Jesus

How to Cultivate Hope

April 7, 2016 // 24 Comments

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. (1 Pet 3:15) We Christians ought to be a hope-filled people but a mixed-up gospel has made us a wishful people. We ought to be strong in the faith but religion has weakened us with disappointment. If [...]

Seven Ways Religion Damages Hope

March 31, 2016 // 66 Comments

You can learn a lot about hope from watching the movies. When I was a kid I saw The Neverending Story, and for some reason one scene has endured in my memory. It’s the scene where Atreyu is confronted by Gmork, the wolf-like servant of the Nothing. Atreyu asks Gmork why he is helping the Nothing destroy the [...]

10 Ways Religion is Bad for You

February 10, 2016 // 81 Comments

Every story needs a villain and the villain I most often employ is religion. Grace is good, but religion is bad. Grace promotes trust in God, but religion is all about trusting self. Grace says, “God helps you,” but religion says, “God helps those who help themselves.” Some have said that I’m giving [...]

Pure Religion (James 1:27)

January 28, 2016 // 38 Comments

Religion is bad. By definition, religion is a kind of bondage, which means there’s no such thing as good religion. But what about James who said this: Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the [...]

Married to Jesus

November 19, 2015 // 45 Comments

Jesus spoke of the joy that erupts in heaven when a sinner repents and comes to believe in the good news. We might imagine they have something like a birthday party to celebrate the new birth, but in reality it’s the rejoicing that accompanies a wedding. It’s a celebration of a new life wedded in union with [...]

The Parable of the Two Sons

November 11, 2015 // 35 Comments

From time to time people ask me to write about the parables of Jesus. This is something I enjoy doing because I love the parables. The parables of Jesus are launch pads to revelation and if we have ears to hear they reveal the wisdom of God. Especially this one: What do you think? There was a man who had two [...]

The Testing of Your Faith

August 27, 2015 // 37 Comments

What goes through your mind when you see men in orange jumpsuits waiting to be killed for their faith in Jesus? Do you think, “I could die for Jesus,” or “Thank God that’s not me”? The earliest Christians faced the lions of the Roman circus and persecution remains a fact of life many Christians [...]

Sowing, Reaping and the Golden Rule

August 13, 2015 // 46 Comments

From the beginning of time there have been two worldviews, two trees, and two ways live. One is karma (you reap what you sow), and the other is grace (you reap what someone else has sown). This world runs on karma: Do good, get good. Do bad, get bad. But the kingdom of God runs on grace: God is good to you. [...]

Is Forgiveness like a Debit Card?

July 17, 2015 // 47 Comments

Are you completely forgiven or partly forgiven? It’s a simple question that reveals whether you appreciate all Christ did for you on the cross. Recently I heard a critic of the grace message say two contradictory statements: Christ paid for your complete redemption (amen!) but you are not completely forgiven [...]

The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30)

May 19, 2015 // 43 Comments

Once upon a time there was a man who went on a journey and before he left he entrusted three servants with his money. When the man returned, he praised the two servants who had doubled his money, but the third servant, who had done nothing, was thrown outside into the darkness. The parable of the talents (Matt [...]

What Makes the New Covenant New?

April 29, 2015 // 55 Comments

There’s a classic scene in The Simpsons where 8-year-old Lisa is offered a large check. Monty Burns has made a $120 million from an idea that Lisa gave him and he wishes to give her a ten percent share. But the money represents ill-gotten gains from harvesting the sea, so Lisa says no. Lisa later apologizes to [...]

What about Ananias and Sapphira?

April 9, 2015 // 134 Comments

Recently in Connecticut, a pastor stood in front of his church and confessed to the sin of adultery. Then the pastor fell down dead, right in front of everyone. This proves that God expects his people to live holy lives and if they don’t, he’ll kill them. Of course, that’s complete nonsense. The story is [...]