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Bible expositions

Longing for Righteousness

As a child, I struggled to finish my dinner. Not that I was given too much food, I just disliked one or more of the items on my plate. Often my mom would remind me of the starving child in Africa who would love to have my food. Fortunately, international adoptions were not common back then, else I might have foolishly suggested we procure one. That would not have gone over well. The problem was not an inefficient allocation of… Read More »Longing for Righteousness

Triumphant Meekness

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It is like the Rocky movies. Twelve rounds, winner take all, the arrogant, brutish slugger up against the over-matched but hopeful challenger. The first nine rounds are somewhat typical in that the amateur rival is getting the snot beat out of him by the champ, along with a good deal of blood. However, this match is different. The challenger does not even throw a punch. He is continually knocked down, gets back up, staggers but stays in the fight. Finally,… Read More »Triumphant Meekness

Matthew 5:4

Good News for Mourners

The term social justice has become a volatile catchphrase that is bound to stir up emotions across the political spectrum. Though the Bible clearly calls us to uphold justice, some have hijacked the vocabulary of justice to promote an agenda contrary to God, his commandments, and his design. These people proceed with a presumption of their own righteousness. However, the biblical starting point for godly social justice is not self-righteous indignation, but mourning. Yet, that mourning is not without hope.… Read More »Good News for Mourners

Poor in spirit

The Poverty Gospel

Let’s face it, the prosperity preachers have an appealing shtick: “God wants you to drive the best car, live in lavish luxury, and be independently wealthy.” Unsurprisingly, that message coincides very conveniently with my own innate self- indulgence, covetousness, and vanity. Nevertheless, the most formidable opponent of this prosperity gospel is the Bible. In the Beatitudes (Matt. 5:3-12), Jesus preached a contrary message. His gospel involves poverty, mourning, meekness, hunger, purity, peacemaking, and persecution. The primary characteristic of the blessed… Read More »The Poverty Gospel

a mother's faith

A Mother’s Simple Faith

One of the least understood families in the Bible is Jesus’ family. A scarcity of biblical information accounts for some of our ignorance. On top of that, we are prone to either canonize or demonize every character mentioned in the Bible. In the case of Mary, Jesus’ mother, our tendency to exalt a human beyond what is biblical is most apparent. Yet, the story of the wedding at Cana depicts a mother’s simple faith that is within the reach of… Read More »A Mother’s Simple Faith

The Lamb of God and Mystery Bridegroom

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Do you keep mementos? I have boxes of cards and letters from my wife and children. In addition, I have items around the house that are expressions of love directed toward me. The apostle John, who referred to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20), filled his gospel with mementos of Jesus’ life and teaching. In an era without cameras, John penned a slide show filled with deeply meaningful pictures of Jesus Christ the… Read More »The Lamb of God and Mystery Bridegroom

Christ Our Heavenly Lodestone

A lodestone is a natural magnet. Iron objects become magnetized when in contact with it. Our hearts are like that iron. We have no natural attraction for God or his kingdom. However, Christ is our heavenly lodestone who changes our affections to conform to his. Psalm 16 is the cry of a heart with a heavenly attraction. Its verses resonate with us because of our union with Jesus Christ.  A Sustaining Refuge Preserve me, O LORD, for in you I take refuge.… Read More »Christ Our Heavenly Lodestone

Psalm 15: A Life in Harmony with Worship

One of the greatest hinderances to the gospel is the professing Christian who mistreats his fellowman. Psalm 15 describes a life that is in harmony with the worship of God. O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? (v. 1)  To the Israelites, these questions would call to mind the journey up the ascent to Jerusalem where God’s sanctuary was located. That was the center of Israel’s formal worship. They had to make preparations… Read More »Psalm 15: A Life in Harmony with Worship

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Psalm 14: The Folly of Atheism

For woodworking projects, I try to select lumber that is straight and square. Sometime I can spot a board that is cupped or twisted. Other times a slightly skewed piece may look fine to the naked eye. Comparing one board with another does not help. I must utilize a straightedge and a square that perfectly conforms to the standard I am trying to meet. In Psalm 14, David laments the depravity of those who ignore God — they are so… Read More »Psalm 14: The Folly of Atheism

Psalm 13: From Anguish to Joy

In Psalm 13, David poetically traverses the pathway of faith from the depths of his soul’s anguish to the heights of great joy and hope in his God.