Lessons from Uncomfortable Truth

Sometimes I see myself too well in scripture, and not where I would like. I would like to be the little boy who brought the basket of fish and bread to Jesus, or one of the servants at the wedding who filled the barrels with water without complaining or the Roman officer who knew Jesus could heal his servant with just a word. Instead I find myself in the stories of the fearful, questioning, logical ones whose awkward tries to understand Jesus gave Him an opportunity to teach a lesson from an uncomfortable truth. In the next few weeks, I want to take you on a journey through some familiar stories. You know them well. But do you know who you are in the story? It’s where we see ourselves as

Glory!

When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, and I mean put our heart and mind in every word and phrase, when we obey the instructions in ways that transform us and grow us; we are ready to celebrate. I think that’s why the early Christian leaders added this doxology at the end. It was their response to the corrective, redeeming, sanctifying work that occurs when we take the Lord’s Prayer seriously and live it as if all life depended on obeying it. Living the Lord’s Prayer parts the skies for us to see a different reality. We have a close-up view of God at work in us. We see the way God wants to work in His world. Our priority is His Kingdom rule come to our life and family. We acknowledge His power a

Where God Delivers

If we don’t pray for God to lead us, how can we pray for Him to deliver us? Evil snakes its way through our lives, our family’s lives, and our most pressing world issues. Evil is everything God is not. Evil wants to destroy, confuse, neutralize, or scare you into a paralysis that makes you easy bait. Evil is the war declared on your soul. Evil is the subtle nudge to make peace with the world instead of God. That’s why the first prayer is so important. Lead me is what you pray to make sure you don’t inadvertently find yourself in enemy territory. If you are where God leads you, you are where God can protect you best. You can pray with confidence for God’s deliverance. But you can’t scri

Where God Will Never Lead

Lead me not into temptation. Lead me is a simple prayer asking for God’s leadership. These two words cover a lot of unexplored territory. When I pray asking for God’s leadership, I can be certain that temptation is not the answer. God leads me so that when any form of temptation lurks, I have His map through it or away from it because that’s what I’m asking. Be clear here. God does not tempt, but he does test. Temptation involves anything that takes you away from God’s will, allows you to treat God as someone He isn’t, or places self-interest before God-interest. Temptation is whatever entices us to believe that something that is not God’s will is more attractive or helpful than His wil

As We Forgive

Forgive us . . . as we forgive. Last week's prayer for forgiveness is not a stand alone prayer. It comes as a duet. We pray for forgiveness and are forgiven as we forgive others. Here is where we get off the train at our own undoing. It’s easy to feel that lots of people owe us the gift of asking for our forgiveness. We want them to own the hurt or wrong they committed. When it doesn’t happen, we nurse that hurt. Some of them run so deep they damage our hearts and close them. It’s true that when someone asks for our forgiveness, it brings healing. However, the more serious the wound; the more unlikely you will never hear those words from the one you keep wanting them from. But that do