25 Weeks – 10/17/2016 to 4/17/2017
Overview – William Barclay of Scotland wrote that “a minister sees people at their best; a lawyer sees people at their worst; and a doctor sees people as they are.” The writer of the gospel of Luke was a doctor. Perhaps he saw people as they are and realized they needed the Christ he wrote about in his gospel. Luke’s gospel is “simple”, meaning not complex or complicated. He wrote what many think is the most beautiful of the four Gospel accounts. He tells the story of Jesus in an unadorned, unembellished way. It’s the longest series that I’ve ever preached and will ever preach. Let the simple Gospel touch your life!
When an American asked a British theologian by the last name of Denny if he could recommend a good account of the life of Christ, Denny responded, “Have you ever read the Gospel of Luke?” I pose he same question to you! Let it speak to you through the text and these messages.
Message 50 – Aired Week of 4/17/2017
The Real Deal!
I Corinthians 15:3-11
This Week – Last week, we looked at the passage in Luke 16 where Jesus shows His expertise on the subject of death. If He truly is the “resurrection and the life”, than that means He has the final word on life and death! That message was given right before Easter Sunday. Therefore, we follow up this week with that Easter message that states the facts about the resurrection of Christ from the dead. We call it the “real deal”.
Monday (4/17) – We begin with the results of a 20-year study of marriage by two professors. They summarized their two decade study with 6 conclusive truths about marriage. We use it as a stepping stone to talk about the basic truths of the Gospel according to the Apostle Paul in First Corinthians 15. If one were to summarize the message of Christ in just a few simple truths: this is it! Christ died, He was buried, and He rose again three days later! That is the gospel or good news!
Tuesday (4/18) – We talk about a man who happened to fly on the first day that flights resumed after the 9/11 hijackings in 2001. What happened on that plane that day was powerful. We talk about how Satan wants to “hijack” the truth about the gospel. Paul lists the elements that make up the “real deal” of the gospel story. It’s what we believe; it’s what we stand on as followers of Jesus Christ.
Wednesday (4/19) – What do you stand on as the ultimate truth in your life? If Jesus is the ultimate end of life itself, than the truth we “stand on” must be connected to Him. Anything less is to shortchange my life and existence. People stand on their resume, their bank accounts, and perhaps their educations. But to what end? When life ends, those things end. With Christ, when life ends, eternity with Him begins!
Thursday (4/20) – Paul talks about His life being changed by the grace of God. Any life that is changed is by the grace of God, including yours and mine. The One who conquered death can conquer those things in my life that hinder and obscure my view of Him. What does the Lord need to “conquer” in your life, that only He has the capacity to conquer?
Friday (4/21) – We close with the story of a cousin of mine who found out he had 6 months to live because of a cancer diagnosis. Although I lived in Atlanta at the time, I flew to Chicago to see him for the last time for just a few hours, and say goodbye. I was so grateful that He believed in the One who claimed to be the “resurrection and the life.” Although we parted with tears, we both believe in the hope that is in Christ! It’s the real deal!
Message 49 – Aired Week of 4/10/2017
The Expert on Life and Death
This Week – Whom do you consider to be an expert on the subject of death? Would it not be the One who said He was the “resurrection and the Life”? If that statement is true, then the top expert on life and death would have to be Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. No one would come close to his expertise and authority on the subject. This passage says volumes about death. What do you think?
Monday (4/10) – We begin with a humorous story of my 5 year-old daughter explaining to a Brigadier General in the Air Force what a “flight simulator” was. She had no idea who he was; very graciously he listened to my daughter wax on about her knowledge of the subject. I speculate what the Lord God almighty thinks when we “wax on” about our knowledge of life and death, what does He think? We read the text about life and death from Luke 16.
Tuesday (4/11) – The acronym is NDE, near death experience. We talk about a seminar at a hospital about the millions of Americans who claim to have had such an experience. We share from Luke about an actual death experience. What we discover from this account may speak to you about your life and yes, perhaps your death. It’s worth your time to read this passage and consider it.
Wednesday (4/12) – We talk about what happens at the very moment of death, from the viewpoint of the passage from Luke. It may make a powerful statement to you about your own death or even the death of a parent or loved one. Some told me after this message that they had never heard this idea ever in their lifetime! Again, the authority on life and death is not a minister, professor, or medical person: it’s the Lord God Almighty!
Thursday (4/13) – Is it possible that the belief in reincarnation came about as a desire to meet the need of people to live again? We talk about that teaching; people will say that they accept the concept of coming back again and again, and then turn around and say that they cannot intellectually accept the idea of the resurrection. Is that not amazing? It takes faith to believe in reincarnation!
Friday (4/14) – An earthly expert on death is a Christian man who lost three sons! What he says about death has profoundly impacted me. I think it will do the same for you! His story about what he and his wife faced and an illustration he uses about the death of a friend will touch you deeply. Don’t miss this segment of CrossHope today! I can’t stress this enough that you listen!
Message 48 – Aired Week of 4/3/2017
Good Lesson from a Bad Example
This Week – Is it possible to learn a positive or good lesson from a bad example. Actually, it is. We use negative examples in teaching our children. We all can remember times when a parent did that. In the passage we study this week, Jesus uses a “crooked manager” as an example of how to behave in the Kingdome of God! You and I can learn a lot from the lesson material of this story, told by Jesus.
Monday (4/3) – When I preached through the gospel of Luke in Columbus years ago, I chose to disregard this passage, thinking people might not understand it. How arrogant of me to think that! I was convicted that the One who wrote this was fully capable to convey its truth to those who hear it. I share this passage with you all this week about the “dishonest business manager” who Jesus complimented him for his shrewdness in dealing with the people of this world.
Tuesday (4/4) – The owner of an estate calls his manager in to tell him he was losing his job for wasting the money of the owner. He probably was stealing from the owner. Jesus actually holds up the example of the dishonest manager as something you and I can learn from. Jesus said that the “people of the world” are more creative in dealing with other people of the world, than Christians are with each other. Jesus wasn’t complimenting dishonesty or stealing; He wants us to use the same energy we use for the “world” and use for the Kingdom of God!
