Chapter 6: How Jesus Loved Judas To The Very End — From the new book Love Like Jesus: How Jesus Loved People (and how you can love like Jesus)

Suspicion by leafhopper77 - Creative Commons

Suspicion, by leafhopper77 – Creative Commons

Today’s post is from my new book Love Like Jesus: How Jesus Loved People (and how you can love like Jesus).

Last Saturday we posted Chapter 5: Love God First.

Love Like Jesus is due to be published in January of 2020. If you’re interested in serving on the launch team, send me an email at

Chapter 6 — Love Like Jesus: How Jesus Loved Judas To The Very End Continue reading

The Flip Side Of Envy: John 1:39-42

Envy ChristianHe said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus. (John 1:39-42a)

One Day With Jesus

So last post from the book of John we saw how John the Baptist was with two of his disciples when Jesus walked by. “Behold the Lamb of God,” John the Baptist said. And these two disciples of John the Baptist, they immediately left him and followed Jesus.

When Jesus saw them following, he asked, “What do you want?”

And the two responded, “Where are you staying?”

And Jesus said, “Come and see.”

So they did. They followed Jesus to where he was staying. And they spent the day with him.

Imagine what you would ask if you spent the day with the Messiah. These two former disciples of John the Baptist, now Jesus’ first two disciples, probably spent the day asking the same questions. Whatever the discussion, we know from what happens next that they were deeply and profoundly impacted, because one of them, Andrew (the other isn’t named) leaves Jesus to tell his brother who they found.

Peter’s Brother

“Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother,” that’s how Andrew is referred to in our text. That’s how Andrew is usually referred to throughout scripture, as Simon Peter’s brother. One imagines that it was that way for Andrew, for a long time. We can imagine Andrew growing up hearing himself referred to in this way: “You know who I’m talking about, Simon’s brother.” Do you know someone like Andrew? Someone who is always referred to as “so and so’s brother?” If you do, you know it can be a point of contention. Envy can creep in. And when envy creeps in, that person who’s referred to as “so and so’s brother” begins to wish for, hope for, and even enjoy the defeats and failures of the person who is the object of their envy. That’s just how envy works.

You might think that Andrew, having lived in his brother’s shadow all these years, would have looked at his new relationship with the Messiah as an opportunity: an opportunity to escape his brother’s shadow, an opportunity for Andrew to shine for himself.

“I’m Andrew, the very one who found the Messiah (with a little help from John the Baptist). Maybe now they’ll call Simon, ‘Andrew’s brother.'”

But to Andrew’s great credit, he didn’t let envy or anything else get in his way. After spending one day with Jesus, he felt compelled to find his brother Simon and to tell Simon all about who he, Andrew, just found: the Messiah, the Christ.

The Flip Side Of Envy

But there’s another side of envy that we rarely hear discussed. The flip side of envy is Continue reading

2013’s Most Popular Posts on God Running

What a blessing it has been to write for our Father in 2013. I thank Him for the privilege, and I thank you for reading and for your support. I’m also excited about what’s coming in 2014, but more on that later. Below you’ll find 10 of the most popular posts of 2013, on God Running.

2013 most popular God Running1) The Holy Spirit: How to Know if You Have Him

By far our most popular post in 2013. This article shows how you can know for certain you will receive God’s Holy Spirit baptism. Look for the book by the same title to come out in 2014.

2) The 5th Day of Creation–The Holy Spirit and Bearing Fruit

God’s Holy Spirit is also the topic of our second most popular post in 2013. This post explores God’s creation of marine life as it relates to bearing fruit by the Holy Spirit. It includes some surprising findings from the Census of Marine Life project, a ten year study with the mission of finding new species. You’ll see how scientists concede they grossly underestimated the quantity of diversity of marine life in the ocean. The rate at which the Census of Marine Life project has discovered new species is amazing. What does that have to do with God’s Holy Spirit? Read the post and find out.

