Tuesday, May 12, 2020
“Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence.” [1 Peter 3:15b-16a]
How is your hope barometer these days? The writer of Hebrews reminds us saying, “We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.” Even so, fears have risen within all of us as COVID-19 unleashed its fury across the globe. It didn’t matter whether we were capable Continue reading Hope that Sustains
Monday, May 11, 2020
“Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord.” [1 Peter 3:13-15a]
Are you eager to do good? In the midst of this crisis I have worked with a group of people through the Redlands Charitable Resource Coalition that have been eager to do good. Over 27 volunteers have worked at three pop up food locations seven days a week since March 19, 2020. Numerous community members stepped up Continue reading Eager to do Good?
A number of years ago I worked with three other small church pastors and we put together a sermon series entitled, “Chase the Lion.” The series was based on a book by Mark Batterson with the same title. I don’t remember all the details of the series, but I do remember the manifesto that challenged Continue reading Dare to Fail
Saturday, May 9, 2020
“5 Thomas said to Jesus, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ 6 Jesus said to Thomas, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’” [John 14:5-7]
Thomas seems slow to understand what Jesus is trying to say, asking, “How can we know the way?” Thomas sounds like he wants a map, but Jesus responds saying, “I am the way.” Can you imagine Thomas’ disorientation? I hear Thomas thinking, “But you’re not a map!” Yet, I believe Continue reading A Map?
Thursday, May 7, 2020
3 You are indeed my rock and my fortress; for your name’s sake lead me and guide me, 4 take me out of the net that is hidden for me, for you are my refuge. 5 Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God. 15 My times are in your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors. 16 Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your steadfast love.” [Psalm 31:3-5, 15-16]
The psalmist recognizes that God redeems and saves. It is apparent from the psalmist’s own words that his own ingenuity is not enough. His adversaries are greater than his own resources. So, the psalmist surrenders to God saying, “Into your hands I commit my spirit… my time is in your hand.” This is not resignation, but a realization Continue reading Into Your Hands
Wednesday, May 6, 2020
“1 In you, O Lord, I seek refuge; do not let me ever be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me. 2 Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily. Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me. [Psalm 31:1-2]
In the midst of this pandemic, imagining God as a rock, a refuge, and a strong fortress has been comforting for many of us. In the midst of our storm-tossed lives it is comforting to have a strong anchor, a faith that holds us secure. The psalmist is facing adversaries. He is being attacked from multiple fronts and is seeking God’s help pleading, “Rescue me speedily.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful Continue reading Rescue Us Speedily
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
“9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” [1 Peter 2:9-10]
This passage has been used as a badge of honor, rather than a call to action; as a way to exclude, rather than affirm a weighty responsibility. The people of Israel were chosen by God. Yet, they were not chosen because of their pedigree or for their glory. They were chosen for Continue reading Bragging Rights?
Monday, May 4, 2020
“Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation – if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” [1 Peter 2:1-3]
Headlines, even in the midst of this pandemic, seem to be filled with malice and envy, insincerity and slander. Yet, Peter isn’t writing this letter to a local newspaper audience; he is addressing the exiles of the Dispersion, that is, good church folk! Yikes! Is there malice or insincerity, envy or slander among us? I certainly, pray not. But, when humans are bereft Continue reading Good Riddance