Christmas Eve in Bethlehem

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’ “ – Matthew 2:1,2 On this Christmas Eve, I am reminded of the first time I was fortunate enough to travel to Israel during the holiday season. I was a newly-minted adult back then at the tender age of 18 years old. I went with my grandpa, Dr. Robert Schuller — and because he was a minister, he brought 500 people with us! Israel is like Southern California in that it almost never rains. And because Israel is such a religious country, they always viewed rain as God’s blessing.  I still remember that Christmas Eve, overlooking the city. It had been raining

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Your Best is Yet to Come

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” – 2 Corinthians 3:18 When you are in a relationship and fellowship with Jesus, your best is yet to come. When I say this, many of you will assume that I’m talking about Heaven, and while that is part of it, I also mean that God is ready, willing, and able to do a miracle in your life right now while you are still alive on this earth!  God is an eleventh-hour God and tends to frustrate us with His timing. I don’t know if it’s His sense of humor or His Sovereignty, but I’ve seen over and over again what Tolkien called the eucatastrophe or the good catastrophe. The Lord’s timing is rarely our timing, but He always shows up

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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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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 talked about living as Christ-followers who have pierced hands that are willing to touch the untouchable, just like He did. For the next few days, I want to talk about four specific groups of people Jesus opened His heart to who were considered the least touchable, and what each one teaches us about being His disciples today. First of all (and I’ve taught on this a lot), He extended His hand to a man with leprosy. Now to understand just how ostracized members of this infirmed population were, it’s important to remember that every Jewish boy had the entire Torah, or

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Something From Nothing

“As it is written: ‘I have made you a father of many nations.’ He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.” – Romans 4:17 When we examine the story of Creation, it comes down to God making something out of nothing. Because He is the Beginning and the End, all power is in His hands, and He has the authority to call things that are not as though they are. While human beings are blessed with the ability to create in His image, we are bound to employ in our designs that which already exists. But this is not the case with our Heavenly Father — He is the originator of all. As people, our minds are finite and our thinking is limited to that which we can see and

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