The Strength of Jesus

I can do all things through [Jesus] who strengthens me.   (Phil. 4:13) Paul wrote today’s scripture while in prison.  Every time he was behind bars, he was facing death. Being chained to a Roman guard, he would’ve been deprived of any privacy.  Under such conditions you might think Paul would’ve been daunted or depressed—but read …

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Seeing, Finding and Serving Jesus

Jesus said, “… I have come to call not the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17) Having gone through Hurricane Harvey I was reminded of another storm—Katrina. In 2005, we watched whole neighborhoods being flooded, people looting, and some even dying, and horrendous conditions throughout New Orleans. In response to the horrendous conditions in New Orleans, …

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Battling for God’s Kingdom

“In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab with his officers and all Israel with him… But David remained at Jerusalem.” (2 Sam. 11:1) We don’t know why David didn’t go into battle.  Maybe he was tired.  Maybe he forgot how important he was to his …

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A Journey That May Heal Your Own Hearts

Although I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink; instead I hope to come to you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.    (2 John 12) I once had a serious break with my daughter that was breaking my heart. …

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“Jamie, who are His People?”

An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham….   (Mt. 1:1f) If Jesus had lived in the neighborhood where I grew up, my grandmother would have been worried about me playing with Him.  She would have wanted me to shy away from Jesus because He came from …

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Jesus Born Again Anywhere

While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.  And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.  (Lk. 2:6-7) When my schedule permits, I visit some inmates in …

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What Jesus Knew

Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. (Jn. 8:6) The woman caught in adultery stands in the midst of the crowd ashamed of her actions and afraid for her life.  The Pharisees are feverishly using that woman to set up Jesus. Many of the townspeople are gathered around with great curiosity, some …

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Our Own Path to Faith

They said to the woman, ‘It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world.’    (Jn. 4:42) The Samaritans had first believed in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony.  What exactly they believed about …

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A Kingdom of God Moment

Jesus said, 'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.'   (Mk. 1:15) At the end of each session at the jail I always ask the inmates what subject they would like to talk about for the coming week.  On one occasion they decided to …

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Jesus’ Love Makes All Things New

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  (Heb. 13:8) One of my least favorite expressions is “same-old, same-old.”  When I ask someone how they’re doing, and they say “same-old, same-old,” I’m tempted to do an “encouragement-intervention” on them. The expression sounds so dreary, sullen, and bored.  One of the ways I sometimes …

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