Wednesday (4/5) – We are all going to have to give an account for our lives someday. What does that mean? Simply what it says! We will have to give an account for everything the Lord has trusted to us! That includes your family, your income, your possessions, your opportunities. Does that give you pause? It does me! Everything we have is a gift from God; we are going to be held accountable for what has been entrusted to us. How much can the Lord trust you with?
Thursday (4/6) – The Lord poses the question, “if you haven’t been trustworthy with little, why would you be trustworthy with much?” We tell the true story about a man catching a fly ball at the St. Louis Cardinal’s stadium as an illustration of God trusting us with true riches. It’s a story that you and I need to hear! Maybe God withholds things from us because He knows what we would do with them!
Friday (4/7) – Jesus says that are things that we possess in our lives that are actually detestable to Him! Would it bother you and me to know that? I think so! We close with the words of a Broadway actress who makes one of the most profound statements I have ever heard in my life about money and things. It has strong implications for your life and mine in terms of what we consider “valuable” in our lives. Anything permanent in your life and the world has the name of Jesus connected to it!
Message 47 – Aired Week of 3/27/2017
Loving Rules or Loving People?
This Week – At some time in our lives, we all face the choice of choosing people over rules, people over structure, and people over systems. Jesus made His choice evident in Luke 13, when He healed a woman with a physical deformity that had plagued her for 18 years! The ruler of the local synagogue was more interested in “keeping the rules or customs” than actually releasing this woman from her bondage. We also talk about what binds us in 2017.
Monday (3/27) – Jesus heals a woman on the Sabbath day (Saturday) who had what doctors today believe was “spondylitis deformans”. She was permanently bent over by her spinal condition. Jesus simply called her to the front of the synagogue and laid hands on her and said, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Jesus speaks to the issue of people’s importance that trumps the importance of things.
Tuesday (3/28) – The hero in a book of science fiction that C.S. Lewis wrote, describes what sin is to beings from another planet that have never heard of that term. His choice of words to describe sin was this. The word he used was “bent”. The Lord deals with the “bent” condition in the woman in this passage; He also deals with the spiritual bent condition in you and me!
Wednesday (3/29) – We see people every day that are “bent” spiritually in their souls and spirits. We just don’t recognize their condition, but God does! We talk about shame being something that creates “bentness” in the lives of men and women today. We quote a woman who describes her living with shame like being in a prison without walls. Listen to her story!
Thursday (3/30) – We talk about two more forces that “bend” people, although certainly not the only ones. We talk about guilt and grief. Many people can relate to guilt as something that can cause “bentness” in our souls, but not grief. And yet, those who have gone through significant grief would be the first to say that the grief experience caused a “bent” situation for them emotionally and spiritually! Grief can be a form of bondage.
Friday (3/31) – I’ve always been interested in people who come into the ministry from another profession. We close with the true story of a paramedic who went into the ministry. His story speaks about the literal “bentness” in the bodies of people he encountered as a paramedic, then discovering the spiritual “bentness” of people that comes from shame, guilt, and grief. You really need to hear what he writes about; it will speak to your soul about what you’re dealing with right now. It really will.
Message 46 – Aired Week of 3/20/2017
The Absolute Necessity of Repentance!
This Week – A great African American minister led a seminar that I observed on preaching. He was asked, “How many points should a sermon have?” Gardner Taylor answered, “At least one!” I’ve never forgotten that admonition from this Brooklyn minister. We share two this week in a passage in Luke where Jesus actually refers to some current events of the day. It’s a great message on repentance.
Monday (3/20) – We begin with a story of me doing a “ride along” with my Cincinnati police sergeant brother- in- law. An employee of a company was stealing money from a cash box at the business. How he was caught would be funny if it weren’t so sad! It leads us into our text this week from Luke 13, where Jesus says twice, “Unless you repent, you too will perish!”
Tuesday (3/21) – Jesus refers to two current events where innocent people were killed. In one, people were murdered in the worship of God; the other was where a tower fell over an killed 18 bystanders . Jesus asks the rhetorical question, “Were these people worse sinners than others to deserve their death?” Jesus answer surprised his audience, just like it will surprise you and me.
Wednesday (3/22) – Jesus uses the story of the two tragedies to look at His audience and say twice, “Unless you repent, you too will perish” (to die spiritually). The Lord says that to you and to me in 2017. We tell a powerful story of a drug dealer’s encounter with death that lead to his repentance. Maybe it will speak to what’s going on in your life!
Thursday (3/23) – A person doesn’t usually repent until they feel the conviction of God in their life. We’ll talk about how repentance is both an “event” and a “process”. Where are you in the repentance need in your life? You may be facing a repentance event in your life; perhaps for you it will be the beginning of a process that may start today!
Friday (3/24) – I share stories often in my messages. It’s not often I share a story about a person that I know personally. He was an Army medic from Columbus, Ohio who was a part of the Normandy Invasion on June 6, 1944. His story is powerfully moving. Don’t miss this story. It wraps up this message about repentance in a dramatic way.
Message 45 – Aired Week of 3/13/2017
Figuring it all out?
This Week – Are you able to read the weather? Do you feel you can read the stock market or economic trends? Are you confident that you can “read” people or social situations? Jesus confronted the people of His day of being savvy about reading what was going on with the weather, but not with His ministry. They were able to figure things out physically, but not necessarily spiritually. That can happen in your life and mine!
Monday (3/13) – We begin by sharing the (humorous) chapter titles of a (serious) book called, “The Worst Case Survival Handbook”. It claims to be a quite series treatment of dealing with possible life- threatening or at least frightening situations. We then read our text from Luke 12, where Jesus chastises people for being able to read weather conditions, but seem to have no awareness of the time they lived in. It speaks to people today in 2017.
