Jun 24, 2014

How Should We Expose the Deeds of Darkness...

Ephesians 5:11-14
As we saw in yesterday's reflection , Ephesians 5:11 does not urge us to remove ourselves completely from "the fruitless deeds of darkness" and those who do them. Rather, it teaches us not to participate in these deeds or to become partners in wrongdoing. In fact, we are to have...Read more +
Jun 23, 2014

Should I Treat the World Like Someone...

Ephesians 5:11-14
As Christians, we are "light in the Lord" and "children of light" (5:8). Yet we continue to live in a world of darkness, a world dominated by sin and "the powers of this dark world" (6:12; see also 2:1-3). What does it mean for us to be light in a...Read more +
Jun 22, 2014

Four Verbs that Combat Scarcity

Mark 8:6-9
Four verbs: take, bless/thank, break, and give. The four gospels use these combination of verbs in some very specific places in scripture. The feeding of the thousands, Jesus’ final Passover meal, and the Emmaus Road meal. These four verbs demonstrate for us how God’s economy works. Jesus will only ever...Read more +
Jun 21, 2014

God's Rescue Plan

Jeremiah 29: 4-7
The Israelites in exile in Babylon were most likely not expecting to hear this word from the Lord. In fact, they were hearing quite different things. Recent prophecies from other notable leaders in the Hebrew community promised something better—deliverance. Israel longed for deliverance. Their Babylonian captors were detestable. Babylonian culture...Read more +
Jun 20, 2014

I'm Not Good Enough and I'm Not...

Psalm 109:1-31
Perhaps you remember the Saturday Night Live character known as Stuart Smalley. He starred in a fictional self-help program called "Daily Affirmation with Stuart Smalley." The featured affirmation in each Stuart Smalley segment was his motto: "I'm good enough. I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me." Though you...Read more +
Jun 19, 2014

If I Am a Child of the Light, How Do I...

Ephesians 5:11-14
Ephesians uses the graphic imagery of light and darkness to help us understand our relationship to the world that is separate from Christ. Before we received God's grace through faith, we lived in the world of darkness. In fact, we "were once darkness" (5:8). But now, because of God's grace...Read more +
Jun 18, 2014

How Can I Know What Pleases the Lord?

Ephesians 5:8-10
In our last two reflections, we have been focusing on Ephesians 5:10, which encourages us to "find out what pleases the Lord." In Monday's reflection , we considered the fact that we are to "use our heads" if we want to please God. Today, I want to reflect a bit...Read more +
Jun 17, 2014

Pleasing the Lord

Ephesians 5:8-10
As I reflect on this passage from Ephesians, I find myself more and more impressed by something I might easily have taken for granted. Verse 10 says that we are to "find out what pleases the Lord." This verse assumes that we have the capacity to please God. Or, to...Read more +
Jun 16, 2014

Use Your Head!

Ephesians 5:8-10
When I was growing up, if I did something foolish, my parents would admonish me with a familiar refrain: "Mark, use your head!" They wanted me to think about my actions before I acted. They urged me to pay attention to right and wrong and to consider the consequences of...Read more +
Jun 15, 2014

Praying and Working for the Welfare of Others

Genesis 39: 1-5
At the tender age of seventeen, Joseph was clearly gifted and trustworthy. But he wasn’t a polished product. We know he wasn’t the most diplomatic communicator, which, in part, led his half-brothers to sell him into slavery. That event launched a series of successes and setbacks, and produced a resume...Read more +