You are unique, just like everyone else in the world. It won’t help you if you think you are hot stuff. God will ignore you for someone who walks in humility. Daniel did, and God chose to honor him. Feeling special could mean that you are receiving the love of God with a healthy heart. It could also mean that you are thinking too much about yourself. Humility ranks higher in heaven than confidence. Going low is better than going high.

You have been given a holy calling, and it is to die to yourself so you can count others as more important than you (Phil.2:3). It is not about you. You live for others. Bonhoeffer rightly wrote, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” So when we suffer, we don’t complain, because it is simply not about us. We don’t deserve anything better, and we don’t expect not to.

However, when parents and schoolteachers play the “you’re special” card so much that no one is allowed to stand out, we are misunderstanding the “all men are created equal” line. That should not keep some from excelling and being recognized. God honors character and achievement—we should too!


The word of faith movement brought the gift of faith to center stage, for which we thank them. Some went too far, and their faith became the end-all, as if faith could do anything at any time. It can’t—only God can. We put faith in God, not in faith. The very concept made some feel ashamed when they were not healed or when they had to keep silent about marriage struggles. If faith makes us run from vulnerability, it is skewed. We don’t sacrifice integrity for theology.

When we pray, “Thy kingdom come,” we recognize that God’s kingdom is here, but only in part. When His kingdom comes in full measure, no one will miss it. Now His kingdom is hidden within us (Luke 17:21). The reality of nation warring against nation indicates that the King is not yet fully ruling. “He must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet” (I Cor. 15:25). Among those enemies are death, disease, and disobedience. Until then we live with tension. We pray for healing. When it happens, we rejoice. When it doesn’t, we wait. We don’t say that we are healed when we are not. Faith can overcome reality, but it doesn’t deny it either.


God is light and God is love. Light exposes; love embraces. God is a God of truth and grace. Some believe that because God poured out His judgment at the cross, there is none left until the end of the age. I differ. Sometimes “mercy triumphs over judgment,” and at other times judgment is visited upon an individual, as it was delivered to Herod for not giving God glory (Acts 12:23), or on cities, nations or people groups, to which the Bible testifies. Everything about God is good, even His judgments. They are “true and righteous altogether” (Ps. 19:9). Holding truth in tension does not mean walking the tightrope between two extremes. It means that we submit to the Holy Spirit who wields a double-edged sword, emphasizing each aspect of the truth according to His sovereign will. What a wise and wonderful God!


Here’s the story: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ “An enemy did this,’ he replied. The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ “No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn’” (Matt. 13:24-30).

Jesus is teaching us two important things: the presence of evil in a world that started good, and the destiny of good and evil. Satan is our enemy only because he is God’s. He has a grudge match with the Almighty, a contest of cosmic proportions. Bad things often look good, which is why kids often get fooled. Things are getting worse and better at the same time (“let both grow together…”).

Satan is not winning. One view from eternity tells the final score. The very presence of evil is one evidence of God’s control. At no point in the story does Jesus give us any reason to doubt the outcome.

One important truth we cannot escape: good does not stomp out evil—God does. One day He will pull out all wickedness by the roots, but that time is not now. Christians who engage in weed-pulling are hurting other Christians. They are causing the message to be misunderstood, and they are not concentrating on what they can do best—shining. Light on the defensive is a contradiction of physics.

We dare not turn Christianity into a crusade. Whenever the gospel becomes a cause, it is distorted. It becomes a message of moralism: “Try harder, do better,” words antithetical to the gospel. The cross makes people new before it makes them nice. It takes dead people and resurrects them.

To identify Christianity with the American way or the Republican way or the moral way for that matter is to take it from the THE WAY. Jesus said, “I am the way…” and there is no other way, no matter how good it looks or how noble its cause. “There is no other name…”

Jesus resisted the political and religious causes some His disciples identified with. I am not saying it is wrong to have a cause; just do not reduce the gospel to the level of your cause. It adulterates the message and poisons the name of Christianity. We are not followers of a cause; we are followers of Jesus Christ. Let your main passage be Jesus Christ and Him crucified!

Crusaders on a religious rampage against sin need to remember that the most effective place to deal with this deadly epidemic is at the cross. Moralism does not root out sin, and religious nationalism, popular among some conservative Christians, does not touch it, but the blood of Jesus Christ washes it away. When we pray, “Thy kingdom come,” we must not suspect that it comes by damning the darkness or upgrading our standards. Were that ever cost-effective, Jesus would have sidestepped Calvary. Jesus came into the world “not to condemn it but to save it” (John 3:17).

Leave the work of separating the weeds from the wheat to the Lord of the harvest, and get on with growing like a weed—I mean wheat! Just make sure that when the harvest comes the angels can distinguish you from dandelions!