Tuesday (3/14) – Jesus talks about being reconciled to people here on earth, but many Bible scholars believe it’s a warning about being reconciled to our God before we die! I think it’s about both! In a sense, what difference would it make eternally to be reconciled to every person on earth, but not with the Creator of the Universe, the Lord God Almighty! That’s what happens when we come to Christ.
Wednesday (3/15) – Jesus does talk about being reconciled to people here on earth, so therefore that is important to Him! But the more that you read it, it’s most important to be reconciled to God the Father through the Son. That’s why He came to this earth in the first place! We share a powerful true and recent story to illustrate that.
Thursday (3/16) – The Lord reveals Himself to people through His word, through His spirit, and through believers. People have asked me over the years what the most important thing that I teach and preach about in my ministry. Hands down it has to about calling people to make a decision about who Jesus is, and what He has done that impacts eternity. That is no small thing in your life or mine!
Friday (3/17) – We close with one of the most moving stories I have ever heard about reconciliation, told by my sister’s minster in Pittsburgh. She tells about her mother and step-father giving her to another family when she was just four! Can you imagine what that did to her emotionally? Listen to her story that will touch you in a profound way.
Message 44 – Aired Week of 3/6/2017
Good People, Bad Attitudes!
This Week – Most people who have been believers any length of time, identify more with the “elder brother” than they do with the younger or “prodigal” son. The older brother was a good son, obedient, faithful, and diligent. He also had a bad attitude toward his brother, and maybe even toward the father in the story! Can anyone relate to that?
Monday (3/6) – We begin with a story of a child who resented me getting something that they honestly felt should have come to them. It sets up the reading of the text in Luke 15, talking about the elder brother walking in on the party given for his wayward brother. To put it mildly, he was resentful. What do you resent in others in terms of what they have received and you haven’t?
Tuesday (3/7) – We talk about the “spirit” of the older brother. He became angry and refused to go into the celebration. He calls his brother, “this son of yours” to the father. The spirit of the older brother always assumes the worst and is more than willing to confess the sins of someone else. Sound familiar?
Wednesday (3/8) – Nowhere in the Bible does it say for you and I to confess the sins of others. But we are under orders to confess ours! Most people’s bitterness and resentment has a history! We illustrate that with a humorous story told by Dr. Fred Craddock. After you laugh, you will feel the conviction that hits us all!
Thursday (3/9) – The younger brother had committed the “sins of the flesh”; the older brother was guilty of committing the “sins of the spirit”. The older brother refused to “go in to the party”. What has resentment or bitterness caused you to do or not do? We talk about the greatest source of wounds in a marriage. It may surprise you and describe your marriage at the same time.
Friday (3/10) – We close the message by talking about possibly the greatest problem in people’s lives. Most people would never guess what it is! It impacts your life and the lives of people in your family, your school and your place of employment. We wrap up this message about this parable in a powerful way. Don’t miss the conclusion.
Message 43 – Aired Week of 2/27/2017
Too Gone for Too Long?
This Week – This week we begin a two week “series within a series” about the most famous story in the New Testament. According to Charles Dickens, the story in the gospel of Luke about the two sons is the most well-known of parables of Jesus. It’s a multifaceted story of your life and mine, because everyone can identify with one of the characters in the story.
Monday (2/27) – A simple beginning of the story begins with these words of Jesus: “A certain man had two sons”. We are introduced to the younger son who asks for his share of the inheritance. In Jewish culture, the younger son would receive one-third of the estate; the older son, two-thirds. He takes the money and spends it all! It gets deeper from there!
Tuesday (2/28) – Although the two “stars” of this story are two sons, the real hero is the Father. The younger son is able to go through all of his inheritance; then finds himself feeding pigs for a living. He comes to his senses and comes home dejected and broke. He offers to become a hired servant; the Father welcomes him home as a son whom he missed and loves.
Wednesday (3/1) – The younger son we’re told “went to a far country”. When we are out of fellowship with the Lord, we too can go to a “far country”. How? The younger son did that geographically. We can do that with the Lord, emotionally and spiritually. We get “sick” spiritually! But the time came when the son “came to his senses”.
Thursday (3/2) – Perhaps we need to pray for a loved one to “come to their senses”. When the son comes home, Jesus said the father saw him coming toward the house. Some people speculate in the context of the story that the father “just happened” to see him coming up the lane. We suggest that He never stopped looking for the son to come home!
Friday (3/3) – We close the message by recalling a movie from the 1930’s that was actually quite controversial at the time. It’s about a man who goes to prison for a murder his did not commit. The guilty man doesn’t confess for years until something happens: he’s forgiven by the man in prison! It’s a modern parable about the power of what God the Father does for us; He forgives us through the death of His Son on the cross. We are really all prodigals who need to come home to the Father!
Message 42 – Aired Week of 2/20/2017
Luke 14: 1-6
This Week – Has anyone ever said something to you that left you speechless? It’s happened to us all at one time or another. Jesus said something to a group of deeply religious people, known as Pharisees. It was actually just a fairly simple question. Yet Luke says, “They had nothing to say!” They were strangely tongue-tied because of the context of the conversation. Let it speak to you all this week.
Monday (2/20) – When people are watching you, is your behavior any different? Many times it is, if we’re honest. I begin by telling an embarrassing story out of my own life, when people were watching me at the Mall. What would do or say differently if you really thought that the Lord God Almighty was watching you. He is!
Tuesday (2/21) – We look at a passage in Luke where we’re told that Jesus was being “careful ly watched” to see if He would heal someone on the Sabbath Day (Saturday). We point out that the phrase to “watch carefully” in the Greek means to “watch someone scrupulously and insidiously”. We define those terms; it just may remind you of how you watched someone else recently. It may describe how someone watched you in a situation!
