Read Luke 17:1-10. Sometimes, Jesus seems to say things that don’t necessarily connect. I can see why his disciples, without the benefit of the Holy Spirit, struggled. I sit over this passage and, with the Holy Spirit, don’t really want to accept it! But accept I must, because it’s from my Lord. He starts by … More What if I can’t forgive?
Read Matthew 16:21-28. Peter had just made a great confession: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Wow, that’s powerful stuff, and truth at that. Jesus recognized it as something that Peter could only have declared by the power of God, and blessed him for it. At this point, Peter must have … More What if I can’t deny myself?
Americans pride themselves on being honest and transparent. In general, I find this is true, but not all cultures have this heritage. In many parts of the world, shame keeps truth hidden behind the curtain of face-saving lies. Even in the West, many find it’s so much easier to tell a quick lie than a … More Saving Face versus Honesty
Read Matthew 15:1-20. “Are you still so dull?” Yep, that was Jesus speaking. Thankfully, he wasn’t talking to me, but to Peter. It was shocking, nonetheless, for him to give such a harsh rebuke. After all, Peter had just asked a simple question. It was the Pharisees’ fault. They had confused the disciples with their … More What if I let a blind man lead?
Read Matthew 12:9-14. Was there no limit to how low they would stoop? Those Pharisees would do anything to find a way to accuse Jesus of wrongdoing, even if it meant exploiting a poor, crippled man. They tried to bait him with this question: “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” (I guess they … More What if my sheep lands in a pit?
Read Matthew 12:1-8. I love it when Jesus gives it to the Pharisees! It’s easy to picture them, with their noses in the air and their clean robes, standing just outside the crowds that followed Jesus. Close enough to watch what he was doing, but separated enough to show their disdain and judgement. Those Pharisees … More What if I’m a Pharisee?
Read Matthew 7:7-12 and Luke 11:5-13. He told us to ask, seek and knock. If we do, we’ll be given what we ask, find what we seek, and have doors opened. The one who answers, gives and opens is God. Jesus makes it clear on the mountain that if a father on this earth gives … More What if I can’t be bothered?
Read Matthew 6:9-15. He was talking about prayer. They asked for it (if you look in Luke 11), so they should have expected it to stretch them. Everything else that Jesus told them surely did. Most of the short prayer seemed pretty cut and dry: Give praise to God. Ask for his will to be … More What if the debt is too great?
Read Matthew 6:1-4 I had not thought of this in 30 years, but I’m smiling as I remember it now. A person had given us a very generous financial gift. We were very touched when we received the check from the church secretary. The donor? Anonymous. Even more touching. I prepared to write a thank … More What if my left hand finds out?
Read Matthew 5:43-48 “I love everyone.” Easy to say, hard to live. “I love everyone, but I don’t have to like them all.” It may be technically true, but is not very biblical. “I love those who are like-minded in Christ.” Now, you’re just falling off the path. What did Jesus say on the mountain? Love … More What if my enemy walks in?