'faith' Tagged Posts

'faith' Tagged Posts

Daily Devotions

And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’” vs. 41 Mark 4:39-41 Mark closes his little story with a question that he knew most every devout Jew should be able to answer. Who is it that even the winds and the waves obey? It was in their psalms–they sang about it regularly. It was the Lord who wielded such control over the forces…

Daily Devotions

But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’” vs. 38 Mark 4:35-38 Mark’s little story raises a big question for a literalist reader. How could Jesus sleep through a windstorm that was swamping the boat? Answers for our question could vary–perhaps he was an introvert and had gotten exhausted with all the extroverting involved in ministry, and had collapsed like…

Daily Devotions

For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen?” vs. 24 Romans 8:22-25 We regularly hear people of faith speak of the future with great confidence. It appears that they have no doubt that one day love will conquer and that evil will be defeated. They speak of peace on earth with great conviction, as though it’s going to be happening in just a few more years. And…

Daily Devotions

Be to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel.” vss. 3-4 Psalm 71:1-14 The psalmist had a strong desire for peace and tranquility in his life, and so do we. Our dream is to have meaningful work, loving families, good friends, retire early, and then live contentedly and happily…

Daily Devotions

No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” vss. 20-21 Romans 4:17-25 Paul’s extravagant description of Abraham’s faith stretches our credulity a bit, but there’s no doubt that he believed Abraham was the founder of the Judeo-Christian faith community. From his perspective salvation history began with the faith of Abraham and continued…

Daily Devotions

Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord, and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn, saying that he has done it.” vss. 30-31 Psalm 22:27-31 Sometimes when we see the mess that the world is in and the increasing number of people who have abandoned traditional religious forms, it’s easy to begin to think that believers are like the dinosaurs and about to go extinct. Indeed science has brought new knowledge and things once…

Daily Devotions

Is not this the fast that I choose: to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them…? vss. 6a-7 Isaiah 58:1-12 The prophet imagines a conversation between God and Israelites who are wondering why their prayers aren’t being heard when they have been so faithful in making their temple sacrifices and keeping their ritual fasts. In the prophet’s estimation, God has a different agenda for them–they’ve…

Daily Devotions

Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.” vs. 8 Mark 9:7-9 Most people have a variety of spiritual and religious experiences as they search for a unitary expression of faith, one that will stand the test of time and withstand the doubts that stalk them. There are days that our faith is strong, buttressed by internal certainties rising from what we perceive to be divine encounters. On those days there’s a…

Daily Devotions

Luke 2:22-40 “There was also a prophet, Anna–of a great age… She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer…At that moment she came, and began to speak about the child.” vss. 36-38 When Mary and Jesus brought the baby Jesus to the temple for the rites of purification they were accosted by two elderly prophets, Simeon and Anna, both of whom were temple regulars. Now it’s not unusual for old people to hang around places of…

Daily Devotions

Ephesians 1:15-17 “I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.” vss. 15-16 The reputation of the congregation at Ephesus had spread among the little house churches that sprang up all over the eastern Mediterranean as apostles had proclaimed the good news of Jesus. According to the writer of this letter two…

Daily Devotions

Romans 3:24-28 … “For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.” vs. 28  Martin Luther spent decades trying to gain assurance of salvation by bringing his stubborn, subversive flesh into line with the works of the law. Since he couldn’t do it he was forever wracked with guilt, and greatly damaged his health in the process. But when in the course of studying the book of Romans he realized that justification…

Daily Devotions

Matthew 14:28-33 … “But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’” vs. 30 Our liberal, literal minds are often challenged by the miracle stories in the gospels and we struggle to find satisfactory explanations. Most days we have an easier time with the healings–after all that’s one of the things Jesus did, and many people through history have been known as healers. But walking on water is a…