Wednesday (2/22) – People watch how we talk. Words are important to the Lord. People watch how we treat strangers. Some people think that we can be rude to those that we don’t know! How we treat strangers can say something about our walk with the Lord. People notice how we treat family members. There is something wrong when a husband or wife treats their spouse like a stranger; then turns around and treats a stranger with graciousness. Sound familiar?
Thursday (2/23) – Sometimes we treat the dead like the living; we treat the living like the dead! We are watched in how we treat other people in the body of Christ, the Church. People watch how we handle our money. You are being watched in every way including how we handle problems. To sum up this part of the message, you and I are being watched how we conduct our lives!
Friday (2/24) – Jesus healed a man with “dropsy” on the Sabbath. Dropsy is what doctors refer to as “edema”, the retention of fluid in our legs and feet. Instead of rejoicing that the man was healed, there were those watching who were “offended “that Jesus healed on the Sabbath! Luke says that Jesus “took hold” of the man to heal him. Jesus wants to take hold of you and me though our circumstances and through His word. Let Him do it!
Message 41 – Aired Week of 2/13/2017
The Rich Fool?
Luke 12: 13-21
This Week – Do you know anyone that you consider to be a greedy man or greedy woman? We all do. But have you ever considered the possibility that WE are greedy people? The test for greed that we give in this message may surprise you and me! We just may see the symptoms of greed in our lives as we look at what Jesus says about the subject in Luke.
Monday (2/13) – Clarence McCartney was a Presbyterian minister in Pittsburgh years ago. He tells of an angry church member who demanded that Clarence confront the man’s sister about a disputed inheritance. McCartney refused to do it, based on the passage of Luke that we study this week on CrossHope. It’s a passage that will speak to you and me about the greed that may just be in our lives today!
Tuesday (2/14) – Jesus is approached by a man who asked Him to confront his brother about a dispute over a family inheritance. Jesus refused to get in the middle of this dispute over money! The man may have wanted Jesus to use His power and authority to influence his brother, but perhaps had no intention of coming under the authority of Jesus himself.
Wednesday (2/15) – Life is not defined by what we have or by what we don’t have. We give a “three question test” about greed. If you and I are honest with our answers to these three questions, we may be surprised at our test results! Jesus tells the man a parable about a “rich fool”. A fool in the Biblical sense is not someone with an intellectual deficiency, but rather a character deficiency.
Thursday (2/16) – Today, we talk about the most moving funeral I have ever attended in my life. It was for a retired FBI agent. The eldest son shared one sentence that was life changing. It just may be exactly what some man or woman needs to hear! We end with another “three question test” regarding a life that honors God. You and I need to take this test as well!
Friday (2/17) – We share a story written by author Ben Patterson about life “whittling us down to our essence”. He believes that as you and I reach the end of our lives, all that will be left is what we REALLY are at the core of our lives. It’s a sobering piece of writing that convicted me when I read it. It just may do the same for you when you hear it.
Message 40 – Aired 2/6/2017
The Real Fear Factor
Luke 12: 4-7,22-34
This Week – What part does fear play in your life? Probably a bigger role than you and I both may think. We identify five areas of life that are really fear based emotions. In Luke 12, Jesus says one of the most dramatic things He ever said regarding the subject of fear! What He says may actually surprise you; it’s actually one of the strongest things that Jesus ever said in His ministry about anything.
Monday (2/6) – We begin with a story of a man who worked for the National Forest Service who encountered a bear on the trail he was traversing. He radioed for help, and was told to sit down and eat his lunch, and the bear would go away. That answer didn’t help, not because of a poor appetite, but because of fear!
Tuesday (2/7) – We discuss how anger, lying, jealousy, worrying, and even greed can really be manifestations of fear! What is going on in your life right now, if the truth be known, is really fear? You probably know the answer to that question. What Jesus says about fear is one of the harshest things Jesus says about your life and mine.
Wednesday (2/8) – The ironic thing about fear is that the more we fear the Lord God almighty, the less we have to fear anything else in life. We explain how that counter intuitive statement is true. We tell a true story about a department store in England that wanted to take a church’s property from them. What happens is not only amusing, but amazing!
Thursday (2/9) – The Lord is interested in providing our basic human needs. Do you know what they are? We share about the “providing God” or the God of provision. Trusting God or refusing to trust God says more about our spiritual condition than just about anything else!
Friday (2/10) – Do you remember the children’s televisions show, “Mister Roger’s Neighborhood”? I heard Fred Rogers speak about a letter he received from the parents of child who died of a terminal illness, watching his show, her favorite show. What the little girl said about him right before her death just may speak to you about the Lord who cares for you.
Message 39 – Aired 1/30/2017
When Pride Blinds
This Week – Physical blindness is actually more common than you may think. People around us can have partial blindness due to a number of causes. There are people that are considered totally blind; others are termed partially sighted. Blindness can happen spiritually in your life and mine! We talk about the blinding power of pride all this week.
Monday (1/30) – Pride can blind us to our need for forgiveness as well as to our need to forgive. Pride can blind us to our need for gratitude. Spiritually blind people usually don’t say thank you to the Lord or others. The worst form of blindness is the blindness of the soul. We study the blindness of people in a Jewish sect known as the Pharisees. Jesus speaks to this issue in Luke 11:3-44.
Tuesday (1/31) – The Pharisees were good people in the “worst sense of the word”. They were totally taken with their perceived goodness and spirituality. That can happen to us! Jesus exposed their pride and their arrogance. Maybe what Jesus says speaks to you or me. Jesus does not take kindly to pride in anyone’s life.
Wednesday (2/1) – Outwardly, the Pharisees appeared to be holy and spiritual; inwardly Jesus said they were “full of greed and wickedness”! Can you imagine the Lord saying that to someone you know? Could you imagine Him saying that about you or me? What would you do if He did in your heart or spirit? Jesus knows full well what fills our lives!
Thursday (2/2) – Jesus is more concerned about what is in the inside of dish that He is about the outside of the dish. Likewise, He is more interested in what is “inside” your heart and mine that He is about outward appearances. We worry about how people perceive us to be; Jesus sees beyond that in your life and mine!
