red letters

On January 1, 2011, I began writing about the Red Letters. The things Jesus said in the gospels that are often printed in red. Today I begin revisiting those posts and making a few changes to them. Below is an index to these devotions as I republish them. Click on on titled link to read each post.

  1. blessed are the poor: Humility is rooted in the idea that we are poor and in need of help.
  2. people who grieve: We circle around our grief until we step into our pain.
  3. meekness and our need to be patient: Meekness is manifested as patience when we are injured.
  4. righteous hunger: We must hunger and thirst to be incarnate righteousness.
  5. the nature of mercy: Mercy flows into our lives when we exercise our mercy muscles.
  6. when I see with my heart: I see God and His kingdom when I see with my heart.
  7. the uncomfortable call of making peace: Life is too short to allow any sort of alienation in it.
  8. religious hatred: Sometimes theology can be the greatest stumbling block to loving humility.
  9. spiritual salt shakers: Being turned upside down, like a salt shaker, is really uncomfortable.
  10. the light of the new heart: The regenerated heart is one that is filled with light.
  11. for the love of bread: More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold.
  12. testing vs trusting: To test God is to not trust him.
  13. the prophetic fulfillment of the law: Every legal obligation and all Messianic prophecies.
  14. if someone calls you an idiot: Our reactions to name calling are important.
  15. the heart of divorce: A marriage can be destroyed by the hard heart of one party.
  16. the simplicity of yes: Wisdom is all about simplifying complex issues.
  17. spiritual justice: We would all be blind and toothless if we followed the letter of the law.
  18. unconditional enemy love: You cannot love your enemy if you have conditions.
  19. the power of pain: Will we allow pain to have power over us? Or will we transform it?
  20. the perfection that is love: We are perfect, as our heavenly father is perfect, when we love.
  21. the desire to be seen: Good things can become bad when done with the wrong motive.
  22. nondeductible donations: Real charity is all about the things that you cannot deduct on your taxes.
  23. praying like a hypocrite: An admonition to not pray to be seen and heard by others.
  24. divine will: Manifested in things that are small, priceless, hidden and eternal.
  25. food and forgiveness: We need both physical and spiritual bread to live.
  26. praying for deliverance: Life is a spiritual battle and we need God to fight the evil in our lives.
  27. his kingdom. eternal. amen.: I always end with these words when I pray the Lord's prayer.
  28. invisible treasure: When we love unconditionally we lay up treasure in heaven.
  29. spiritual cataracts: If left untreated spiritual cataracts can form and obscure the light.
  30. misplaced love: How we use money is often representative of how we serve God.
  31. an antidote for worry: We cannot think our way out of worry.
  32. seek first to love: Walking in love is evidence that we are seeking his kingdom.
  33. the toxic paralysis of worry: Worry is a toxic state of despair, unbelief and hopelessness.
  34. the reflection of judgment: Judging others can be a reflection of the way that we see ourselves?
  35. cataract surgery: We cannot perform spiritual surgery on ourselves.
  36. discerning a fool: Sharing our hearts with foolish people will often break our hearts.
  37. transforming prayer: Prayer is not about getting things but getting to know God better.
  38. he only gives us good things: It is always best to simply lean into the character of God.
  39. the essence of the bible: How we treat people reveals the influence of God in our lives.
  40. the narrow way of love: The Sermon on the Mount and walking the narrow road.
  41. character vs charisma: Dogmatic answers or humble words that cause you to seek.
  42. doing vs knowing: Why we do things religious things is more important than actually doing them.
  43. bedrock faith: Faith does not keep us from the storms but it does keep us in the storms.
  44. reader vs author: Jesus spoke as the author of holy writ.
  45. healing touch: Jesus' response to this leper teaches me about the heart of God and ministry.
  46. the heart of intercession: A great example of what it means to be an intercessor.
  47. pain magnets: There is something therapeutic about releasing the things that cause us to suffer.
  48. letting go of security: Following Jesus requires us to let go of earthly security.
  49. gripped with fear: Storms come into our lives to give us an opportunity to exercise our faith.
  50. going and knowing: The simplicity of Jesus' reaction to the demons is mind boggling.
  51. religious callousness: Religious folks judge with callous disregard for the suffering of others.
  52. outcasts: It is so amazing that so many outcasts wrote the scriptures.
