Don’t trust your feelings?

In Ephesians 3, Paul prayed that the people he was writing to would know the love of Christ

. . . that surpasses knowledge.

What kind of sense does that make?

The sense comes when you recognize that those two uses of the English word know come from two different Greek words.

The second is the knowing of intellect, like book learning. Paul is saying here that the love of Christ is beyond intellectual grasping.

The first one is the knowing of the senses, the perception, the experience—dare I say it? Continue reading

How can I be strong in the Lord?

“Be strong and of good courage . . . Only be strong and very courageous, . . . Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid  or dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (from Joshua 1)

Through the decades, I’ve carried on arguments with myself in my wide-margin Bible. I correct myself, I rebuke myself, I express aghast-ness at my spiritual nearsightedness. Continue reading

A New Year Filled with Hope

I hope things will be different. . . . I hope he’ll start being kinder. . . . I hope she’ll come back to her husband and children. . . . I hope the economy won’t collapse. . . . I hope Jesus will return this year. . . . I hope my abuser will be brought to justice. . . . I hope they’ll repent and acknowledge their sin. . . .

Have you ever noticed that the way we talk about hope in ordinary conversation is very different from the way the Bible describes “hope”? Continue reading