The Art of Being Unoffendable

“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” – Proverbs 19:11 If you’re looking for a superpower to achieve great things in life, here’s one: become unoffendable. As we continue examining the woman of great faith found in Matthew Chapter 15, we can see that she was unoffendable! This woman made a scene that became embarrassing to the disciples of Jesus. In desperation, she was begging loudly for Jesus to heal her daughter. His disciples urged Him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” This mother cared more about receiving her miracle than her ego. One commentator of this passage stated: “She was too desperate to take offense.” How desperate are you to receive answers from the Lord? How crucial is it for you to achieve that dream or goal laid before you? Do you want it so bad that you

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The Picture of Faith

“So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. – Acts 27:25 Today I want to share a lesson in faith as shared by my wife, Hannah, who grew up in a small college town in Oklahoma. At the time, her family was assisted by the government through food stamps and section eight housing. Hannah tells the story of her and her Mom at the laundromat, discovering a $20 food stamp had gone through the laundry. Of course, it was now in little paper balls and shredded. Her mom was ready to throw it away, but a  very young Hannah urged her mother, “Don’t throw it away, I think I can save it!” So she took these little pieces home with her mom’s permission. Her mom said, “If you can save it, you can have it.” She carefully

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Be Humble and Let it Go

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” – Philippians 2:3,4 There’s a story found in Luke Chapter 15, where Jesus is sitting at the table of a prominent Pharisee. In Biblical times, a Pharisee was similar to a famous pastor. Liken it to an invitation to be with our version of Billy Graham, along with many renowned religious leaders and thinkers of their day.  As Jesus sits there quietly watching these men gather, he can see them all gently but efficiently jockeying for positions of honor at the table. Everyone wants to sit close to the guest of honor, knowing it would bring them attention, and cause others to question their position in life. Jesus then shared a parable: “When someone invites you to a

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The Surprising Truth About Heresy

“In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it.” – 1 Corinthians 11:17,18 What do you think of when you hear the word heretic? If you’re like most Christians, you probably think of someone who ascribes to and promotes a false doctrine. Like maybe they don’t believe in the Trinity or they don’t believe that Jesus was the Son of God. Surprisingly, this may not have been the Apostle Paul’s intent when he used this term! The root word used to derive heresy is hairesis, which in Greek means “one who chooses.” So a heretic, in Paul’s view, is someone who causes division in the church by choosing their own way over God’s. Thus, it

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Don’t Make Assumptions

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” – Luke 6:37-42 I mentioned yesterday about the time Dallas Willard visited my church and talked to the audience. Though the most important lesson I learned from him that day was by his example, he also gave me some life-changing leadership advice that I’ll never forget. He believes that strong leaders don’t assume, pretend, or push. Today, I’d like to look at the first of those exhortations, and see what it means to lead without presumption. We typically interpret Jesus’ warning not to judge lest we be judged to mean that we should not pass judgment on others because God will pass judgment on us if we do. What if, on the other hand, the Lord’s words have a different meaning? Perhaps our Father was attempting

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Let Go of Ego

“Then he said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.’” – Luke 12:15 Which of us hasn’t driven through a really exclusive neighborhood and thought to ourselves, “Man, I would love to live here.” Or maybe we’ve taken a walk by the beach and admired a massive yacht floating by that left us wondering how the “other half” does it. No matter who we are, the finer things beckon us, and though there’s nothing wrong with having what the world offers, pursuing it above all else leaves us feeling hollow. While most of us instinctively know this to be true, society continually hounds us with images of how it might be if we would just bow to its idols. The problem is that in the end, doing this will leave us sad. It’s been proven

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