  53. mourning, grief and facebook: Loss can create a judgmental attitude in us towards others.
  54. old clothes. sour wine.: The new covenant is not a patch for the old but a replacement of it.
  55. the miracle maker: We can only come in humility, bowing and asking God for help.
  56. spiritual not cerebral: Believing that God has the power to help me is not really about my theology.
  57. unholy spirits: Human history indicates that evil has existed from the beginning.
  58. spiritual farmers and shepherds: Genuine spiritual leaders have a heart for individuals.
  59. the untouchables: Like lepers, many are shunned today because of things in their lives.
  60. carry-on baggage: I do not need extra baggage to be complete. I am already complete.
  61. the wisdom of lambs: To be "innocent as doves" a person must have no personal agenda.
  62. spiritual words: God will supply the words if we will patiently wait for his voice.
  63. spiritual survival: Senator John McCain died yesterday leaving us with a clear vision of survival.
  64. a response to malignment: Faith is having an inner strength that endures bad treatment.
  65. going public: Being transparent about life, failures, mistakes and sins can be a risky business.
  66. the-life-of-sparrows: To know God is to trust him.
  67. phony godliness: Jesus is the yardstick and plumb line by which all godliness is measured.
  68. agents of grace: Grace is something that we receive so that we can give it away.
  69. divine apprenticeship: The very nature of apprenticeship is to create an atmosphere of humility.
  70. the offence of unanswered prayers: Faith is all about our reactions to unanswered prayers.
  71. when less is more: Our lives are greater as they testify to the reality of heaven's kingdom.
  72. religious bullies: The Pharisees are a compelling reminder to us of the dark side of religion.
  73. positive repentance: Repentance is not so much what you turn from but Who you turn to.
  74. spiritual children: Children are believing because they have not been taught to be unbelieving.
  75. the root of peace: Peace will accompany humility because it calls us to release control.
  76. the Lord of the Law: Why follow the Law when you can follow the Lord of the Law?
  77. callous indifference: Can you imagine coming to the ER and it is closed because it is Sunday?
  78. religious divisions: Divisions embrace an unhealthy inward focus that ignores hurting people.
  79. spiritual slander: If one confuses right with wrong, they will continue to slander what is right.
  80. evil hearts: The truth is that we all need a new heart that is not desperately wicked.
  81. seeking proof: I have learned that seeking signs and seeking God are polar opposites.
  82. worse than the first: When a person continually rejects the Holy Spirit they harden their heart.
  83. spiritual family: Our spiritual family is far greater than the people we see on Sunday morning.
  84. spiritual seeds: We have no control over how a person will hear what we say.
  85. hidden messages: Ever heard a joke and just didn't get it even when it was explained to you?
  86. spiritual eyes and ears: My life changed as I began to see and hear life through God's eyes.
  87. the four hearts: Hard hearts. Shallow hearts. Strangled hearts. Persevering hearts.
  88. human weeds: It is not always so easy to identify the human kind of weed.
  89. small seeds: Lives have been changed just because a solitary seed was sown in the ground.
  90. spiritual expansion: These words remind me that a life that is spiritual is not a stagnant life.
  91. the hidden reign of the heavens: A beautiful way to visualize the kingdom of heaven.
  92. the last curtain call: At the end of our lives we will be like those fish Jesus speaks of.
  93. spiritual understanding: Our heads understand literally. Our hearts understand spiritually.
  94. spiritual familiarity: Familiarity can sometimes obscure the image of God.
  95. compassion, miracles and grief: Letting go of our fishes and loaves.
  96. the fourth watch: Maybe we have to exhaust all of our options before God shows up?
  97. uncomfort zones: Peter's story gives us a pathway out of our comfort zone.
  98. awestruck: How do you react to something amazing that you cannot understand?
  99. hypocritical-rules: Often religious people elevate their own rules to the level of scripture.
  100. spiritual defilement: Religious folks often focus on the externals rather than the essentials.
  101. the wisdom of ignoring leaders: Following a blind leader will cause you to fall.
  102. healing tears: What image do you see when read about the compassion of Christ?
  103. tenacious faith: The story inspires me to press in and pray when answers seem so far away.
  104. divine fingerprints: In every sunrise and sunset and baby's face. I see evidence of God.
  105. religious influencers: We must watch and beware of who we allow to influence our lives.