3) Both of Lot’s Daughters Became Pregnant by Their Father

If you want to stay in your comfort zone, don’t read this post. Continue reading

Genesis 30:1-24 When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister

Read Genesis 30:1-24

In chapter 29 we saw the that the LORD had compassion on Leah. Because of the resentment or lack of love that Jacob had for her, God blessed Leah with four sons. Rachel, up to this point, has been barren. We also saw how God chastised Jacob. He gave Jacob a dose of his own medicine when Laban duped Jacob into marrying Leah. Finally we saw that basing our emotional response on our tiny limited perspective is a misguided misuse of our energies, because God’s plan is so big, that only He will ever be able to see the whole picture. (See previous post on Genesis 29 — When morning came, there was Leah!)

Genesis 30

So Leah has given birth to four sons. And all this time Rachel hasn’t conceived. At that time, in that culture, an inability to bear children was a source of great shame to a woman. So perhaps not surprisingly, Rachel became distraught. She became jealous of Leah. She saw her sister’s success in child bearing as a detriment to herself personally. Jealousy is an interesting emotion. In some ways it’s the opposite of love. I love my kids. I love my wife. Consequently, I’m rooting for them, I’m excited to see them do well. Jealousy, on the other hand, results in just the opposite. When Rachel saw Leah doing well in bearing children, she wasn’t happy about it at all. On the contrary, she was filled with remorse, with bitterness, with jealousy.

(BTW, 1 John 4:8 tells us that God is love — He’s for you, He rejoices in your victories, it’s His desire to see you blessed, and He delights in seeing you do well. The Bible also tells us that God is a jealous God. (Exodus 20:5) However this is in the context of worshiping idols and shouldn’t be confused with the type of jealousy referred to in our story about Rachel and Leah. One of the definitions of jealousy is “vigilance in maintaining or guarding something.” (see That’s the type of jealousy that’s God’s. His jealousy is that of someone who loves us so much that He guards us jealously, against those other gods who would lead us astray. If your son or daughter came home and announced that they were completely enchanted by a man he or she met, who happens to be a leader in the Italian Cosa Nostra, you’d jealously guard them against any further involvement! That’s the type of jealousy God has for me, and for you. I recently heard a celebrity say that she was turned off at a church service when she heard the pastor say that God is a jealous God. What a tragic misinterpretation of the meaning of the word, and a classic example of scripture taken out of context.)

So Rachel finds herself consumed with jealousy. As you and I might sometimes do, she’s looking for a convenient target upon which to express her frustration. And as you and I might sometimes do, she takes it out on her spouse, she says to Jacob, Give me babies! I’ll just die if you don’t!

Jacob becomes angry with her and replies, Am I God? I’m not the one who’s kept you from having children!

So Rachel, perhaps recognizing that her expectations of Jacob were amiss, says, Alright then, let’s do this, here’s Bilhah, my servant girl. Make love to her and she’ll bear children for me. I’ll build my family through her. (Having children “through” a woman’s servant was not an uncommon practice in that society, at that time)

So that’s what they did. Rachel gave Jacob Bilhah as his wife, and he slept with her. She conceived and gave birth to a son.

Rachel rejoiced, she said, God has vindicated me or judged in my favor; He’s heard my cries and given me a son. And she named him Dan which means, “judge” or “he has vindicated.”

Later, Bilhah conceives again and has a second son. Rachel says, I’ve had a tussle with my sister, and I’ve won. She named him Naphtali which means “my struggle.”

Now Leah sees that the tide has turned. Rachel, through her servant Bilhah, has born fruit a couple of times and during this period, Leah has been fruitless, with respect to childbearing. So she gives Jacob her servant girl, Zilpah, to be his wife. And Zilpah bears Jacob a son. Leah says, Another son, what good fortune! So she names him Gad, which means, “a troop is coming” or, it can also mean, “good fortune.”

Then Leah’s servant Zilpah bears Jacob a second son. And Leah says, I’m so happy! And the women will call me blessed or happy. So, she named him Asher, which means, “happy.”

“The women will call me blessed.” Leah thinks herself blessed if the women in town call her blessed. Both Leah and Rachel are caught up in a calamitous competition as well as a concern for what other people think creating a mess of the relationships in Jacob’s family.