Friday (2/3) – We close with a story about a lawyer who tells of how he got involved in the field of what is called “bankruptcy law”. Believe it or not, his discussion revolves around forgiveness! Ultimately it’s about his forgiveness of his father for sins of long ago. It was humbling to forgive his father; it probably is humbling for you and me to forgive. Are you willing today to admit that?
Message 38 – Aired 01/23/17
The Ultimate Light
This Week – What do you think about when someone mentions the word “light” to you? Did you know that the Lord Himself speaks of His very identity connected with Light; He IS light! Light is connected with our spiritual condition. We either walk in the light or we walk in darkness, spiritually speaking. The New Testament book of Hebrews tells us that coming to Christ is coming to the Light.
Monday (1/23) – We begin with the powerful story of a man who describes his early adult life in terms of a “gangster mentality”. He was a drug user and a drug dealer. He was living in “darkness”. Something happened that changed his life. He came to the Light that is Christ. We share the text where Jesus talks about light in spiritual terms. We all need to come to the Light!
Tuesday (1/24) – Jesus referred to Himself as the Light of the world. He then refers to His followers as light. Why is that? We simply reflect the Light that is in Him that has been received into our lives. We “radiate” His light. We all radiate something. Some people radiate hatred, anger, bitterness, or resentment. What do you and I radiate?
Wednesday (1/25) – All of life can boil down to being in light or darkness. A person’s life is measured in light or darkness. A person’s marriage or family is measured in light or darkness. If you became a believer in Christ as an adult, you know that experientially. We not only see the Light, we see everything else by it!
Thursday (1/26) – Think about what the Light of Christ has done in your life since you received it. God doesn’t simply give us a dose of light to look at, He gives us His light to enable us to see everything we confront in this life by it. People we meet may be perceived differently because of the light. A job opportunity may be understood differently because of His light. What do you see differently because of His light?
Friday (1/27) – We close with a story of a surgeon whose life was changed by the light of Christ that returned to his personal life and career. How it happened involved a life threatening event to his life. He said that he looked death “straight in the face”. What might it take in your life to come to the light? What people ultimately need in life is not more money, more education, more things; we need the Light of Christ.
Message 37 – Aired 01/16/17
This Week – Psychologists call it “cognitive dissonance”. It’s a term that is used to describe a person that entertains two conflicting ideas or positions at the same time. A person who lights up a cigarette just as they say how terrible smoking is would be an example. Jesus called it in Luke 11 a “kingdom divided against itself.” We say that we believe one thing, while we do another.
Monday (1/16) – Inner conflict happens in the personal life of most people at one time or another. There is inner conflict in families, in companies, and even in churches. Inner conflict happens in countries! Ever heard of an election? Jesus speaks to this issue when people actually accuse Him of casting out demons in the power of Satan! Yes, you read that correctly. When you don’t like someone, you may actually accuse them of false motives for doing the right thing.
Tuesday (1/17) – In the book of Exodus, Moses says that the Ten Commandments were actually written by the “finger of God”. Jesus says in the passage that we study this week that He cast out demons by the “finger of God”. It was an indirect claim to deity. He was in reality claiming to be God! That’s the One we pray to; He’s the One that delivers us from evil. One of the signs that we are a part of the Kingdom of God is that there is victory over evil in our lives.
Wednesday (1/18) – What example of God giving you victory over some evil or sin in your life could you share today? We share a powerful story of a minister being a guest minister as a church, and telling people that someone in the audience was guilty of major fraud in his or her business. Can you imagine how shocked people were when they heard that? Wait till you hear the result of that comment!
Thursday (1/19) – I never saw the movie “Titanic” made in 1997. Yet, we share a true story out of that horrible day involving the radio operator on the ship. It’s a story of his telling the radio operator of another ship to “shut up” when he tried to warn the Titanic about icebergs. His actual words were, “Shut up, I’m busy!” We can do that with the Lord! We really can, and we talk about how.
Friday (1/20) – Many people in the body of Christ practice “sin management”; we need to practice deliverance by the hand of God. We need what Jesus described as the “finger of God” working in our lives to give us victory over sin in our lives. Christianity is not simply a “belief system”; it’s a relationship with the Living God through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Message 36 – Aired 1/9/2017
Intended for Prayer!
This Week – We begin this week’s message by sharing a two-word military phrase that I had never heard before in my life. That phrase will interestingly enough speak to you about the subject of prayer in your life and mine. We look at the prayer commonly referred to as the “Lord’s Prayer”. Prayer is non-optional in the Christian life. We explain why this week on CrossHope!
Monday (1/9) – The military phrase that we consider is this: “Commander’s Intent”. What does that mean? It means that as a member of a military unit, I need to know the commander’s intent in any given situation. Why? So that everything I do as a part of that military unit is in agreement and cooperation with that intent. God’s intent for our lives is that we are men and women of prayer!
Tuesday (1/10) – Jesus uses an analogy that in real life, we respond to people’s requests, sometimes simply because of their persistence! Jesus wants you and me to be fervent and persistent in prayer. The disciples didn’t ask Jesus to teach them how to perform miracles or even how to raise the dead. They appealed to Jesus, “Lord, teach us how to pray!” Does that say anything to you about our need for prayer in our lives?
Wednesday (1/11) – The Lord’s prayer was not intended as a “formula” for repetition. It was a model for talking daily to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! We begin by addressing God as Father. That’s no small thing; it establishes the relationship we have with the One to whom we pray. He is the Source of everything! Starting with our daily bread and then moving on to forgiveness, the Lord’s prayer covers all of life.
Thursday (1/12) – The Lord’s prayer involves praying for spiritual protection. Ironically, it’s the most neglected part of this prayer. We need to pray for protection from the Father for us, for our families, for our extended family. And yet, most people don’t! We tell a powerful story of a drug addict “sliding down a wall” because he couldn’t’ hold himself up. How have you slidden just this week?
