Showing posts from February, 2011

Jesus for Barabbas

One More...

Read Romans 5

I was listening to the book of Mark being read on my audioBible on my way to work and I was struck by the fact that the crowd demanded the release of a known murderer in place of Jesus Christ! In Mark 15, Pilate offers the crowd the option of either releasing Barabbas or the King of the Jews. The crowd requests Barabbas!
Then I read Romans 5:8, “But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.” In a very physical, literal way, Jesus took Barabbas’s place and died for him. What injustice!

Imagine for a moment that you are the leader of a new religious movement that promotes service, taking care of the outcast, and following the ways of God. You’ve been brought before a judge who does not consider you a criminal. The judge thinks that a trial by jury will be your best defense and that an even better defense will be a jury that has to choose between releasing you or a known felon. You are brought before the jury and the k…

Dry Bones?

Another one...

“Then he said to me, ‘Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, “Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.” Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken and will act, says the LORD.’” (Ezekiel 37:11-14)

“dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones…. Now hear the word of the Lord.”

Do you ever feel like you are dry bones? Israel did. In fact, God described their condition as “desolate indeed, and crushed… from all sides, so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations, and you became an object of gossip and slander among the p…

Forbidden Fruit

At church we've each been assigned certain Scriptures to use to write Lenten devotionals. I'm not sure I like how this one turned out. What do you think?

"The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Genesis 2:15-17)

“'You will not certainly die,' the serpent said to the woman. 'For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.'

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it." (Genesis 3:4-6)

Someone recently asked me, “If God didn’t want us to eat of the fruit, why did…

Servant Leadership: Wash Each Other's Feet

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet b…

Devotional - Perfection & Grace

"What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does Scripture say? 'Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.' Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness." - Romans 4:1-5 (New International Version, ©2010)

I am a recovering perfectionist. For the longest time I had trouble understanding God’s grace. As a child I was told that when someone does a favor for me, I need to repay them. These three statements may seem unrelated, but as I read Romans 4:1-5 I know that they are related. So often I try to earn my own salvation. I want to be the perfect Christian. Doesn’t it say somewhere in the Bible that we are suppose to “be perfect…