Why Is “In The Flesh” Non-Negotiable?

Who is Jesus Christ? There are so many answers to that question, and I guess the human race has been preoccupied with this question since the Lord came in the first place. But, we learn today that how we answer this question is a great deal more important than we may realize! Look at our Lesson today in 2 John 1:1-13: The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love…

Give Us Barabbas

“Free advice is worth every penny you pay for it!” With that, the old man proceeded to share with me some pearls of wisdom that I remember to this day. Isn’t it funny how much we already know? I mean the truth is I pretty much know how I should live and what decisions are best and what decisions are destructive to my life. In fact, it was a bit of a revelation to me…

You Are Beloved

I love the word “Beloved.” It’s the kind of word that bears an “antique” feel of sophistication and dignity, as well as expressing a sense of connection and intimacy that keeps it from being “stuffy” or “arrogant.” To be considered “beloved” by someone else is the heart’s cry of most humans! I want to be “beloved” and to have a “beloved.” I bet you do too. Look at our Gospel Lesson today…

He Cannot Sin

“You sinner!” The preacher thundered from the pulpit in our small Pentecostal church, and, as a 10-year-old boy, he had me convinced. Yep, I was a sinner and I needed to be saved. So, that’s what I did. In fact, every time there was a chance to be “saved” I took it! (I still do!) Wouldn’t it be wonderful to never sin again? But what if our idea of what sin really…

The Lord has Need of It

It’s a paradox. A paradox is a concept that we humans, especially we humans shaped and formed by post-Enlightenment secularism, have a hard time grasping. Paradox makes us uncomfortable. It feels like a “problem” to be “solved.” That’s why we humans stumble over paradox. You know what I mean, don’t you? It’s like what Jesus said when He taught that to save your life, you must lose it, and to be a leader, you…

Children, Young Men, Fathers, Everybody!

“I wish I were older!” Those were my words to my mother when I was a teenager and longed for the “freedom” of being an adult! If I only knew then what I know now! Bills, taxes, responsibilities, ugh! Can I take it back and go back to being a teenager again, please?!? Well, of course, I can’t. At least I shouldn’t. But too many in today’s culture really have refused to…

We Deceive Ourselves

I’m my own worst enemy. The reason for this is that my ability to either delude myself or to overreact is so “normal” to me that it is really hard to be objective about my struggles by myself. I’m either too hard on myself or too easy on myself! Learning this opened my eyes to the wisdom of the Timeless Faith in encouraging me to have a regular confessor and to see…

The Great and Powerful Oz

When I was a boy, I remember seeing the Wizard of OZ for the first time on a color TV set. Needless to say, I was absolutely mesmerized by the wonder of the change from black and white to color, but I also remember being very much sympathetic to the Cowardly Lion when the group of seekers of help first encountered The Wizard. The effects of the head floating in the air and the smoke and the fire…

Delusions Of Grandeur

“Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble, when you’re perfect in every way! I can’t wait to look in the mirror, cause I get better lookin’ each day.” Hilarious, right? But what makes it funny is that we know people who actually feel that way about themselves. They are always saying things like “Listen, it’s going to be huge. I’m going to make everything right again!” OK, careful there padre! (hee hee)…

Me and Jesus Got Our Own Thing Going

In 1972 America was experiencing an amazing movement among young people called “The Jesus Movement.” Jesus was the “hero” of a lot of the youth of the day! And I was right there in the middle of it. At 12 years old and about to step into my teenage years, I was a big participant in the new “Contemporary Christian Music” of “The Second Chapter of Acts,” “Andrae Crouch and the Disciples,”…