The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree

Luke 13: 6-9 “And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?’And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’” …

The Fragrance of Christ

  God takes the places where others see dry, broken, dusty nothingness and he brings great beauty. As believers in Christ we have been set apart. In the midst of a desert each one of us is blooming for Him. In his grace he has turned us from death, from the ugliness of sin, and he has given us salvation if we will just receive it. He has taken our ugliness and made it beautiful. 2 Corinthians [2:15] “For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” When …

When Faith Falters

  Grace can find you in the mundane. It captures you in the most difficult moments and stops you in awe. It sneaks up on you in snapshots of children playing, it guts you as you hold the hand of a loved one breathing their last, it never abandons you even when your faith is not strong enough to hold on. In moments of pain, loneliness, or insurmountable odds it is sometimes difficult to see purpose. It takes great faith to surrender to providence. We learn to hope and find encouragement from our own experiences of grace as well as the …

Serve Others

  Jonah ran from God because he did not feel others were deserving of God’s grace. God gives His grace to whom He pleases and asks us to serve others to show them this grace. He did not leave us without an example. In fact He gave us the greatest example, His own son. When Christ knelt at the feet of the disciples in the upper room, He did not grumble that no one else took the initiative. Instead, He willingly did the task of a servant even with crucifixion looming. He did not say look what I’ve done or am …

Grace Enough for Me…but Not for You

Have you heard the story of Jonah? He was a man called by God to do something he had no desire to do. So he ran. He hopped on a boat and went the opposite direction. But God didn’t let him get away. A great storm frightened the sailors so they cast lots to see which one of them had angered which god. When Jonah’s disobedience was discovered he was thrown overboard. The rain stopped. A big fish swallowed Jonah and he sat in its belly for three days. He wasn’t forgotten. He cried out to God and the fish …

When I Mess Up

  Temptations sometimes over take me. I’m fragile, weak, human. I struggle with the same insecurities, the same temptations, the same sins over and over. It is irrational to think that in the midst of the grace God has bestowed on me I continue to sin. The Apostle Paul wrote “For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.” (Romans 7: 15) Sin is a constant struggle. Its ugliness alienates us from God and from others. And yet we continue to slip. We are …

Look for the Escape

There have been many times in life where temptations have seemed impossible to overcome. As I watch my children playing it is evident that they face the same struggles. Today, it is the challenge to stay focused and clean rather than sit and play. I know that their tomorrows will bring temptations, temptations that will carry greater consequences then a simple scolding from their mother. If it were not for God’s promises, promises He has proven true in my life many times, I would be fearful for my children. 1 Corinthians [10:13] speaks of God’s faithfulness. Though we face temptations …