True submission

1 Peter 2:13-25 Submission is a distasteful word to modern ears. We celebrate freedom, and we interpret it to correspond with autonomy. Thus we champion an individual who breaks rules or flouts moral convention. We applaud those who break marriage vows because it constrains them. We cheer anti-government tweets and demonstrations. To be truly free,…

Unrequited love

Psalm 109:5,6 When Jesus was on earth, he went about doing good and healing people oppressed by the devil (Acts 10:38). He loved the poor. He healed the sick. And he even raised the dead. Yet what did he get in return? A cross. Kindness was met with cruelty. Truth was met with injustice. Liberation…

What Balaam Saw

  Many Christians remember the story of Balaam for that most unusual of miracles: a talking donkey. If you attended Sunday School when you were young, there’s a 90 percent chance you know the story.   For those who may not remember, here’s a very short summary:   While Israel was journeying through the wilderness,…

Crucify Him!

Mark 15:1-14 On this day we remember a gruesome event in the history of mankind. It was a sad call for the execution of someone who had done nothing but good and showed nothing but love. It was the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. But why did this happen? The Jewish religious authorities saw him as…

The Faithful Church

Psalm 78:3-8 The people of God are the portion of humanity who have chosen to submit to his rule. They belong to him, confess his name, and obey his commands. Or so they should. The generation of Israelites who came out of Egypt failed in this task. Although rescued from Egypt, their hearts remained there…

Shame at the cross

Psalm 22:7-8 Crucifixion was not only an agonizing form of death, it was a shameful one. It portrayed one as a criminal and an outcast. So when Christ hung on the cross, he was dealing not only with the guilt of human sin, but also with the shame that comes with it. Isaiah described this…

The Bread of life

John 6:35-37 Imagine a world without food. Unthinkable, right? Food provides us with the strength to live. When it is the right kind, it supplies the nutrients which our body needs to function well. Jesus  also appealed to this universal need for food when he declared: “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me…

The Grace of humility

1 Peter 5:6-11 Humility is a Christian grace. It is a quality which makes us much like Christ and so unlike the world. And it is a grace which yields more grace. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (v.5) Why does God oppose the proud? Because the proud person is living…

Rejoicing in persecution

1 Peter 4:12-16 According to Open Doors, 11 Christians are killed daily for their decision to follow Christ. In North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, and several other countries, it is extremely difficult to be a Christian. Believers are attacked by both the state and Islamist groups. Systematic killings of Christians have also been ongoing in…

Righteous Suffering

1 Peter 3:8-18 The Christian life comes with a good dose of suffering. We are a people seeking God’s glory in a world that is hostile to him. Whether overt or subtle, the believer feels the world’s opposition. A look, a remark, an attack – it comes in various forms. And it can be discouraging….