So at this point, each servant of Leah and Rachel has born for Jacob two sons.

Then, in the fall, during the time of the wheat harvest, Leah’s son Reuben comes back from the fields with some mandrakes. Now these mandrakes were a type of weed found in Israel. The top looks somewhat similar to a tobacco plant and the root looks somewhat similar to a turnip, except that the roots often branch out in ways that make them resemble the shape of a person. Perhaps for that reason the superstitious ascribed magical qualities to the mandrake plant. Two of these qualities, falsely attributed, were that of increasing sexual desire and fertility. So when Leah’s son Reuben comes back from the fields with some mandrakes, Rachel’s jealous again, this time she’s jealous that Leah’s come into a supply of mandrakes.

Rachel, desiring some of those mandrakes, presumably to use them as an aphrodisiac with Jacob, says, Please, give me some of those mandrakes that your son Reuben brought in.

But Leah says, Isn’t it enough that you monopolize all of my husband’s time? You’ve taken him away from me. And now you want my mandrakes too?

All right, all right, if you give me the mandrakes, you can sleep with him tonight, Rachel says.

At the end of the day, as Jacob’s coming in from working the harvest, Leah comes out to meet him. She says, You’re sleeping with me tonight. Reuben found some mandrakes and I’ve traded them to Rachel for one night with you. I’ve hired you out. So he complied and he spent the night with Leah. (I find it amusing that Jacob doesn’t appear to have a whole lot of say in any of this)

God is again sensitive to Leah’s plight, and she becomes pregnant, and bears Jacob a son, the fifth from Leah. Leah says, (mistakenly, I believe), In reward for giving my servant to my husband, God has given me a son. So she names him Issachar, which sounds similar to the Hebrew word for reward.

Later, Leah becomes pregnant again, and gives Jacob a sixth son. She says, God’s given me a precious gift. Now that I’ve given him six sons, my husband will treat me with honor. So she named him Zebulun, which means, “honor.”

Later she gave birth to, Jacob and Leah’s last child, a daughter. She named her Dinah. It’s not surprising that Dinah is given the least amount of ink here in the Old Testament scriptures. In those times, women weren’t valued the way they are today. It’s through Jesus’ influence that the cultural patterns have been changed. He’s the One who’s brought us to the place where no sex is superior. Are the sexes different? Of course. But is one superior over the other? No. Through Christ we’ve come to recognize the equality of not just the sexes, but of everyone. The thing that God hates is an attitude of one person lifting himself or herself over another. It’s an attitude that the LORD detests. There are similarities in all of us, we all have value in God’s sight and we’ve all sinned. We’re equal in Christ. Check it out for yourself. Of all the religions in the world, it’s the Christian nations that are the ones that give the greatest respect to women. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28) (Chuck Smith)

So Leah’s given birth to seven children, and it would seem that poor Rachel will never give Jacob any sons or daughters other than those that might come through her servant. But God, He remembers Rachel, and He listens to her pleas, and finally, after all this time, He provides for Rachel a son. She gives birth and says, God has taken away my disgrace. She named him Joseph which means, “may he add,” because she said, May the LORD add to me another son. A sad commentary on human nature — God gives Rachel a son and her response is, “may he add,” or, give me more.

Look to Christ and do your part

So what do you think, about Rachel’s expectations of Jacob? When she demanded, Give me children, or I’ll die! Is that realistic? Jacob’s already had four sons with Leah, so everybody including Rachel knows that he’s biologically capable, he’s fertile. Rachel’s expectations of Jacob are completely misplaced. Her fulfillment doesn’t lie with Jacob.

