Healed to Work

Much was lost in the fall, and we have to live with the consequences. You see, I’m pretty sure mankind didn’t wrestle with illnesses in the Garden. I’m fairly confident that mankind worked and got tired. But my guess is that it was a satisfying end of the day tiredness – the kind of weariness that brings a contented smile as opposed to a discontent sigh. Mankind was put in the Garden to cultivate it – to maintain a relationship of give and take. Continue reading

The Answer to Evil

In the Greco-Roman world demons were neither good nor evil. Socrates believed that everyone should have their own personal demon. Plato taught that you should never attempt to do something important like found a city without the assistance of demons. They believed that if you could discover the true name of a demon, then you could make that demon serve you. Maybe you want your partner dead so that you don’t have to share the profits anymore. Maybe you want the butcher’s wife to fall in love with you. Continue reading

Jubilee

An offer, a rejection, and a result. That is the story. It is an old story, spanning millennia. It is God’s story. It plays out from the Garden and continues on through until the fulfillment of eternity. God offered man a beautiful garden life; a life of perfect relationships – relationships between mankind and God, men and women, and mankind and nature. Continue reading

Be True to God

Some people believe that purpose in this life is to be found in being true to yourself; that the highest calling is self-expression – to express yourself in whatever way feels right to you. And who better to determine what feels right to you than yourself? I mean, if the goal is to be true to yourself, then you’ve got this. You don’t need anyone else to tell you how to be true to yourself. Do you? And this self aggrandizing life-purpose has filtered into the church. Continue reading

Who’s Your Daddy?

Who’s your Daddy? Who is in charge here? And isn’t this at the heart of temptation? Are you going to control your own destiny or are you going to walk in the will of God? At the heart of the Fall – you know the whole Garden of Eden fall of mankind thing – was the question of who will be God. Satan, the sneaky snake, basically told Eve that God was trying to keep them from succeeding on their own. Take a bite and you will be like God. And she did and she shared. This was the issue in the forty days of wandering in the wilderness as well. Continue reading

Identifying

A young lady on a volleyball team is diagnosed with cancer. And when the treatment makes her hair fall out, every one of her teammates goes and gets their heads shaved. There is something beautiful here isn’t there? There was absolutely no physical reason for these young ladies to become inexplicably bald. But there is an emotional reason; a spiritual identifying with; a resounding statement: “we are you – you are us – we belong to each other.” And doesn’t it tug at us when we see similar stories on the news? Continue reading

Good News Exposed

What do you do when the good news causes bad; when the truth of God’s word gets you into trouble? I have a friend who, years ago, as a preacher, was told by the elders that he could no longer preach that Jesus is God. You see there was this family with lots of money. It often comes down to this doesn’t it? Anyway, this family with money didn’t believe that Jesus is God so they told the elders that my friend needed to quit and desist or they would quit giving money to the church. Well the elders were afraid of losing a sizeable contribution, so they ordered my friend to tone down his Jesus is God lessons. Continue reading

Salvation and Judgement

Once there was this restaurant owner. His business was floundering. And here’s why; his employees were lazy. But the owner didn’t want to make anyone feel bad. So, he gave his employees a hug and told them things like, “Good job!” or “Look at you doing nothing all day! We’re lucky to have you.” As a result, his employees felt secure in their laziness and he was forced to go out of business. And here is a difficult truth for you: salvation and judgment walk hand in hand. Continue reading

Practical Fruit Bearing

The word of God is not intended to merely be a collection of theological statements to be debated by the spiritual elite. As I was trying to figure out where to begin with this week’s article, I was listening to “Like a Match” by Toby Mac. The chorus is “If it’s real we gotta show it. Cause if it’s not, they sure gonna know it.” And then it hit me. That’s what I’m trying to say. The message of God is intended to be lived, not merely talked about. Continue reading