When you shouldn’t tell a leopard by its spots – John 13:18-38, Part 1

“You can tell a leopard by its spots.” “You can know a tiger by its stripes.” Are these phrases always true? I don’t think so. When I take my dog running, we almost always run by the home of a neighbor a few doors down from us. They have ornamental sheep in their front flowerContinue reading “When you shouldn’t tell a leopard by its spots – John 13:18-38, Part 1”

Are people ever too far gone? – John 13:18-38, Preview

Have you felt as though some people are just too far gone, as if there is no hope for them?  Maybe it is a relative who has made a series of poor choices.  Maybe it is a friend who has struggled for years.  Maybe you wonder about yourself.  It could be the person who isContinue reading “Are people ever too far gone? – John 13:18-38, Preview”

Why Christians should not be like John Wayne – John 13:1-17, Part 3

Peter knows his culture. A rabbi does not do servant’s work. That’s why Jesus’ disciple Peter responds to Jesus as he does in John 13, verse 6,  “Jesus came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’” Anyone else there should be washing Jesus’ feet.  That was theContinue reading “Why Christians should not be like John Wayne – John 13:1-17, Part 3”

Should a church bar its members from taking communion? – John 7:53-8:11, Preview

Every May my denomination, the Evangelical Congregational Church, has a conference for all pastors and for one representative from each church.  At the conference we attend worship gatherings, business meetings, and hear reports about what God is doing throughout the life and ministry of the denomination. From what I have heard from other denominations, ourContinue reading “Should a church bar its members from taking communion? – John 7:53-8:11, Preview”

What God wants from revival – John 7:1-52, Part 4

Have you heard about the Asbury Revival of 2023? The university has chapel services, and students are required to attend a number of chapel services each semester.  At one particular service recently, something happened.  The manifest presence of the Holy Spirit was like a stream of living water in the lives of the students.  TheContinue reading “What God wants from revival – John 7:1-52, Part 4”

Jesus’ astounding response to people who are trying to kill him (…and it’s not forgiveness) – John 7:1-52, Part 3

Remember the famous episode from Jesus’ life when he is being nailed to the cross, which had to hurt terribly, after he had already been beaten to a pulp, and Jesus prays, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing?” It’s a wonderful account of grace, mercy, and love. And self-control, quiteContinue reading “Jesus’ astounding response to people who are trying to kill him (…and it’s not forgiveness) – John 7:1-52, Part 3”

Two ways to get to know the real Jesus – John 7:1-52, Part 2

In the previous post, Jesus’ brothers heckle him and then leave for Jerusalem to attend the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles. After his brothers leave, Jesus comes up with a plan.  Look at verse 10. “However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. Now at the festivalContinue reading “Two ways to get to know the real Jesus – John 7:1-52, Part 2”

Dealing with that difficult family member – John 7:1-52, Part 1

What does your Jesus box look like?  You all have one.  In fact, it is something that you created.  It has a unique shape and size, based on what you think Jesus is like.  Take a moment and think about it.  What do you think Jesus is like?  Is your perception of Jesus correct? AsContinue reading “Dealing with that difficult family member – John 7:1-52, Part 1”

Why The Chosen…and you… don’t really know Jesus like you think you do – John 7:1-52, Preview

How well do you know Jesus?  Pretty well?  Maybe you would say that you know Jesus, but you also admit that you could certainly know him better.  I suspect most Christians would say something like that. I wonder, though, if we met Jesus if he might shock us.  I wonder if our conception of JesusContinue reading “Why The Chosen…and you… don’t really know Jesus like you think you do – John 7:1-52, Preview”

How to evaluate yourself as a follower of Jesus – John 6:52-71, Part 5

Do you ever wonder if you are a true follower of Jesus?  Do you wonder if you could or should do more for Jesus?  Do you ever have that internal conversation where you weigh the evidence of your life?  On the one hand you list the ways you are a faithful Christian.  On the otherContinue reading “How to evaluate yourself as a follower of Jesus – John 6:52-71, Part 5”