Jesus found him in a cemetery, and his story is in the fifth chapter of Mark.  As Jesus stepped out of a boat, a demon-possessed man stormed out of a cave.  The demons begged to be sent into a herd of pigs.  Jesus consented, and 2000 demon-possessed pigs threw themselves into the sea. The people begged Jesus to leave their area.  Why?  Fear of change.  But before Jesus left, he told the man freed from demons to “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you and how he has had mercy on … Listen Now

The first miracle of Jesus was at a wedding—no small event.  For several days, there was gift-giving, speechmaking, food-eating, and wine-drinking.   Hospitality was a sacred duty.  The absence of wine was a social embarrassment.  Mary asks her son to help, and he tells her that his “time has not yet come.” But he changed his plan to meet the needs of his friends. This miracle tells us that what matters to you matters to God. You are his child.  So go ahead. Tell God what hurts.  He won’t turn you away or think it’s silly.  Hebrews 4:15-16 says, “For our high … Listen Now

Peter did what he swore he wouldn’t do.  Three times the salt of Peter’s betrayal stung the wounds of the Messiah.  And he would never forget the look on Jesus’ face.  So Peter returned to Galilee.  Once again he had fished all night with no success.  And a voice from shores yells, “Try the other side!”  When John recognized Jesus, Peter swam to shore and stood in front of the friend he betrayed. For once, Peter was silent.  The moment was too holy for words. What do you say at a moment such as this?  It’s just you and God.  You … Listen Now

Nicodemus was a Pharisee.  Pharisees measured spirituality by outer appearance, rules and standards. Legalism versus grace. The legalist looks at salvation as a wage earned on deeds done.  Grace sees salvation as a gift based on Christ’s death. Jesus told Nicodemus, “God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life.” Nicodemus had never heard such words, but they bore fruit.  We see him again in John 19:39-42, and this time he appears in the light of day.  He and Joseph of Arimathea … Listen Now

Lovebursts.  We all have them.  Spontaneous affection.  Tender moments of radiant love.  They remind you about what matters. Jesus had lovebursts…lots of them.  One of them happened when four men lowered their paralytic friend through a roof to reach Jesus.  And faith got God’s attention.  Mark 2:5 says, “When Jesus saw the faith of these people, he said to the paralyzed man, ‘Young man, your sins are forgiven.’” To heal the man’s body took a simple command.  To forgive the man’s sins took Jesus’ blood.  Jesus already knew the price of forgiveness.  But he offered it anyway.  Love burst his heart. … Listen Now

In the fifth chapter of John we find the story of an invalid.  He couldn’t walk.  He couldn’t work.  He couldn’t even get into the pool of Bethesda.  He was out of options.  But God’s efforts are strongest when our efforts are useless.  Jesus told the man, “Stand up.  Pick up your mat and walk.”  And the man immediately obeyed. I wish we would do that.  I wish we would take Jesus at his word.  What is this peculiar paralysis that confines us—this stubborn unwillingness to be healed?  When he says we’re forgiven, let’s unload the guilt.  When he says … Listen Now

“If you can do anything for him, please have pity on us and help us.” This prayer in Mark 9:22 doesn’t sound courageous or confident.  It was the prayer of a desperate parent with a demon-possessed son in need of a miracle. Most of our prayer lives could use a tune-up.  Some prayer lives lack consistency.  Others need sincerity.  And some honestly wonder if prayer makes a difference. We are tempted to wait to pray until we know how to pray. Notice that Jesus responded to the man’s prayer. God is more moved by our hurt than our eloquence. Our prayers may … Listen Now

There is a line, a fine line, which once crossed can be fatal. It’s the line between disappointment and anger.  If you are nearing that line, I urge you not to cross it. When God doesn’t do what we want, it’s not easy.  Never has been.  Never will be.  But faith is the conviction that God knows more than we do about this life, and he will get us through it.  Remember, disappointment is caused by unmet expectations.  And disappointment is cured by revamped expectations. God is still in control.  Life’s mishaps and tragedies are not a reason to bail out.  … Listen Now

The dawning of old age. Empty nest. Bifocals. Everything hurts when you wake up. And what doesn’t hurt, doesn’t work. Regret can become a major pastime and may lead to rebellion against whatever ties you down. Growing old can be dangerous, so you need to be prepared. Luke 17:33 advises, “Whoever tries to keep his life safe will lose it, and the man who is prepared to lose his life will preserve it.”  The wisest are not the ones with the most years in their lives, but the most life in their years. You can take the safe route, or you can hear … Listen Now

We don’t know her name, but we know her situation.  According to the 5th chapter of Mark, she “had been bleeding for twelve years.  She suffered very much from many doctors and had spent all the money she had; but instead of improving she was getting worse.” She was physically exhausted and socially ostracized. She extended her arm through the crowd thinking, If only I can touch him.  When her dilemma met His dedication, a miracle occurred.  With that small, courageous gesture, she experienced Jesus’ tender power. God’s help is near and always available, but it is only given to those who … Listen Now