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wake up your spirit during the week

This account of Jesus and the Samaritans touched me. They reveal so much about Him, which in contrast reveals something about me. Jesus always noticed those on the margins. The Samaritans definitely fit that bill. Notorious half-breeds, their very existence plagued their Israeli ...read more

The woman left her water jar. That may be the most telling, poignant verse of the entire passage. She left her water jar and went to tell people about Jesus. Remember, this lady came to the well in the heat of the day, presumably to avoid the verse people she is going to talk to ...read more

One element of my job which can be pretty heavy sometimes is talking to people whose lives are stuck in cycles of dysfunction. I’m talking about people who habitually make bad decisions. Every time they repent and recover from one, they go out of their way (it seems) to mak ...read more

I am always fascinated when reading the small details about Jesus’ mission in the Gospels. These are the things we often miss, because they simply set up the bigger story, but they reveal so much about who Jesus was and what His ministry was like. In this story, John tells ...read more

Scott Sauls once pointed out that he has never seen someone come to God because they were condemned by a Christian. He has only seen people come to God through the Gospel of Jesus’ love. These verses from John 3 are often considered the perfect expression of that Gospel: Go ...read more

We are the most educated country in the history of the world. By law, every child attends school from age 5 – AT LEAST age 16. Most people continue until age 22, and some go 2-4 years beyond that. Our schools are well-funded; we have resources at our fingertips; even childr ...read more

The old proverb states, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one, single step.” What it doesn’t tell you is that that journey rarely goes in a straight line. When you look back, later, on your progress, the line does sideways and doubles even makes circles ...read more

Hi, my name is Matthew, and I’m a recovering “Approval Addict.” Like most people, I crave the approval of other people. When I post on social media, I check regularly to see how many people have “liked” my post. I judge a picture on how I look in it, ...read more

Some stories about Jesus are widely misunderstood; this is one of them. Of course, that should not surprise anyone. Jesus was misunderstood even while He lived on this earth. If those living with Him in that culture at that time struggled to understood the things He said and did, ...read more

Jesus’ first miracle is not at all what we might expect. It certainly wasn’t a “burst-on-the-scene” moment, since only His mother, His Disciples, and a couple servants even knew what had happened. And it wasn’t a “wow-what-a-great-deed” m ...read more

Sometimes I try to imagine what it must have been like to be one of the Disciples. I think we forget that these were real men with real families and children (some of them) and mortgages and responsibilities. They were uneducated, yet they did their best to understand the Scriptu ...read more

From the first moment Simon saw Jesus, his life was changed. That’s because from the first moment Jesus saw Simon, He saw something different than anyone had ever seen. Simon came to meet Jesus at the request of his brother, Andrew, a follower of John. Andrew heard John&rs ...read more

The Bible holds up very few “heroes” that really seem, well, heroic. We see the Abraham’s bouts of doubt and David’s bouts of lust; we see the Disciples at their very worst; our first glimpse of Paul is of him holding the coats of those who stoned Stephen. ...read more

Do you know what it’s like to wait for something that you really want? Like when you order a package online, and then you constantly check its status, hitting refresh again and again until you finally see that truck pull into your driveway. Or when you have been marking day ...read more

Who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose today? Those big, existential questions plague some people for their entire lives. They go on pilgrimages to the distant corners of the earth; they seek counsel from wise men and women who are considered visionaries; they read self-help ...read more

Light and darkness. Those two words form one of the Bible’s favorite contrasts. The world is dark. The human heart is dark. Our path is dark. The entire earth is the “doman in darkness.” But through God, there is light. God’s Word is light. Jesus is the li ...read more

“IN THE BEGINNING was the Word. This is where the story of Jesus begins – “In the Beginning.” My story begins in a hospital in Thailand in 1973; my children in a hospital in High Point in the early 2000’s. Every person who has ever lived as a birth d ...read more