The Lesson of the Copper Pipe, Redux

Lately I’ve been writing about how we can use the metaphor of the copper pipe to avoid passing judgment on others, as Jesus instructed us in the Gospel of John. Here’s the bottom line. Every human being, in their flesh, is a copper pipe. As such, we cannot change. We can’t change ourselves any more than a copper pipe can be anything but a copper pipe. But we can be changed. We can be changed the same way a copper pipe can be changed. A copper pipe can heat up when hot water flows through it. Hot water can change us. So if you want to change, you need hot water. And the hot water comes from Jesus. Continue reading

Believing Without Seeing

When Jesus left, He said to Thomas, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Those who have not seen are the people of faith.

The disciples died for Jesus Christ.  They died on crosses.  And I know they felt some fear, because everybody fears death to a certain point.

But they cheated!  I’m sorry, they did!   Continue reading

Sharing Abundance

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10

Abundant life! What does that mean? Well, abundant life is a life that is not in need. You don’t need to find food, you have it. You don’t need to find water, you have it. You don’t need to find a place to live, you live somewhere. You don’t need to find a job, you have a job.

It doesn’t mean you have millions of dollars. I think abundance is having enough, plus some for somebody else. And if you have enough, and you have extra, then you live in abundance. Continue reading

Whatever You Request: Say a Prayer for Prosperity

“Believe me: I am in my Father and my Father is in me. If you can’t believe that, believe what you see—these works. The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing. You can count on it. From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I’ll do it. That’s how the Father will be seen for who he is in the Son. I mean it. Whatever you request in this way, I’ll do.” John 14:11-14

Sometimes when we read this passage in traditional translations, we only hear Jesus say, “Whatever you request, I’ll do it.”

That can produce a lot of skepticism! You hear people say, “Oh really, so if I want a Mercedes Benz, all I have to do is ask Jesus, and I’ll get one?”  Or, “I can pray to win the lottery, and if I really believe I’m going to win, then I will?” Continue reading

How to Catch More Fish

Welcome back! Thank you for all your support for my first book! I’m looking forward to doing more writing, starting right now.

I’ve been learning to look at everything through the dialectic of law and grace. It’s amazing to me how the whole Bible just opens up and begins to live, once I look at it this way.

The story in John 21:1-14 serves as a great example. That’s the story where the resurrected Jesus miraculously fills the disciples’ net with fish, right? So what happens?

The disciples fish all night and don’t catch anything. When morning comes, Jesus is already on shore. He has built a fire, and He’s already cooking His own fish. You can imagine the conversation. The disciples say, “Hey, you caught fish!” And Jesus replies, “Yeah, where’s your fish?” The disciples tell him, “We’ve been working all night, and we don’t have any fish!” So Jesus says, “Well, why don’t you throw your nets over there?” And they say, “Jesus, have you not heard us? We labored all night and have not caught anything.” Continue reading

The Answered Prayer

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. John 14: 12-14

Do you see that? Right there in the Gospel of John, the Bible says you will receive anything you pray for!  But I mean, really?

Even in the world of a believer, there’s a lot of skepticism about this promise. You hear people say, “Oh really, you’re telling me that if I just pray, ‘God, I want a Mercedes Benz,’ and believe I’m going to get it, then I’ll get it?”  Or, “I can pray to win the lottery, and if I really believe I’m going to win, then I will?” Continue reading

The Lesson of the Copper Pipe, Redux

Lately I’ve been writing about how we can use the metaphor of the copper pipe to avoid passing judgment on others, as Jesus instructed us in the Gospel of John. Here’s the bottom line. Every human being, in their flesh, is a copper pipe. As such, we cannot change. We can’t change any more than a copper pipe can be anything but a copper pipe. But we can be changed. We can be changed the same way a copper pipe can be changed. A copper pipe can heat up when hot water flows through it. Hot water can change us. So if you want to change, you need hot water. And the hot water comes from Jesus.

Jesus was God Incarnate, but that doesn’t mean He was just a copper pipe like the rest of us. Jesus was the whole thing. He was the copper pipe and the hot water. In fact, He was instant hot, a hot water pipe that’s hot all the time. He was always perfect. Continue reading

Do Not Judge

Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.
So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

John 7:53-8:11

This is a familiar and famous story from the Bible, and the meaning seems obvious, except for one thing. What was Jesus writing on the ground? Continue reading

A Gospel of Sustainment

Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” John 4:13-15

Last time I said that Jesus Himself would work to distribute the One World Futbol, because it’s unpoppable. Why would I say that?

When you visit a poverty-stricken community, the first thing you notice is also the most obvious thing. They can’t afford anything. In many parts of the world, people have grown so poor that they really can’t even afford to eat. Their voices are silent.

How we can help them? Whatever we decide to do, the results need to be sustainable.

Jesus’ whole concept was sustainment. Continue reading

Living Like Jesus (Part 1)

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10

Abundant life! What does that mean? Well, abundant life is a life that is not in need. You don’t need to find food, you have it. You don’t need to find water, you have it. You don’t need to find a place to live, you live somewhere. You don’t need to find a job, you have a job.

It doesn’t mean you have millions of dollars. I think abundance is having enough, plus some for somebody else. And if you have enough, and you have extra, then you live in abundance.

Consumerism can actually kill people. Continue reading