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Matthew quotes some rather sobering words of Jesus in his gospel. Matthew 15:18 states, “But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.”

Those words hit hard for me because my mouth is often my biggest enemy. I think it safe to say that most of the time I’m in trouble it’s not because of my actions, it’s because of my mouth. Jesus’ brother, James offers no help. He points out the dichotomy of both fresh water and bitter water coming from the same well.

Cleaning up our language is treating symptoms, not causes. The root of a foul mouth is a dirty heart. There. I said it. I don’t like it, but from my knowledge of scripture I believe it to be true.

We use God’s name in vain because we fail to see him as he is. We ridicule others because we fail to see them as creations of God. Yep. Even the guy who cut you off. Even the sports official who is totally oblivious to the rules of the game. Even the server at the restaurant that is more interested in their phone than your empty drink glass. We make off-color jokes because our brand of holiness is governed by culture, not the plum line of a Holy God.

The worst part about words unwisely spoken is that you can’t reverse the results. You can be forgiven, but poorly chosen words are like a cancer to the soul. They can lie dormant for years but are always lurking in the memory banks of time.

Holy God, forgive us for the wounds unwise words have caused. Cleanse our hearts so that the words we speak build up where lives have been torn down. Heal the wounds we bear at the tongues of others. Amen


He HAD to go through Samaria (John 4:4). Well, geographically he didn’t HAVE to go through Samaria. In fact, the more politically correct route for any self-respecting Jew would be to go on the east side of the Jordan River. It was a longer route but avoided Samaria all together. If you did choose to go through Samaria you certainly wouldn’t stop for lunch, or talk to a woman.

But Jesus did.

He had to go through Samaria because someone was ready to hear his message. That someone was a woman that had gone through five divorces. Five. One is devastating enough. Two raises eyebrows. Five? There are words for women like this but none of them are appropriate for this space.

Take a moment to put yourself in the woman’s place. Hopefully you will have a hard time with this, but imagine how rejected you would feel. Remember the first time you broke up? The first time you were dumped for better pasture? Multiply by five! And now, the guy she was ‘with’ didn’t even respect her enough to marry her.

That’s why she went to the well during the hottest part of the day. She no doubt suffered in silence and this was her coping mechanism.

But Jesus went out of his way to meet her in her comfort zone, on her terms to share the one thing she needed above all else…acceptance and true life.

He does the same today. You don’t need to suffer in silence. He wants to hear from you. He wants us to see those who may be suffering and offer the fresh water of his grace. Silent sufferers never escape the notice of Jesus.


It’s a frosty morning here in the northland. As I took the dog out to do his morning duties I noticed that shadow of our house neatly outlined with the morning frost.

The difference? The warmth of the sun had not yet risen high enough to melt the coldness from the night before. It was the warmth of the rising sun that made all the difference. It was the warmth of the riding sun that dissolved the darkness and brought life.

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday. The day we remember when another SON rose from the darkness. He too dissolves the darkness and melts the coldness of our hearts. The more he rises in our lives the less coldness and darkness have a chance!

Hallelujah for the RISEN SON!


I’ve read this verse a thousand times. I’ve written about it. I’ve taught on it. But today as I was reading the final days of Christ’s life on earth I was hit by a new truth. Okay, new only in the sense of perspective.

Jesus promises to be with us. ALWAYS.

  • With us when we are under attack;
  • With us when we struggle with finances;
  • With us when illness attacks our bodies or the bodies of loved ones;
  • With us when we struggle with addictions;
  • With us in through divorce;
  • With us when we did that sin…again:
  • With us when we feel lonely and rejected;
  • With us in the storms of life;
  • Add your struggle here…

The thing is, this phrase is stuck at the end of what is commonly called the Great Commission but it’s truth goes far beyond evangelism. It’s a lifestyle. He doesn’t promise to remove the hard times. He does promise to walk with us along the way.

What’s your struggle today. Jesus is with you whether you feel him or not.


She was lonely. She most likely had a real problem with self-image and commitment. She’d learned something about men and relationships through the years: they don’t last. Men used women and tossed them away like an old sock.

That’s why she found herself at the well at midday. Her plan worked most days. There was no one at the well. But not today. Today, of all things, a man was there. This time was different. This man was different. He didn’t judge her event though he knew her deepest secrets. He didn’t get caught up in the arguments that she’d learned to use to alienate others. Instead he offered her life!

The world seeks for satisfaction in the physical. When Jesus fed 5,000 men that day on the mountain, the Bible says they were filled….satisfied…content…perhaps uneasily comfortable like I am after Thanksgiving dinner.

But once the food wore off they sought Jesus for more. Not more of Jesus, not more of the spiritual food he offered, but of physical comfort. Many were disappointed when he explained to them that the food he offered was food from heaven and not earth. They were more interested in the temporal filling rather than the eternal fulfillment Jesus had to offer.

You can find temporary comfort in many things. Relationships. Money. Status. Friendships. Entertainment. The list goes on. But nothing satisfies like Jesus.

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