77 results for tag: Front page


Son of a Preacher Man

By Greg Albrecht— Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?" —Matthew 16:24-26 The passage in Matthew that forms the basis of our message talks about losing your life so that you might gain it. At first it may seem to you that Jesus' assertion amounts to little more than theological double-talk. But this teaching begins to make ...

When Your Dreams Wind Up in the Pit

By Greg Albrecht— "Here comes that dreamer!" they said to each other. "Come now, let's kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we'll see what comes of his dreams." When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. "Let's not take his life," he said. "Don't shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the desert, but don't lay a hand on him." Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father. So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the richly ornamented robe he was wearing—and they took him and threw him into ...

The Pearl of Great Value

By Greg Albrecht— Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.—Matthew 13:45-46 We turn our attention to one of Jesus' parables about the kingdom of heaven. In the Authorized King James Version the parable is called The Pearl of Great Price. As I normally use the New International Version, we'll refer to it by the title given to it in that translation, The Pearl of Great Value. Here's the widely accepted Christian interpretation of this parable: The merchant is you or me. We decide to look for Christ, and finally, after ...

Ships That Pass in the Night

By Greg Albrecht— Many, even those unfamiliar with the Bible, have heard of Jonah. Most remember the story of Jonah as it is depicted in children's books—a man named Jonah who was swallowed by a big fish and lived to tell the tale. As we go a little deeper into the story (deeper even than the whale went with Jonah) we see that Jonah is yet another biblical example of how humans can completely misunderstand God. We can misunderstand God as Jonah did, and in terms of our relationship with God, be, as he was, like two Ships that Pass in the Night. The book of Jonah begins with God telling Jonah to go to Nineveh, the capital city of the ...

The Visitor

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and ...

What if God Was One of Us?

"Stop Acting Like God. Start Acting Like Jesus." The message, on a poster being waved during a rally in support of a minority group, confronted and challenged me. It seemed to be directed at me and my fellow Christians. If they really knew Jesus, I thought, they would know that he is God and he was God in the flesh! I continued to ponder the poster until a free translation of its intended meaning occurred to me: "Jesus, save us from your followers who seem to be acting like our stereotype of the Old Testament God." It was obvious they had a vague notion that Jesus didn't hurt people, that Jesus didn't abuse people, and that Jesus forgave ...

The Gift of Time

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.—Isaiah 55:6 Time is the enemy of teachers, speakers and preachers—we are always battling with the clock. In the context of formal church services, this battle goes back to the so-called olden days when preachers walked up and took their place behind the pulpit. At the beginning of the sermon an hour glass of sand was turned on its end. The passing of time was determined as small quantities of sand passed from the upper chamber, which at the beginning of the hour was full, to the lower chamber. When the last grains of sand filtered through the hour glass into the lower ...

Great Exchanges

Your first thought at this time of the year might be those frenzied crowds in shopping malls and department stores on the days immediately following Christmas. People exchanging and returning gifts they received that were the wrong size, wrong color—or just plain wrong! But there's another exchange we need to keep in mind. This great exchange is the reality of the cross of Christ. Jesus Christ took our sin and died for it, paying the debt that we could not pay. In exchange, God, because of his grace, gives us eternal life. Our sin for eternal life! The great spiritual exchange. Great exchanges characterize the month of December for Christi...

Thankful For What?

For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills. When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, ...

Finding Your Way Home

  One of our lifelong goals is to "find our way home." In the Gospel of John, Jesus assures his disciples, and by extension all those who would follow Jesus throughout all time, that he is preparing a place for us (John 14:1-3). He is preparing a place and he will return to take us with him, so that we may be where he is, so that we might be home. Do you remember the first time you were homesick? I remember as a young boy being homesick many times. My mother did not believe in allowing me to hide behind her skirts, so from an early age, five or six years of age, she encouraged me to spend time away from her with relatives and friends. ...

The Peace of God

  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests" (Luke 2:14). The night seemed normal—nothing out of the ordinary. The shepherds were watching the sheep, just like they always did. But suddenly something abnormal happened—an angel appeared. The shepherds were terrified. After assuring the shepherds they had nothing to fear, the angel announced the coming of the Prince of Peace. Then God composed and arranged a musical anthem performed by a heavenly choir to emphasize the importance of the angel's message. The Bible uses a military term, host, to describe the angelic choir (Luke 2:13). A ...

Be Still

  When in danger, when in doubt, Run in circles, scream and shout! The British Navy has a strange custom, I am told. If a sudden disaster happens, "the still" is blown. If you live in certain parts of the United States you may think of a still as a place where bootleg whiskey is produced. The "still" in the British Navy, as I understand it, is a whistle which calls the crew of a ship to a moment of silence in a time of crisis. It's a moment of calm that allows everyone to collect their thoughts before they respond to an emergency. My wife, Karen, and I recently witnessed the results of failure to be still in the face of a ...