You can’t receive forgiveness without giving forgiveness. At least that’s what Jesus seems to teach in the parable of the Unmerciful Servant (Matt 18) and the Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” For Jesus it seems that receiving forgiveness and giving forgiveness are like two sides of … Continue reading Forgiven to Forgive Others
You turn on the news and you find out that there’s been another horrific school shooting or a natural disaster across the country. The next story is about a deadly attack by some militant group you hadn’t heard of until just now in a city all the way across the world that you didn’t know … Continue reading The Upside-Down-Topsy-Turvy Kingdom of God
I’ve often heard people say something like, “You know, it would be so much easier to believe what we hear about Jesus if we were there with him. I mean, surely if we got to hear his preaching and got to see his miracles and him casting out demons, surely then there would be no … Continue reading What’s Wrong with the Pharisees?
Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. And he had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to … Continue reading Finding True Satisfaction: A Devotion on John 4
Do you ever feel like a plastic bag? Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again? Do you ever feel so paper thin, like a house of cards one blow from caving in? Do you ever feel already buried deep? Six feet under, scream, but no one seems to hear a thing? I sure have. … Continue reading For Those Who Worry About the Future
When people talk about the Christian life, they talk about things like joy, freedom, victory over sin, confidence, stability, purpose, etc. Yet, this is rarely or at least not always our experience. But why? It’s not as if most of us experience much real suffering. After all, Christians in the West do not experience the … Continue reading Despair, Suffering, and the Christian Life
If the son frees you, then you really will be free. John 8:36 There’s nothing that we Americans seem to hate more than our own government. And yet, it seems that so often we put so much of our trust and hope in it. Luther, in his Large Catechism, says that a god is anything … Continue reading Election Madness and the Idol of Freedom