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Midweek Devotionals

Published weekly on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays.

Midweek Devotional 9/27/2016

Robert Chen

The above is the famous opening of A Tale of Two Cities. The underlined portion reminds Dickens' readers that times have not changed all that much, from the time of events leading up to the French Revolution to the time when this story is heard seventy years later. 

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Midweek Devotional 9/22/2016

Robert Chen

Just imagine you are tasked with writing a prayer that will go into Scripture. What would you say? How would you sound? You might be tempted to say lofty things, about God certainly. You might be tempted to say things from a position of strength and confidence. You wouldn't want to sound like a wimp. You would want others to know how fully secure you are in God. If you were to talk about your enemies, you would probably want to depict them as non-real threats, impostors really. 

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Midweek Devotional 9/21/2016

Robert Chen

In 1986 a book was published that opened a whole new way of looking at God and the Christian life. The book's main idea wasn't completely original but for college students like myself it was revolutionary to see one's life in Christ in this "new" perspective. That book was John Piper's Desiring God. The book was not easy to read since Piper's prose was a bit plodding in places. But, boy, was the book powerful!

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Midweek Devotional 9/20/2016

Robert Chen

The biggest benefit for me, as a teacher, is that I get to learn along with the students. This semester I am teaching a course, Introduction to Christian Ethics, where most of our time in the course is going over a book entitled, Justice: Rights and Wrongs, by philosopher Nicholas Wolterstorff. A course like Christian Ethics can be tediously academic and dry; but, in actuality, the course thus far hasn't been either. It's been challenging and inspiring. (OK, slight instructor bias.)

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Midweek Devotional 9/15/2016

Robert Chen

I want to begin this morning's devotional with a quote from an introduction of a book entitled, Four Views on Christianity and Philosophy:

While the Greeks started a wisdom movement, roughly characterized in terms of the pursuit of happiness (eudaimonia) via intellectual and moral virtue, the movement Jesus and his followers inaugurated appears to be substantially different.

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Midweek Devotional 9/14/2016

Robert Chen

We don't know why some Greeks sought out Jesus' disciples. These "Greeks" were most likely God-fearing Gentiles from some part of the Greek-speaking world, and not necessarily Greek. Perhaps these Gentiles were taken up by the popularity of Jesus at the time and were curious. 

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Midweek Devotional 9/13/2016

Robert Chen

Remember 'Skins' fans: our hope is an eternal one. (Hopefully it won't take forever to feel real good about the team.) Actually, now that I think about it, being a 'Skins' fan does train us well to wait with something like everlasting hope. The alternative is the pit of despair and many of us have been there as well. That's good training, too, being in the pit of despair; momentarily pulled out of despair, only to find ourselves right back in the slimy pit, a little deeper. Only then, only then we might turn to something much better ... like crotcheting. 

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Midweek Devotional 9/8/2016

Robert Chen

You have to like Martha. She is quick to move, quick to respond to Jesus. Where was Mary? She stayed inside. Before we judge Mary, we must note that Mary, upon hearing that Jesus was near, also came out without delay to meet Jesus (11:29). Both the sisters say the same thing to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died" (vv.21 & 32). They knew the power of Jesus to heal. They could not conceive, at this stage, that Jesus also had the power to raise the dead. Soon they will see with their own eyes the power and authority of the Son of God to raise their brother Lazarus from the grave.

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Midweek Devotional 9/7/2016

Robert Chen

"Jesus wept" is the shortest verse in the Bible. Two words in English. Three words in the original Greek, which includes a definite article. "Jesus wept" comes from John 11:35. The passage above provides the background for "Jesus wept." This passage clearly indicates that Jesus remained longer at a place rather than hurrying to where Martha, Mary, and Lazarus were, in Bethany. Jesus stayed back on purpose. What purpose? So that Jesus would arrive after Lazarus had died. Why? So that the Son of God might be glorified through the raising of dead Lazarus to life.

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Midweek Devotional 9/6/2016

Robert Chen

Let's take a measure of what's been happening: (1) Jesus has been preaching and teaching, with authority (“No one ever spoke the way this man does,” the temple guards tell the Pharisees and chief priests, John 7:46). And (2) Jesus has been healing and doing miracles (e.g., healing a man born blind, John 9:1-12). In response, the Jewish religious leaders are still adamant in their rejection of Jesus. They insist Jesus is an impostor, despite all available evidence. Jesus appeals to them: if you don't believe my words, look at my works. They look at the works, but they still do not believe. 

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