Love

Susan Hetrick

Read: John 15:9-17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another. (v. 17) If we learn only one thing by following Jesus, it’s that he demonstrated to the world what love looks like. He called his disciples “friends” and assured them that when one gives up everything for one’s friends—even his own life—that is love. Jesus also calls us his friends! And he did give up his life for us, just as much as for his …

Forgive

Susan Hetrick

Read: Luke 23:13-25, 32-34 Forgive And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (v. 34) This is one of the most astonishing and unsettling passages in the Gospels. Jesus, whom both Herod and Pilate deemed innocent, was executed alongside common criminals. And he forgave the very people who were murdering him, at the very moment they were driving nails into his hands and feet. With those words, Jesus not only forgave the soldiers surrounding him, …

Don’t Judge Anyone

Susan Hetrick

Read: Luke 6:37-42 Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. (v. 37 NIV) In the Gospels you will see Jesus hanging out with people of questionable reputation, healing people of diseases, and assuring them of God’s forgiveness. He never once said to anyone, “I won’t heal you until you stop sinning,” or “You can’t eat with me because of your lifestyle!” Jesus didn’t have a problem with “sinners.” The …

Keep Divine Appointments

Susan Hetrick

Read: John 4:4-30, 39-41 And he had to pass through Samaria. (v. 4) Most Jewish people in Jesus’ day despised the Samaritans and would rather walk around Samaria, going more than 90 miles out of their way, than walk through it. Not Jesus. He had a divine appointment with a woman at a well in Sychar. Their appointment wasn’t about a drink of water, or her marital status. It was about the pain in her heart. This woman was an …

Tell Stories

Susan Hetrick

Read: Mark 4:1-20, 33-34 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it. (v. 33) Jesus told a lot of stories, which we call “parables.” They were short stories illustrating a spiritual principle. Jesus’ parables compared God’s kingdom to something else, in order to help people grasp God’s overarching story. From the beginning of time people have been telling stories. Most of the book of Genesis, for example, began as oral stories …

Look at Hidden Motives

Susan Hetrick

Read: John 5:1-15 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” (v. 6) Jesus healed lots of people when he walked the earth, in different ways and for different reasons. Notice the question that Jesus asked this man: “Do you want to get well?” We might think, “Of course he wants to get well! He’s been an invalid for thirty-eight years!” …