Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Simple thing: faith.

Sarah laughed.
Zechariah doubted and become temporarily mute.

It seems so hard to have faith. Doubt is a much easier route, such as with Sarah and Zechariah. Surely it's not simple. There's so many things to consider! Namely, it's hard to put your faith in something you can't see. In fact, the idea is crazy, right?

Think about a traffic light for a moment. Imagine you're in the protected left lane and it turns green. How do you know those cars coming towards you are going to stop? How do you know their light is actually red? Faith. A whole lot of faith.

Faith in God is kind of the same way. Sometimes it seems dangerous, but we know from experience it works. My brother is going to be getting his driver's license soon. As a driver rather than a passenger, he doesn't have much experience to trust the system. Instead, he has to trust his teachers - our mom and dad - who do have experience. Again, our faith in God is like this.

Ultimately, you must decide to have faith on your own, but listen to those you trust. Watch their lives. What makes them different? Often, it is faith. Let your peers and mentors be a beacon to you.

Let me add, this is not faith in some distant, removed deity. It's a faith in a God who came to us as one us, Emmanuel. He understands you as your Creator and as a human. He died and broke the curse of death by rising again. He did it for you. This is the God I put my faith in. I hope you will too.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Simple thing: trust.

"Aren't two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father's consent. But even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So don't be afraid therefore; you are worth more than many sparrows."
- Matthew 10:29-31

"Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I stand up;
You understand my thoughts from far away.
You observe my travels and my rest;
You are aware of all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue,
You know all about it, Lord.
You have encircled me;
You have placed Your hand on me."

- Psalm 139:1-5

God knows us completely. He knows even the details about us that we wish he didn't. Still, he loved us enough to die and still loves us to this day. Psalm 139 continues on to say, "This extraordinary knowledge is beyond me. It is lofty; I am unable to reach it."

Rest in this "extraordinary knowledge" and trust that if he knows you this completely, he is worthy of your daily trust. For if he is eye is on the smallest sparrow, don't you think he watches over you? Rest in his peace and trust in Him each new day.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Good News

Simple things: good news.

It's hard to keep it a secret, isn't it? When something really good happens you want to tell all your friends. Matthew 9: 27-31 tells the story of Jesus healing two blind men. He sternly warns them, "Be sure that no one finds out!" What do they do? They go out and "spread the news about Him throughout the whole area." I know Jesus told them not to, but I can hardly blame them! This happens repeatedly in the gospels. 

Sometimes a preceding factor of good news is obedience. 2 Kings 5: 1-19 describes the commander's of Israel's army being healed of a skin disease. It wasn't quite as straightforward as you might think, though. Elisha the prophet told him to "go wash seven times in the Jordan and your flesh will be restored and you will be clean." Oh, but Naaman, this commander, got angry. Why dip in the Jordan? Why not another river? Why does he have to do this at all? Couldn't Elisha heal him by the wave of a hand? In the end, he did as he was told and was grateful.  He tried and tried to give Elisha a monetary gift for his healing which brought such good news to Naaman. However, Elisha would not accept them. Still, Naaman's joy and thankfulness at this good news is clear. He even put his faith in the God of Israel alone.

So why did Elisha have him wash in the Jordan 7 times? Why does that even matter? Doesn't that sound a little superstitious? Maybe it is more than the act itself. Rather, asking him to wash 7 times in Jordan tested his obedience to a prophet of God, and further, to God himself. 

Good news is a wonderful thing and hard thing to keep a secret. Fortunately, we don't have to keep the Gospel a secret! Often, good news first requires faith and obedience. Remember today that the best news our world has ever received is what Jesus did for us. Even when you can't find any other good news in your life, know that the gospel of Jesus Christ, and more importantly the person of Jesus Christ, is with you always.  Let that good news permeate your life through obedience so that all the world may know what Jesus did for us.

Note: All scriptures from Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB).