An Ugly Thing

John Koedyker

Read: Mark 14:10-11 Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. (v. 10) As we prepare for Easter in the weeks ahead, we will consider the final chapters of Mark, and the last week of Jesus’ life on earth. In today’s reading, we see an ugly thing done by Judas, for which he has been remembered throughout the world. It’s hard to understand, isn’t it? Jesus the …

Hope for the Sinner

Duane T. Loynes Sr.

Read: 1 John 1:5-10 The blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (v. 7) Before I was married, I lived in a small apartment in Hoboken, New Jersey. One day, while looking at the tiles in my shower, I noticed that some mildew had built up and they needed cleaning. I got a bucket, filled it with water and soap, and scrubbed the tiles as hard as I could. Nothing happened. I then remembered that my mother …

Hope for the Desperate

Duane T. Loynes Sr.

Read: Mark 5:25-34 For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” (v. 28) Years ago, driving home from a conference in Montreal, the driver of our vehicle fell asleep. We crashed into the car in front of us, slid off of the highway, and landed upside down in a body of water. I still remember being in the backseat, wondering if I was breathing my last breaths. In that moment, I didn’t have time …

Hope for Bad Days

Duane T. Loynes Sr.

Read: Romans 8:26-30 All things work together for good. (v. 28) The year 2010 was a challenging year for my family. I was in graduate school, my wife was working full time, and we were often stretched thin financially. One day, while driving home, our car broke down. Overwhelmed, I decided that I needed to quit my doctoral program and get a full-time job. Friends and family intervened, including one aunt who asked me to hold off on any drastic …

Hope for Those Who Sacrifice

Duane T. Loynes Sr.

Read: Luke 5:1-11 But at your word I will let down the nets. (v. 5) Years ago, while my wife was at a salon, a woman walked in with her daughter. This woman lived in a shelter but was about to be kicked out. After a while, the woman got up to walk to McDonald’s to get some food. Noticing that the woman only had one dollar in her hand, my wife gave her all the cash we had until …

Hope for the Wounded

Duane T. Loynes Sr.

Read: 1 Corinthians 15:50-58 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (v. 57) A long time ago, I learned an interesting fact about honeybees. The stinger of the worker honeybee is attached to vital organs, muscles, and nerves. When a honeybee stings someone, it cannot detach its barbed stinger without simultaneously detaching those crucial body parts from itself. So, after it stings its victim, the bee pulls away and dies a painful …