March 2019: I Need More…GOOD NEWS

Indeed, we live in frazzled and frustrated times. Just turn on the nightly news. So frequently we are given reports of events that have devastated property and lives; are told about individuals that have deviated from law and order; and hear of other stories that dampen our spirits. On a regular basis, most of the news is not good news, and a depressed sigh first finds solace in the silence of a turned-off television.

Turns out, though, that we don’t have to turn on a TV to know that. We don’t even need to be near it. As our consciences rerun the past, we see where our own deviations have had a devastating impact. As a direct result, our spirits are dampened and depressed. Even life-long Christians feel the sting of past sins as their consciences cry a guilty testimony. That’s the “news” we know by nature. That’s God’s Law on sinful hearts, and that’s why stricken hearts crave more good news.

The calm to the craving is not attained by turning off; we get it by tuning in. The answer is not in blocking out God’s Word or dulling our consciences by making poor excuses. The solution is still found in what God’s good news says to every individual—even to you. The calm, promise, and solution remain the message of the gospel! Hearts are calmed at the message of Christ for us! And it’s in that message the apostle Paul, a very real sinner, would have sinners still take comfort and confidence. As he lifted Timothy’s eyes and heart to the grace of the cross, so he lifts ours: “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst” (1 Timothy 1:15).

Craving more good news? Forgiven sinner, tune in to the Savior who carried your every sin! See him in his Word! Redeemed believer, tune in to the gospel—God’s good news that quiets sin’s accusations! Hear that saving message! Beloved child of God, tune in to the trustworthy message of the Bible and let your heart sigh with thanksgiving. Jesus came to save sinners. Jesus came to save you! That’s the good news! Crave it. Enjoy it. And stay tuned in!


February 2019: I Need More…FAITHFUL FRIENDS

A friend is someone who knows all about me and likes me anyway. Have you heard that description of a

friend? How would you define what a friend is? Are you happy with the friends you have? Do you wish

you had more friends or different kinds of friends? That your friendships were healthier or more

helpful? Read more…


January 2019: Jesus is the One and Only Savior

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14

A common resolution at New Year’s is to lose weight and improve fitness. There are various ways people seek to reach that goal. Some strive to improve their diet, either eating smaller portions or switching to healthier foods. Others focus more on exercise, building up their strength or following a cardio workout plan. Picking any or all of those options can help a person reach a weight loss and fitness goal. Read more…


December 2018: Will I go to heaven?

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

I saw my name on Santa’s list!  I was so excited.  I didn’t think it would be there.  I got mad and hit my sister on Thanksgiving Day.  I admitted my fault.  Since then, I was very well behaved.  After all, Santa brings good things to good boys, right?  I saw MY name!  I was getting a puppy for Christmas!  I did it!  I made up for my sin.

Christmas came and no puppy.  I was crushed.  I thought I deserved one.  I thought Santa loved me.  Was the name on Santa’s list someone else with the same name as mine?  Did Santa think my apology was insincere?  Was hitting my sister such a horrible thing that he would totally reject me?  No puppy that Christmas.  (It would be another 29 years before I got a puppy.)

What if God treated us like that?  We would never be sure we are going to heaven.  But God does not treat us like that, and we can be sure we are going to heaven.  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…” 

Notice what God did not say.  “God so loved the ones that don’t hit their sisters…”  “God so loved the good ones… the top 50%… those who help themselves.”  No, God loves sinners, all sinners, you and me.  He loves the whole world.

God gave us the greatest gift of all.  Jesus, God’s Son, came at Christmas to save the world from sin and hell.  God gave us a gift only he can give—eternal life.  God did that by sending Jesus into this world to live a life without sin.  Jesus never hit his sister.  He never even thought angry or insulting thoughts about anyone.  Jesus was punished for all our sins, in our place.  Jesus rose from the dead to guarantee our sins are paid for.  He did this for the whole world.  That includes you. 

Jesus is the greatest gift ever given.  Trusting him as your Savior, you can be certain you will go to heaven.  Enjoy God’s gift of Jesus this Christmas. 


November 2018: God’s Encouraging Word … when I’m suffering

God’s Encouraging Word … when I’m suffering

Are you familiar with tunnel vision? Someone experiencing tunnel vision can see an object directly ahead, but they often fail to notice what’s around it. Maybe age or injury has robbed them of their peripheral vision. Maybe they grow fatigued during a long drive. Do you know what that’s like?

We’re also prone to tunnel vision when we’re suffering. Face it, we’ve all been there. No one is immune from problems and pain. Everyone experiences hurts or hang-ups. But when we’re hurting, is the bad all we can see? Do we focus on the problem so much that we ignore everything else? We can see no help. No hope. No good. No God. Do you know what that’s like? It’s not a happy place to be.

It can be especially tough as we prepare to enter the holiday season. How can we put on a smile for Thanksgiving and pretend that we are just fine?

No need to pretend. Listen to the psalmist: “My comfort in suffering is this: your promise preserves my life” (Psalm 119:50). Remember how God worked so wonderfully to solve our greatest problem. The burden of sin we could never carry. The consequence of guilt we could never dodge. The sentence of death we could not avoid. So Jesus stepped in for us and shouldered them all. The cross and the tomb—both empty now—mark Jesus’ great victory.

And his victory is your victory. So resist the urge to give in to those feelings of defeat. Don’t shrink back in fear. Don’t separate yourself from others. Don’t become bitter. Don’t give up. Otherwise, you will miss the help God wants to give you.

All around the problem of suffering, God’s help is ready and waiting. Look up and find confidence: “My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 121). Look into God’s word where he promises, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). Look back and recall how God has helped you through past challenges. Look around and find Christian friends eager to give you a hand and fold hands for you in prayer. Look ahead and see the open heaven God has in store for you through Jesus.

God promises to bring you safely through the tunnel of trouble. Trust his goodness!