Thursday, March 22, 2018


To be fully known and fully loved is the most healing gift one human being can give another. James writes, “Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16) We are all forgiven, recovering sinners, and no one can be secure in a relationship if they are loved only because they are smart, pretty, strong, or successful. Sin isolates us, and sin and isolation will make us sick in our soul and even our body. Confession and then prayer, connectedness to each other and to God, ushers in the Spirit and helps bring healing.

-- John Ortberg in “The Me I Want to Be”


Wednesday, March 21, 2018


“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean.”  (Matthew 23:27 NIV)

Above all else, the Christian life is a love affair of the heart. It cannot be lived primarily as a set of principles or ethics. It cannot be managed with steps and programs. It cannot be lived exclusively as a moral code leading to righteousness…

The truth of the Gospel is intended to free us to love God and others with our whole heart. When we ignore this heart aspect of our faith and try to live out our religion solely as correct doctrine or ethics, our passion is crippled, or perverted, and the divorce of our soul from the heart purposes of God toward us is deepened.

The religious technocrats of Jesus’ day confronted Him with what they believed were the standards of a life pleasing to God. The external life, they argued, the life of ought and duty and service, was what mattered. “You’re dead wrong,” Jesus said. “In fact, you’re just plain dead [whitewashed tombs]. What God cares about is the inner life, the life of the heart.” (Matthew 23:25-28) Throughout the Old and New Testaments, the life of the heart is clearly God’s central concern…

Our heart is the key to the Christian life.

-- Brent Curtis and John Eldredge in “The Sacred Romance”


Tuesday, March 20, 2018


In the Gospels God spoke through His son -- Jesus… The disciples would have been foolish to say, “It’s wonderful knowing You, Jesus; but we really would like to know the Father.”

Philip even said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” (John 14:8)

Jesus responded, “Don’t you know Me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me? The words I say to you are not just My own. Rather, it is the Father, living in Me, who is doing His work.” (Jon 14:9-10)  When Jesus spoke, the Father was speaking through Him. When Jesus did a miracle, the Father was doing His work through Jesus.

Just as surely as Moses was face-to-face with God at the burning bush, the disciples were face-to-face with God  in a personal relationship with Jesus. Their encounter with Jesus was an encounter with God. To hear from Jesus was to hear from God.

-- Henry Blackaby and Claude King, quoted in “His Passion: Christ’s Journey to the Resurrection”


Monday, March 19, 2018


Jesus was never one to let danger or the threat of discomfort keep Him from doing the right thing. In fact, that’s how He ended up on earth in the first place! Philippians 2:6-8 says, “Though He was God, He did not demand and cling to His rights as God. He made Himself nothing; He took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. And in human form He obediently humbled Himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross.”

I love the phrase “He made Himself nothing.” Do you realize how rare that is? The average person in our me-first world can’t even begin to grasp the concept. We’re programmed to defend our interests, fight for our rights, and pursue our own agendas -- and then scream bloody murder if someone gets in our way.

But Jesus made Himself nothing. He put other people’s needs ahead of His own. He fought for other people’s rights, while allowing His enemies to walk all over His. And the only agenda He ever pursued was the one that was going to open the door to Heaven for pathetic sinners like you and me.

-- Mark Atteberry in “Free Refill: Coming Back for More of Jesus"


Friday, March 16, 2018


“But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.”   (John 20:31)

It is true, there are people who do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God, our Savior, among them some of the world’s greatest scholars. But I am appalled when I talk to many of these people of learning about Christ, for I discover that almost always they are ignorant of the basic truths of the Gospel… You would be amazed to discover that inevitably these people are taking issue with something that they do not fully understand. They have erected ‘straw men’, and have proceeded to destroy their own creation.

I have yet to meet anyone who has honestly considered the overwhelming evidence concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who does not admit that He is the Son of God. Now, as I have said, I meet some who do not believe, but as we have talked and reasoned together, they have been honest in confessing, “I have not taken the time to read the Bible or consider the historical facts concerning Jesus.” Their resentment has been based upon an unfortunate childhood experience, upon the inconsistency of some Christian or perhaps the influence of a college professor; but always they have admitted that they have not honestly considered the person of Jesus Christ and His claims on their lives.

-- William R. Bright in “An Introduction to the Ten Basic Steps Toward Christian Maturity”