Category Archives: Discipleship

Spirit without Measure

He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure. (John 3:34) Jesus spoke truth, so why do I experience a limited measure of the Holy Spirit? Here are some reasons which seem true in my life at different times: Distractions by circumstances, wrong thoughts, or attacks from the enemy. But […]

Father without Measure

One of the main goals of our faith is to become like Jesus. That means growing more conscious of our identity as children of the heavenly Father, engaged in His business. He meets our deepest needs. Human relationships become less a source of affirmation and security and more a place to express love. Being spiritually […]

Jesus without Measure

Have you ever been in a relationship where you loved another person more than they could receive? You wanted to grow close with them but for some reason things never developed to the extent you thought they could. That is how Jesus feels about us. No matter how much we love Him, His love for […]

From Good Gifts to Gods

“Every gift of God is to be enjoyed as from God and not as a god.”1 Twice when I sold houses, I struggled to let go of them. They had clearly been arranged by the Lord and I doubted whether He could ever match His provision again. In some ways I had turned a good […]

Trials and Temptations

“No pain, no gain.” That’s a saying many athletes like. They might like the words that James launched into his letter to Jewish followers of Jesus with. Others might cringe. Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials (peirasmos), knowing that the testing (dokimion) of your faith produces endurance (hypomone). Blessed is a man who perseveres (hypomone […]

Plans in Context

One of the hardest temptations to resist is the temptation to selectively hear God’s words. Ignoring the context of God’s promised plans for good makes those plans seem unconditional. Here’s a common example showing how it works: “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not […]

Parable of the Idols

“Lord, why am I often so dull and undiscerning of spiritual things?” That was my prayer once. And I think He answered me, starting with the parable of the soils. This parable explains how all parables are a secret heart check-up. Some hearts are receptive to the truth of the kingdom of God; many hearts are dull […]

Love Trumps?

Playing Whist for an hour a day for five years while riding the school bus taught me (and won me) a trick or two. One lesson was about the importance of trumps. In Whist, every player wants cards of the trump suit in their hand. Trumps, as the name implies, triumph over other cards and […]

Kites without Strings

The Kite Festival at Lincoln City on the Oregon coast is worth a visit. Hundreds of multi-colored kites in an unbelievable range of designs swoop and swirl between blue sky and golden sand. The simple ones tug on a single string. Skilled flyers maneuver the larger and more complex models using two or more strong […]

A Sigh at Sunrise

Nothing can stop the Lord answering those who cry out to Him sincerely. Psalm 130 begins with an anguished cry for the Lord to meet some deep request; it ends with unswerving hope. Sin might separate us for a while but repentance breaks the power of iniquity (straying from or twisting the abundant life that […]