Straw and grain grow from the same plant stem, but after a while, the difference between the two is as plain as day. God does not immediately extinguish those who speak rubbish in his name. He 'lets' religious trash-talk have its day in the sun. There will always be those who claim to serve God, who are only satisfying their need to be heard or noticed. But those who truly bear God's message to the world bear heavily the responsibility. For them the task is one of faithfulne
The kingdom of God is a state of affairs in which the character and will of God is carried forth and celebrated by all self-conscious beings. Those who pursue this ideal as a priority, even in a world of rebellion against God's rule, will not be disappointed. The blessings of the future condition have already been given to them by God who takes great delight in so doing.
Why are there rich people? Why are there poor. Is it because the former were astute, and worked hard, and the latter were indolent? In some cases, yes. But there is another reason; one supplied by God. Some have many material goods so they can share them with others who have few. And some have few so that after they are supplied by their fortunate brothers and sisters, they will reciprocate when they have more.
John makes an astounding assertion; not astounding because he claims to have witnessed Jesus' career first hand with his own ears and eyes, but because he believes that in his personal acquaintance with Jesus the man, he encountered God. This is the reason for his exuberance. All social engagement has a view to what is even more satisfying---the supreme fellowship.
God showed himself in Mary and Joseph's child, and people did not like what they saw. They spoke out against him. Such was the power of Christ's persona. Unwittingly, involuntarily, their unwelcoming and antagonistic stance regarding Jesus, revealed their attitude to God. We do not appreciate our own native hostility to God and his goodness, until we come to Jesus. At his feet we must fall, in order to rise again.
Like so many in the world, Peter was a fisherman who worked hard without becoming rich. When Jesus told him to go put out his nets, he was already exhausted from his long shift at plying his trade. Since it had been a bad night, he would have felt strongly inclined to disregard Jesus' instruction. But he wisely decided against himself and yielded to Jesus. The human enterprise is better when conducted in response to Christ. Peter didn't try to get Jesus to join his fishing b
This is not a compliment but a lament. The vine (tree, plant) is a frequent metaphor for the people of God in the Prophets. Under God's patronage, Israel flourished like a healthy grapevine. But it became satisfied with its own luxuriance; selfishly wallowing in its own privilege. No person or people, called into fellowship with God, is ever the center of God's purposes. To bear fruit just for ourselves is to get in the way of God's intent. His interests go beyond us. The way
You don't have to be a professor of theology to know and enjoy God. Many an expert in biblical studies, many a priest or pastor is a stranger to the beauty of the deity. The privilege of intimacy with the divine is open rather to childlike trust so that no one is ineligible. God is for everyone.
One of the greatest gifts I can give to someone, is to create in him the confidence that I am feeling what he is feeling; that I understand what it is like to be in her shoes. It is relatively easy to supply glib counsel to someone who is deeply troubled. It takes a great deal of moral effort to empathize. Next time I encounter someone weighed down with worry or sorrow, it will be better for that person of I consider what I might feel if our relative circumstances were reve
He who pitied the wounded and disabled traveler totally contrasts with others passing on the same road. He drew near to the victim with a view to helping him, while others avoided contact with a view to not helping him. We know instinctively that the Samaritan, a member of a despised group, is a better person than the others. Love speaks its own language. It is intelligible and winsome despite prejudices.