Spiritual Maturity and Wisdom: Not Leaving Jesus Behind

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One of the wonderful, but sometimes frustrating, things about the New Testament is how little biographical information it gives us about Jesus. The Gospel of Luke spans 18 years of Jesus’ life (from age 12 to age 30) by telling us that “Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor” (Luke 2:52). This is reminiscent of …

Advent: How I’m Preparing to Prepare

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This might seem redundant, but it’s time to prepare for Advent. Of course, Advent is a time of preparing to receive Christ, so this is a case of preparing to prepare. This year I’m using three folks from the Bible as my guides: Mary, Simeon, and Anna. We often celebrate Mary for her willingness to say yes to God (Luke …

Jesus' Apocalyptic Talk: An Invitation to Hope and Pay Attention

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Apocalypse and Hope. Do they seem like opposites? I have always thought of them that way—in opposition to each other. It turns out … I’ve been wrong. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus describes a time when everything will change. The temple, the center of religious life and a place described as “the house of the Lord” (1 Kings 6:1), …

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The Real Reason the Widow’s Mite Was Worth More

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“Sitting across from the offering box, Jesus was observing how the crowd tossed money in for the collection. Many of the rich were making large contributions. One poor widow came up and put in two small coins—a measly two cents. Jesus called his disciples over and said, ‘The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than …

Blind Bartimaeus Sees Mercy

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Have you ever had an experience where you felt like God opened your eyes and allowed you (or made you!) see something in a new way? I’ve taken a handful of mission trips to Nicaragua. On one of my first trips, I got to walk in the jungle and hand out bags of grocery essentials. I’m not normally a fan …

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God Seeks to Serve

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There is a lot about God that I don’t understand. And, yes, that is a huge understatement! But even the little I think I understand about God leaves me feeling amazed. First, there’s the fact that the Almighty, Loving, Holy, and Righteous Creator chooses to be known. The idea of an imperfect human like me being loved, and in relationship …