healing

Be An Oasis

“He turned the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs.” – Psalm 107:35 As modern-day believers, we often lose sight of how fragile the ancient world was. Though we look at what’s going on today and see chaos, it’s nothing compared to the evil, war, and paganism that were prevalent in Biblical times. In those days, earthly rulers were constantly shedding the blood of innocent people to attain greater power, and even worse, idolatry was the norm. Now when I say idolatry, I don’t mean just bowing down to statues or shrines — I mean the abuse of women and children, and often their death. Slavery was common, and so was human sacrifice — it was a culture of brutality, aggression, and violence. Yet into that dark night, a small seed of hope was born. The God of Creation chose Abraham and his clan, an

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Love is Favor

“Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.” – Psalm 5:12 There’s nothing like the love of a grandparent. While parents get to deal with all the tough parts of raising kids, grandma and grandpa get to do the fun stuff. Though not true across the board, most grandparents take joy in spoiling their grandchildren, whether it means buying them gifts, taking them on outings, getting their favorite food, or sharing a hobby or craft with them. Since they are typically older and less busy than mom and dad, they can give the kids their undivided attention and spend focused time with them (often to the delight of their parents). If you’re wondering where I’m going with this, the fact is that I believe envisioning the lavish and unconditional love of a grandparent better equips us to understand the role of God’s

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Love is Time

“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” – 1 John 3:18 With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, we see and hear the word love a lot. Though this invisible virtue is oft-celebrated and idealized in film, story, and song, it behooves us to apply ourselves to its true meaning. You see, more than feelings, emotions, or romance, love is action, and it becomes tangible as we put it into motion by giving priority to the interests of others. One of the most important ways we do this is by spending time with people. At my Grandpa Schuller’s memorial service, my dad shared a very touching story. He recalled that when he was a little boy, his dad (my grandpa) was preparing to go on a fishing trip with his buddies. As he gathered his gear and waited for his friends to

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Pain Becomes a Plan

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28 Chocolate hearts, shades of red and pink, cards, cupcakes, and gifts…these are things we see a lot of as Valentine’s Day approaches. And while society tells us that “all we need is love,” when we behold the depth of heartache and division in the world today, it feels as if love is a somewhat foreign concept. However, despite what we see, the fact remains that God loves us more than we can even imagine. No matter what we’ve gone through, He is faithful, and He has the power to turn circumstances that could have broken us into milestones that birth divine wisdom. In fact, if we surrender our pain to Him and ask for His perspective, He will make us indestructible and

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Touching the Untouchable

“A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, ‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.’ Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy.” – Matthew 8:2,3 Yesterday, we looked at the story of four lepers who gathered treasure left by their enemies and turned it over to their king on behalf of their city, which was in distress. Though they had been outcast and marginalized for years and were tempted to “take what was theirs,” they did the right thing by God and their fellow man by sharing it. While it’s difficult for us to comprehend how rough their lives had been to that point, the current pandemic offers us a more realistic glimpse into their pain. For the first time, many of us understand the isolation of quarantine

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Do The Right Thing

“Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, ‘Why stay here until we die? If we say, “We’ll go into the city”—the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.’” – 2 Kings 7:3,4 Yesterday, we talked about how Elisha fed enemy troops in the middle of Samaria before sending them back to their leader, the King of Aram. Because the Arameans were at war with the Israelites, this profound demonstration of divine power humiliated the king and made him all the more determined to defeat them. In an effort to fully destroy the Jewish population, he surrounded the city and assaulted the people so they were

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Healed Hearts Change the World

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” – Psalm 147:3 Today, we officially begin the countdown to a new year, and if you’re anything like me, I’m really looking forward to a fresh start. There’s something about the promise and possibility of the next season that fills my heart with hope, and I pray that it does for you, too. That said, as we look at the state of our world in these times, what we see can be disheartening. In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, social and political wounds run deep in our culture. Knowing this, I believe now is a better time than ever to embrace the truth that every positive change begins with Jesus in us. There’s an old song that says “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” While I used to think it was really cheesy, I’ve come

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The Wonder of Worship

“On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.” – Matthew 2:11 The second offering the Magi presented to Jesus was frankincense, otherwise simply known as incense. Like the gold they brought to Him in abundance, incense was a valuable commodity in the ancient world, and it was used traditionally in temple worship and burned ceremonially by the priests as an offering to the Lord. Known for its calming and healing properties, this second in the trio of original Christmas gifts offers us a message of hope and encouragement in years like this one. Just as gold signifies that Jesus has dominion over the affairs of history, incense denotes that He reigns supreme in the Heavenly realm. While there is a very real spiritual battle raging around us, the baby who was born in Bethlehem triumphed over Satan when

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