Sunday, July 15, 2018

Another Reason to Look Forward to Heaven

The main reason to look forward to heaven is the presence of Christ. When Jesus prayed for "His sheep," He emphasized that the highest blessing the Father could bestow on them is to bring them into His glorious presence forever: Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24).

Anyone who truly loves Christ needs no other motivation to long for heaven. Like the Psalmist said, “Whom have I in heaven but you?” (Psalm 73:25a)

Yet there are other reasons to look forward to heaven.

Friday, July 13, 2018

No Bias in Agent Smirk. His Heart is Pure!

This week I listened to the testimony of an FBI agent before a Senate Committee. I bet you know who I’m talking about. Rather than use his actual name (which temptingly rhymes with words I shouldn’t use), I’ll call him Peter Smirk.

Mr. Smirk’s bias for Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump was on clear display in text messages he shared with his mistress, another FBI agent. When faced with the evidence, he -  unbelievably - defended himself by proclaiming that he is an incredible patriot and would never, ever act out of bias.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Is Extravagant Worship Simply Wasteful?

Many years ago I saw a documentary about volcanoes. There were plenty of shots of glowing lava moving moltenly and inexorably down the face of the mountain. But the image that has stayed with me was of a very wealthy businessman (I know he was very wealthy because that’s what the narrator said) hurling his super-expensive wrist watch into the lava. The watch thrower, the narrator further explained, did it as an act of worship to honor the god of the volcano.

(By the way, remember the “Deep Thoughts” of Jack Handey from early SNL: If you ever drop your keys into a river of molten lava, let 'em go, because man, they're gone. So don’t have second thoughts about your Rolex.)

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Why God is Happy

God is happy.

The Bible gives us ample reason to rejoice that our God is happy. For example, when Nehemiah encouraged the people of Israel, he reminded them that “the joy of the Lord” was their strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

When Jesus told the Parable of the Talents, the faithful servant heard this judgment from the master: Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master (Matthew 25:23, my emphasis). The master's joy!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Forgiven

One of the best questions I’ve ever heard was asked by a father ashamed of his sons.

The father was the Old Testament judge Eli, and he was ashamed because his two grown sons were corrupt and ungodly men who misused their privilege as priests for their own gain and carnal pleasure. So Eli asked them this question:

“If someone sins against a man, God will mediate for him, but if someone sins against the Lord, who can intercede for him?” (1 Samuel 2:25a, my emphasis)

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Where are You?

My wife is a weaver, and some of her woven wall hangings tell a story. One of my favorites is called “Where are You?” A lonely girl sits at the darkened mouth of a cave. The rough rock around her seems harsh and foreboding. Miserable and hopeless, she cries out: “Where are You?”

Only when you step back do you see that the rock of the cave is formed by two gigantic hands cradling her. The hands have nail marks in them.
We don’t always see things the way they are. Jesus is nearer to us than we realize. There are times when He cradles us and carries us without our ever knowing.

The first verses of Hebrews 1 describe Christ in ways we would not know apart from God’s own revelation. So far we have looked at four of seven wonderful descriptions: Christ is Heir of All Things, the Creator, the Radiance of God’sglory, and fully God.


Thursday, March 1, 2018

Just a Janitor?

In the late 1970’s Bill Crawford was a janitor at the U.S. Air Force Academy.* While the cadets’ days were filled with academics and athletics, morning parades, room inspections, and leadership classes, Bill Crawford was cleaning toilets, buffing floors, and emptying trash cans.

He was  shy and unassuming , a gray-haired older man who looked like somebody’s grandfather. No wonder the cadets didn't take much notice.

But then one afternoon one of the cadets was reading a book about World War II, and the Allied ground campaign in Italy. It told the story of a Private William Crawford, assigned to the 36th Infantry Division, who had been involved in some bloody fighting in Italy. Private Crawford had, on his own, taken out three machine gun nests to prepare the way for the advance of his unit.