. . . having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
(Read Proverbs chapter 4)
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23 NIV
How To Fail To Guard Your Heart
The writer of Proverbs chapter four is sharing wisdom with his sons. He spends much of the chapter admonishing them to listen to his words and to value wisdom highly. Then, toward the end, he says what he says in verse 23, “Above all else, guard your heart . . .”
“Above all else,” he says.
This instruction, which is at the very least Continue reading
(From the archives)
It’s Time to Die
In a previous post we saw how important it is not to die indiscriminately. It was a post for people who can’t say no, as you might gather from the title: How Not to Become a Christian Doormat.
This post is probably more important and for a greater number because this post is for all of us who Continue reading
This is what Jesus looks like.
A group of churches in the New Haven area are collaborating to show Jesus’ love to the people of their city. Recently 1,000 volunteers contributed to 72 different service projects in New Haven. They call their group Bridges of Hope and they collaborate and cooperate with institutions of all faiths, and no faith, for the common good when consistent with Christ’s values. You can check them out over at the Bridges of Hope website.
This is what Jesus looks like–in New Haven, Connecticut.
“…who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10-29-37)
Last week I was playing basketball. A group of us were there at the Cedar Hills Gym in Portland playing 3 on 2. That’s a little awkward, 3 on 2, but we were jabbering at each other and generally having a great time anyway. Then in walks this guy who’s tall. Not NBA tall, but tall, you know, like 6 feet 5 inches. He’s taller than the rest of us, and he hardly says a word. He just joins in to make it 3 on 3 and–in a silent Clint Eastwood-like manner–proceeds to completely dismantle us. It didn’t matter how we arranged the teams, the silent assassin always won. He was so amazingly effective.
And that guy reminds me of Jesus.
He reminds me of Jesus because of this curious quirk in the gospel accounts. Continue reading
There’s This Thirty-Something
There’s this thirty-something in my life who is always asking me these great questions about the Bible: provocative questions, hard questions, but very interesting questions. And it’s caused me to look at the Bible differently. I read and hear so much about how the Bible is restrictive. But this person with the questions has got me thinking about the freedom God has given us. Freedom to make our own choices. Have you ever considered what’s not illegal in the Old Testament? For instance, prostitution is not illegal in the Old Testament, and neither is polygamy. I’m not saying that either of those are good, I’m just saying neither of those is illegal in the civic code given to Israel in the Old Testament. People are free to engage in these activities without legal repercussions, though the spiritual ramifications and life consequences are still there (see Proverbs 23:27 and 29:3).
The point is, God is radical when it comes to our freedom. He wants us to have the freedom to do what we want, even when it’s wrong. And it’s really made me look at my own ideas about what God wants me to do concerning the behavior of others. Because sometimes I want other people to do what I want them to do, and I can get frustrated when they don’t.
Maybe you’ve been there. Maybe you are there. Maybe you want to spend money a certain way but your wife wants to do it her way. Or maybe you want more time to recreate with the guys, but she has other ideas. Or maybe it’s just deciding what to do for dinner (not that this question would ever result in a disagreement). Whatever it is, our perspective changes when we Continue reading
Loving and Giving Until It Hurts
Carol is a single mother with a heart as big as the moon. She loves strays of all kinds: stray dogs, stray cats, stray iguanas (today she informed me there’s a local herpetological society that will contribute toward your care of a stray iguana). She also loves stray people. But early in life she thought she could help a stray person who was struggling. She was sure that with enough love she could bring out the good person she knew lived inside him. She loved him, and loved, him, and loved him. But no matter how much love she gave, she couldn’t compete with his addiction. He spent his money (and hers) on his habit. He neglected her. He neglected his job. He neglected his kids. Finally he left. Not to be deterred, she found another stray. Surely with enough love she would turn this person around. But the pattern repeated until he finally left too. Now and again she would surround herself with several stray people at a time, each one was in a dark place, and that too sent her life into a destructive spin.
So she asked me today, How does this work? We’re supposed to love people like Jesus loved people, but how do we do that without our good efforts deteriorating into something self destructive? Continue reading
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.
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.
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.
If you want to stay in your comfort zone, don’t read this post. Continue reading
(One of our most popular posts–from the archives)
When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
How Jesus Loved People
Jesus loved people by spending time with them, in spite of their sinful lifestyle.
How to Love Like Jesus
There’s a blog I follow called Not Ashamed Of The Gospel. Not long ago, they posted a three part series about a ministry which reaches out to sex industry employees. I couldn’t help but notice there weren’t many comments offered on the last post in the series, An Insider’s Look — “Awkward!” I think for most people, that post was just too hot to handle.
Finally, one person posted and as best as I could tell he used scripture to infer this post about the sex industry ministry was an example of ungodly men perverting the grace of God.
I couldn’t help myself. I had to comment.