Wanting to be better, unfortunately, doesn't go very far in making you better. I wish it did. If self-determination and sheer will-power were enough, I'd rarely fail to love my neighbor, I'd be incredibly generous, and the world would fawn over my piety.
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When John the Baptist sat in prison, hearing reports from his disciples about the work of Jesus, his unmet expectations led to an important question for Jesus.
We have no problem believing that we receive salvation through grace, but once we are saved we often believe the rest is up to us. We believe that the Christian life is about what we do more than what’s been done. We believe that our salvation was won on the cross, but that we can only keep hold of it through the daily grind of obedience.
There is perhaps no theologian throughout history more important than Martin Luther. 500 years ago, his theology sparked the reformation as he brought people back to the scandalous message of grace that was found in the Scriptures. And while his teaching is hundreds of years old, it's just as needed today as it was then.
The first homicide of the Bible was bred out of self-righteousness and the infuriating grace of God. It's a story about two brothers - Cain and Abel. They are two brothers with two different jobs who bring two different offerings to God. Despite coming from the same family and have similar upbringings, their offerings yield them very different results.
We spend a large portion of our day trying to become masters of our work. We train, we hustle, and we network all for the sake of having more control and more influence in our jobs.
Growing up my favorite bible verse was without question, Philippians 4:13. In it, Paul writes, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." Thanks to Christian marketers, I had this verse on everything. I had t-shirts, necklaces, posters.
There are a lot of people hurting this week. For many, Presdent-Elect Donald Trump represents the worst of people. He's the embodiment of everything that can go wrong and his campaign rhetoric has incited fear and anxiety for the minorities that have been on the receiving end of his remarks.
Politics and religion are two topics that many of us avoid at all costs. They immediately ruin a good conversation, creating vitriol reactions and angry rants. They exhaust us in our scrolling through Facebook and interacting on Twitter.
In a little over two months, Reading Romans with Luther will make it's launch into the wild. I'm excited to see this work finally come to fruition. I believe that the theology of Martin Luther is needed in our world today, but most people wouldn't dare read his writing.
Résumés win and lose you the opportunity to make a first impression. A good résumé will win you the chance to have a first conversation. It impresses a potential employer with your accolades, opening the door to a potential job offer.
It's the top of the ninth with a runner on first and second. There are two outs and the home team is fighting to hold off the visiting team for one more inning. The pitch comes in and the batter swings and hits a line drive to the outfield. As soon as the right fielder gets the ball, he notices the runner rounding third to make an attempt at home for the go-ahead run.
We are experts in comparison. As kids, teenagers, and adults - comparison doesn't really change, we evaluate ourselves based on how we measure up to the people around us. Did we get more than them? Are we better than them? Do people like me more than them
I cannot imagine the mixed emotions the Israelite's would have felt when their feet first hit the edge of the Red Sea. After finally escaping the slavery of Pharaoh, it seemed that their incompetent rescuer did think through his plan. He led them to their demise with their last view being an army behind them and a sea in front of them.
Grace is always one-sided. We never have anything to do with it - that is, besides the sin that makes it necessary. But for some reason, we convince ourselves that are responsible for the grace we receive. We are convinced that in order to progress spiritually or to get more from God, it’s all riding on our performance.