Another person who had unrealistic expectations is found in the story of Namaan, the Syrian General, a man whom the Bible says was a valiant soldier. (2 Kings 5:1) He was in charge of all the armies of Syria which would be similar to the rank of Colin Powell when he served as the Secretary of Defense for the United States. Namaan was a man of high rank and great renown but he was also a leper. Now an Israeli slave girl, who served Namaan’s wife, mentioned that Namaan could be healed of his leprosy, if he would only go to Israel and seek out the prophet of God, Elisha. Namaan, did as the Israeli girl said to — sort of. He went to the king of Israel, instead of to God’s prophet. He had a letter in hand from the king of Syria directing the king of Israel to heal Namaan. The king of Israel’s response? He tore his clothes and said, Am I God, that I can heal this guy? (Sound familiar?) Namaan was putting his hope in the wrong person. His expectation was that a great general like himself would receive what he needed from the head of the Israeli nation, not from God through his prophet Elisha.

So the prophet Elisha hears about Namaan and tells the king of Israel to send him on over. So Namaan, the great general, arrives at Elisha’s place and expects, I imagine, to be welcomed like a great dignitary. But Elisha doesn’t even come out of the house. Instead he sends a servant to tell Namaan to wash in the Jordan river seven times.

Namaan is livid! He didn’t get the reception he expected, and he didn’t get the remedy he expected either. Elisha didn’t bestow upon Namaan the keys to the city. Elisha didn’t lay hands on him and call out to heaven with great fanfare. Elisha didn’t even show up!

So the king wasn’t the only person in whom Namaan mistakenly put his hope, he also put his hope in a face to face meeting with Elisha. With his expectations violated and left only with the instructions from Elisha’s servant to wash in the Jordan, Namaan tells his entourage to pack up and head for home.

Then some of his servants say something that makes quite a lot of sense: Hey Namaan, they say. What if you were to just do what you’re supposed to do. I mean, if the king of Israel, or the prophet Elisha had given you some elaborate and difficult task to accomplish in order to be healed, wouldn’t you have done it? So what do you have to lose? Why not just do your part? Why not just do what you’re supposed to, wash in the Jordan seven times, and see what happens?

So Namaan does what he’s supposed to do, what the LORD through Elisha told him to do, and Namaan is healed of his leprosy.

The whole point is this, initially Naaman mistakenly put his hope in the wrong people. The king wasn’t where the answer would be found, and really, even Elisha, in and of himself, didn’t have the answer. Initially Naaman had some unrealistic expectations, but eventually, he did what he was supposed to do. Eventually, he focused on his part. And the LORD healed him. Rachel, rather than getting hung up on what she expects of Jacob, and what she hopes for Leah, no more kids, would have done well to focus on the LORD and what He has in mind for her. Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. (Psalm 127:3) The LORD is the key, not Jacob. It may take awhile, it took Namaan seven baths in the Jordan river, it might take seven weeks, or seven months, or seven years for Rachel to become pregnant. Or she might bear fruit in a way that she never even expected. But the only thing for her to do is to focus on God and what He would have her do. That’s our lot: to obey, and to wait, and to put our hope in Him. (John 14:15Psalm 27:14)

I know a thirty something whose company relocated from Oregon to Southern California at the end of 2011. He was offered the opportunity to relocate but, like most of the other employees at this particular company, what they offered made the move financially undo-able. So he faithfully continued to work at this place without resentment, giving his best right to the end of his tenure. Then he poured his energy into finding a new job, researching the job market thoroughly, carefully crafting a resume, reaching out to his network, submitting applications, he’s doing what he knows the LORD would have him do. I don’t hear him talking badly about his former employer. With his eyes on Christ, he’s focused on doing his part, taking care of his end. It’s been awhile but his efforts are starting to bear fruit. In fact he has an interview on Monday, and requests from recruiters are starting to come in.

In contrast to Rachel, Hannah is a great example of someone who responded well to her barren condition. Comparing the two: Rachel was jealous of Leah; Hannah wept unto the LORD. Rachel nags and badgers Jacob; Hannah submissively seeks help from God. After receiving a son, Rachel asks for another; Before she even had a son, In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the LORD, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, “LORD Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life…” 1 Samuel 1:10-11

Rachel demanded children, and she died in childbirth of her second; Hannah asked the LORD for one child, then she had four more.