Friday (1/13) – We close with a story of a doctor who did his medical residency at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas, where President Kennedy was taken on November 22, 1963. This doctor tells of his conversation with a man at that hospital about prayer. What that man said just may speak to you in a powerful way about your need to take prayer seriously. God’s intention for your life is to be a person of prayer!
Message 35 – Aired 1/2/2017
The Balanced Life
This Week – Would you considered your life “balanced”? The answer probably eludes most of us; after all, what is a balanced life? The answer may surprise you. This is a passage that I had never preached from in my life, until this message. By the way, this message begins the 35th year of our messages being broadcast on the radio!
Monday (1/2) – This story in Luke 10 is about two sisters, both friends of Jesus and sisters to Lazarus, the person whom Jesus raised from the dead! Mary and Martha had Jesus in their home for a meal. What happened is something people can relate to in terms of everyday living. It’s a story that is interesting, just on the face of it!
Tuesday (1/3) – Luke says that Martha “opened her home to Jesus”. Did you know that there is a spiritual dimension to hospitality? The Apostle Paul told people to “practice hospitality”. One of the qualifications of an elder was “given to hospitality”. Many people grow up with absolutely no memories of parents having people into their home for a meal or a cup of coffee. We talk about this issue.
Wednesday (1/4) – Life can be out of balance individually. We share how mothers are pressured in the current culture to be busy, beautiful, and successful. Narcissism is the philosophy of the age. The “out of balance” life is actually considered normal today! Jesus Christ is at the core of being balanced as a person today. We talk about how that happens.
Thursday (1/5) – Life can be out of balance as a family. When Christ isn’t the center of life in a family, everything is out of balance like an out of balance wheel or tire. According to an earlier passage in Luke, Jesus grew physically, intellectually, spiritually, and socially. Are your children growing in those four areas? That’s really not a bad pattern for your family and mine.
Friday (1/6) – Life can even be out of balance as a church! We give a true, humorous example of this. Churches can be so interested in social, athletic, and community issues, they forget why they exist in the first place. We can stunt our spiritual growth as a church by obsessing on all the “other” things in life. Is your church balanced?
Week 34 – 12/12/2016
New Look at an Old Story
This Week – The parable of the “Good Samaritan” in the gospel of Luke is definitely one of the most familiar stories in all of the New Testament”. We even have laws in every state that are called, “Good Samaritan laws”, protecting people from legal action who stop to help someone who has been hurt or assaulted. It’s a story many people can remember; we take a new look at this old story in a new way!
Monday (12/12) – We begin with a humorous story about my wanting to help someone I thought was in major trouble or danger. He was in neither! But then I speculate about the times we are able to help someone who may truly be in danger or trouble, but we don’t. We could give a helping hand, but we choose not to. Sound familiar?
Tuesday (12/13) – Jesus has a lawyer of the day ask him a question. He knew the answer but wanted to hear how Jesus answered the question. Have you ever done that with someone? Perhaps he wanted to find fault with Jesus. Luke says the lawyer was trying to “justify” himself in the eyes of Christ. Isn’t that something we all do from time to time? Husband and wives do that with each other; children do that with parents. To “justify” means to “render as righteous”. We talk about that!
Wednesday (12/14) – In the story, a man is beaten and robbed on his way to Jerusalem. Two religious people pass by and do nothing to help. But a man who was considered an outcast in the culture treats the man’s injuries and takes him to an inn to recuperate. (He even tells the innkeeper that he will reimburse him for any extra expenses in treating him!) Jesus holds this man up as a role model to you and me!
Thursday (12/15) – We quote the prayer of a minister I knew in Tucson, Arizona that he wrote three weeks before his tragic death. It’s a man’s plea for God to use all of him in every way in every moment. It fleshes out this parable told be Jesus. As you listen to it, how does his prayer speak to you in your life today?
Friday (12/16) – We close with the story of a young man who ran out of a theater thinking there was a fire. Unfortunately, he ran out not even thinking to take with him his fiancé who was still in her seat when he returned! An author commenting on the story said that the “fire” didn’t cause his cowardice; it simply revealed it. What do you and I do that reveals what’s in our lives? We connect that story with this passage in Luke.
Week 33 – 12/5/2016
Power in the Name!
This Week – If you don’t think names matter, think about a time when someone mocked or derided your name. How did you feel? The name of Jesus is not only important, it’s vital to your life and mine. This week we read in Luke where people notice that even demonic spirits responded and obeyed the very name of Jesus. All this week we discuss the power of the Name that is above all other names!
Monday (12/5) – Luke tells us that Jesus appointed 72 representatives to go out ahead of Him to prepare people for His coming and ministry. The “72” noticed that there was power, merely in the name of Jesus. Not only were people healed of diseases through that name, the demons would respond in obedience to the name of Jesus in submission. Is it possible there is power in that name today?
Tuesday (12/6) – These 72 people were different than the 12 Apostles and were involved in “spiritual warfare”, simply because of the name of Jesus! They actually expressed surprise to Jesus that the demons responded to the Name. Anything we do in the name of Jesus in 2016 is spiritual warfare. We begin with five things that we do today in the name of Jesus. Number one is that we pray in the name of Jesus; secondly we worship in the name of Jesus.
Wednesday (12/7) – We take communion in Jesus name. Jesus would say every time we eat the bread and drink the cup, we “proclaim” the Lord’s death to those around us, to ourselves, to the world, and to Satan himself. We baptize in the name of Jesus and we witness in the name of Jesus. Everything we do for Him or with Him is a form of spiritual warfare. We come against evil in that name!
Thursday (12/8) – We hope in the name of Jesus. Any hope in your life and mine is ultimately connected to the One who claimed to be the way, the truth, and the Life! Anything positive that happens in your life is connected to the Lord in some way. We tell a dramatic story out of the Korean War and how a soldier was “covered” by the prayers of his mother. Who is covered by your prayers? Is your spouse, your children, your friends?
