Monthly Archives: November 2019

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Scar Tissue

Category : Encouragement

A woman named Glory underwent a surgery to replace her left knee after a car accident left it damaged many years before. Her first physical therapy session was scheduled for the very next morning about 100 feet from her hospital room. A hospital attendant rolled her to the class in a wheelchair, but explained that she would be expected to walk back with a walker. In the class, she winced during the warm-up exercises and drew her breath in pain with every repetition. Laying back against the cushions of the chair, she closed her eyes and complained of nausea and exhaustion.

The physical therapist commiserated with her, brought her some juice, and then explained that if she didn’t make an ever-increasing effort to bend her knee inspite of the pain, scar tissue would grow around the knee joint and hinder its movement. If this happened, she would likely have to undergo another surgery to regain use of the knee.

Isn’t this similar to the effort expected of us as new and old members of the body of Christ? Sin can function like scar tissue, binding us and hindering our movement for the work Jesus has saved us to do for His glory. This sin may take the form of a busy schedule that robs our time alone with God and His word. Or maybe it is a reliving of our past, or an unrepentant heart. Slowly but steadily these habits entangle and distance us from Jesus, leaving us out of the Christian “race” the Apostle Paul wrote of in Hebrews.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us […]

How can we do this when, like Glory after her knee operation, the pain surges and the progress crawls? The answer is found in the second half of the passage-

looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

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Bad news, good news

Category : Encouragement

The headlines in Jesus’ day offered up the same kind we read today: tales of desperation, death, and destruction. Those who heard Jesus teach wanted to get His take on the current events.

“There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.

And [Jesus] answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way?  No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem?  No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:1-5).

If you weren’t listening carefully, you might not have caught the good news that followed the bad: there was hope in the midst of all of the hopelessness.

It was the same message delivered by “the voice of one crying in the wilderness” that drew crowds into the desert just before the beginning of Jesus’ ministry on earth. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2).

Good news. There is still time to repent.


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