  106. messianic revelation: Jesus Christ, the most controversial person who ever lived.
  107. on this bedrock: The church is built on the bedrock of Jesus.
  108. eternal focus: In focusing on the visible we lose sight of things eternal and invisible.
  109. the ecstacy of self-sacrifice: Self-sacrifice is all about the embracing of pain and suffering.
  110. comfort in scary times: They were flat on their faces, scared to death, when he touched them.
  111. religious blindness: Who could ever imagine that we ourselves might reject God in the flesh?
  112. seed-like faith: I love how Jesus is speaks hyperbolically in his teaching about prayer.
  113. a greatly distressing message: The gospel is a greatly distressing message.
  114. blessed taxes: Perhaps our attitude should be one of thankfulness for those who serve us?
  115. kingdom humility: Unless you become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
  116. overcoming sin: Perhaps heaven can be described as a place that is absent of sin?
  117. angelic emulation: When one of us strays our heart should demonstrate heavenly compassion.
  118. the one percent: Our call is seek out and help those who have gotten lost in our culture.
  119. the heart of reconciliation: Each of us can relate to the idea of complaining when we are offended.
  120. seventy times seven: One who keeps an account of forgiveness does not understand it.
  121. divine concessions: Why not overcome a concession than merely live into it?
  122. growing into the largeness of marriage: Marriage provides us with opportunities for growth.
  123. childlike hearts: Heaven belongs to those who are like children.
  124. possessive possessions: Materialistic people often appear very moral.
  125. fat cat camels: I laughed when I was reminded of the context of this verse.
  126. when unfair is made fair: In that new day the pecking order of this age will expire.
  127. divine philanthropy: Life is all about the generosity of God.
  128. walking towards suffering: Jesus did not back down from pain but headed straight for it.
  129. into your hands: The Son of God was not a victim of circumstances
  130. Jonah and Jesus: Both were missing - deemed dead and gone.
  131. the first message after the resurrection: The message is both timeless and universal.
  132. willful ignorance: Skeptics think that it is 'intellectual' to dismiss eye witness accounts.
  133. power suits: The bravest of them lacked the ability to continue Jesus' mission
  134. breakfast with friends: This is such a beautiful story of friendship and discipleship.
  135. seeing past our shame: Peter so needed the Lord to drag him out of his shame.
  136. where you do not want to go: Following Jesus requires us to look up and not look around.
  137. divine discipleship: Most of Jesus' own mission on earth was spent discipling uneducated people.
  138. spiritual baptism: Christians have an ongoing need for forgiveness and spiritual empowering.
  139. a witness to spiritual influence: Our lives witness to the Holy Spirit's influence in our lives.
  140. the seduction of power: For years my ambition for position created a dissatisfaction in my life.
  141. blindness, desperateness and healing: I was shocked when Ellen passed the eye test.
  142. an invitation into our pain: Come into my pain Lord Jesus.
  143. a hangout for thieves: Unfortunately religious thieves still mislead and manipulate.
  144. they were angry: How blind must a person be to not see divinity in a worker of miracles?
  145. an evidence of faith: It takes a belief in someone greater than ourselves to pray.
  146. the authority of love: Our authority is heavenly when we love.
  147. loving the unlovable: The challenge is to be the embodiment of a different sort of person.
  148. few are chosen: I so wish that Jesus said 'many' instead of 'few'.
  149. a taxing perspective: Often questions tell us quite a bit about the one who is asking them.
  150. things illogical and invisible: What if his words disagreed with our ideology and theology?
  151. the ministry of amateurs: God's working through fisherman and plumbers is often discounted.
  152. in the midst of wolves: Sometimes life is a bit scary and so out of control
  153. the source of fear: In reality, our fears evidence a trust in things seen rather than things unseen
  154. a personal resurrection: Life is all about letting go and embracing new plans.
  155. humble presence: Jesus is a king who comes in absolute humility.
  156. taking on immortality: In this passage the words 'life' and 'soul' are the same word.
  157. eternal consequences: Things that seem temporal may have eternal consequences.
  158. few are chosen: I so wish that Jesus said 'many' instead of 'few'.
  159. theological assumptions: I have been blinded to biblical truth because of assumptions.
  160. all encompassing and all consuming: Jesus made it clear that loving God is not enough.
