Christmas is for sinners

Christmas is for sinners. But we forget this. In our seasonal rush to sentiment and nostalgia, we may trample the truth, which is too bad because the truth is better than the myths. When I worked in the Emergency Room, I saw the look in peoples' eyes when they arrived...

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a rich opportunity

Adversity isn't always judgment. But sometimes we feel like it is. When hard stuff happens, we are tempted to think it's happening because the one who is suffering somehow deserves it. Very often, we apply this flawed logic to ourselves and end up swimming in a sea of...

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tuned in

Are you tuned in to what's really happening? Most people aren't. We're too distracted. We go through life trying to do several things at once - we eat while we drive, we text while we talk, we pray while we're doing laundry. So we end up half-brained; too busy with...

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self-sufficient?

Do you believe in yourself? Some people do, and others don't. Some aspire to self-confidence as if it were a moral virtue. Others worship it, as if those who have it are by definition spiritual. Jesus disagrees. He says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit ... the meek...

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Sweet sorrow.

Repentance is a gift. But we don't think so. We rationalize to avoid it and we dissemble when it is called for. Every child remembers the glorious relief and freedom that come after the momentary pain of conviction, but most adults have forgotten. There have been...

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Are you sure you want justice?

Are you sure you want justice? Some of us scream for it, as if life were intolerable without it. Others appeal to it as if its pure administration will solve all our problems. Still others ignore it, as if it doesn't matter. For the Christ-follower, the question isn't...

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Hope makes all the difference.

Hope makes all the difference. I have friends who lost a child. Nothing is worse. There is no pain so sharp and no grief so great as to suffer the loss of a child. This is why God tells the story of salvation through the death of His Son. He wants us to know that He...

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Getting up matters more than falling down.

Getting up matters more than falling down. When you were little, you understood this. So every time you fell down, you got up again without angst. You had this deep desire to walk, and you knew that it would take time and practice, so you never quit. Lo and behold,...

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Do you love the truth?

Do you love the truth? Some do, but many don't. There's an old Bedouin story about a man who wakes up hungry in his tent in the middle of the night. He finds a bowl of dates by his bed and lights a lamp to eat them, but then sees that several of the dates are full of...

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God never gets tired of you.

God never gets tired of you. It's easy to think He does. Because we are proud, we grow weary of our own repentance. But God doesn't. He receives my cry for forgiveness today just as gracefully as He did the first time I asked. He is not proud but humble and free, so...

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Do you worry that you’re not good enough?

Do you worry that you're not good enough? Well, here's the truth - you aren't. You never have been, and this side of Eternity you never will be. You are a sinner, plain and simple. The reason you feel like you are constantly falling short is because you are constantly...

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If you stop, you’ll never know.

If you stop, you'll never know. In 1952 Florence Chadwick she set out to become the first woman to swim the 26 miles between California and Catalina Island.  It was tough, and she got tired.  A fog made things worse.  When it settled in, she began to talk to her boat...

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Are you getting ready to go Home?

Are you getting ready to go Home? Most people aren't. They see earthly life as an end in itself. But Christ-followers don't. We understand that this life is a kind of rehearsal, a practice, a workout in preparation for the life to come. This doesn't mean that our...

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There is a peace that transcends healing.

There is a peace that transcends healing. Many of us hope for healing. I do. Since I developed MS, life is harder. But I have learned that there is more to faith than healing. Lazarus was raised from the dead (John 11) - but he died again. I have often wondered what...

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Are you restless in your faith?

Are you restless in your faith? Lots of people are.  Because they came to Jesus looking for thrills and excitement, they struggle when there isn't any.  To be sure, a relationship with God includes transcendent moments.  But it also includes a lot of suffering,...

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