All of us, when we look in the mirror, should see a little of Ezra and Nehemiah looking back at us.
No parable Jesus told is more lovely than the prodigal son, his brother, and their father. Look up Rembrandt's painting of it, and Nouwen's book.
"If there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things" -- Philippians 4:8
"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy." -- Exodus 20:8
Oh to see ourselves as others see us, prayed the poet Robert Burns.
When life breaks you, the world may sympathize or merely shrug. But it's just the moment God has been waiting for.
No point fretting about the mess our country is in, when the early Christians had it so much worse and still managed to be a shining light.
It's a jolt when you start reading the psalms as if they were your own diary or autobiography.
Maybe the Christ-followers in this country need to rethink the balance between our rights and our self-sacrifice.
Nehemiah reads like a readiness handbook for Christians in the time of Obama, Putin, Clinton, and Trump.
Throw the Apostle Paul in jail, no problem. He just rejoiced all the more.
Imagine the Lord's scathing rebuke to the heartless sentimentalists in our culture who sympathize more with a puppy in the pound than a baby in the womb.
Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening" devotional commentary is a new favorite on my desk. The great Victorian preacher can get a lot from a little, as today in Psalm 17. I recommend him.
How easy it is to take our eye off the ball. And how costly!
Reading how Ezra mortified himself before God in contrition for the people's unfaithfulness, I'm again uneasy here in my comfy comfort zone.
Consider the lilies, or if you prefer, the Colorado aspen gold of autumn. King Solomon was not more royally clothed.
As our politics get ever uglier and further off course, how good to know "We have here no continuing city, but we seek one to come" (Hebrews 13.14). God help us not to be, individually or as a nation, fools who pile up the wrong values in bigger barns.
How truly do I tremble with awe and reverence at Almighty God?
How awful if the key to all knowledge, brought from hiding and given us by Jesus at great cost, sat dusty and discarded in some drawer of mine,
As bad as it is to have lies told about us, sometimes having the truth told about us is even worse.