Showing posts from February, 2018

What A Regret From Billy Graham Can Teach Us

What A Regret From Billy Graham Can Teach Us Evangelist Billy Graham died February 21.   I want to share two quotes from him- an affirmation of his deep faith and central mission in life, and then a regret. First, his faith: In his last sermon in 2013 he said, “Our country's in great need of a spiritual awakening….I want to tell people about the meaning of the cross….the real cross of Christ….With all my heart I want to leave you with the truth, that he loves you, and is willing to forgive you of all your sins…There is no other way of salvation except through the cross of Christ….Today, I’m asking you to put your trust in Christ.” Now the regret: In 2011 Sarah Pulliam Bailey asked Dr. Graham: “If you could, would you go back and do anything differently?” He answered: “I would have steered clear of politics. I’m grateful for the opportunities God gave me to minister to people in high places….But looking back I know I sometimes crossed the line, and I wouldn’t do that now

Keep Asking, Seeking, and Knocking

Keep Asking, Seeking, and Knocking The other day my wife and I were reading Matthew 7:7-8, part of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount.   Jesus gives us three instructions: Ask, and keep on asking. Seek, and keep on seeking. Knock, and keep on knocking. I like how the New Living Translation translates these words of Jesus. "Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.   For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” Because God is a relational God, we need to relate to Him! God is not an idea or a concept. He is a person! If you live with a person, you listen to them and you talk to them! God is a person. Do you spend some time in silence with Him, asking Him to speak? Do you read His Word?   Do you talk to Him? Do you ask Him! Do you seek Him? Do you persist in asking and seeking for Him? Do you persist in kno

One Lesson About the Relational Jesus

One Lesson About the Relational Jesus Last time I wrote about the first verse and a half of chapter 14 of John’s Gospel. I would like now to talk a bit about the next seven verses through verse nine. In my last column I drew five lessons from the first 1 1/2 verses of John chapter 14, but this time I have only one lesson which I want to lift up. Many people are looking for “the answer” to life. They are looking for an idea, a principle, or a timeless truth. There is a sense in which every idea, every principle, and every truth is something we can control or appropriate. In a way, according to philosopher Michael Polanyi, ideas are mental tools which we use and manipulate to deal with the world. But here Jesus is saying that at the heart of reality is not a truth, or an idea, or a principle, but rather a Person. At the deepest level of reality, truth is not an idea we analyze and use but it is a Person who is pursuing us and with whom we can have a relationship. The God of

Five Lessons From a Verse-and-a-Half

Five Lessons From a Verse-and-a-Half Today as I write, I am reading one of my favorite passages, the beginning verses of John, chapter 14. Jesus is speaking to his disciples back then, but he is also speaking to us today. Beginning at verse one Jesus says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions.” These twenty-one words are packed full of meaning. I get at least five lessons from these words: 1.              1. When Jesus says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled,” in the original language he is actually saying, “ Stop letting your hearts be troubled.” I think for many of us, his words hit us where we live. We know that we already worry and are troubled by many things. Similarly in Matthew 6:25, Jesus is saying “Stop worrying,” or “Stop being anxious.” He know us through and through. As Psalm 103:14 says, “He knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.”   The One who knows us knows how we worry an