Happy Ending

The sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed.  Who doesn’t like a happy ending?   Everyone cheers when the prince rescues the princess or when the bad guy is defeated. Though he has suffered many hardships as a missionary, Paul writes about joy.    The joy of being redeemed, the joy of receiving the Holy Spirit, the joy of knowing God’s love, and so much more.   But the greatest joy Paul talks about...

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Open my heart

This daughter of Abraham . . .  Occasionally, we receive stories from readers telling us how God has worked in their lives. “I was serving on the prayer ministry team at my church a few years ago when a woman came asking for prayer.   ‘It’s my heart,’ she said, ‘Sometimes it feels like I’m going to have a heart attack and die.’   Even to my untrained eye, she didn’t look healthy.   So my first thought was ‘You really need to see a doctor!’ ...

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I am a sinner

Miserable one that I am!  It’s easy to think of Paul as some kind of superhero with powers that made him invincible and immune to sin or temptation.   But when he wrote to introduce himself to the community in Rome, Paul sounds surprisingly frank and self-revelatory.   I’m just a wretched sinner.   I try, but I fail.   Thank God for his mercy!   He certainly doesn’t sound like a spiritual champion or a great leader.   Instead of burnishing his...

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Come and Drink

He is like a tree planted near running water.  What a glorious promise—especially to the Jewish people who would have prayed this psalm!   Remember, the Holy Land is a more arid region than where most of us live.   The thought of lush vegetation growing along the banks of a babbling stream would have seemed almost exotic to them.   So to say that the one who follows the Lord is like one of those trees is to say something powerful indeed! While...

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Weapon for Righteousness

Present yourselves to God . . . as weapons for righteousness. With all the violence in the world today, you may not like the image of being a “weapon” for the Lord.   But in this case, St. Paul is encouraging you to be a holy instrument whom the Lord can use to free people from darkness.   And that’s a good thing! So today, put your whole body to work for the Lord.   Use your eyes to be on the lookout for anyone who needs encouragement.   Use...

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Serving Humbly and Selflessly

He will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them.  Picture a state dinner in a foreign capital,  a lavish dining hall, silver and crystal lining the table, waiters standing tall, ready to serve the guests.   A military band strikes up a fanfare, and the prime minister enters.   But instead of sitting down, he removes his dinner jacket, dons an apron, and asks the waiters to be seated at the table.   Then, slowly and...

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