The Case Against Christmas Lists

Here’s my thesis: Christmas lists take the magic and fun and surprise out of Christmas and reduce it to a transactional holiday morning.  Once lists enter the equation, Christmas effectively becomes a baby shower or wedding reception with lights.  There are times and places for pre-determined buying decisions, but Christmas isn’t one of them.  A […]

Luke 6:27-35 – Love Your Enemies

Love your enemies.  It’s a simple sentence, isn’t it?  It’s an imperative made up of three words, none of which is hard to understand.  It’s short, it’s easily definable, it’s easy to read and speak.  There’s absolutely nothing about it that’s complicated at all.  It even kind of rolls off the tongue.  What we realize […]

Luke 6:17-26 – Called to be Different

Starting in verse 20 and lasting through the end of the chapter is what some call the Sermon on the Plain.  Likely the same sermon as the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7, it is Jesus’ manifesto explaining how a citizen of the kingdom of God is to live.  In a word, the godly […]

Luke 6:12-16 – Choosing the Twelve, Choosing Judas

Jesus chooses twelve men from among His disciples to be apostles.  The men He chooses are in some cases expected and in others surprising.  The varying personalities, lifestyles, and professions show God’s sovereignty and mercy and act as a preview of a kingdom where there will be neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male […]

Luke 6:1-11 – Lord of the Sabbath

God instituted the Sabbath when He gave Israel the Ten Commandments.  The fourth commandment reads as follows: “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, […]

Luke 5:27-39 – A Mold-Breaking Savior

Jesus continues to defy convention, especially for the religious leaders.  He shockingly chooses a tax collector as one of His followers and then uses that choice to make a statement about who He is and what He’s here to begin.  Jesus is unlike anything the scribes and Pharisees have seen, and His approach and goals […]

Luke 5:12-26 – Jesus is Supreme

Jesus has shown His supremacy over temptation, over sickness and suffering (healing multitudes), over the powers of evil (casting out demons), and over nature (bringing boatloads of fish to fishermen).  In this text, He shows His supremacy over the most feared disease of His time (leprosy) and – most impressively – over sin itself.  Jesus […]

Luke 5:1-11 – The First Men Caught

Jesus teaches by the Sea of Galilee and calls Peter, Andrew, James, and John to be His disciples.  Based on what we know from other references, this isn’t His first exposure to the fishermen but it’s the first time His divinity becomes real to them.  Once they realize the truth, they do what only makes […]

Psalm 40 – Walking by Faith

The wonderful thing about the book of Psalms is that it meets us where we live.  It tells about good times and mountaintop experiences, but it also speaks to trials and disappointments, times that don’t make sense, times where God seems silent or absent.  In a word, the Psalms talk about life – real life […]