All things work together for good?

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good” – Romans 8:28

There is nothing that’s not included in the “all things”.

All things include sickness, losses, hurt, changes, pain, difficulties, challenges, financial issues, ministry issues, unmet expectations, unmet dreams, government decisions, surprises, disappointments, isolation, etc. etc..

Pretty bold statement. Sometimes I have a hard time to practically believe and live this passage. I say that God is good and He wants good for me, but sometimes when stones and huge rocks blocks my journey, it’s hard to believe it and feel it.

Loving God means that we trust a God who wants good for us. We need to believe that God is good and God wants good for those who love Him. Who would want to follow a God who doesn’t want good for his followers? That would not make sense! We follow a good God who wants good for us – he proved that for us in many ways, but most importantly through his Son’s death. How could a God be bad who gave his Son for his enemies? (Rm 8:32)

But this promise doesn’t include 3 things that we automatically mean and believe when we hear this promise.

  1. What is good? This promise doesn’t give us the authority to define what’s good. God defines good for us. We don’t know what is good for us. Those who love God have to trust God to define “good” for them. It’s better for God to define what is good because He is good and we are not. How could fallen, sinful, finite, selfish creatures define what is good better then the holy, loving, perfect, good, self-sacrificing God? Why do we have such a hard time to trust in God’s hand what is good for us?
  2. When it’s good? This promise doesn’t give us the authority to set the timing and define when this should work out for good. Those who love God have to turn over timing in their life. They don’t control when things should happen in their life. God controls timing in their life. Who is better to define timing: us, who are limited by space, time and understanding or God who lives above space, time and is able to put into consideration everything? Isn’t make more sense to trust him than us?
  3. How it’s good?  This promise doesn’t give us the authority to define how this will be worked out for our good. Those who love God have to trust how God will accomplish this good. God controls the means. Who has more power, ways, means, resources to do those good for us: God or us?

So why do we try so hard to limit God’s goodness to us by demanding and dictating what good he should do, when he should it and how he should it? We are our own enemies if we try to limit the goodnes of God by distrusting his ways, timing and means.

Loving God (beside of being obedient to Him) means that we turn over the control of what, when and how he works out things for our good. This promise is only true for such lovers of God.

We believe this theoretically, but when things starts to fall out of our control we have a hard time to trust and believe that God’s definition, timing and means of good will happen through the challenges we are in and this is his will for our good!

The Challenge of the Church in the 21st Century

Our action reflects our vision. Our vision reflects our view of God.

In a migrating, multicultural, innovative, fast-changing, urbanized, global environment where the world is facing never seen mega problems, the church is a static, monocultural, rigid, slow-changing, suburban, closed entity driven by small, narrow visions focusing on shamefully ridiculous issues and on micro problems, not even dreaming about helping and collaborating to ease the pain of the mega sufferings of the world. The church got paralized by these gigantic problems, instead of getting empowered by our magnificent God who is bigger than these problems are. We talk about a big letter GOD, but our action, vision and life reflects a small letter god.

The 1st Century church was a multicultural, migrating, moving, fast-changing, city-centered, innovative, radical, Spirit-filled community of believers who turned the world upside down. They were led by 12 + 1 (with Paul) Spirit-filled, apostolic, radical and empowering leaders who took it seriously who Jesus is and their calling to go to the whole world. Their view of God was reflected in their actions. Such is ours. The difference is embarrassing.

What does the Church needs now?

SPIRIT-FILLED, COLLABORATING, VISIONARY, PROPHETIC, EMPOWERING LEADERS WITH WORLD-VISION. The Church through her history had been mobilized and empowered through such leaders. Nothing substitutes the envisioned, mobilized, empowered, Spirit-filled multitudes of believers. That always happened through such leaders.

INNOVATIVE LABORATORIES. We need to form “laboratories”, think-tanks, with people who will do research, try new things, experiment, fail and succeed, etc.. We need to accelerate the “Acts 15 moments” where the Body of Christ came together to recognize that God is doing something new. We need more of these moments that God is doing something “new”. If we don’t expand the borders of the church now than the world will expand his. The world is winning by being much more aggressive and innovative.

DIVERSITY. Diverse teams need to be put together with the best innovators, who already built new models and are called to be on the very frontline of the ministry. These teams need to have members who truly embrace this cosmopolitan world and are willing to become “Greek for the Greek, and Jew for the Jew”. Apostle Paul built a diverse team which was very innovative, fast, and led a major paradigm shift in many ways.

CITY-FOCUS. Such teams need to be placed into potential and influential cities – that is influential in education, media, economy and arts and which cities are diverse.  The church needs to collaborate to put those teams together. Apostle Paul went to key cities of his age.

The church needs to form Paul-like teams with Paul-like leaders, vision, innovation-capacity, flexibility, with Paul-like focus. That is absolutely essential for the future of the global Body of Christ.

Sometimes I don’t understand God

Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”  Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” John 13:7-8


I don’t like the things I don’t understand. Especially I don’t like when things happen to me or around me that I don’t understand. Understanding is a key component of our consciousness. When we don’t understand than we loose stability, control and reference points.

But certainly there are things Jesus is doing in our lives that we don’t understand, we don’t have the capacity to discern, perceive, see through. I have countless list of those in our personal journey. Matter fact, sometimes I feel like there are less and less things that I understand.

Peter didn’t understand what Jesus was doing with him. It didn’t make sense to him, it felt outside of his frame of reference. But Jesus did it anyway.

