Archive for January, 2020


Friday 01-31-20

“And upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it” (Matthew 13:46).

Equating the finding of one pearl of great value to the discovery of the kingdom of heaven, the point isn’t what must be sacrificed to have it, but what is given up in response to it having been found. What the uninitiated view as sacrifice, we understand as an appropriate response to “the riches of his glorious inheritance” (Ephesians 1:18). It’s a matter of perspective. Is your passion the “here” or the “hereafter?” What are you here after? Want more!

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Thursday 01-30-20

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” (Matthew 13:44).

Upon meeting the young lady who would become my wife, it wasn’t with resentment that I sought to be the kind of man with whom she would be pleased and desire to build a future. It was with great joy that I embraced this endeavor. The same is true in the life of faith. Upon the joyful discovery of Christ and committing my life to him, it wasn’t with a begrudging spirit that I sought to follow the teachings of his word. I wanted the One who died for me to be pleased as I sought to live for him.

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Wednesday 01-29-20

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls” Matthew 13:45).

Truth is, in some form or fashion, we all seek to discover that which brings an enriching purposefulness to life. While some take a more cerebral approach, examining various religions, philosophies, and ideologies, others turn to more base desires and the immediate gratification of food, drink, sex, travel, the arts, etc. Even though the Wisdom writer states that God has set eternity in the heart of man (Ecc.3:11), the preponderance of humanity continues to believe that this longing can be satisfied with earthly pursuits. If we don’t dig our graves with our mouths, we certainly will with our appetites. Hunger for more.

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Tuesday 01-28-20

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” (Matthew 13:44).

That faith is sometimes discovered unexpectedly, in the routines and monotony of “just another day,” heightens our attention to the significance of our witness within the paths of daily life. We can never presume others to be uninterested in matters of faith. Instead, we must live with the assumption that God uses the “randomness” of the day to intersect our lives with the circumstances of other people’s lives for the purpose of achieving Providential moments.

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Monday 01-27-20

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again, and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” (Matthew 13:44).

Civil religion is the cultic expression of a nation and particular political culture. It is a term that captures the well the practice of Christianity in America. This is glaringly evident when most professing Christians in our churches would place greater emphasis and priority on the adjective “American” than the proper noun “Christian.” This as opposed to being a Christian who just happens to live in America. Civil religion has a mass appeal. It is innocuous, easy, upbeat, compatible, and user friendly. In fact, the Jesus of civil religion is so well marketed, it leaves one wondering why they would have ever crucified him. Kingdom parables, however, reveal faith to be invasive and disruptive. It’s like a treasure hidden in a field, that when discovered changes everything.

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Sunday 01-26-20

“And the Egyptians treated us harshly and afflicted us, and imposed hard labor on us. Then we cried to the Lord, the God of our fathers, and the Lord heard our voice and saw our affliction and our toil and our oppression; and the Lord brought us out of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 26:6-8).

Funny how our perspective changes toward the hardships of life once we are standing on the threshold of some great experience. Yes, God delivered the pleading Hebrews but only after 400 years of anguished crying; and this followed by 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. It says something about time. For the great I AM, I suspicion that there is no awareness of time. I AM was never I WAS or I WILL BE. For Him there is no past, present, or future. He just is. So we plead patiently, knowing that our time is not His.

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Saturday 01-25-20

“No prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:20-21).

That the biblical writers were moved by the Holy Spirit means they were inspired to action. One of the more compelling arguments for the veracity of the sacred text is the resulting nuances of each Gospel account, and every epistle, as each inspired author wrote out of the varied contextual milieu of their own lives. While unbelievers would point to these differing perspectives on the teachings of Jesus as an argument against the credibility of Scripture, would not a greater question of credibility be raised if each one were a verbatim read? Imagine the conspiratorial effort it would take to accomplish such a task.

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Friday 01-24-20

“For indeed you do practice it toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more” (1Thessalonians 4:10).

No matter how well we might think ourselves doing in the life of faith, we should seek to excel all the more. Do not think Paul is espousing some worldly competitiveness for the purpose of political and socio/economic advancement. His concern is in our service to the Lord and ministering presence in the world; that we never arrive to a place of self-satisfaction. No matter how much we have loved (v.9), we must seek to love all the more.

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Thursday 01-23-20

“The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness” (Matthew 13:41).

For those committed to following Christ, these words of the coming judgement offer encouragement and vindication for a persevering faith. The warning is to be dreaded only by those within the church who are stumbling blocks (Literally, ta skandala, the scandals impeding the discipleship of others), and the lawless who live with no regard for the principle and precepts set forth in God’s word. That these are among us now cannot be a distraction from the outwardly focused missional task to which we have been commissioned.

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Wednesday 01-22-20

“And the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels” (Matthew 13:39).

Previously (v.25), Jesus stated that the enemy of the one who sowed good seed was responsible for the tares. Now, he identifies the enemy as the devil. While enlightened modernists would prefer us think otherwise, there is a dramatic dualism played out in scripture—good and evil, light and dark, God and Satan. Evil cannot be reduced to a condition. Jesus teaches that evil has a personality that acts with intentionality. In both life and mission, we are better off acknowledging the reality of a Christ-conquered devil than we are ignoring a rationally denied devil. The former keeps him in check, while the latter naively opens the door and lets him in.

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