iForgive: Because of Love

iForgive: Because of Love

September 23, 2018By Breon Wells

In my last devotion, we looked at Peter’s question regarding how often we should forgive those who trespass against us. Like most of us, Peter was most likely attempting to protect himself from people who would take his forgiveness as a vulnerability. While his question was both understandable and valid, there remains a deeper question that we should resolve. Why should we forgive? What is the motivation behind our acts of forgiveness? The answer to this is love.

God Willing

God Willing

September 22, 2018By Jerome Blanco

God willing, I will do these things that I intend to do. If the Lord wills, I will follow through on these plans of mine. If God allows, I will achieve these goals. Sometimes, things get in the way of our plans. Sometimes, these things are catastrophic, and sometimes, they are minor inconveniences or small distractions that pile up. Other times, God may simply have something different in store. We all know life doesn’t go how we intend it to.

Untidy Prayer

Untidy Prayer

September 21, 2018By Mark D. Roberts

This psalm reminds us that sometimes our conversation with God is messy, and that’s okay. Though it makes sense to begin our prayers with thanks and praise and to end them similarly, there is no biblical mandate for such a structure. At times, we simply cry out to God from our place of pain, loneliness, and despair. We don’t come to a sense of resolution when we run out of words. We simply stop praying and wait upon God, whether we like it or not.

How to Find Inner Power

How to Find Inner Power

September 20, 2018By Mark D. Roberts

When we draw strength from the indwelling Spirit, we find peace and confidence that exceed our own capacity. We find compassion to love those who are otherwise unlovable. We find strength to serve and sacrifice in ways that imitate Jesus. The Spirit of God empowers us to minister in the church and in the world—wherever we are—in amazing ways, so that God’s purposes might be advanced through us.

Yes, You Can Have More!

Yes, You Can Have More!

September 19, 2018By Mark D. Roberts

Paul prays with confidence in God’s “glorious riches,” knowing that God has more than everything we need. No doubt, Paul remembers what he has revealed elsewhere in Ephesians: that we are forgiven “in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (1:7); that God is “rich in mercy” (2:4); that God might show “the incomparable riches of his grace” (2:7); and that the “riches of Christ” are “boundless” (3:8). If God is truly so rich in grace and mercy, then we can approach God in prayer with confidence, with boldness, even with joyful abandon.

Making God’s Wisdom Known to the World, Part 2

Making God’s Wisdom Known to the World, Part 2

September 18, 2018By Mark D. Roberts

If you want to live as a person fully alive, don’t focus on your failings as a Christian. And, whatever you do, don’t put on a fake happy face, pretending as if everything in your life is just fine. Guilt and inauthenticity won’t cut when it comes to showing the world the gracious wisdom of God. Rather, lean in to God’s grace, letting his grace transform you and inspire you. The more you are captivated by what God has done for you in Christ, the more you will be motivated to live a transformed life.

Making God’s Wisdom Known to the World, Part 1

Making God’s Wisdom Known to the World, Part 1

September 17, 2018By Mark D. Roberts

I realize that unity is not easily forged or maintained in our congregations. I also realize that immoral behavior and wrong belief can damage the unity of God’s people. So I don’t mean to sound naïve when suggesting that we should seek Christ-centered unity as the people of God. I know how hard this can be in practice. But the theology of Ephesians inspires us to seek unity in the church, even if this is a difficult challenge, and even if we’ll never get it perfectly right.

Survivor Tree

Survivor Tree

September 16, 2018By Deidra Riggs

The sky was cloudless and blue, just like the sky on September 11, 2001, when two airplanes crashed into the two towers and thousands of lives were lost… Together, my husband and I stood at the edge of one of the pools of water that fall away forever, each pool surrounded by the names of those who lost their lives that day. Not far from one of the pools is the Survivor Tree. It’s a small tree that endured the destruction around it and was found, alive, in the midst of the rubble.

“What Happens When We Die?”

“What Happens When We Die?”

September 15, 2018By Deidra Riggs

We had the windows down, the sunroof open, and the radio off. Out of the silence, my niece asked this question: “What do you think happens when we die?” I admit to being caught off guard. I gathered my thoughts and rambled on and on for a few miles about existential possibilities, philosophical abstracts, and unproven theories about the afterlife… Glancing at my niece, in the midst of my rambling, I was convinced I’d complicated things with all my words… “Good grief!” I thought. “I broke my niece!”