Friday (12/9) – We close with the story of a Bible translator in Mexico who discovered a woman was greatly comforted knowing that her “name” was listed in heaven. Jesus in this passage tells the “72” that say should not rejoice that the demons respond to His name, but rather that their names were written in heaven! It’s a figurative expression that reflects the Lord’s commitment to us for all eternity! There is power in His name in your life and mine!
Week 32 – 11/28/2016
Lord of Everything!
This Week – The claims of Jesus are important because they help to identify who He is! He never claimed to be a good example or a good teacher; He claimed to be the “Lord of everything!” He claimed that by claiming to be the “Lord of the Harvest” according to Luke. In this case, the harvest was not the physical reaping of crops; it was to be the gathering of souls at the end of time! That’s being the Lord of everything!
Monday (11/28) – Jesus said He was the Lord of the Sabbath in Luke 6. The Sabbath was the most sacred institution in the life of the Jew in Biblical times. To claim to be the Lord of that was no small thing. Today in Luke 10, He claims to be the Lord of the Harvest. Spiritually speaking, the harvest was the culminating event in history! It was the gathering of those who would spend eternity in heaven. Jesus says, “I am the Lord of that event!”
Tuesday (11/29) – The Jesus tells of people who tell Him they will follow Him, after they do something else. It’s about people who set “artificial timelines” to follow Jesus. We do that with people all the time. Ever told a family member, “When this happens, I’ll do such and such”? We all have. It’s serious when we do that with the Living Lord!
Wednesday (11/30) – We share the true story of a woman who told my minister brother that she would be back at church when things “settled down” at her work. She never did come back; death came unexpectedly for her that week. My brother conducted her funeral. It was a dramatic example of setting timelines that never arrive!
Thursday (12/1) – We quote an author who talks about the “hatching of the heart”. It’s a term referencing spiritual rebirth and awakening that can happen to people at any age. The Lord can work in our lives at any time or at any life event. Has that ever happened to you to someone you know? Our hearts can be surprisingly open to the Spirit of God at moments unexpected.
Friday (12/2) – We close with a story out of the famous Doolittle Raid on Japan in 1942. It’s a story of God working in a powerful way in the life of an airman in a Japanese POW camp. He has a “hatching of the heart” experience lying on a cot in the prison camp, unable to walk. It just may create a “moment” for you!
Week 31 – 11/21/2016
This Week – How do you measure greatness? How do people that you know measure greatness? How would you think the Lord would measure greatness? The answer may surprise you. It’s probably just the opposite of what the average person would think! That’s what we talk about all this week on CrossHope with a message entitled “Redefined Greatness.”
Monday (11/21) – We begin with a humorous story of grown adults rushing to pose in a picture with a famous person. But the text is very serious about the desire for greatness among the disciples. Jesus is telling them about the cross; they started arguing about which of them would be considered the “greatest” in the Kingdom of God. It really is quite unbelievable!
Tuesday (11/22) – The disciples tell Jesus about a man they saw casting out demons in the name of Christ. They were offended! They told them to stop doing what he was doing. They thought they had the “exclusive” rights to that act. We talk about the idea of “exclusivism”. That happens all the time in Christendom!
Wednesday (11/23) – Pride may be spiritual, but it’s still pride. Arrogance might have “religious overtones”, but it’s still arrogance. We flesh out that thought with some modern day examples. Pride is at the root of conflict, strife, and arguing. It really is! Just look at your own life and family!
Thursday (11/24) – Most people measure greatness by accumulation and achievement. How much do you have; how much have you done? The Lord measures greatness by humility! The world measures it by “how many people serve you?” The Lord measures it by “how many people do you serve?”
Friday (11/25) – Author Kurt Vonnegut tells an imaginary story of a father’s advice to his son. It’s all about getting money; nothing about character. Yet, it’s a parable for the advice given to many sons and daughters in the United States today in 2016. We give a final word about our needing what Christ said about greatness and what He did for us on the Cross!
Week 30 – 11/14/2016
Up on the Mountain, Down with the Demon
This Week – I can’t remember the last time I’ve heard a message from anyone regarding the event in the life of Christ called the “transfiguration”. Have you ever heard a message at all about this dramatic story? It’s when the physical appearance of Jesus literally changed in the presence of Peter, James, and John. The transfiguration of Christ was NOT something that happened TO Jesus, it was something that happened FROM within Him!
Monday (11/14) – We begin with a story of two well-known movie produces, famous for their “special effects” in their films. If there ever was a story in the life of Christ that would lend itself to some great special effects in a film, it would be this one we study this week. At the transfiguration of Christ, Luke says His face or countenance changed and His clothing was as bright as lightning. The glory of Christ became physically visible.
Tuesday (11/15) – The passage begins with Peter, James, and John go up on a mountain to get away from the crowds. Jesus felt the need to get alone to pray. Most Americans like to occasionally get alone with a good book, a newspaper, the television, or a listening device. Do you ever get alone with the Lord in prayer or with His word? If not, why not?
Wednesday (11/16) – The three disciples with Jesus on the mountain were very sleepy. But when they’re fully awake, Luke says that they saw Jesus in ”all His glory”. Spiritually, there are people who need to “wake-up” to see who Jesus is in their lives. Is that possibly true with you? We tell a powerful story of a man who had a “waking” experience to who Jesus was in his life.
Thursday (11/17) – We talk about “listening” to the Lord in your life. Luke says that a voice from heaven spoke at the transfiguration of Christ and said, “This is my Son, listen to Him!” We not only listen with our ears, we listen with our hearts! You know you are listening to Him when you feel He’s speaking to you through His word!
Friday (11/18) – Jesus encounters a demon possessed boy after the transfiguration. After the mountain top experience, He came down from the mountain to encounter a demonic spirit. We explain why the demonic was so prevalent when Jesus walked on this earth. It may speak to you and your life. We close with a modern day story of a demonic encounter on the mission field of Peru. It’s a story that will impact your life!
