Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Enemy Bride

I never understood what he saw in her in the first place. She was pretty, I guess, in a wild, unhinged sort of way. But she had no family, no education, no job (not a decent one anyway). And frankly I didn’t see any evidence that she even felt the same way toward him that he obviously felt toward her.

But it was none of my business. I’ve been able to live peacefully in this neighborhood all these years by keeping to myself and out of other people’s business. But I never thought it would work out.

So they got engaged. He looked happy, she looked, well, like a trapped animal. My opinion.

Monday, May 29, 2017

No Fear in Death - by Christ's Death and Resurrection

Recently I read an article by a medical doctor who spoke transparently about his own fear of death. He developed a crippling anxiety which resulted in physical symptoms of various kinds. Eventually he was diagnosed with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) - associated entirely with his fear of death.

Death comes to all of us. So what do we do about fearing the inevitable? Christianity’s answer comes through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery (Hebrews 2:14-15). We look to Christ to deliver us from the fear of death that makes slaves of us all.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

How Christ Overcomes the Fear of Death (With Jesus on the Road to Samarra)

A merchant in Baghdad sent his servant to the market one day, but the servant soon returned, trembling with fear. “Master,” he said, “I met Death in the crowd, disguised as an old woman. She made a threatening gesture, and I ran. Please lend me your horse, and I will flee to Samarra to avoid my fate. Death won’t find me there.” The merchant lent him the horse, and the servant raced north, away from Baghdad. Then the merchant walked to the market, found the old woman, and demanded to know why she made the threatening gesture. Death replied, “I wasn’t threatening your servant but was only surprised to see him here. You see, I have an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.”*

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Five Reasons We Fear Death, and How Jesus Gives Us Victory

John Donne famously wrote,
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so*

But, for many people, death might as well be proud. Because death does seem “mighty and dreadful.” People do fear death. They dread their own deaths and the inevitability of their loved ones’ deaths.

The Christian gospel addresses this basic fear.

Friday, April 14, 2017

A Terrible Darkness

We only call this Good Friday because we know the world did not end on Friday. It would not have been a Good Friday at all if Sunday hadn’t been Resurrection Sunday.

If Sunday morning had dawned and that great solemn stone had still been there, guarded by soldiers, sealed by Rome, this would have been a terrible day, the worst of days.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Glory is Not Just a Destination

"I've got a home in glory land that outshines the sun."

I remember singing "Do Lord," and that stanza, the year I became a Christian. "Glory land" means heaven.

It’s true. Believers in Christ are headed to a place where God dwells, a place Jesus prepared for us, where we’ll be with the Lord and with all His redeemed children forever. It is truly “glory land.”

Monday, April 3, 2017

God's Unseemly Behavior

Many people, even some who claim to believe in God, find what He does or what He permits, well, unseemly. Why would an all-powerful, infinitely benevolent God wipe people out in Old Testament times? Why does He let children die of cancer? Or anyone, for that matter? To ordain or even to permit this kind of suffering seems inappropriate - not right somehow.