God’s love

Celebrating Jesus’ Birth

“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).“ – Matthew 1:21-23 Merry Christmas, friend. This is the day to celebrate the birth of Immanuel, God with us, and to rejoice in Jesus, our Lord, and Savior! It’s interesting that when we think of the nativity, we remember those who came — the shepherds, who were probably teenage girls, and the magi or wise men. Though Jesus was born in a water trough in a barn (definitely not a proper setting for a king), He broke down barriers and accomplished more than any other leader before or after Him

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Life Goes in Waves

“For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.” – Psalm 27:5 We can all relate to King David as you study his life; it goes through waves. Don’t we all experience the highs and lows in the process of life? As you review David’s life through the Psalms, you see the excellent phases and the tough situations he experienced. What’s shocking is not so much that David is a train wreck, but that God loves him so much.  It’s obvious David has a special place in God’s heart. In Acts 13:22b, God testified concerning him: “I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.” I’ve often asked myself this question: What makes David

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You Are Redeemed in Jesus

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’” – 1 Samuel 16:7 Today, I want to say something to those of you who have felt rejected or ostracized in your life: God does not see what man sees. You are an overcomer and more than a conqueror in Jesus, even though you appear to be an underdog to the rest of the world! King David is possibly the best illustration of God utilizing an unexpected subject to accomplish great things for Him. As King Saul’s successor, his predecessor appeared to be made for the role; he was strong, educated, and tough, with a lot of potentials. However, as time passed, Saul grew engulfed in jealously,

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The Anti-Fragility of Jesus

“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” – Galatians 3:26,27 After discussing how love is anti-fragile, I want to continue our conversation focusing on God’s anti-fragility, more specifically Jesus and the early church. Jesus Christ exemplifies what it means to be resilient. More people followed Him when others cursed Him and lied about Him. More people talked about Him when they said He was sent by demons. They grew jealous as He grew in popularity, and eventually crucified Him; but little did they realize, that was the worst thing they could have done! Why? Because new life spilled into the universe as a result of His death and resurrection! Everything shifted at that point, and time was snapped in half like a twig. Because the veil was broken in half, history

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Reside in His Rest

“Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.” – Hebrews 4:1 When you’re caught in the middle of a storm, what do you do? Life’s storms are unavoidable, and they come in different forms — some are as light as a sprinkle, while others are as powerful as a hurricane — but no matter how powerful they are, they always take us by surprise when they arrive. Storms might manifest as health troubles, financial difficulties, or challenges in your family or marriage. Whatever they are, we want to know how to deal with them as Christians; how are we expected to feel, think, and respond in their presence? I believe the dream is to be relaxed as we navigate stormy waters. When we are being thrown around by life’s waves, our wish

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You Attract Goodness and Love!

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” – Psalm 23:4-6 Today, we continue our verse-by-verse exploration of Psalm 23, examining and reflecting on the sufficiency we have in Jesus. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. You have nothing to fear, no matter what you go through, even if death is hovering above you, as the King James Version explains. There is no place you can go where you will not be in contact

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Making a Multitude

“Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, ‘Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?’ Jesus said, ‘Have the people sit down.’ There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, ‘Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.’ So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.” – John 6:8-13 Today, I want to empower you with this thought: Jesus can create a multitude out of anything

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Manifold Mercy

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” – Ephesians 2:4,5 I love that the Bible says that God is rich in mercy. In fact, I believe His grace and forbearance come in waves, and like surfers catch the swells and ride atop their crests effortlessly, when we flow with the currents of His goodness, we experience a life that is exhilaratingly free. That said, in order to tap into this liberty, we must do one very important thing, and that is to forgive ourselves. While some of us struggle every day with the shame of wrong choices or hard living in our past, others of us grapple with the pain of not being perfect. And because our Savior has set eternity in our hearts

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Jesus Did the Work

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21 Years ago, I was eating lunch at my favorite deli, and I got into a rather deep discussion with a man who was studying philosophy at a local university. Interestingly, he was not a Christian — or even an agnostic — he was a full-blown atheist. He was a really nice guy, and he used to eat there almost as often as I did, so I frequently had conversations with him. As we were engaging in a dialogue one day, he declared that the only reason I was a believer was because I didn’t want to go to hell when I died — I wanted to go to Heaven. When I rebutted his presumption, he took it a step further and told me

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Jesus for the Defense

“For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.” – 1 Timothy 2:5 I think one of the best ways to envision how Jesus, our advocate and mediator, intervenes in our lives is to imagine a courtroom in Heaven. Packed full of people and ripe with anticipation, everyone looks intently at the judge. The defendant is on trial for a multitude of criminal offenses, and the prosecutor is the mangy old devil. He snarls as each new witness takes the stand, and he determinedly accuses and builds a case against the suspect. In his closing argument, he passionately declares, “Your Honor, the accused is addicted to pain pills, she’s really jealous of the lady at her job, she’s mean to her kids, and she just said a horrible thing to her sister.” On hearing him, the room goes totally silent, and it’s clear

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