In Genesis 48 we read the story of the second and third acts of Jacob as death nears: his bequest to Joseph of a double portion of his property through the adoption and blessing of his oldest sons, Manasseh and Ephraim - a story that raises questions about the meaning of family and stories, and our recognition of and response to change, as well as alluding to our adoption in Christ.
As part of Paul’s salutation in his letter to the church at Colossae, he addresses the believers as "holy and faithful brothers." Calling them "holy" is an important way for the Apostle to point out their new identity in Christ, and the label has important implications for how all Christians should see and conduct themselves.
Most of what we hear every day is shallow, temporary, or unedifying. It affects us either negatively or not at all, and is quickly forgotten. But God’s word takes root in our souls and produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who are trained by it. In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus challenges us to be not just hearers of the word, but doers, as we follow the One who perfectly obeyed in our place.
Most of us find ourselves in debt at some point or another, whether due to a student loan, car payment, mortgage, or even a standard bill. But what if our debt is far beyond our ability to pay? Or what if we don’t even realize that we are in debt? And what if our debt is a charge against the holiness of God Himself? Only the blood of Christ can repay the greatest debt we owe. Only Jesus can meet us in our poverty (and our pride!) so that we might find our life in Him through His atoning work on the cross.