Love that Never Fails

More songs, poems, books, and movies have been written about love than any other subject. We love love. We long for it, hunger for it, diet for it, scheme for it. To yearn for love is not only natural, it is Divine. God has given each of us a hunger for true love. But too many of us look to satisfy that hunger in the wrong way, with the wrong people. And we end up unhappy, hurt, and broken. That kind of love fails us, again and again. The Apostle John is known for his themes of love. In his gospel, he refers to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” In his letters, he tells us that God’s love is so great, our response should be to share that love with others. In his Revelation, John longs for the day when we will be able to spend eternity loving Jesus in...

Why Am I Here?

God has been working on me about that particular question, lately. I know the right answer: “To glorify God.” But do I live it out? Really? I start out my day with Bible reading and prayer, but then what? Does the Word of God change me? Does my time with the Creator of the Universe permeate my thoughts as I go throughout my day? I know the answer should be “Yes. Of course!” I want that to be the answer. But the reality is that it isn’t always the answer. I can get to the end of a day and realize I have “handled” everything since my morning devos entirely on my own. But if I really believe that I am here on this earth to glorify God, then everything I do should reflect that. Rather than thinking about what I want and what...

The Old Rugged Cross

Good Friday – the day Christians remember Christ’s work on the cross. But what, exactly, is that cross? What does it mean? And is it really important? I see the cross everywhere – in earrings, on necklaces, in children’s craft projects, even as decorations on flip flops and magnets on cars. None of that is bad, necessarily, but I fear that we are so accustomed to  seeing the cross that we have forgotten what it actually represents, what it means. It has become merely a symbol of our faith. But it is so much more than that. On Good Friday, Jesus was led to his execution. He was sentenced to a death so horrendous that it was reserved only for non-citizens of the Roman Empire. Not even the worst Roman citizen would have to endure this. And he was sentenced for one...

Did God REALLY Say…?

Life today is quite different from life in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve would surely be shocked to see cars and planes, televisions and cell phones. They would probably be disgusted at what we eat and wear, but impressed with what we have built and invented. Despite all those differences, though, the first couple would likely recognize that, in our hearts, we are still just the same. In Genesis chapter 3, we see that Satan’s tactic with Eve was to question God’s sovereignty. “Did God really say not to eat the fruit of the tree?” And, once he gets her questioning that, he assures her that God’s warnings (“You shall surely die”) are not true. God is, in fact, tricking Eve, Satan argues, because He doesn’t want her...

My Week in Honduras

Every year, the week before Spring Break, our school takes students on missions trips. Some groups stay local and serve in the Tampa/St. Pete area, others go to a different state, and the rest go overseas. I had the privilege of going with 20 students to Orphanage Emmanuel in Guiamaca, Honduras. We lived in Costa Rica for a year, so I thought I was prepared for what we would see when we landed in the capital city of Tegucigalpa. I was not. Honduras is far poorer than Costa Rica – we passed a community who lives in a dump, houses made out of materials gathered on the mountains. As we drove the two hours to the orphanage, we saw village after village of literally dirt poor families striving to survive. Then we pulled into the gate of Orphanage Emmanuel. It...

The Wrong Kind of Prayer

In my almost-30 years as a believer, I have prayed for all kinds of things– from requests as seemingly insignificant as a parking space in the rain to literal life-and-death issues. Right now, though, I feel like God is teaching me to take a step back from the way I’ve always prayed. In the past, I have prayed very specifically — not that praying that way is wrong. In fact, God used the answers to specific prayers to bolster my faith and encourage me that He is there, He is listening, and He cares for me. But specific prayers can be very selfish (“Lord, give me that job, that house…”). And I can often confuse real prayer with wishes. Though I know God isn’t a genie, I treat Him like that when I am constantly bombarding...