Portfolio Category: Devotionals

Read the Bible with Someone Else: Four Benefits of Studying in Community

God has given us many good ways to read his word. You may have utilized several of them: studiously, devotionally, reflectively, Christologically. But what about communally? Communal reading is when two or more people gather to read, hear, and discuss a written text. It was a popular practice in the […]

How Do I Know If I Really Love Jesus?

How do we know if we really love Jesus? The Bible’s answer might surprise you. We know if we love Jesus by what we consistently (not perfectly) do and don’t do. We know this because Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). And the […]

We Won’t Break

As a native Californian and lover of all things sunny, I shy away from all things cold. I do, however, enjoy beautiful photos of snow. So I couldn’t help but smile when my friend from Illinois shared a winter picture of a sapling outside her window. Admiration turned to sadness […]

No Love Lost: How Catholics (and Protestants) Go Wrong on Good Works

One way to approach the historic division between Roman Catholic and Reformation teaching about justification is to focus on how justification by faith relates to ongoing practical love and righteousness in the Christian life. Even though the Reformers affirmed that justification by faith alone would always be followed by practical […]

The Release of Fear

Our bodies react to our feelings of dread and fear. A weight in the pit of our stomachs, along with our hearts pounding as we gulp for breath, signal our sense of anxiety. Our physical nature keeps us from ignoring these feelings of unease. The disciples felt shockwaves of fear […]

Who Can Find Her? Rethinking the Proverbs 31 Standard

When we look to God’s word to find guidance about how to be the best wife and mother we can be, we simply cannot escape Proverbs 31. Who wouldn’t want to be as talented, productive, strong, caring, and fearless as this woman? But as normal human beings, many of us […]

Lost but Found

When we discovered that my mother-in-law had gone missing while shopping with a relative, my wife and I were frantic. Mom suffered from memory loss and confusion, and there was no telling what she might do. Would she wander the area, or hop onto any bus thinking it would take […]