“Man, I look good!” I said to myself as I tried on a new shirt and sport coat at Target this week. I rarely buy new clothes — maybe a couple new shirts each year and some new jeans when the old ones get too “holy” even for our church!
As we continue our study of 1 Peter, the Apostle now helps us get dressed for our new life as Christians. Before we enjoy a glass of pure spiritual milk with our breakfast (2:2), we need to strip off our old clothes (2:1) and “put on Christ” (Rom. 13:14). He writes:
“So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech” (1 Peter 2:1 NLT).
The verb used here for “get rid of” is used for taking off clothing elsewhere in Acts 7:58. We’re called to throw the old behaviors aside, to strip ourselves from the filthy rags of our past and throw them in the laundry bin (repentance). While wearing an ugly sweater to a holiday party may win you some laughs, adorning yourselves with deceitfulness, hypocrisy, jealousy and unkind speech is sure to dampen the mood. Sadly, such traits may fit you for a presidential debate, but you’re certainly not fit for the Kingdom of God in such garb! Continue reading Clothes Shopping with Apostle Peter (1 Peter 2:1)
Gulp. Now what? I was anticipating a private weekend alone with Jesus. I was hardly in the mood for a party.
As the door opened on the small cabin a rush of joyous noise greeted me. Laughter. Hilarity. Music and dancing. Conversations in multiple languages.
“We’re just in time for the Father’s weekly bash,” Jesus informed me with a wink. I was completely caught off guard and unprepared. It was by no means a small gathering of friends playing a quiet board game over drinks. It was an all out bash!
“You’ll have to excuse the raucus,” Jesus warned, “the Father invites EVERYBODY to the party — and keeps company with some…well…let’s just say questionable characters.” Continue reading Cabin with Jesus 8: Cabin Bash
As we neared the Father’s Cabin, I began to imagine what it would look like. Would it be a magnificent mansion on an imposing hill? Would it have all the modern conveniences of a royal summer resort? So far all my expectations had been turned upside down, so I tried not to even bother guessing. Jesus, I am finding, is full of surprises!
We drove up and down and around on a narrow curvy driveway lined by thick forest and breathtaking views of a lake. Jesus looked over and said, “Almost there! Are you ready?” I nodded, with a thousand unasked questions percolating in my mind. “Ready for what?” I thought.
Where will I sleep?
What will we do?
Will others be staying with us?
What will we eat? (Does Jesus even eat?)
Most of all I wondered what the purpose of this weekend with Jesus really was.
“Jeremy, just come and see,” Jesus said. But I hadn’t even voiced my questions. Being in the presence of someone who can read your thoughts is very strange and disarming!
He repeated, “Just come and see. The things I’m going to show you can’t be explained. They can’t be learned in a book or passed on secondhand. They must be experienced firsthand. You must come and see for yourself.” Continue reading Cabin with Jesus 7: Come & See
Here’s a sweet and thoughtful video our church put together for Keri and I for Pastor Appreciation Month. All I can say in return is “Thanks for being such a fun, grace-filled, caring and committed church family to lead.”
I hear other pastors complain about the shenanigans they have to put up with — petty complaints, internal division, relational conflicts, stagnant attenders going through the motions, disgruntled elders, stubborn old church ladies, etc. — and I always walk away thinking, “Wow, I’m blessed to shepherd this particular flock!” Continue reading Feeling the Love at MainStreet!
I was awake well before the sunrise. I paced the house, deep in thought. What will it be like to meet Jesus face to face? How should I address him? A handshake? A hug? Should I fall down prostrate in worship? Should I offer him some toast and orange juice?
My thoughts were both practical and ridiculous all at the same time.
What kind of car will he drive? Will he come like modern royalty in a limousine with Michael the Archangel as his chauffeur? Will he come in a more biblical fashion like Elijah with a whirlwind riding in a chariot of fire pulled by horses of fire?
My stomach was in knots. I felt ill. I was not afraid in the usual sense….but absolutely terrified in another sense. I was weak in the knees.
What will it be like to look the Son of God in the eyes? What will he look like? I couldn’t help picturing him as Charlton Heston, even though he played Moses! Then my mind began recalling the Apostle John’s description of Jesus in the Book of Revelation. I reached for my Bible and opened to the first chapter of Revelation and read: Continue reading Cabin with Jesus 5: Meeting Jesus