Digging in Deeper: Psalms 34:4

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me and rescued me from all my fears.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

What do you do when you are afraid? I don’t think many people actually have a strategy for that. Fear isn’t exactly something we count on. As a result, we are far more likely to be reactive than proactive in those times. And, when we are being reactive, we don’t tend to make the best decisions. Some people shut down when they are afraid. They are functionally incapacitated until the fear passes. Others take the path of the ostrich, hiding their eyes from it and pretending nothing is wrong. Some get angry and lash out at those around them to cover up the fact that they are afraid. Still others handle it in more productive ways. Perhaps a better question here is how you get out of a fearful situation. David offers one option here that is worth considering. Let’s talk about what it is and why it works.

read the rest…

Shaking in Your Boots

As we continue in our new series, A Heavy Load, this week we are talking about another load we bear when trying to do life apart from Jesus. Appropriately, given the day, this week we are talking about fear. When we try and do life without Jesus, we can quickly and easily find ourselves in a place where fear is controlling our lives. How do we handle this and what can we do instead? Keep reading to find out.

Shaking in Your Boots

If you’ve got young kids at home, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve at least heard of the movie The Croods. In my house we’ve made a point of watching both the original and the sequel, The Croods: The New Age. It falls pretty well into the pattern of a lot of animated movies of late. The plot is insane, the characters are over the top, there’s tons of slapstick to keep the kids laughing and engaged, and a few Easter eggs just for grown-ups who have committed to enduring it. I guess the writers feel like if parents are going to let their kids drag them to go see it, they might as well include a few fun moments for them too. 

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Mark 14:45-50

“So when he came, immediately he went up to Jesus and said, ‘Rabbi!’ and kissed him. They took hold of him and arrested him. One of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the high priests’ servant, and cut off his ear. Jesus said to them, ‘Have you come out with swords and clubs, as if I were a criminal, to capture me? Every day I was among you, teaching in the temple, and you didn’t arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.’ Then they all deserted him and ran away.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Sometimes it’s terrible to be right. Jesus had been telling the disciples all for months that this moment was going to happen. He had tried to prepare them for it in every way He could. He had even just told them about it again at dinner not more than a few hours before this. But when it finally arrived, it caught them completely unprepared. They weren’t ready for it at all. They all panicked and eventually ran away, leaving Jesus all alone to face the ordeal of the cross. Let’s talk this morning about Jesus’ arrest.

Read the rest…

Morning Musing: Mark 13:1-4

“As he was going out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Teacher, look! What massive stones! What impressive buildings!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another – all will be thrown down.’ While he was sitting on the Mount of Olives across from the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, ‘Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been to Washington, D.C.? The capital city is truly a wonder of human engineering and architecture. Now, the city itself is a mess. It’s been poorly run for decades. It is generally an uneasy mashup of the very wealthy and the very poor. Its cost of living is sky high. Its crime rate is high and the quality of its school system is low. And the weather is pretty awful most of the time. Except as a matter of pure convenience, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to live there. But when you get to the National Mall, all of that is completely forgotten as you stand in awe and wonder at the beauty surrounding you on all sides. It was designed to impress and it certainly does. It conveys the strength and power of the United States, her people, and her government in a way few other things accomplish. It suggests a permanence that nothing can touch. The temple complex in Jerusalem suggested many of the same things and was built for many of the same purposes. Yet when His disciples stopped to marvel at the whole thing, Jesus gave them a dose of reality that hit like a bucket of cold water. This is a dose of reality we could use ourselves. Let’s talk about it.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Mark 8:31-32

“Then he began to teach them that it was necessary for the Son of Man to suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and rise after three days. He spoke openly about this. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever really had your mind blown? The disciples thought they were really starting to figure some things out. After all the doubts and questions and misunderstandings, they had finally gotten their minds around the truth: Jesus was the Messiah. They were certain of it. Everything He had done pointed them unavoidably to this conclusion. There was just one problem? They didn’t have any idea what that actually meant. They thought they did. But they were wrong. Learning the truth was something they were not prepared to do.

Read the rest…