Week 29 – 11/07/2016
Life’s Most Important Questions
This Week – Life presents a lot of questions to all of us at all stages of life. Some questions are more important than others. Jesus asked the two most important questions of life; they both concern our relationship with Him! How you and I answer those questions not only affect our lives on this earth; they impact our eternity.
Monday (11/07) – We begin with a piece written by an attorney who shares what he believes to be the “seven things that changed our lives.” You may or may not agree with his conclusions. This week in Luke, we study two questions that Jesus asks of every person. How we answer makes all the difference in the world. Listen to them today. How have you answered them?
Tuesday (11/8) – Here ae the two questions. Who do you say that Jesus is? Does my answer really matter? Yes it does, eternally so! The second is, “What should a person gain if they get the whole world, but lose their very soul in the process?” Most people are willing to “sell out” for a lot less than the whole world!
Wednesday (11/9) – How you answer the question of Jesus of His identity impacts every area of your life. It impacts every relationship on earth. What you believe about Jesus colors everything you believe about your world view, money, and politics. It even impacts what you believe about your job or career! It really does. Just look at what you believe now about all those things.
Thursday (11/10) – Jesus asks what is in your life that equals the value of your soul. The answer in one word is nothing! There is nothing you can put on the “scale” of life that equals your very soul. If this question doesn’t cause you to think, I don’t know what will. There is nothing worth losing your soul for in life, absolutely nothing.
Friday (11/11) – Most Americans will reject Jesus Christ. That’s a sad statement, but true. According to Luke, accepting Jesus is accepting His “Lordship” in our lives, not just accepting the good things He gives us. Our only hope in this life or the next is accepting the One that the Apostle John is life itself! He doesn’t point to life or a better existence, He is life!
Week 28 – 10/31/2016
Our Needs, His Provision
This Week – One of the many titles of God in the Old Testament is the Hebrew phase, “Jehovah Jireh”. It means “God provides”. That phrase has kept many a man or woman on their feet in a difficult time. You may need those words right now. In one of the most familiar stories of the New Testament, we discover that truth anew. What is that story? The feeding of the 5,000, where Jesus multiplies the loaves and the fishes, and provides a meal for a crowd larger than you have ever had to feed!
Monday (10/31) – We quote the lyrics of the hymn, “Amazing Grace” and then transition into another lyric of John Newton with the recurring words, “the Lord will provide”. One of Satan’s greatest tools in people’s lives is to convince them that God can’t meet our needs. “God can’t possibly provide for my needs.” This message speaks to that issue in your life and mine!
Tuesday (11/1) – The passage begins with the disciples getting alone with the Lord to pray. When is the last time you got alone for a few minutes just to pray and consider His word? We get alone with a good book, a cup of coffee, the television, or the radio/iPod. And yet most people rarely get alone to specifically spend time with the Lord. What about you?
Wednesday (11/2) – The disciples are faced with a hungry crowd of people who needed to be fed. Mathew says that there were 5,000 men plus women and children! They tell Jesus to “send the people away” so they can find food and lodging. Jesus turns the table on them and says, “You feed these people”. They then provided a few fish and loaves; Jesus miraculously takes care of the rest!
Thursday (11/3) – Mother Teresa was in the news again recently being elevated into Sainthood in the Catholic Church. When she ministered in Calcutta, India, she oversaw the effort to feed 20,000 people every day! You will be blessed by the story told today about the morning she was told by one of her helpers, “we have nothing to feed the people today!” What happens next will bless you!
Friday (11/4) – Either God is your source or the system is! Which is it for you and me? We look to government, a company, or an investment as our source. The greatest moment in a man or woman’s life is when they come to the conclusion: God is my source, for everything. He is my source today, tomorrow and forever!
Week 27 – 10/24/2016
Authority over Disease, the Demonic, and Death
This Week – In any group of people, in your neighborhood, your place of employment, and even your church, you will people with burdens. Some are more visible than others. This week we talk about the authority of Jesus over disease, the demonic and even death! Why would you want to be connected to anyone or anything else but Him? We see dramatic evidence of His power this week on CrossHope!
Monday (10/24) – We begin with a Canadian minister’s observations about the burdens that people faced, just in his own congregation. Some problems were physical; other burdens were emotional and spiritual. We read our text from Luke that describes Jesus encountering a man with a dying 12-year old daughter, and a woman with a 12-year battle with illness. Perhaps you can relate in some way with your burdens or struggles?
Tuesday (10/25) – The story unfolds of a man named Jairus, a ruler or leader of the local synagogue who falls at the feet of Jesus, pleading with Him to heal his dying daughter. On the way to his house, a woman falls at the feet of Jesus to plead for healing of a major health problem. Sooner or later, you will have a “fall at the feet of Jesus” moment. Perhaps it already has happened in your life!
Wednesday (10/26) – The most important prayer you may ever make in this life is just two simple words: “help me!” The Bible says that the Lord hears every prayer that we offer up to Him. It doesn’t say that He grants every request, but He does hear! I want to be heard by the One who can do something about my need. Come to think of it, don’t you?
Thursday (10/27) – We share the poignant story of a daughter’s addiction to heroin and her school psychologist mother who struggles with guilt, blame, and remorse. It’s a story that many people can relate to, speaking to every parent in some way. Many parents have had a “fall at the feet of Jesus” moment over a son or daughter. If you’re honest, perhaps you have had such a moment even recently! Listen to this mother’s story.
Friday (10/28) – God is in the healing business. That doesn’t mean He jumps when we say “jump”. It does mean He has the power to do things that no one else has. He raises dead people all the time! It’s called conversion. When a man or woman is “dead” in their sin, their guilt, their hatred, or their bitterness, it takes a “resurrection” in that person’s life. Christians are truly “resurrected people”. What about you?
Week 26 – 10/17/2016
When the Problem Isn’t Physical