Romans 15.15
I have written you quite boldly on some points to remind you of them again…

Top 3 of 2018
By John Tillman

Picking my own “Best Of” was too hard. So, I’m letting Google Analytics pick for me. These are the top three most visited posts not written by a guest author in 2018.

Hope on a Limb :: Hope of Advent

It is difficult for posts late in the year to compete with ones from earlier in the year that had time to build traffic and be mentioned multiple times. I’m thrilled that this one, from only a month ago, made the top spot. It’s not only the top post written by myself, but the top most visited page on our entire site for 2018. People are looking for hope…

“We can be assured as we stand on Zacchaeus’s hope-filled Sycamore limb, that the King of Glory we hope for will not pass us by. The colt will carry our King. And in the end, all the broken who enter the courts of His temple, will be healed.

What are you waiting for? Climb up on the limb in hope.”

The Seductive Idolatry of Politics :: Readers’ Choice

Politics is what people who have no faith in God must turn to for earthly salvation. Christians can and must do better. Since writing this post, several other pastors and writers have picked up the thread. May many more do so.  May we abandon all our idols, but most importantly the idol of politics and politicians.

“Politics is the most powerful new religion of this millennium. It continually plays on the kind of imagery we see in Revelation. But outside of Christ there will never be a day when every nation, tribe, people, and language are united. Politics promises this unity and diversity but instead gains its power from fear and division.”

Killing With our Hearts

After writing this post, a reader jokingly commented, “you take the fun out of everything.” She was right. Issuing a stinging rebuke can be fun and Jesus spoke his share of zingers. But so many times we excuse our sinful and petty hatreds by hiding behind Christ’s impassioned language that, we must remember, had a goal of calling people to him, not destroying them.

Too often lately, Christians have participated in, or stood by allowing, hate-filled rhetoric. As Saul, who became Paul, can tell you, you don’t have to throw stones at someone to be guilty of their blood. You just have to hold the coats of those who do.

“Christ’s words about how murder begins with inner violence, adultery begins with inner lust, and divorce is not only adultery, but a victimization of the vulnerable party are as shockingly harsh to modern ears as they would have been to the original audience.”

Moving On…

As we move into 2019, we will continue to allow God’s Word to speak to us, to disturb our comfort, to disrupt our thinking mired in selfishness, and to spur us on to love and good deeds.

Share one of these posts (or this one) with someone who you will walk through the scriptures with this year. As the African proverb goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.”

Prayer: The Greeting
The Lord lives! Blessed is my Rock! Exalted is the God of my salvation! — Psalm 18:46

– Prayer from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle.

Prayers from The Divine Hours available online and in print.

Today’s Readings
Genesis 3 (Listen – 4:14)
Matthew 3 (Listen – 2:21)

Additional Reading
Read More about The Value of Words
Our culture values hard-hitting, biting words. The Internet swarms to support meanness. Crowds applaud words that degrade and attack. The Internet loves to verbally “stone” its victims, and too often Christians participate or give support to those who do, “holding the coats” of those who attack and degrade others.

Read More about Supporting Our Work
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How far will you travel in God’s Word this year?
On January 1st we restarted our two year Bible reading plan in Genesis and the Gospel of Matthew. Join us on the journey. We read the Old Testament over two years and the New Testament and Psalms each year.

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Where will a journey through the Bible take your faith in the coming year? Jesus calls each of us, saying, “Follow me.”