to return to Jerusalem until they were “clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49b). Huddled […]

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By The Seashore

“He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: ‘Listen.’” (Mark 4:2) The situation could easily have turned ugly. As the crowds surged toward him, they threatened to crush Christ with their aggressive behavior. The wind whipped waves and slapped them along the shoreline; he calmly maneuvered into the safety of 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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Miss the Mark

“In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” (Mark 7:7) He mingled easily with the mongrels of his day and the women who sold their bodies after selling their souls. Perfectly at ease in their presence, willing to share a meal or a deep slice of converation, Christ drew them […]

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Obscure Scenes

“Peace to you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has put treasure in your sacks for you.” (Genesis 43:23) Scattered across the Epistles the phrase “grace and mercy” appear as inseparable vines twisted around the solid trunk of Scripture. These concepts did not first sprout from the blood-­soaked earth […]

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Handle With Care

“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 is his sole identification mark, for we are not informed of his name or the city of his origin. Banished from society, his kind becomes invisible. Whisperings about the […]

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On Our Side

“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all….” (Romans 8:32) We’ve all had them: those days when a bonus was promised, but bills arrived instead; times when leaky roofs, court summons, and solemn physicians showed their unexpected faces; seasons when it appeared everything was against us. Paul the […]

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Highway

“And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, ‘Look at us.’” (Acts 3:4) At first glance, the story doesn’t seem thrilling. The man is lame; the disciples show up; the man is healed. No big deal. Jesus did it all the time. On closer inspection, when we read through the Acts […]

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