As followers of Jesus, we are sisters and brothers. In real Christianity the barriers drop. Strangers become friends. Friends become family. "Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it." - I Corinthians 12:27
Ironically, much of our current culture’s seeming love for the body is a version of an ancient heresy, the denial of the body. The Gnostics espoused the early church heresy of believing in the mind, but not the body. Because the body was nothing, they believed it was disposable - they could do anything and it didn’t matter. The Bible, however, teaches that we don’t have a body, but that we are a body, made in God’s image.
We have caricatures of Samson as the ultimate body builder. His actual story is that of a hero without a halo: Samson was a man who was led by God to use his gifts but forgot that God was the source of his gift.
SCRIPTURE: Judges 16:15-22
Faced with an overwhelming threat, Hezekiah took difficult circumstances and literally “spread them out before the Lord.” His example guides us in what it means to bring our lives before God.
SCRIPTURE: 2 Kings 19:14-19
Sometimes we have to get to the end of our rope to understand God’s faithfulness. As Deborah’s heroic leadership shows us, when we go where God sends us, He goes with us, protecting us.
SCRIPTURE: Judges 4:1-10
When faced with a difficult decision, Gideon must discern the difference between good risk and bad risk. In life, we must manage many decisions. How do we, like Gideon, know when it’s right to take a bold risk in faith?
SCRIPTURE: Judges 6 - 7
The first step is always the hardest. Courage is when, in the midst of challenge, fear, and uncertainty, we do something. Courage enables us to overcome fear, see possibility in the midst of adversity, and make an impact for God’s kingdom.
SCRIPTURE: Esther 4:12-17
Daniel shows how to build a character of integrity: start with small matters and develop the muscle to stand up under great pressure. The key? Make beliefs always match actions, in private and public.
SCRIPTURE: Daniel 1:3-21
Faithfulness: we all want it, mostly directed towards us. But what does faithfulness look like, and how can we live it out—not only towards God, but towards others, as well?
SCRIPTURE: Joshua 14:6-13
With his tongue twister name, the marginal biblical character Mephibosheth offers huge insight into the vastness of God's love. King David lavishes "the kindness of God" on this poor man he's never met. Could God really love us the very same way?
SCRIPTURE: 2 Samuel 9:1-13
What we're going through right now is the warm up. Eternity is Showtime. As Dallas Willard says, we're "in training for reigning" with God forever.
"And the two shall become one flesh." Sometimes in marriage, we've already decided which one. Marriage is learning that to love your spouse is to love yourself.
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 2:18-25
If we're honest amid the tributes of Mother's Day, moms pay a huge life-altering price in raising a child. Yet beneath the stress, diapers and sleeplessness is a strange joy. Isaiah reminds us that a mother does God's work on earth.
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 49:13-16
We teach our students to love God with heart and strength, but what about the mind? God wants us to celebrate science as a part of faith, and vigorously defend our faith to others. These are expressions of loving God with mind.
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 22:35-40
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 6:25-34
The trinity is a mystery. We don't know how, we don't know what, we simply know.
SCRIPTURE: John 14:10-14 and 25-31
On Easter, Jesus enters our life as the fresh air of the resurrected Messiah, opening the windows on the fears of our lives.
Jesus said, “Peace be with you!” And with that he breathed on them… - John 20:19-22
SCRIPTURE: John 20:19-22
We love to make Judas into a dark villain. But he wasn't evil as much as an inept, misguided control freak. That's what is so scary. He wasn't that much different than us.
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 26:20-25
The old rugged cross brings atonement, which is at-one-ment. It is subtitionary and sacrificial, and the ultimate act of love.
SCRIPTURE: John 19:16-30