Maybe you’re waiting on the LORD for something today: for a job, or a wife, or a husband, or a child. Maybe you’ve been looking to your husband, or wife, or boss, or mother, or father, or teacher to fulfill that need. If that’s your situation then recognize that the LORD is where your answer lies. One of the greatest statements that John the Baptist ever made was, “I am not the Christ.” (John 1:20) John the Baptist is not the Christ. Neither was Jacob. Neither was the king of Israel for Namaan. Neither is your husband, or wife, or boss, or whoever. Focus on Him and the things you know He has for you to do. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. (Psalm 27:14) The time of fruit bearing will come. For if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. (Romans 8:25)

Put your hope in Him.

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

Psalm 42:5

Genesis 30:1-24

1 When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister. So she said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!”

2 Jacob became angry with her and said, “Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?”

3 Then she said, “Here is Bilhah, my servant. Sleep with her so that she can bear children for me and I too can build a family through her.”

4 So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife. Jacob slept with her, 5 and she became pregnant and bore him a son.6 Then Rachel said, “God has vindicated me; he has listened to my plea and given me a son.” Because of this she named him Dan.

7 Rachel’s servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. 8 Then Rachel said, “I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won.” So she named him Naphtali.

9 When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her servant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife.10 Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11 Then Leah said, “What good fortune!” So she named him Gad.

12 Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. 13 Then Leah said, “How happy I am! The women will call me happy.” So she named him Asher.

14 During wheat harvest, Reuben went out into the fields and found some mandrake plants, which he brought to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”

15 But she said to her, “Wasn’t it enough that you took away my husband? Will you take my son’s mandrakes too?”

“Very well,” Rachel said, “he can sleep with you tonight in return for your son’s mandrakes.”

16 So when Jacob came in from the fields that evening, Leah went out to meet him. “You must sleep with me,” she said. “I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So he slept with her that night.

17 God listened to Leah, and she became pregnant and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18 Then Leah said, “God has rewarded me for giving my servant to my husband.” So she named him Issachar.

19 Leah conceived again and bore Jacob a sixth son. 20 Then Leah said, “God has presented me with a precious gift. This time my husband will treat me with honor, because I have borne him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun.

21 Some time later she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.

22 Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and enabled her to conceive. 23 She became pregnant and gave birth to a son and said, “God has taken away my disgrace.” 24 She named him Joseph, and said, “May the LORD add to me another son.”


Bible Gateway

Blue Letter Bible

Matthew Henry

Chuck Smith

Old Dominion University: Bible Plants

Jon Courson

Genesis 4:1-8 — Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.

Photo from “The Working Class” blog

Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man.” Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”

Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Genesis 4:1-8

The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor.(v.4-5) It could be that there’s a problem with Cain’s sacrifice. It may be that a blood sacrifice was required, as the word says in Hebrews 9:22, without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Different Bible scholars teach it different ways. But without question there’s a problem with Cain’s heart. The way of Cain is identified in Jude 1:11 as a way that is polluted by a problem with the heart. We don’t know for certain what that problem is but a clue is given in Hebrews 11:4 where we’re told that By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. (Hebrews 11:4) We don’t know for certain what was at the heart of the issue, but Cain did, and God did. Two people standing next to each other in church, both singing the same praise song or hymn, perhaps God respects the worship of one but perhaps not the worship of another. Two give the same amount of tithe, perhaps God respects the giving of one but perhaps not the giving of the other. You and I may know that the same amount is given, we may hear the same song, but the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. (1 Chronicles 28:9)

So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” (v. 5-7) Here we are, barely four chapters into the Bible, and God’s grace is manifested yet again when he comes to Cain. Adam and Eve were hiding after their sin, and God came looking to help them. Cain is angry, having sin in his heart, and God comes looking for him. God always comes looking for sinners, but, unfortunately, not all sinners go looking for God.

One thing we do know for sure is that Cain is angry. Often times behind anger lies jealousy, and always behind jealousy lies pride. Isn’t it amazing, the things that make us jealous? We get jealous because someone gets a cubicle that’s a little bigger than ours, or someone gets assigned a better parking space than we did, or someone’s son or daughter plays a sport better than ours does, or someone makes more money than we do. God help us. We each have a little bit of Cain within us, don’t we. We all want our desires to be God’s desires, and when God does what God does that’s not consistent with our own wants, how angry it can make us. Each of us thinks that we should have an immunity from the problems, unfairness, and injustices that everyone faces in life.

