Posted in Biblical Reflections

Is Jesus Really the Only Way?

“There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) All of my life I have heard, been taught, and been surrounded by people who adamantly believe Jesus is the only way to God, the only way to miss hell, the only way to ensure heaven after death. It is wonderfully true (see John 14:6) and I will forever be grateful for my upbringing. However. That’s where it stopped. It’s usually where it still stops. Jesus is the only way to get to God post...

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Psalm 53

I love the Psalms. They give teeth to my thoughts. They let me know it’s okay to think what I’m thinking. They give me the assurance that I am not the only one. They give clarity to my emotions. It’s no wonder the Psalms were designed to be the prayer and songbook for the people of God. The Psalms let you know it’s okay and expected (encouraged!) to be raw. The Psalms remind you that God is big enough to handle your complaints. The Psalms help give shape to your unexplainable humanity. The Psalms let you be you, while reminding...

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Good Friday: What We Owe the Disciples

“We owe it to those first Christian disciples to do our very best to understand the utter hopelessness of their situation after the Crucifixion. They had invested their whole lives in what appeared to be a diabolical joke. They had seen their beloved Master scourged almost most to death, dragged through the streets, nailed to a cross and abandoned to suffer public agony in the face of the obscene mockery of everybody in Jerusalem. Once they had basked in the reflected status of a celebrity who had been mobbed by large crowds; now he had been judged a nonperson, fit...

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Tuesday of Holy Week

“Jesus replied, ‘Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?’” (Mark 12:24) Less than 100 hours from His arrest, crucifixion, and burial. His last public conversations are with the religious elite. Church people. Those who have committed their entire lives to learning the Scriptures and growing in their knowledge of God. His last hours on the earth, Jesus spent precious time revealing to these men the hypocrisy of their lives (see Mark 11:27-33; 12:1-44; 13:1-37). It’s possible to know much about the Bible but not know the Scriptures. It’s possible to...

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You Just Never Know

The Bible is pretty clear about relationships. Don’t burn bridges. Be faithful. Make immediate amends for intentional and unintentional offenses (see Proverbs 6:1-5; Matthew 5:23-25; and Philemon). You just never know what the future holds. Less than 9 hours from the time I type this, Auburn University will play Virginia in a Final Four game in Minneapolis, Minnesota. You read that right. Auburn. Auburn University. The Auburn Tigers. War Eagle. That Auburn. The Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan, Lawyer Tillman, Cam Newton, and Lionel James Auburn. They are playing basketball in April. I feel like I owe Auburn an apology. Less...

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Bird Watching & Anxiety

Has it ever seemed a bit odd to you that, according to Jesus, a cure (the cure?) for worry and anxiety is to go bird watching? “Consider the birds” Jesus says. The word “consider” literally means “to process information by giving consideration to” something. Yeah. In the middle of a warning against anxiety and worry, Jesus admonishes His listeners to “process information by giving consideration to” . . . Birds. The theological instruction Jesus has for worry is to think about birds. (See Matthew 6:25-27) If you think about this – it’s brilliant. It should be of no surprise, but...

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A Fatal Mistake? Really?

“Be sure of this: I warn you today that you made a fatal mistake when you sent me to the LORD your God and said, ‘Pray to the LORD our God for us; tell us everything he says and we will do it.’” Jeremiah 42:19-20 If you skipped over the verses above, you might want to take another glance. Go ahead. I’ll wait. I know, right? Go ahead and read it again. I’ll wait. . . It looks like Jeremiah is telling his audience that they made a huge mistake by asking him to pray for them. It looks like Jeremiah told them they...

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No Take Backs

“So all the officials and people who entered into this covenant agreed that they would free their male and female slaves and no longer hold them in bondage. They agreed, and set them free. But afterward they changed their minds and took back the slaves they had freed and enslaved them again.” Jeremiah 34:10-11 Did you ever have that friend growing up who would convince you to trade something he wanted from you, for something he had that appeared of value? That friend who would convince you your life would be better if the trade happened? That friend who grew up to be...

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#blessed AMIRIGHT?

“They were even more astonished, saying to one another, ‘Then who can be saved?'” Mark 10:26   The rich young ruler walked away grieving (Mark 10:22). Jesus told him to get rid of everything and follow Him (Mark 10:21).   Jesus said it was hard for the rich to get into heaven (Mark 10:23). As a matter of fact, He said it was easier for one of the largest land animals to enter the tiniest of spaces than for the wealthy to get in (Mark 10:25).   As He was prone to do, He shocked the disciples with His words....

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Listen to Him! Part Three

Read Part One Here and Part Two Here. Why do we have such a hard time listening? Why do we have such a difficult time really hearing what Jesus came to do? Why do we want to keep Jesus from going to or “rescue” from the cross? Third and finally, we do everything we can to avoid SUFFERING. There’s a reason Peter wanted to build tents on top of the mountain. He didn’t want to come back down. Life was easier up there. Life was more glorious up there. Life was less stressful up there. There’s a reason Peter rebuked Jesus...

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