Tag Archives: Luke

Still Refuse To Believe? Consider The Evidence.

“And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground” (Luke 22:44).

I think I’ve heard every excuse for why this couldn’t be blood in Jesus’ sweat. Some claim that the word, “like” gives an out to the skeptic. Others deny that “blood sweat” exists. Many simply shrug and say they can’t explain it.

But “hematohidrosis” is real. It is a rare condition. And a 21-year-old patient, who was recently treated for “blood sweat,” definitively answers the critics.

The young woman in question has dealt with “blood sweat” for at least three years. She was a patient of Dr. Roberto Maglie at the University of Florence. Hematologists at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto further studied her case, and they recently published their findings in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Sometimes “blood sweat” occurs in her sleep, other times under stress. It can appear on her hands and her face. The condition causes her stress and depression. She even ostracized herself from society due to the condition.

Having ruled out cuts, colored sweat secretion, such as chromhidrosis and pseudochromhidrosis, and other possibilities, doctors treated her for hematohidrosis. The medical team also reviewed 42 medical articles since 1880 about the condition. Yet some doctors still refuse to accept its existence.

Why is it so difficult to believe? Medical historian Jacalyn Duffin from Queen’s University in Ontario wrote, “the long-standing association of hematohidrosis with religious mystery may make its existence harder to accept.” In other words, because “blood sweat” is Biblical, it gets dismissed.

In and of itself, this kind of skepticism is nothing new. If the Bible said it, then secular-minded individuals want to disregard it. But at what point does overwhelming evidence not cause one to review the facts?

Of course, hematohidrosis is just a small example of a larger issue. Many will deny anything associated with religion. But consider this: every time the truth comes out, the Bible’s message is always confirmed.

Jesus was under such great stress that, Luke, a physician, wrote of a condition that appears to have been “blood sweat.” Jesus wept on behalf of humanity. Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and arose resurrected on the 3rd day. You might not want to believe any of that either, but you should carefully examine the evidence.

There will come a day when, at His coming, the truth is completely revealed to all…how does that impact your next decision?

Urged To Finish

runners-olympic, hugOccasionally, at the Olympics, we get the privilege of witnessing something greater than a world record being broken. Because these moments are so rare, they are even more precious than gold medal victories. Sometimes, because of an accident, we get to see what true sportsmanship is all about.

Often, a person’s true nature and character are revealed in times of stress, pain, and disappointment. It is easy to be “all smiles” when you are at the top of the podium receiving a gold medal. But how we react when we get tripped up and see our dreams crashing in front of us, well…that is a true measure.

That is why I was so impressed with American athlete, Abbey D’Agostino, and New Zealand’s, Nikki Hamblin, in Tuesday’s 5,000 meter run. Due to a mid-race collision, Hamblin tripped and fell, causing Abbey to fall as well. What they did next represents a greater spirit than competition.

You see, as Nikki sat there, stunned, Abbey D’Agostino put her hand on Nikki’s shoulder, and urged her to finish. Hamblin recalled Abbey yelling, “Get up, get up! We have to finish! This is the Olympic Games. We have to finish this.'” And as the pair went on, when it was obvious that Abbey had trouble finishing due to her injury, Nikki returned the favor, encouraging Abbey to finish.

When the race was finished, Hamblin said a great thing about D’Agostino: “I am so grateful to Abbey for helping me.’ “That girl was the Olympic spirit right there. I am so impressed and inspired by that.” Nikki and Abbey didn’t know each other, but now they have a bond that can never be broken. They overcame adversity together and finished the race.

In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus reminds us what our attitude should be. It wasn’t the champions of that day (Pharisees, Priests, etc.,) who stopped to help the man who was beaten and robbed. It was a lowly Samaritan who showed the right heart (Luke 10:30-37).

The Apostle Paul saw some Galatians who had been “running well” in their faith but had stumbled because of bad teaching (Galatians 5:7). He helped pick them up, and he encouraged them to run their race “by the spirit,” not the flesh (Galatians 5:16). Finishing the race is more about how we run than coming in 1st (2 Timothy 4:7).

