Archives for Category: Excerpt from The Message Devotional Bible

We Start from Resurrection

April 16, 2019

The death of Jesus on the cross can be understood and accounted for easily enough on a physical and historical level. But the salvation Jesus accomplished on the cross cannot be. And it is this accomplished salvation, not a coroner’s autopsy of the death, that brings us back to the cross over and over again. […]

Strong Enough for This Demanding Life

March 25, 2019

Jesus was baptized, demonstrating him to be the beloved of God with the authority of God. We can only understand Jesus rightly by seeing him at this place of beginning, by seeing him in relation to God, not only as God’s child, but as his beloved child. Like him, we also are baptized. At the […]

Painting a Picture for Us

March 22, 2019

Ezekiel was in exile with his fellow Israelites. They were cut off from their temple, their farms, their relatives, their friends. They were surrounded by an alien way of life and taunted by their captors. Is there anything worse than feeling hopeless? The feelings these people experienced are described in Ezekiel 37, and they are […]

A Power We Can Know and Trust

February 25, 2019

Isaiah confronted the people’s idea that God’s power had shrunk and withered. They felt overwhelmed by a world that was too big for them and their God. They were far from their homeland, but in two generations they had come to terms with their conquerors. Now there were rumors of a new power rising in […]

You’re Blessed

February 8, 2019

In Matthew 5, Jesus is training us to live not in reaction to our sin and guilt, not in response to people stronger than we are, not in desperation by any means at hand, not to survive in a sea of cynicism and malice, and certainly not to live egocentrically with the self as center […]

The Prayer of the Heart

January 31, 2019

Most prayer begins as Hannah’s did, in pain and with tears. But while her prayer was caused by pain, it wasn’t confined to it. It took the form of a vow. By casting her prayer as a vow, Hannah involved herself responsibly, even sacrificially, in her prayer, for she both asked and gave. She asked […]

Live As Fully As Possible

September 24, 2018

Exile is traumatic and terrifying. Our sense of who we are is very much determined by the place we’re in and the people we’re with. When those things change violently and abruptly, we wonder who we are. The accustomed ways we have of finding our worth and sensing our significance vanish. When the first wave […]

God’s Intention is to Get to Everyone

August 3, 2018

The Christian gospel is expansive by nature—it spreads out. It’s what you would expect: The God who created a vast universe acts in such a way that his redemptive help will reach into every nook and cranny of creation. A God who can create with such endless variety and intricacy is going to redeem in […]