Pursuit

“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2:6-­7) Clear directions give us a running head start. The patient teacher in kindergarten who painstakingly showed me how to print the first […]

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Rescue Operation

“He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.“ (I Thessalonians 3:24) Halfway through the gospel of Matthew, one of Jesus’ steady companions is starkly contrasted with an obscure woman. While the Gentile mother’s faith towers over the long-­‐-­‐-­‐standing disciple, God’s hand powerfully rescued both from their dilemma. Jesus is praying alone; the […]

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On the Run

“Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.” (2 Timothy 2:21) Final words reverberate with enormous significance; sounds uttered as the body surrenders carry the weight of a lifetime. In […]

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Tour Guide

“For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” (Acts 1:17) “Treachery” is a ghastly word. It conjures up images of despicable actions with villainous intent. Judas comes quickly to mind. With a kiss reserved for friendship, he pressed his lips against the cheek of Jesus and places his evil […]

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Course Ahead

“Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being of full accord and of one mind.” (Philippians 2:2) Smack dab between confessing Jesus as the Messiah and witnessing Christ’s spectacular Transfiguration, Peter treats the Lord as if he is a naughty schoolboy talking out of turn. Knowing the horrific future […]

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The Wilderness Way

“The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.” (Mark 1:12) The wilderness appears as wasteland. The weather is scorching, the living conditions exhausting, the nourishment scanty. Weary and haggard, we trudge through, begging desperately for this part of the journey to end quickly. Perhaps the worst part of the trek is the nagging sense […]

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Running the Show

“This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.” (John 2:11) Servants are usually background figures, unimportant and unimpressive… except when Jesus is in the picture. Then everything changes; the ordinary explodes and the unusual occurs. Take Cana, for instance. Jesus is invited […]

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Mountaintop

“And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.” (Matthew 17:8) We envy them sometimes, the twelve who walked so closely beside the Savior that they heard the Gospel from his lips and witnessed the miracles from the frontlines. They were the Carpenter’s nearest companions as he traversed the Galilean […]

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Well Spring

“So Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well.” (John 4:6) Christ knew no lack when he ruled from heaven, but while journeying through Samaria the Creator was thirsty, needy, wanting. Allowing himself to be dependent on others, shielding his omnipotence, he positioned himself inside of time and space, accepting […]

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Stripes

“For all…are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:23-­25) At first glance, it appeared there had been a grave mistake. Somehow, the Roman state and the hierarchy of religious Jews had erroneously concluded that Jesus Christ was a criminal. Soldiers swarmed the execution site as […]

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