A Call to Suffer and Die

It was a restless hamlet in South Sudan along the Ethiopian border. A few short years ago I was there leading a pastors’ conference with the elders and pastors from various tribal groups from the region. When I asked them the best way I could help them their forceful plea was for me to tell them how to empower their […]

Set Upon the Spirit

The Apostle Paul declares in Romans 8:6, “To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” I very much want that “life” and “peace” of which Paul speaks—that daily calm reflecting a meaningful connection with something bigger than me. Or Someone. Who is the “Spirit” about whom Paul […]

“You Who Are Spiritual”

The Book of Galatians finds the Apostle Paul boldly calling out the evils of legalism. Those who would promote such poison are “stupid” (see Galatians 3:1), and will “bear the penalty” (Gal. 5:10) for their perversion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul also makes it plain that avoiding legalism does not give us a license to sin. “For you […]

How Do We “Cast Out” Legalism?

How do we “cast out” (see Galatians 4:30) the legalists and their petty notions from our lives? This is an important question for any of us suffocating under the heavy weight of self-proclaimed spiritual masters of our spiritual destinies. Consider the following ideas: First, we must affirm the truth that our relationship with God is based exclusively upon God’s provision of grace, […]

Taking God’s Story Above & Beyond

At Bethel Church we are continuing a very important sermon series entitled “Living Above & Beyond.” The purpose of the whole series, and this season in which we find ourselves, is to equip followers of Jesus to live above and beyond material slavery, spiritual complancency, and small-minded eternal vision. We want God to meet us where he finds us today, […]

Abigail Among Fools

Perhaps it’s because I have daughters of my own, and a wife who is beyond amazing. I suppose I don’t really know why, but for some reason I am really drawn to that biblical character named Abigail, the wife of Nabal, a rich land-owner from Maon, “whose business was in Carmel” (1 Samuel 25:3). Were she a man I would […]