Finding Yourself in the Story of God
The stories we hear have the power to shape us or to shame us. If we’re going to live integrated and meaningful lives, we need to be guided by stories full of truth and grace. Most of all, we need to comprehend the biggest and most influential story of all, the story of God. God’s story, when it becomes our primary story, has the power to transform our lives and to summon us into God’s transformation of the world.Read Article
Grace and Peace, What We Need!
Ephesians 1:2 is one of those verses we might be tempted to race by in order to get to the good stuff in Paul’s letter. Verse 2 can sound like a typical opening to a letter, the sort of thing you write whether you mean it or not… Paul did indeed begin his other letters by mentioning grace and peace… Was this simply epistolary boilerplate, a first-century version of “Dear Ephesians”? Or did it mean more?Read Article
Sharing in the Life of Christ
Our being “in Christ” can and should be the defining relationship of our life. Whether we are at work or at play, whether we are teaching children or caring for aging parents, whether we are beginning our careers or well into our “third third,” we are blessed to share in the life of Christ, experiencing his presence and power, his grace and peace.Read Article
Are You Yearning for Faith That Really Matters?
If you want a faith that really matters, then by all means believe the truth about Jesus. But don’t stop there. Put your faith, meaning your full trust, in him to be your Lord and Savior. And don’t stop there either. If you trust Jesus as your Lord, then you’ll follow his guidance and live by his truth in every part of life. As you do, you’ll have a faith that really matters.Read Article
What is God’s Will for My Life?
If you’re not asking what God’s will is for your life today, chances are you will be doing so pretty soon. When we wonder about God’s will for our lives, usually we’re thinking about specific paths we might take… While it’s certainly right to seek God’s will for such particulars, we will be helped to discern God’s specific will if our whole life is shaped by God’s wider will.Read Article
God Can Do More Than You Can Imagine!
Ephesians 3:20 refers to God as the one who “is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Did you catch that? God is able to do way, way more than you can even imagine. God is able to do far more than you even know how to ask for in prayer. Amazing!Read Article
Double the Joy in Your Thanksgiving Dinner
There’s a way to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner twice. No, I’m not referring to eating a turkey sandwich in the evening after the football games are over, though that is a fine tradition. And no, I’m not thinking of the leftovers that continue to gratify for days after the official holiday concludes. Rather, I’m thinking about how gratitude can enrich our experience of good things, like those things that fill our Thanksgiving tables.Read Article
Starting Thanksgiving Early
Today is Monday, November 21. In three days, those of us who live in the United States will celebrate our national holiday of Thanksgiving. On this day, we convene with friends and family to offer thanks to God for personal and national blessings.Read Article
Seeking Unity as a Divided Church
This election cycle has provided us with an opportunity to evaluate the questions of church identity and church functionality in this world. Will we remain divided because we would rather embrace silence instead of engaging in the hard work of unity? Is our political power and acceptance more important than the complete works of salvation, redemption, and restoration? Is silence the price of church membership and genuine acceptance for the marginalized, diverse, and discouraged?Read Article
How’s Your Compassion Quotient?
Compassion is tricky. It behaves like an emotion — rising up within us without our willing it or wishing its arrival. Sometimes, the depth of our compassion toward others astounds even us. When we feel it, we’re often moved to action on behalf of someone else.Read Article
Does Easter Have Anything to Do with My Work?
If we think beyond the Easter celebrations to the reality being celebrated, Easter may turn out to be more relevant to work than we first think.Read Article
Messed Up Families: There Is Hope
I ended our last devotion by asking: Is there hope for families? Can families break out of the cycle of dysfunctionality and learn to relate in healthy, holy ways? I noted that I believe the answer to these questions is “yes.” But I would hasten to add that the road to health in our close relationships is not a level, straight one that is easy to travel. It’s more like driving on a turning, twisting mountain road. It takes time, patience, commitment, and, above all, God’s grace.Read Article
Fighting God’s Battle in God’s Way
Today I wrap up a week of devotions on the theme of racial reconciliation. During this week, I have tried to help us see reconciliation from the broad perspective of Ephesians. The uniting of divided people groups is not incidental to God’s saving work but an essential element of what God has done through the cross of Christ and is doing through his church. Thus, as people called by God, we are to be both reconciled and reconciling.Read Article
What Our Calling to Reconciliation Requires of Us
Ephesians 4:1 urges us “to lead a life worthy of the calling to which [we] have been called.” What is this calling to be lived out in our daily lives? It is what the first three chapters of Ephesians have revealed about God’s plan and our crucial part in it…Read Article
The Reconciled Church as a Sign for the World
Ephesians 3 adds a stunning new element to our understanding of God’s big plan…Read Article