As the time approached for him to be taken to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. Luke 9:51 (NIV)

As with many quotations, it’s difficult to determine who first said, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Here in Luke, we find Jesus facing his final journey into Jerusalem. The emphasis was on the time for him to return to heaven, but the cross was in the way.

We might struggle to get going when you and I face overwhelming obstacles. We must understand and focus on...

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“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)

Pain, suffering, and tribulation are not pleasant topics of conversation. It is natural to desire to avoid pain. And yet, Jesus is telling his disciples that “in this world,” they would experience trouble, pain and suffering, tribulation, and ultimately, all of them except John would face martyrdom because of their faith.

The th...

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Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness, for without it no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14 (NET)

It is time to renew a conversation about holiness. The reactions will vary from “what is holiness?” to “isn’t holiness about not wearing makeup and jewelry, were not going to the theater?” It is a subject fraught with opinions, informed or otherwise. And yet, the Bible emphasizes its importance as critical and essential.

If we take Hebrews 12:14 seriously, ignoring holiness would put us in...

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My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? James 2:1 (NLT)

A poignant scene in the Jesus Revolution Movie was when Chuck Smith (portrayed by Kelsey Grammar) was at the church’s front door, washing the feet of the hippies who had come. Earlier, his elders had issued him an ultimatum. They did not want to see “this kind” in their comfortable little church. Chuck Smith stood his ground and said this to tho...

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You meant to hurt me, but God turned your evil into good to save the lives of many people, which is being done. Genesis 50:20 (NCV)

One of the first movies I remember seeing in the theater was the “Sound of Music.” In that movie, Julie Andrews sang the song “My Favorite Things.” The favorite things enumerated in the song are not extravagant, lofty, or expensive items but relatively simple things like “raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens,” and so on.

Likewise, my favorite words may...

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