We pray expectantly and boldly and because He wants to answer our prayers, and that’s so good. But I’ve been asking myself a hard question — what if we were primarily expectant that God would align our hearts with His heart and our minds with His mind?Read More
When I am renewing my mind with these truths, then I am primed and ready to follow this God. And if we start to doubt that He is good or present or trustworthy, it’s often because we’ve fallen out of communication with Him. The more we get to know Him, the more we are able to trust Him — not because He tells us the future, but because of who He is.Read More
It’s easy for me to forget that the story of the Good Samaritan is a parable — a story that Jesus made up to explain a point. If, in fact, Jesus carefully crafted the words, then I want to pay extra special attention to the way the story goes.Read More
“You’ll be most effective when you’re working in the field the Lord has prepared for you.” — Pastor Rodney
It’s sometimes easier to think about people who we don’t know, fields far from us, and God might very well send us there. However, He won’t NOT call us to show up right where we are. He won’t say to work the field down the street without first becoming aware of the field he has placed right underneath our feet and within our hand’s reach.Read More
“What you get on the mountain will be needed in the valley.” — Pastor Rodney
I once read that Jesus was the most dependent man that ever lived. He consistently went away to spend time with His Father, fasting and praying and listening. He moved and breathed God’s will instead of His own (John 6:38).
Something in us can get a little twitchy when we think about being totally dependent. Perhaps it has to do with our American bootstrap culture. Maybe it’s because we like to think we can work hard enough on our own to get where we need to be. But if Jesus was so dependent on the Father, maybe we can start seeing our need to rely on God as wisdom instead of weakness.Read More
Then [Jesus] asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
Peter replied, “You are the Messiah sent from God!” — Luke 9:20
We are infinitely more equipped now than even Peter was to say who Jesus is — songs, verses, sermons all tell us. We have Google at our fingertips. But the connection between flippantly saying that Jesus is who he says he is and living as if that’s true gets fuzzy. That’s exactly what the enemy would want.Read More
“Faith helps us see kingdom potential in our earthly situation.” — Pastor Rodney
First, there was the storm that Jesus slept through. Then, there was the legion of demons he commanded. After that, there was a little girl on her deathbed needing him and an interruption by the bleeding woman.
I wonder if the disciples were completely confused, if not a little bit suspicious. Here was a man who was clothed in normal flesh, talked with a regular voice, walked on two feet and put his pants/toga on the same way they did. Yet when the time came for very normal human reactions to very big situations, he stayed eerily calm.Read More
“And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.” — Luke 8:15
Of all of the soils Jesus details, I think that most of us would intend to be the good one. I read the words and hear the message and sincerely hope that I fall into that category, that I don’t let the enemy take the seed of truth away, that I resist temptation, and that I don’t allow the cares of this world to crowd out God’s Word.
But none of those things matter if I don’t have contact with it.Read More
A few months ago, perhaps a bit on accident, I prayed that God would search me and know me and reveal anything to me that I wasn’t seeing. There have been days that I wish I’d held back a bit with that prayer. I’ve seen some things surface that I don’t want to own, things that could be easily hidden to the naked eye.
But when I look at the woman kneeling at the feet of Jesus, weeping with thankfulness for how much she's been forgiven, something in me wants that, too. I want that freedom that she felt in every arena but I’m not sure I want to be that open.
We know that Jesus knew that her sins were many. Even Simon the Pharisee knew that she was a blatant sinner.
What if she had done what we have the tendency to do? What Simon probably would’ve done? What if she had tried to cover up and shove aside the parts of her that needed Jesus the most?
God certainly would have still known her secret. I mean, Jesus spoke in verse 40 to Simon’s thoughts. Nothing is or was hidden from Him. Yet she was the one transformed. She who owned her sin could own her freedom from it. She could freely approach the feet of Jesus and reverently wash his feet with tears because she knew that she was fully known and forgiven anyway. She had nothing to hide. There was no shame for her who should have known it best. I want that.Read More