making the invisible visible

My daughter Elliot has fine blonde hair. Right now, it is quite long – and usually messy. When she goes to school or to church, her mom fixes it for her. But the rest of the time, she lets it go. It is always hanging down in her face or in her food.

Occasionally Elliot will take a balloon and rub it, hard and fast, against her shirt sleeve. Having done that, she’ll then take it and hold it beside her head, and all of her hair will immediately cling to that balloon. (more…)

Christ loved his bride before she was attractive

…Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25b).

Christ’s love for his bride is both unconditional and self-sacrificial. To say that another way, Christ loved his bride at great cost to himself – before she was attractive. He gave himself up for the church while she was still lost and dead in sin (see Romans 5:8), when she was living in utter rebellion against him. This is stunning. Consider why. (more…)

the ironclad link between our treasure and our joy

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Luke 12:34)

We probably don’t use the word treasure all that often. When we do, we might imagine Johnny Depp absconding with some fictitious artifact while chased by eye-patched vagabonds in pirate gear. More apt in our culture is the word value. Our treasure is just that – what we value. In Luke 12, Jesus teaches that there is an ironclad link between what we value and our joy. (more…)

don’t give up

One key to growth in prayer is simple: Don’t give up. Be persistent. Be faithful. Be constant in prayer (Rom 12:12c).

The Lord genuinely wants us to pester him with prayer. I choose the word pester carefully and deliberately, largely because of Luke 18:1-9, which begins this way: And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. Jesus teaches here that God delights in his people coming to him, again and again and again, with our prayers. That is what he wants. This is what he loves. Really. (more…)