First cousins Willy and Georgie never got along well. Willy was especially envious of his cousin Georgie, which isn’t all that unusual among cousins. But the consequences of Willy’s jealousy and envy were different than those of other children, it carried on into adulthood and ultimately effected most of the world. You see cousin Willy was Kaiser Wilhelm II, ruler of Germany. And cousin Georgie was King George V of England. Cousin Willy, in his adult years, was jealous of cousin Georgie’s far flung British Empire. Also, at the annual yacht races Germany lost regularly to Britain which contributed to cousin Willie’s intense envy of the British navy. Many don’t realize the great extent to which Kaiser Wilhelm’s envy of his cousin George contributed to the start of World War I.

God in His mercy warned Cain that “sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” (v. 7) God is saying, don’t treat jealousy lightly. If you allow it to take up residence you’ll soon find yourself in the grip of a power greater than you thought possible. In Romans 12:15 God teaches us to rejoice with those who rejoice; and to mourn with those who mourn. But envy turns that all around. When we envy, or when we’re jealous we often rejoice when that certain person mourns and we mourn when that certain person rejoices. Therefore, rid yourselves of all envy. (1 Peter 2:1) Or you’ll find yourself doing things that you never thought you would do. I’ve lived it, I’ve been there, take heed. Rid yourself of it for who can stand before jealousy? (Proverbs 27:4) And envy rots the bones. (Proverbs 14:30)

If only Cain had responded differently. What might have happened had Cain asked God for His help. What might have happened if Cain had said, like David, Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love (Psalm 51:1) Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10) This is what Cain should have done. This is what you and I must do whenever we encounter anger, jealousy, pride, envy, or any other sin. We must return to the Father like the prodigal son. (see previous post) But Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. (Genesis 4:8)

Anger, jealousy, pride, envy, they’re all cousins. They’re all emotions that are related and intertwined with each other:

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

James 1:19-21


Blue Letter Bible

Bible Gateway

Bob Davis

Chuck Smith

Ray Stedman

C.H. Spurgeon

Robert K. Massie, Dreadnought

Photo from The Working Class blog

Tragic Shooting at U of Alabama Huntsville – Video

Amy Bishop, a professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, was arrested for killing three of her fellow professors and wounding three additional University employees. In a faculty meeting, after sitting quietly for thirty minutes or so, she pulled out a 9 mm and started shooting. Some believe that the motive for the shooting was the University’s denial of her tenure. Bishop is a woman who was apparently successful in business, as she and her husband have recently invented an automated system that cultures cells — if successful their system could replace the petri dish. Yet she’s been quick to complain, even to new acquaintances, about the unfairness of her not making tenure. Complicating this recent tragedy is a report that 23 years ago, Bishop also shot her then 18 year old brother.

For more information go to Shaila Dewan’s article in the Salt Lake Tribune and a second article in The Huntsville Times.

Your Life:

Beware of unforgiveness!

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

Matthew 18:21, 22:

Why did Jesus so emphasize forgiving others? Like every other admonition that God gives us in the Bible, it’s for our good. Dr. George Vaillant, the head of a Harvard University Study that followed 268 men over a 72 year period was asked,

“What have you learned from the Grant Study men?” Vaillant’s response: “That the only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.” (Joshua Wolf Shenk, The Atlantic)

It’s been said that not forgiving is like drinking poison then expecting the other person to die. Forgiveness is freeing. Forgiveness opens up a life that is God’s best life for you. Having trouble forgiving someone? By far the best way to help yourself to adopt a forgiving attitude is to spend time with Jesus Christ. “And just how do I accomplish that?” you may ask. Spend time with the body of Christ in church, spend time in prayer, spend time in His word. Take communion and remember how He has forgiven you.

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Jesus Christ, Matthew 6:14, 15

Applegate Christian Fellowship / Jon Courson