A Tale of Two Betrayers

Matthew wove a subtle thread through his crucifixion account.  All the Gospel writers detailed Judas’ betrayal of Jesus, but only Matthew recorded what happened to Judas afterward (Mt 27.3-5; cf. Acts 1.18f.).  He did so in such a way to compare and contrast Judas with Peter: two deniers of Jesus.  Matthew magnified the sovereignty and grace of Jesus to secure his own despite their failings. Satan tried every tactic to […]

The Crimeless Victim

“We live in a culture that has replaced soul with self.  This reduction turns people into either problems or consumers.  Insofar as we acquiesce in that replacement, we gradually but surely regress in our identity, for we end up thinking of ourselves and dealing with others in marketplace terms: everyone we meet is either a potential recruit to join our enterprise or a potential consumer for what we are selling; […]

In Him Was Life (Why We’re Not Martians)

“In him was life” (Jn 1.4). “No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative”  (Jn 10.18). “It is finished” (Jn 19.30). In Jesus was life. We might say something similar, ironically, at a funeral.  Our friend lived vibrantly, spontaneously, infectiously.  Our relative had such “life” about them.  They lived life to its fullest. But not really. They did not live necessarily. […]

10 Reasons You’re Not Getting a Heavenly Mansion

mansion in heaven

Did Jesus promise to build each of his followers a mansion for their eternal enjoyment?  After all, Jesus is God and was a carpenter.  Our God also builds houses?  He must be able to build us the best mansions the universe has ever seen.  We all have our dream home.  What could be better than having God design a city whose golden streets are lined with dream homes Jesus built […]

I Saw Jesus at Dad’s “Place” and He Wept

Jesus wept (Jn 11.35). Dad has recently settled into an assisted living facility.  None of us is particularly glad about it but we’re seeing some benefits.  In three years he’s gone from 2,500 square feet to 700 to 120.  It’s metaphorical, really.  As we get older our world gets smaller and more temporary, more lonely.  Dad has yet to call it “home” and I’m not sure he should.  At best he […]

Does God Love {Insert Your Name}?

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (Jn 3.16) I once read a cartoon Scripture memorization pamphlet to my youngest daughter.  It was a story written to help her memorize John 3.16.  The pamphlet was nicely done and broke the verse down into helpful, digestible parts. As we worked on the first part of […]

I Saw Jesus at the Nursing Home

Jesus wept (John 11.35). My dad was recently in a local rehabilitation center/nursing home. He returned home a smidge stronger but he still inches toward the midnight hour.  John 11 met me at the door when we last visited him. The apostle John put  Jesus on display in John 11.  The fullness of God and the fullness of man swirling heavenward to stir up faith in the Bethany township.  The Son of […]

A Woman, a Wonk and a Wench: Case Studies in Evangelism

Evangelism is the declaration of good news.  “Evangel” was not originally a Christian word but there is certainly no better word to describe what Christians have to declare.  A fleet-footed messenger would return from the battle lines to declare the good news of victory.  Christians declare the triumph of Jesus over sin, death and hell. Evangelism has become quite an industry.  There are resources, tools, tracts, books, pamphlets and bracelets […]

Does God Love [Your Name]?

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (Jn 3.16) I was recently reading a cartooned Scripture memorization pamphlet to my 5-year-old daughter.  It was a story written to help her memorize John 3.16.  The pamphlet was nicely done and broke the verse down in digestible parts. As we worked on the first […]

(Re)Examining John 3:16

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (Jn 3.16). Modern Calvinist and nonCalvinist Southern Baptists tussle over John 3:16.  Who exactly owns the deed to this hallowed ground?  NonCalvinists insist the “whosoever will” is an impossible hurdle for Calvinists to jump.  Calvinists insist “whosoever will” implies “whosoever can” which demands the sovereignly […]