Jesus turns death into deliverance

“You were slain, and by Your blood You ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.”  (Revelation 5:9b) Nobody watching Jesus bleed out on the cross had a chipper outlook for the future. To be sure, Jesus had told His disciples He would rise again, but their astonishment when He […]

God’s promises are on their way

The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.  (2 Peter 3:9) Sometimes it can seem as if our prayers go unanswered.  Sometimes it can seem as if God has forgotten us, or gotten distracted […]

Get Back on the Bike [An Encouraging Word]

“Why does this always happen to me?” Bradley had fallen a second time on his bicycle, his 7-year old, 72-pound frame tangled up in steel and rubber with a handlebar poking him in the belly.  The injuries to his body weren’t serious, but the hurt in his heart was real. He actually hadn’t been falling much at […]

God’s blessing goes beyond your suffering

But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed.  Have no fear of them, nor be troubled… (1 Peter 3:14) The reality of suffering is one that many people don’t like to deal with.  Even many Christians, uncomfortable trying to reconcile God’s love with His allowance of pain, gloss over the harsh […]

Anniversaries and Expectations [An Encouraging Word]

Two years ago today, my wife and I said “I do,” and we’re not doing a thing to celebrate. Why not?  First, we both work today, and second, we’re watching our finances, staying on-budget and paying off debt (you know, those boring details of married life that don’t get special days or cards or celebrations.) For […]

God has an eternal inheritance for you

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you… (1 Peter 1:3-4) It is […]

God lifts up the humble heart

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.  (James 4:10) So much in the Kingdom is counterintuitive.  To live, we must die.  To be free, we must become slaves of Christ.  To be exalted, we must humble ourselves. This seems like exactly the opposite of what we should do, and it can seem […]

Two Perspectives on Pull-ups in the Pool [An Encouraging Word]

The clock was ticking, and we weren’t getting anything done. My son Bradley loves the pool, and this particular morning I had agreed to join him in “training” together, practicing laps to help us both prepare for the triathlon he wants to do with me in the fall. There, in tepid waters of our little […]

God has prepared a homeland for you

But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one.  Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared for them a city.  (Hebrews 11:16) For every Christian, there are those times when we see the world as it is and realize that this is not our […]

Jesus is your better hope

For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. (Hebrews 7:18-19) There are many substitute saviors in this life.  For the Jewish people, it was […]