The Fourth Word:
My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?
Yet, no matter how many brilliant theologians we read and how much we meditate upon the fourth word of Jesus, we will never fully grasp the truth, horror, and wonder of what Jesus experienced on the cross. As Martin Luther once said, “God forsaking God. Who can understand it?” Yet even our minuscule grasp of this reality calls us to confession, humility, awe, worship, and adoration.Read Article
Learning to Listen to Anxiety
That knot in your stomach or nagging fear when you face a challenge is your body’s natural response to stress or pressure. It can feel like a real problem—and sometimes it is. But we can learn to stop in these moments and pay attention to what anxiety might be trying to tell us. It might be telling us we’re in danger. It might be giving us insight about our bodies, our relationships, or our work. The key is that we learn to listen.Read Article
A Tale of Two Healings: Part II – Life for Leaders
I wonder what went through Jairus’ mind as he had to wait for the healing of the unnamed woman? Was he distressed? Frustrated? Angry? What about the moment when, after he has to listen to the unnamed woman’s story and witness her healing, he learns that his daughter is dead? This interruption is not a simple interruption. Later he is no longer named as Jairus, but referred to as “the child’s father.”Read Article
A Tale of Two Healings: Part I
One of the most fascinating aspects of this story within the story is that both the positionally privileged and the socially disempowered are desperate enough to approach Jesus. Jesus as a leader remains both interruptible and approachable. Nobody is too much or not enough to take up his time. Leaders must be interruptible and approachable, and Jesus is no exception.Read Article
Parable of the Sower: Learning to Follow
Seeing the genesis of our leadership as a seed is helpful in a number of ways.Read Article
Being a Mat Carrier at Work
Regrettably, the community of faith plays a vanishingly small role in most Christians’ work lives in the modern West. Even if we receive help and encouragement for the workplace from our church, it is almost certain to be individual help and encouragement. In earlier times, most Christians worked alongside the same people they went to church with, so churches could easily apply the Scriptures to the shared occupations of laborers, farmers, and householders. In contrast, Western Christians today seldom work in the same locations as others in the same church. Nonetheless, today’s Christians often work in the same types of jobs as others in their faith communities. So there could be an opportunity to share their work challenges and opportunities with other believers in similar occupations. Yet this seldom happens. Unless we find a way for groups of Christian workers to support one another, grow together, and develop some kind of work-related Christian community, we miss out on the communal nature of faith that is so essential in Mark 2:3-12.Read Article
Are You A Mat Carrier?
Mark 2:1-12 paints a powerful picture of how you and I can care for the people in our lives who are suffering. This story begins with Jesus preaching in a house in Capernaum. His popularity has grown to the place where the crowd exceeded standing room only. People were even jammed outside of the door, trying desperately to hear Jesus.Read Article
A Whole New Life and a New Whole Life
Jesus is not just in the body-healing business. Nor is he just in the soul-healing business, though this is surely central to his work. Rather, Jesus seeks to make us whole in every dimension of life.Read Article
Prayer and Purpose: The Two Go Together
In recent devotions, we have seen how Jesus remained faithful to his purpose, even when that meant disappointing the crowds who were clamoring for him. I have suggested that you and I need a similar focus on our main purpose(s) in life.Read Article
Popularity or Purpose? What Will You Seek?
Nothing can distract us from our true purpose in life like popularity. Popularity is not necessarily bad, of course. But it can be a poor measure of what God wants us to do with our lives.Read Article
Transformational Leadership is Clear and Empowering… to Future Leaders
The purpose of leadership is to mobilize people and resources towards a determined goal. Transformational leadership, however, is about cultivating future leaders who can carry on the mission for generations to come. Transformational leaders look at their core group of followers and are able to discern the future leaders that lie within. This is what Jesus was doing when he called out the twelve disciples.Read Article
If I Really Want to Follow Jesus, Do I Have to Go Off to a Solitary Place to Pray?
In the devotions of the last couple of days, we considered the question, “If I really want to follow Jesus, do I have to get up early to pray?” I believe that the biblical answer to this question is “No,” though I would never discourage anyone from the excellent discipline of getting up early to pray. Yet, those who insist that all Christians must get up before the sun to pray are wandering into legalism that doesn’t fit with the example or message of Jesus.Read Article
If I Really Want to Follow Jesus, Do I Have to Get Up Early to Pray? Part 2
In yesterday’s devotion, we considered the question, “If I really want to follow Jesus, do I have to get up early to pray?” I suggested that the answer to this question is “No,” though the practice of early morning prayer is an excellent one to develop. But, those who insist that all Christians must get up before the sun to pray are pressing the example of Jesus in Mark 1:35 too hard. Some of us are wired to give God our best in prayer at other times during the day.Read Article
If I Really Want to Follow Jesus, Do I Have to Get Up Early to Pray? Part 1
Whether you’re best in the morning, at midday, in the evening, or at night, whatever you do, devote time to talking with the Lord when you can give your very best to him.Read Article
The Best Reason Why You Should Pray
Most Christians I know struggle with prayer. Oh, to be sure, among my friends are those who faithfully pray each day. Some even spend an hour or more in intercession for others. But these folk are the exceptions to the rule. The rule, it seems to me, is that we don’t find it easy to pray.Read Article