The Sacrifice of Praise


“Through[i] Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice[ii] of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.” (Heb. 13:15)

Through Him! Through Jesus, we offer up a sacrifice of praise to God. Jesus is the instrument of our praise; He is the reason that we can praise God at all! Jesus who, stripped of all glory, came to us in humble estate as a child and lived among us as a man, showed us the image and exact representation of God in the form of one of us. Continue reading

Your Will Be Done

Three Crosses & Rays of Light

“Your will[i] be done[ii]….” (Matt. 6:10). This is the next blog post in the series of articles on the Lord’s Prayer. After acknowledging God, Our Father who is in heaven, and praying that Gods’s kingdom come, Jesus taught us to pray for God’s will to be done.

His “kingdom come” is an imperative cry for an emerging and growing reality in the life of the believer and in the world. The prayer, “They will be done”, is like it. Both phrases are couched in the Greek verb tense, aorist imperative[iii]) on top of it. This suggests an emphatic, insistent, ongoing desiring and abandonment to the will of God.

“YOUR will be done!” is how Jesus taught us to pray, with emphatic insistence. Continue reading

Where God Changes Us

Red Rocks in Arizona

“But from there you will[1] seek[2][3] the LORD your God and you will find[4]him, if you search[5] after[6] him with all your heart and with all your soul[7].” (Deut. 4:29)

The people of Israel were looking across the Jordan to the land God had promised Abraham many generations before. The “Promised Land” was/is both literal and figurative. The people were being warned that, after they had lived there long, if they turn from God to follow idols, they would be scattered from the land God promised.

God knew what was in the heart of man. Even before they entered the Promised Land, God knew they would turn from Him Continue reading

My Redeemer Lives

lightstock_110704_xsmall_user_7997290 - Copy

“I know that my redeemer [i]lives.”[ii]

Do you know who said this? You might be surprised if you don’t know. It wasn’t the person who wrote the song.

“My Redeemer lives!” is a triumphal statement of faith. We sing it as a joyful pronouncement of gratitude and proclamation of our confidence in God. These words convey hope. They are a reflection of overcoming faith, but there is much more to the story. Continue reading

Your Kingdom Come


“Your kingdom[*] come….” (Matt. 6:10) This is the third in a series of blog posts on The Lord’s Prayer. After acknowledging God, Our Father who is in heaven, Jesus taught us to to God for His “kingdom come”.

That is a curious instruction, as many Jews at the time believed that the Messiah, who they were expecting, would overthrow the Roman occupation of Judea and return the land to Jewish rule. They were bitterly disappointed when that did not happen, especially in light of all the kingdom talk from Jesus. He even taught us to pray for it! So what gives?

Did the disciples not pray hard enough? Did God fail to answer the prayer Jesus instructed them to pray? What does that mean for us today? We need to look back at the First Century for the answer. Continue reading

Hallowed is His Name


“Our Father who is in heaven hallowed[i] be his name…” (Matt. 6:9) Special, sacred, holy and set apart is God. No one set Him apart. He just is (from the beginning and always, continuously and ever will be) holy.

Human words are wholly inadequate to describe God. Words developed by people describe the world as we see it, but we cannot see God. God is spirit. God is in the heavens, the spiritual places. What we know of God and the words we use to describe Him are inadequate for the task. Yet, all we have are our own words, to describe God. Continue reading

Our Father Who Is in Heaven

Brain Cells and Deep Space

“Our Father who is in heaven[i]….” Matt. 6:9) This is the second in a series of blog posts on the Lord’s Prayer. You can read the first post about the simple, but profound, recognition that God is Our Father.

Jesus continued with the recognition who God is by stating that the Father is inheaven“. We might be tempted to picture God in the clouds, but the popular idea of God in the clouds is not at all accurate. God the Father is outside of time and space. Time, space and matter that makes up the Universe in which we live were created and are contained and sustained by God. They emanated from God; but they do not contain God.

Continue reading

Our Father


“Our Father…” (Matt. 6:9) begins the only prayer that Jesus taught. Though Jesus prayed often, the only insight we have into the prayer life of Jesus and his relationship with the Father is contained in what we know call The Lord’s Prayer. This is the beginning of a series of blog articles on that prayer Jesus taught us to pray.

Jesus starts with acknowledging, “Our Father”… God the Father, the maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen, the God who exists before and beyond time and space, who made everything out of nothing, who spoke and it all came to be, who holds the entire universe in balance, the breadth and depth and width and height of which we cannot even visualize.

This God, who is greater than anything we could possibly imagine, who is the God of gods, the Lord of lords, the King of Kings, who holds all things together by His will, this God who does not need us, this God nevertheless instructs us to call him our Father! That, by itself, is worth contemplating. Continue reading

Be Willing to Know

Questioning Bus. Woman

If anyone is willing[i] to do His will, he will know[ii] of the teaching, whether it is of God…. (John 7:17)

Jesus said these words in response to people who questioned what he was saying because he was uneducated. (John 7:15) Jesus did not have the credentials or the experience people thought he should have. How ironic!

Jesus did not gain his knowledge in the usual way, of course. He did not graduate from the Pharisaical seminary. He did not have a diploma. He was I AM. He did not need a diploma! Continue reading

Lose Your Life In God


Whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. (Luke 9:24)

Let’s be honest. People are self-centered. It starts from the moment we leave the womb. Babies cry when they are tired, cry for food, cry when they want something: their world is focused on their own needs. As we grow and mature, we (hopefully) become more attuned to others and begin thinking about meeting others’ needs, at least when they do not conflict with our own needs; but we are still primarily self-centered. Continue reading