Without Forgiveness, Love Dies

Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.    (Heb. 9:22) I’d been a jerk towards my wife.  Even though I wanted to rationalize my actions and justify my words, I knew I had to humble myself and finally say, “I’m …

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The Message of the Cross

For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.   (1 Cor. 1:18) His name was Linwood.  He was the part-time janitor at the country church where I once served. As the church grew, Linwood had a hard …

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Trusting in God’s Grace

Therefore confess your sins to one another…  (Jas. 5:16) I was in my twenties, on my knees, confessing my sins to a monk, and I heard him snoring. When I loudly coughed he woke up for a few moments, but then he fell asleep again. I was miffed he was so inattentive.  I thought my …

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Jesus and the Poor in Spirit

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt. 5:3) Not many of us feel blessed when we’re feeling broken, worthless, anxious, betrayed, lost, or ashamed. How can Jesus say we’re blessed by God when we’re “poor in spirit?” What I know in my life, and what I’ve seen in …

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Our Forgiveness by His Grace

Then his brothers also wept, fell down before him, and said, ‘We are here as your slaves.’ But Joseph said to them, ‘Do not be afraid!  Am I in the place of God?  Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as …

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God’s Gift of Reconciliation

No, ‘if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.  (Rom. 12:20-21) If we want to keep our enemies, we shouldn’t follow Paul’s advice.  If …

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Glimpses of Heaven

The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in his hands.  Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life… (John 3:35) Just as hell can be here and now, so can heaven. Jesus says that when we believe in Him, we are given eternal life.  Heaven isn’t simply the place where we hope …

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Emmanuel, God With Us

“While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.” (Lk. 2:6) Right before Christmas last year, a really sad article came out in the press. According to several reports, a priest condemned suicide at the funeral of a young man who had taken his own life. I felt tremendous grief for …

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