“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:10) Sometimes we feel like we shouldn’t bother God so much, that he expects us to have gotten it by now and be able to handle it ourselves. This lie of course tricks us into doing things in our strength rather than God’s and failing to get the victory over our sin. Paul reminds us, in his letter to the Romans, that Christ laid down his life for us while we were hisRead More →

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” (1 John 3:16) What is love? John tells we learn what love is at the cross. Jesus and Paul both tell us that to love god and to love others fulfills all the laws and regulations handed down to us in the scriptures.  We love, John tells us elsewhere, because Christ first loved us. To love is to sacrifice and put others needs (not their wants) before our own. Scripture places the greatest burden here upon the leaders in our communities:Read More →

“For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15) The immediate context is Paul’s statement to the basic effect of, “Guys, if I’m out of my mind, it’s for God. If I’m acting sane, it’s for your sake.” Christ’s love motivates us to live for something greater than ourselves and consider others’ needs, remembering Christ died for them, too. But we live ultimately forRead More →

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) We have a tendency to reason about what God would do and how he would act from our fallen sinful nature. We reason, since we love so-and-so, and we accept their behavior and love them just the way we are, since this is what our love does, surely that is what God’s love does, too. Nope. He loves us, but he doesn’t accept our sin–he wants us to surrender it to him, so he can in turn makeRead More →

Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. Isaiah 55:2,3 I think we’ve all found ourselves there, constantly doing, or eating, and never being satisfied, done, or full. We forget what we are really hungry for can’t be found in the rat race, or at the buffet line,  but in a still, quietRead More →