The Mosquito in Your Room

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle [you know nothing about].” —Ian McLaren

We impact every person we meet—there’s no stopping it. When we’re indifferent, people feel it—and often learn it—from us. The same thing is true when we’re kind, compassion and loving—people feel it and learn it—from us. That’s how the world is changed—it’s how Jesus did it and it’s why His impact has traveled so far for so long so powerfully. Walking as He walked Him, even the smallest person has mighty impact. It’s just that big.

“If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room…” —Bette Reese

Give ’em Heaven.

—j

The Most Dangerous Thing in the World

“Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers of love is Hell.” —C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

People need God’s love and He chose us to lavish it on them. But it isn’t safe—it breaks hearts and leaves scars—such love got Jesus killed. It’s not bottled up among safe friends and it can’t coexist with self-protection. “Love one another as I have loved you.” Now that’s risky.

Go make someone’s day—perhaps even that of your enemy.

—j

Really Loud Obedience

“Let God be responsible for the consequences of your obedience.”
Charles Stanley

“One act of obedience is better than one hundred sermons.”
—Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Obedience is your sermon. Preach away.

Have a great Sunday!

—j

Minding the Pain

“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.” —G.K Chesterton

God has called me to many things, and in light of the fact that I’m not getting any younger, I’m frequently asked how I do it. “Don’t you get tired?” “Where do you find the time?” “Doesn’t it hurt?” As he burned his finger with a smile while extinguishing a match, T.E. Lawerence quipped, “Of course it hurts—the trick is not minding the pain.” For us who follow Jesus, it’s more than not minding—it’s knowing—knowing that the difficulties of living God’s life on earth are grossly offset by the goodness and love others receive from Him because we were willing to take the pain for them to get it.

Go for it. He who called you is faithful and He is able.

—j

“If Sinners Be Damned…”

Victorian preacher C.H. Spurgeon had a way of cutting through Christian excuses…

“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and un-prayed for.”

Some things are worth everything and every effort.

—j

(Painting, “Don’t Let Go” by Daniel Cordova)

It’s Only a Dollar

True story? No clue. Good story? Definitely…

Several years ago a preacher moved to Christchurch, New Zealand. Some weeks after he arrived, he had occasion to ride the bus from his home into the city. When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him a dollar too much change. As he considered what to do, he thought to himself, “You better give the dollar back. It would be wrong to keep it.” Then he thought, “Oh, forget it, it’s only a dollar. Who would worry about this amount? Anyway the bus company already gets enough; they will never miss it. Accept it as a gift from God and keep quiet.” When his stop came, he paused at the door, then he handed the dollar to the driver and said, “Here, you gave me too much change.” The driver with a smile, replied, “Aren’t you the new preacher just arrived in the city? I have been thinking lately about going to worship somewhere. I just wanted to see what you would do if I gave you too much change.” When he stepped off the bus, he grabbed the nearest power pole, held on and said, “Oh God, I almost sold your Son for a dollar.” Our lives are the only Bible some people will ever read.  —Author Unknown

As Jesus’ followers, what we do says who He is; what we say becomes His voice. Be kind and love. You just never know…

—j

The Immovable Ladder

As I’m teaching in Jerusalem, I offer a short provocation from Christianity’s holiest site… (5:30)