Everyone stumbles in life. We all need encouragement. There are two types of runners generally: 1) Those who say, “They can pick themselves up!”; or 2) Those who say, “Let’s finish this race together.” What kind of runner will you be?

Twisted Sharks

Jonathan Davis was indignant. In 2013, as a Ph.D. candidate at the University of New Orleans, he had been tracking bull shark activity in Lake Pontchartrain. So he was excited when the Discovery Channel wanted to film his work. Unfortunately, Davis’ joy ended when he saw the final product.

He was horrified to find that his work had been misappropriated to boost ratings for “Shark Week,” – a smear campaign against sharks that made him look like a voodoo shark hunter. Since then, several other researchers have denounced editors for their misuse of interviews and filming to ignite controversy in the aquatic world.

At the heart of the problem, is the same old issue: no one likes it when people twist and pervert their words. Most of us get upset when someone takes our work and misuses it to teach something opposite of our beliefs.

And people do it all the time. Even with inspirational material. Take for example, the inspirational calendar which quotes Luke 4:7, “if you worship me, all will be yours.” But the passage was a temptation of Christ by Satan, not words to live by for the Christian!

Imagine, therefore, how God feels about those who would twist and pervert His Word and work for their own glory.

If you have made a decision not to follow God’s Word, or if you don’t believe that God exists at all, that is certainly your decision to make. And no matter how foolish I might think that decision is, it is your right. God gives us all the freedom to choose whether to follow Him or not.

But why? Why oh why, would you try to convince others and yourselves that the Bible doesn’t say what it clearly says? I might suggest that the effort tells us much about the nature of humans.

Why not say, “who cares what God thinks!” I’ll tell you why. Because there are far too many obvious features of this world that prove there was a beginning, a beginner, and an intelligent design to life. Everything else is foolish when put in the light of, “who cares what that infinite being who made everything thinks.”

Rather, if we admit what nature clearly teaches, and if we acknowledge that the Bible is worthy of being followed, then we must cease to pervert His Word to justify our sins. Those who do say are like the “untaught and unstable” men who distort Paul’s words, “as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16).

Don’t be fooled! God is not mocked. Quit trying to find loopholes! He will not eternally allow His Word to be twisted and perverted by evil men with evil plans. Make your decision to adhere to the Word and live eternally in His glory!

Dying For A Selfie vs. Dying To Selfie

selfie in carThe Selfie. Harmless self-promotion? Or deadly danger? You decide! Up until recently, I would have said Selfies were mostly harmless, but maybe I was wrong.

Lately, the headlines are getting worse: “Couple Killed After Falling From Cliff While Taking Selfie,” “Train Selfie Kills Three Indian Students,” “15 Year Old Dies Taking Selfie In Front of Train,” etc. And the most recent? A Selfie was blamed for a plane crash!

That’s right. Based on information found on a GoPro camera at the crash site, the determination was made that the pilot of a small plane probably caused his death and a passenger’s, all because he was distracted…while taking Selfies.

Now, Selfie-danger isn’t new. In Greek myths, a young man named Narcissus was so in love with his own reflection in the water that he was unable to stop staring at himself. He ultimately drowned and was turned into a flower. Like Narcissus, some people are so enamored with themselves that they ignore the dangers around them. Like Narcissus, they would rather die because of a Selfie than die to Selfie.

What does dying to Selfie look like? Glad you asked. Take a look at Luke 9:23-24:

And [Jesus] was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.”

Jesus is the perfect example. He wasn’t into self-promotion, and He always put the Kingdom first.

I’m not against using “Selfies” to capture memorable moments. This message isn’t really even about photos. But it is about your heart. And each day we take “Selfies” of our hearts and post them online…no, not Facebook…but in the Book of Life.

My question is, “Does your record promote self or show you following Him?”

If you follow Jesus, and die to selfish needs and desires, He promises the abundant life. But if you insist on Selfie first…well, I hope the danger was worth the shot.