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It Matters

They chose Nicholas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism (Acts 6:5). We've been looking at how the first Christians responded to a significant challenge and problem, a disparity in treatment between the Hebraic and Grecian widows. Usually, when we hear a sermon on this passage, we're looking at the beginning of the "office of deacon" and think the major take-away has to do...

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Listen Up!

Acts 6:1-7 When you're driving your car and hear a new noise, one that's different than normal, you become alarmed and rightly so. If you're wise you gather information about the noise -- when does it occur, at what speeds, in what temperatures, etc. -- you seek to determine its cause, and you take steps to fix it. If you're unwise you can ignore it, hoping it will go awa...

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A Better Way

This proposal pleased the whole group ... So the word of God spread (Acts 6:5a, 7a). I was in my second year of teaching. My students were third graders and we were off to a good start. One day a new girl joined our class. I didn't know why, but the kids didn't welcome her as I expected they would. Trying to make up for their cold shoulder, I paid extra attention to her. ...

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The Mosaic

In those days when the number of disciples was increasing,the Hellenistic Jewsamong them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widowswere being overlooked in the daily distribution of food (Acts 6:1). So you think we've got problems, huh? The truth of the matter is that problems have existed in the church from the very beginning. God is building a spiritual ...

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From Mixed to Fixed

the Grecian Jews complained against Hebraic Jews (Acts 6:1). Everything human has problems. This does not mean that every single thing humans do is bad. Just that it is mixed, a mixture of some of our best impulses and some of our worst, of mistaken certainties and honest questions, of motives base and noble, of God's Spirit and our sinfulness. This "mixture principle" ...

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The View from the Same Side

A priest, when he saw the man, passed by on the other side. So, too, a Levite saw himand passed by on the other side. But when a Samaritan came to where the man was he went to him (Luke 10:31-34). What we do is heavily dependent on what we see what we are willing to see. The priest and Levite in this parable see a danger, a not-my-problem situation. We don't know what ...

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What Good Looks Like

But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came to where the man was;and when he saw him, he took pity on him (Luke 10:33). Samaritans were a people the Jewish faithful had despised for generations. So it is ironic that their name has become forever paired with "good." That has happened because, with this story of the Samaritan, Jesus shows us what good looks like. The Samaritan ...

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Overheard

Luke 10:25-37 "Whwhwhat happened? Where am I?" "You're at the Jericho Palms Motel, pal. I run the place." "What am I doing here? How did I get here? Ouch! What's the story with all these bandages?" "You don't know what happened to you?" "Let's see I had some business in Jerusalem, and was heading home, and oh, my: I remember now! It was terrible what they did to me ...

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Love Your Enemies

But he wanted to justify himself,so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" (Luke 10:29) To the first-century Jewish mind, the Parable of the Good Samaritan is scandalous. I remember hearing it as a kid, and without any understanding of the historical setting of the story, it still made sense. Out of three who saw the injured man, only one was willing to love his neigh...

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Subversive Stories

In reply, Jesus said, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho " (Luke 10:30). We're continuing our new Race, Power and Healing series by listening to one of Jesus' most familiar and beloved parables. "Good Samaritan" has entered our language and even our legal system despite many people no longer knowing where the phrase originated. This sermon series began with ...

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