Slaying Perfectionism

Jeff FAITH, Legalism

Are you one who desires and strives for excellence?  If so, you likely expect it in others also.  You give your very best nearly all of the time, and your default mindset is that we should all rise up to accomplish everything in life wholeheartedly, with maximum skill and efficiency.  In weaker moments you find yourself frustrated that things are …

Swimming With John Piper

Jeff FAITH

These are certainly days where I am hearing from many of God’s people that He is stretching their faith.  It is not that these people are all saying that they are going through faith-stretching difficulty or pain – some of them are, but most of the people I dialogue with are sensing God moving them to something greater in their …

The Unstoppable Wave of Promise

Jeff FAITH, Heaven

We have all heard this quaint saying which is actually rooted in solid truth:  God loves you and has a great plan for your life.  While this is a true statement, it is not sufficient in the way it is communicated, specifically because we have been trained to associate love with pleasure and ease.  Also, when we hear the words …

A Biblical Snapshot Of Wet Feet

Jeff FAITH, General

Listen to these familiar phrases: “Take a step of faith…” “Make a leap of faith…” “Put one foot in front of the other…” “Every great journey begins with a single step…” Are you tired of the clichés yet?  We have all said and heard statements like these so often that they are now actually counterproductive when we hear them because …

When He Tests You

Jeff FAITH

Many of us have a large gap in our understanding of what it means to be wholly saved. We know that there was a moment in our past when we placed our trust in Christ and He immediately pardoned our sin and made us His very own. We know we have been justified. There is also the confidence that there will …

Your Fear. My Fear. God’s Grace.

Jeff FAITH, Fear

The biblical blockbuster, ‘Hall of Faith’ in Hebrews chapter eleven is one of my favorite passages in the New Testament.  There we are given a long list of both named and unnamed individuals who endured difficulty in order to live out their lives of faith.  These are that great cloud of witnesses that have gone before us to enter the fullness …

Let’s Get Honest, Folks…

Jeff FAITH, Holy Spirit, Spiritual Warfare

Is the Christian faith kinetic or static?  Do our spiritual beliefs move or do they rest in neutral?  Are we animated or passive as the followers of Jesus Christ?  The answers to these questions are probably easy for us to discern.  We understand by Scripture and by history that our theology comes bundled with a clear call to action from …

Living Life In A Lower Gear

Jeff Cultural Observations, FAITH

Talking with a retired friend the other day, I was surprised when he confided in me that he found it extremely difficult to adjust the pace of his mind from making numerous, important daily decisions to the reality that nobody really needing anything from him anymore.  He had been programmed for decades to be part of a process wherein very important …

God’s Timing

Jeff FAITH, Prophecy, sovereignty

“When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” – Galatians 4:4-5 What a remarkable thought: there was a fullness of time that God had ordained into which He would inaugurate the visible unfolding of …

Dispelling Doubts

Jeff FAITH

Some mornings I wake up and wonder why God let me. It is not often but I must confess the occasional morning when my first thought is that I am ill-equipped to live the life assigned to me. Every now and then, before the sun rises, strong doubts arise in my heart and an unhealthy voice begins to try and …

4 Questions We Must Answer

Jeff FAITH, Spiritual Growth

When our children were very small, and they were moving from milk and baby food into the chewable food stage, one of my occasional tasks was to feed them tiny little bites of food that they could chew and swallow. Whether it was mushy banana or tiny shreds of chicken, Amy and I were careful not to give them more …

More Than The Shore

Jeff FAITH

What if I suggested that Jesus was not as committed to your need to feel secure as you think He is? What if I told you that He was actually calling you out to a place that holds much more for you than where you currently are? Would you give me the time of day if I refused to stop …

Jettisoning Our Religious Freight

Jeff FAITH, Prayer

Jesus said something in one of His prayers that deeply impacted me almost twenty years ago. The first time I read John 17:3, I paused and went back to read it again and again.  Jesus makes a stunning theological statement to the Father when, in His prayer, He says, “And this is eternal life, that they know You, the only …

Faith: We Are No Longer Explanation Addicts

Jeff FAITH, Sundays

“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” – Hebrews 11:8 Who does this anymore? Who among the followers of God is willing to hear a unilateral command from God, and obey it, no questions asked? …

Well-Led

Jeff FAITH, Sundays

  “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you will go: I will guide you with My eye.” – Psalm 32:8 To know that the immeasurable God of the universe has declared His willingness to guide us along our way is an overwhelmingly encouraging thought. Far be it from Him to shout instruction to us from …

Keeping Your Name On The Short-List

Jeff FAITH, Leadership

About 3,500 years ago, less than a dozen men determined the next four decades of a massive group of people, possibly over two million in number.  It is highly likely that you will not know much about them, if anything at all. The Scriptures preserve their names, along with the names of their fathers in Numbers 13:1-16. These men were …

Those Trickles Of Trouble

Jeff Endurance, FAITH

When things are comfortable, safe and manageable, I feel confidently secure.  When circumstances are well-oiled and unobstructed, I easily sense momentum, empowerment and certainty.  During times of human approval, when there are a dozen or more people who have my back, when my detractors are muted by the shouts of my supporters, I walk a little more deliberately and swiftly …

The Tailwinds Of Trust

Jeff FAITH

“Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do…” – 1 Samuel 16:3 Allow me to share a brief word with you about how God is working in your life today.  He is doing with you what He was doing in the verse above with Samuel 3,000 years ago. He is doing with you the same …

Moving Forward From The Potential God

Jeff Bible, FAITH, Spiritual Growth, Victory

Allow me to provoke you to consider something about the Kingdom today.  Most followers of Jesus are clear concerning our mission as the people of God.  We are called to advance the Kingdom of God by proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ, and compelling people to acknowledge His lordship over their lives by faith.  In essence, as followers of …

Your Convictions Are Not Enough

Jeff FAITH

The story of Gideon in the book of Judges is a really interesting account.  He trickles onto the scene in less-than-impressive fashion, as our first notice of Gideon occurs when he is hiding from the enemy and trying to get his daily chores done without being killed. An angel sent from God comes to Gideon and declares the human-twig to …

Filling Up

Jeff FAITH

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth …

Living With Both Eyes Opened

Jeff FAITH

The Bible does an amazing job at balancing the human experience with a divine dosage of reality. Perhaps one of the easiest ways to bring harm to the cause of Christ is for us to upset this balance by a one-eyed reading of Scripture. Let me explain: God’s word is constantly revealing both the negative and the positive about our …

Scorched Places & Soul Deserts

Jeff FAITH, Hope

I know what it is to live in dryness.  Days spent in a baked-earth reality have been my personal Christian experience more often than I care to admit.  Beyond the fact that it is embarrassing, I have a strong sense that it is simply wrong.  It is wrong for an individual who has been totally forgiven and welcomed by God …

Undesirable Currents, Unanswered Prayers

Jeff FAITH, Prayer, pride

Sometimes people miss God’s best for them because it is being offered in a package that does not fit with their preconceptions.  Most of us would affirm that we desire God’s richest and best for our lives.  We trust Him, we know that He is good, we believe that the plans that He has for us will result in something …

Tent People Living In Castles

Jeff FAITH

I have a friend who just received the immeasurably good news that she is cancer-free.  It has been a long journey for her: the terrifying initial diagnosis, prescribed treatments, surgeries, difficult medical reports, physical suffering, powerlessness and much more than the rest of us can possibly understand.  She was transparent enough to chronicle some of her journey to her support …