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August 2011

Building on sand

Jesus splits the world in two.  But He does it by descending right into our midst. There He is, the son of Mary, an itinerant preacher with no qualifications and no fixed abode.  Surrounded by the poor, the meek and the persecuted, He holds forth with His distinctive northern accent.  Yet as He concludes His […]

By their fruits ye shall know them

Jesus has told us “Beware” of wolves in sheep’s clothing.  They look like Christians, they speak in Christ’s name but they are false prophets.  And their false teaching devastates the flock. But how can we defend ourselves against this secret threat?  After all, these wolves look – at least from a distance – like sheep. […]

Wolf in sheep's clothing

In the sermon on the mount, there is a progression in Christ’s teaching about the scribes and Pharisees. They begin as standard-bearers for outward righteousness.  If anyone is to enter the kingdom, they must have a righteousness that exceeds the scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 5:20).  Of course that means that these do-gooders are not themselves in […]

Strait and narrow

“He used to be a junky, now he’s on the straight and narrow” we say.  And by that we mean that he’s cleaned up his act.  Now he’s behaving. When Jesus coined the phrase “strait and narrow” He didn’t quite mean it like that. This is what He said: “Enter ye in at the strait […]

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

Here is a famous phrase from the bible.  Yet it’s not in the bible.  Not in as many words anyway.  Here’s how the King James Bible renders it: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”  (Matthew 7:12) […]

Seek and ye shall find

Everyone prays.  At least when they’re desperate.  But no-one seems to know why it works or how it could. It’s an uncertainty that keenly afflicts westerners labouring under three false assumptions. 1) We think of “nature” as a closed system, grinding along according to iron laws. 2) We consider ourselves to be self-sufficient masters of […]

Pearls before swine

The most precious of jewels and the filthiest of animals are combined into a single memorable phrase: “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”  (Matthew 7:6) There are people who, at some point, […]

The Mote and the Beam

George Carlin once noted a universal rule of the road: Everyone who drives slower than you is an idiot.  And everyone who drives faster is a maniac. To the speeding driver, everyone’s an idiot.  To the slow driver, everyone’s a maniac.  But one rule applies to all:  My speed is just right. Hypocrisy is not limited […]

Judge not that ye be not judged

In the last week the BBC, CNN, the Daily Mail, The Telegraph and many other news sites and blogs have reported a hoax as fact. The hoax was this: Internet Explorer users are less intelligent than those using other web browsers. It is a lie that has spread like wildfire despite the thinnest of fabricated […]

Seek ye first the kingdom of God

Some people are good at multi-tasking.  No-one is good at multi-seeking. Jesus has been teaching us that we have only one heart.  And our hearts attend to what we treasure.  Essentially we can treasure God or we can treasure the things of this world, Mammon. To invest in earthly treasure is the way of worry.  But, […]