Archive for July, 2022


“The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent” (Exodus 14:14).

Whether Pharoah’s army, overwhelming grief, debilitating fear, or anguish for struggling family members, life’s multifaceted and unpredictable circumstances can pursue us with such intensity that we are overwhelmed and driven to silence by the humbling recognition that we cannot fix “it.” It is in this place that we can best see the Lord as our Advocate, our Comforter, and Deliverer.

Leave a comment


“And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward” (Matthew 10:42).

There is, perhaps, no greater confirmation of a transformational faith than the action of doing the littlest of things for the littlest of people; those who are the most vulnerable; those counted as insignificant. The yet to be humbled ego still thinks of serving God in terms of the grandiose; praying constantly about doing something really big for the Kingdom of God. All the while, missing the most immediate opportunities that could have been answered with the most simple of gestures.

Leave a comment


“The Law came in so that the offense would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Romans 5:20).

In describing how grace abounded all the more, Paul utilizes a word he uses on one other occasion, 2 Corinthians 7:4, but is found nowhere else in the entirety of Greek literature. It seems as if Paul had to make up a completely new word in the attempt to capture the abundance of God’s overflowing, super-abounding grace. God cannot make his grace any more sufficient than he has made it already. It is sufficient to both save and empower His people for life and service.

Leave a comment


“The Law came in so that the offense would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Romans 5:20).

With the giving of the Law no longer can humanity pretend to be in a state of subjective speculation as to whether or not some behavior or attitude is sinful. The Law becomes an objective standard, and by it all are found guilty; adding even greater credence to Paul’s earlier observation that we are without excuse (1:20). The positive side of the Law is that while it heightens our consciousness of sin, it also heightens our awareness, all the more, of our need for forgiveness, grace, and deliverance.

Leave a comment


“But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many” (Romans 5:15).

What a wondrously rich verse of promise and insight regarding the work of salvation God has and is accomplishing through the One, Christ Jesus. We must never read Romans 5:12-21 and reckon that the contrast Paul sets forth between Adam and Christ is, somehow, opposite and equal. While the disobedience of Adam had universal implications, so did the grace of God, manifested in the life and death of Jesus, but much more so in overwhelming proportion.

Leave a comment


“Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the violation committed by Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come” (Romans 5:14).

Though the Law of Moses had not yet been given, and wouldn’t for quite some time (v.13), humanity is, nonetheless, without excuse (Rom. 1:20). As such, death continued as the penalty for sin. By his disobedience, Adam becomes a representative figure for fallen humanity; his life revealing the connection between sin and death; a narrative that would run as a continuing saga throughout the history of humankind. There is, however, another One coming that will completely rewrite the narrative into a story of unexpected proportions and grace.

Leave a comment


“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all mankind, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12).

Any Jew hearing Paul’s words would already have an understanding that because Adam sinned, he died, and because all have sinned, death has been propagated to all humanity. Paul’s philosophical question might be, “If you have no difficulty accepting how one man’s disobedience has universal implications for all humanity, is it not a natural segue to believe that one righteous man, and his obedience unto death, has the same universal implications for all those who believe?” In a culture that holds forth individuals rights as the greatest virtue, God’s people must never lose the biblical worldview that setting aside our rights for the greater good of the community is our spiritual service of worship (Rom. 12:1).

Leave a comment


“But Jesus said to them, ‘Are you able to drink the cup that I drink?’” (Mark 10:38).

Who would have imagined that the idea of drinking from a cup could be fraught with so much meaning; that it so metaphorically captures the idea of suffering and death that our Lord would even pray that this cup might pass from Him (Mt. 26:39). It is a cup of self-sacrifice depicting suffering and death for the cause of Christ by every believer. With this understanding the question begs from us even more thoughtful contemplation—“Are you able to drink the cup?What’s easy to profess is more challenging to swallow.

Leave a comment


“Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved” (Matthew 9:17).

Lovers of religion labor to maintain familiar traditions, structures, systems, and protocols; these being the very things that hold them hostage. The only reality of the Kingdom of God they can imagine is bound by their own preferences and scope of experience. The height of arrogance and spiritual blindness is to assume that the future of God’s Kingdom must run through the preferences of our past. To envision so little is to miss so much.

Leave a comment


“God of my praise, do not be silent” (Psalm 109:1).

While Psalm 109 opens with praise and closes with thanksgiving, what lies between is harsh and unexpected. In fact, because the language is so hostile it has essentially been given no regard in the Christian church; being completely ignored in those traditions utilizing lectionary readings. Indeed, when the psalmist is praying for the death of his enemy (v.8), that he lose all possessions (v.11), that his descendants be eliminated (v.13), that they all receive eternal punishment (v.14); these are difficult things to reconcile with the teachings of Jesus—to love your enemies, turn the other cheek, and pray for those who persecute you. The delicate balance between a righteous indignation for the advocacy of justice, and the spirit of long-suffering required of God’s people, necessitates a prayerful wisdom. So, until such wisdom is accomplished, we do well to continue in praise and thanksgiving.

Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: