Displaying posts tagged with

“relationship with God”

Dearly beloved

Imagine two scenarios. Scenario 1: We are on a ship.  It springs a leak and starts to sink.  While we’re fleeing to the life-rafts, you manage to grab a bag.  Unbeknownst to the rest of us, your bag contains a bottle of water and some canned meat – tuna, spam, etc. We all huddle together […]

East of Eden

This one is very much out of order.  But Christmas is upon me and life is a little crazy.  Nonetheless, here is an all new entry for this phrase from Genesis 4:16… Humanity is homesick.  We feel restless, estranged, ‘out of place.’  But this is very odd!  Where else should we be?  Where else have […]

Let not the sun go down upon your wrath

In his wonderful book on Ephesians, Watchman Nee observes that the letter can be divided into three movements: “Sit, Walk, Stand.” We are seated in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:6) We then walk worthy of our calling in Christ. (Ephesians 4:1) And we stand against the assaults of the evil one. (Ephesians […]

The unsearchable riches of Christ

What is the message of Christianity for the world?  If you could boil it down, what is the proclamation of the church?  Paul has a wonderful summary in Ephesians 3:8. John Wycliffe translated it: “the vnserchable richessis of Crist”. William Tyndale put it as: “the unsearchable ryches of Christ.” And, in that tradition, the King […]

Now we see through a glass darkly

How would you compare life now to life when Jesus returns? So often we think of ‘the here and now’ as the concrete reality and Christ’s future as an ephemeral, ‘wafty’ hope.  Paul thought of things precisely the other way around. In the final paragraph of First Corinthians 13, Paul addresses our future hope.  When compared […]

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things

First Corinthians 13 is dynamite.  It explodes every myth humanity has ever bought about spirituality. As we saw last time, Paul holds out three models of super-spirituality: the ecstatic worshipper, the profound prophet and the stoic do-gooder.  And he then detonates a bomb under each of them.  None of these super-saints are anything if they […]

A faith that can move mountains

Together with the 23rd Psalm, and perhaps John chapter 1, First Corinthians 13 is among the most popular chapters in the Bible.  It is read at weddings and at funerals, at state ceremonies, hospital bedsides, school assemblies.  It is the go-to Scripture for any and every occasion.  It is often simply known as St Paul’s […]


“You’re a saint!” they exclaim.  And it feels nice to be called that. Though obviously we bat away the compliment.  Because we know it’s  mock praise for a minor act of kindness.  We know they don’t really think of us as a saint.  You see in most people’s understanding saints are unapproachable, austere and long-dead individuals. […]

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

Thomas Jefferson once wrote: “When we shall have done away the incomprehensible jargon of the Trinitarian arithmetic, that three are one, and one is three; when we shall have knocked down the artificial scaffolding, reared to mask from view the simple structure of Jesus; when, in short, we shall have unlearned everything which has been […]

The Spirit is willing, the flesh is weak

My teenage years were haunted by Gethsemane.  For a serious-minded 14 year old, this was the ultimate display of godly devotion.  Here was Christ leading the way in the school of prayer – showing us how to “give it all up for God.”  In desperation He prostrates Himself before the Father, He pours out His […]