Have you ever felt worried or distressed? Right, I know, that’s a ridiculous question because we have all felt worry and distress. Today, as we continue our ||40days|| journey, we want to follow Jesus into a life marked by peace. The Bible is not far away from these real experiences of our lives. In fact, the writer of Psalm 4 expresses thoughts we all could likely relate to:
Answer me when I call to You, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer. (Psalm 4:1)
Where do you turn to find peace in these times? Often, we turn to friends or family for support, or look to distractions like television or reading a book. In Psalm 4, we are directed in another way. the psalmist instructs us in the way we should turn in our distress.
God’s Strong Presence
First of all, the psalmist shows us to whom we should turn. ‘Of course,’ you might say, ‘you are going to say that I should turn to God.’ Yes, that is true, but it is not enough of the truth in this case. The psalmist says that Read More »
In the midst of our pursuit of God, we can sometimes focus so much on the seriousness of discipleship that we miss out on the joy of our life with God. Of course, there are good reasons for that.
First of all, Jesus called us to take up our cross, deny ourselves and follow Him. That is a serious call. Second, in this world we at times encounter suffering or difficulty, neither of which are light or easy. Thirdly, our discipleship is serious because, as Paul points out in his letter to the Ephesians, we are in the midst of a spiritual conflict.
Yet for all the seriousness of the pursuit of God, it is also true that God is the creator of joy. The ||40days|| journey reminds us that for all of the seriousness of following Jesus, it was Jesus Himself who said that following Him brings complete joy:Read More »
Every year in the US, we mark out a day to celebrate what we have been given. Thanksgiving Day, in my opinion, is actually one of the most culturally amazing moments where we take time out from work and normal routines to simply celebrate and enjoy God’s goodness. Of course, like all things, Thanksgiving can be trivialized by commercialism, but it is still a fascinating moment in our country’s history and experience.
The wonder of the life with God is that each day spent following Jesus propels us into thanksgiving. The abundance we have received from God through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection is beyond words. Today, as we continue our ||40days|| journey, we want to come alive with thankfulness.
Throughout the Scripture, we encounter many sacrifices offered in worship of God. In Psalm 50, however, we encounter a different kind of sacrifice:Read More »
There are few things which set the blood pumping as much as watching a team make a heroic charge to victory. Whether it’s an underdog basketball team surging to an upset or a football team pushing down the field in the last two minutes of a game, such an effort is quite a thing to behold.
When Jesus calls us to follow Him, He is inviting us into an effort like that. Jesus’ mission was “to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). He did not do that by standing at a distance but by drawing right into the enemy territory and bringing salvation through His life, death, and resurrection. He accomplished His mission, but He invited His followers to join Him in that charge.
Even before the Cross, Jesus called out and trained twelve closest followers. He sent them out as part of His charge into the world: “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves” (Matthew 10:16). From there, He gathered a larger group: “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of Him to every town and place where He was about to go” (Luke 10:1). The final words of Matthew’s gospel, Read More »
Leadership is a hot topic these days. Go into any bookstores and you will find hundreds of books on leadership. Being a leader is different depending on the setting. It is one thing to lead a race with many in pursuit of you but it is another thing to lead a team where you facilitate others working together toward a goal.
Unfortunately, what is often neglected in the discussions of leadership is the secondary concept of being a follower. Even to read ‘being a follower’ may conjure up negative ideas in our minds. But as we continue our ||40days|| journey, our interaction with Jesus must move from being our own leader to letting Him lead us, from trying to lead everything to learning to be His follower.
When Jesus began His public ministry, we read of John the Baptist identifying Him as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Time again and again, we encounter John directing people’s attention to Jesus in this way.
It is only natural that eventually even some of John’s followers wanted to find out more about Jesus. So, we read Read More »