  161. inconspicuous ministry: Sadly, some minister to attract attention to themselves.
  162. call no one pastor: We are all equal as brothers and sisters.
  163. be content to be yourself: Better to serve with no motive other than just being yourself.
  164. open to interpretation: Some see the bible as a closed book rather than an unfolding mystery.
  165. our word should be sacred: Our character and our word should reflect that of Christ.
  166. on tithing and tipping: Genuine faith causes one go past what they owe God.
  167. the spiritual dead: Bad behavior often evidences the absence of inner spiritual life.
  168. hypocrites and heretics: Prophets are not accepted because they challenge the status quo.
  169. the invitation to bow: A day is coming when every knee will bow.
  170. temporal captivations: What is it about stuff that so garners our attention?
  171. birth-pains: It is so easy to get distracted by predictions of future events.
  172. the end will come: Maranatha. Come Lord Jesus.
  173. for our sake: Reminds me that God is sovereign and reigns even in the darkest of times.
  174. like swift lightning: Can you imagine that day when the Son of God comes again?
  175. eternal words: The words that Jesus spoke are timeless and powerful.
  176. an unexpected hour: Jesus' message in this passage is all about staying awake spiritually.
  177. always be ready: Living in wisdom is how we prepare ourselves for things to come.
  178. spiritual investing: I sometimes think that faithfulness is the currency of the kingdom.
  179. from a throne of splendor: He who laid down his life now sits in judgment.
  180. my religious ego: We sometimes do good things for the wrongs reasons.
  181. intentions: People with good intentions often make mistakes and err in judgment.
  182. spiritual darkness: This passage is a stark contrast between light and darkness.
  183. extravagant giving: This passage is one of Jesus' great teaching on generosity.
  184. the dark path of disappointment: No one had a clue what what betrayal would look like.
  185. an intimate table: One of Jesus' last desires was to spend an intimate meal with his friends.
  186. spiritual impotence: Following God has never been about fleshly power or weaponry.
  187. courage to trust: In times of great pain and struggle it takes courage to trust the Lord.
  188. when friends desert you: All I can see is Jesus standing all alone and with a broken heart.
  189. a quick stop to the revolution: Spiritual battles never are won with swords.
  190. the influence of darkness: He who came in peace was treated like a criminal.
  191. the seduction of earthly religion: Court is in session and the religion of humankind is on trial.
  192. spiritual boldness: Spirituality marked by boldness rather than boasting.
  193. the divine king: He is the King of kings and Lord of lords.
  194. he is more: He is more than a great teacher or a great prophet.
  195. the friendship gospel: Jesus is a virtual unknown and people are bringing their friends him.
  196. the word became flesh: Who could have grasped that God Almighty was taking on human flesh?
  197. manifestations of glory: Perhaps all miracles are manifestations of the glory of God?
  198. zealous for our hearts: Do not make my Father's house a house of trade.
  199. spiritual understanding: Mental rationalizations often trump inner understandings.
  200. the inner wind of the heart: One might argue that being born again was part of Jewish teaching.
  201. the gift of immortality: All creation is born mortal and do not survive death.
  202. the dark side: Christ mostly confronted the darkness of religious people.
  203. spiritual influence: Humility tells us that God's influence must increase in our lives.
  204. spiritual thirst: Simple conversations can become so profound.
  205. worship is spiritual not geographical: it is not about where we worship or the church building
  206. spiritual food: Apart from love all ministry is void of anything spiritual.
  207. exercising trust in a crisis: God is at work even when things seem out of control.
  208. the loneliness of suffering: Those in pain should not have to suffer alone.
  209. religious vs spiritual people: Commentary on Jesus' conflicts with religious leaders
  210. spiritual-intimacy: Teresa of Calcutta was a witness to such an intimacy.
  211. the only one qualified to judge: he was tempted as we are yet did not sin
  212. being open to hear: Comprehension is more than simply hearing what someone says.
  213. humanity on trial: from one of the crosses, a man speaks and light enters the darkness
  214. two men dying: One is transformed as he waits to die.
  215. the human on the cross: The message is greater than a fulfillment of prophecy.
  216. feeling alone and forsaken: knowing that he experienced forsakenness gives me courage
  217. the human debt: our debt of love was paid in full by redeeming love.

... click on this tag to see all of my Red Letter postings.

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