"Glory be to Jesus, / Who, in bitter pains, / Poured for me the lifeblood / From His sacred veins!" (Galli/Caswall). It is the antithesis of earthly glory, the grotesque picture of a scoundrel hanging from a tree bleeding for the lost lot of humanity. Jesus would die at the hands of the very men he created, whose might he bestowed, and breath he first breathed. Yet it was Jesus who prayed that God would glorify him in John 17. This was no self-serving prayer, but one of purpose, hope, and vision. He knew that the road to his glorification led through the cross.
WE MUST BE SUSPICIOUS OF THOSE MOMENTS WHEN WE ARE CERTAIN OF THE “VOICE” OF GOD THAT IT IS NOT OUR OWN PRIDE DISGUISED AS DIVINE INSPIRATION. We humans can be so crafty, we may even deceive ourselves (James 1:22; 1 John 1:8). In past dispensations, God revealed his will through patriarchs and prophets, but now has spoken through Jesus (Hebrews 1:1-3). We may wish we had such inspired men around today to reveal the will of God in our specific context. It does not help that modern theologians muddy the waters presumptuously speaking about what God is up to and teasing us with the notion that there is some kind of predetermined plan for every trivial moment of our lives. We are left puzzling over how we will somehow discover God’s will, and wondering constantly if we are somehow messing it all up.
Men have long sought spirituality in elaborate architecture, “priestly” attire, and religious tradition. We have erected sophisticated denominations over the centuries, each with their own signets of sacredness--some with great pomp and circumstance. Even in less formal circles, we often become enamored with buildings, attire, attendance, titles, and numbers. But do these outward displays truly manifest spirituality? Do they indicate the very presence of God?
ARE YOU THE KIND OF PERSON NO ONE CONFIDES IN MORE THAN ONCE? All of us have inadvertently made for miserable comforters at some point, in spite of our good intentions. Let’s face it, we are sometimes ill-prepared to hear and respond to some of the things someone may share with us.
IN THE UTTER BLACKNESS OF BITTER SORROW, THE FOUNDATIONS OF EVEN THE STRONGEST OF CHRISTIANS ARE SHAKEN. Unbroken Christians often struggle to relate to the psalms of lament and to the grieving... Many of us know all too well that there is a time when it seems all we can do is to weep, and amidst the weeping to wonder, “Why?”
ONE STRANGE SUNDAY MORNING, A PREACHER NAMED "DON" AND A WORSHIP LEADER NAMED "KEVIN" AWOKE TO A SCARY SURPRISE. Don and Kevin had somehow traded places. Don was in Kevin's body and Kevin was in Don's body. Shocked and confused, they eventually figured out what had somehow happened as they greeted one another awkwardly in … Continue reading Strange Sunday: the day the preacher and the worship leader traded places
The severity of God often serves as a backdrop against which His goodness is portrayed. Never have these complex attributes of God coalesced more poignantly than in the cross.