Here are a few observations from this short dialog between Jesus and Peter:

  • Jesus likes to do things we don’t understand. He wont apologize for doing things with us that we don’t understand.
  • Our limited capacity to understand things should never be the limit of God’s will for our lives. Jesus is not limited to our finite capacity of understanding! Our limited ability to understand will not hinder Jesus doing what his plans for us and with us.
  • There are things Jesus is doing in our lives that we will only understand looking back. (…but afterward you’ll understand – says Jesus.) Certain things don’t make sense looking ahead of them, but they only gain meaning as we look back to them.
  • What happens to you (“your feet being washed, Peter”) that you don’t understand now is critical and essential for your future usability and community! (“if I don’t wash you, you have no share with me” – says Jesus to Peter.) Your reaction to the things you don’t understand Jesus is doing in your life determines your future!
  • Those things you don’t understand now are changing you and making you usable by God (Peter’s feet being washed by Jesus which he didn’t understand at that moment made him usable in his future.).
  • Who you became during the process when things happen to you that you don’t understand is key for your future. It’s more important who you became than what will be done through you. Nothing can’t be done through you unless you are going through things that you don’t understand now.

I’ve seen too many people being upset with God and others when things happened in their lives they didn’t understand.

Trust and love takes us beyond the limits of our finite understanding.

The Danger of Walking with Jesus


Jesus’s disciples very soon discovered how uncomfortable and even dangerous can it be to walk with him. Jesus is asking frightening questions and proposes embarrassing challenges. Like he did at the Feeding the Five Thousand: Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat? He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do.”  John 6:5b-6

Jesus is not asking questions because he doesn’t know the answer.

Jesus, by asking this question is identifying a need and pointing us to a problem (no food). He is not asking a question because he is looking for a solution. He already knew the solution. He is asking a question to point us to a need which will forces us to our knees and to obedience. Jesus’s questions  (“where, how, who, with what”) are revealing our limitations. Walking with Jesus – very soon – will face you with your own limitations.

The task given by Jesus will be done by Jesus – “he knew what he would do”.

He is not asking us to do what only he can do, but he is asking us to be willing to be used in what he is doing. He involves us in his work NOT because he can’t do it alone. Him involving us doesn’t say anything about his limited power, but tells everything about his limitless love. He doesn’t involve us because he lacks power, capacity, ability, or that something is out of his control, or that something surprised him, interrupted his plan, etc. He involves us, because he loves us so much that He wants us to experience and know Him (Is 45:2-3).

The work done through us is also for us.

The miracle of the feeding of the 5000 was not just about providing bread, but about testing his disciples. The impossible situations and commands that Jesus brings in our lives is at least as much about revealing truths about us as it is about fulfilling the needs of those we serve. A danger in walking with Jesus and doing his work is that we will discover things about ourselves we will not like – he will tests us. Sometimes we fail His testing. 

Another danger of walking with Jesus is that we will constantly be surprised with unexpected, unpredictable and impossible commands, challenges, situations and changes. Very few things will go as we’ve planned or desired.

Jesus working through us means that he will always puts us into impossible, frightening, scary, unplanned, challenging situations – just like he has surprised the disciples with this impossible command to feed thousands of people with nothing. The danger of walking with Jesus is that your life and ministry will not be as you planned. When you’ve decided to follow Him, you decided to give up control. Walking with Jesus means that we are walking with someone who is in the business of doing the impossible, whom we can’t control, who will shock us, surprises us, will bring unexpected challenges and changes into our lives. Walking with Jesus was never meant to be an easy, calculable, predictable, comfortable journey. He will bring curves, surprises on the road, but the road eventually will lead to His home. Too many people, including missionaries, pastors or ministries follow Jesus because they think they’ll get an aid for their plans instead of being an aid for His plans.

Jesus knows what he wants to do in our life and ministry. When we are facing a question he already has the answer and he knows what he is going to do. Jesus will do what his plan is for our life and ministry. Jesus is working in us and testing us while he is working through us. Jesus involves us, but not without allowing us to face with unexpected, impossible, outrageous commands and tasks.

He wants us to face with our limitations and his limitless power.

Do you want to get well?

“Do you want to be healed?”
– asks Jesus from the invalid. John 5:6

murillo-christ-healing-paralytic-pool-of-bethesda-NG5931-fmWe are sick! We are all lames. Many of us don’t even recognize that we are lames. The worst kind of sickness is when you don’t see that you are sick.

Let me list to you a couple of sickness that I’ve observed in my life and makes me lame, paralyzes me:

  • FEAR – nothing makes me more lame than fear, fearing the un-kown, the uncertain, the future, people. Fear of loosing control over our circumstances, over other people’s reaction. Fearing that our expectations are not met, etc. Fear is my biggest enemy.
  • HURT – we all carry some level of pain in our soul and in our relationships. Those hurts, pains are paralyzing us, depriving us from experiencing depth with others, because we like to be swamped in self-pity.
  • PRIDE – we are looking to others for confirmation, for recognition, for affirmation, for appreciation. And when we don’t get those from them, when we feel we are loosing our face, when we are not recognized or appreciated than we become paralyzed, we are not finding our place in the community and we start to prove ourselves.
  • SELFISHNESS – we are comparing ourselves with others and we want to get things from others. When we don’t get what we expect from life or from others, than we become angry, upset, insecure, bitter and jealous.

These are just 4 very common sickness that makes us invalid, lame, unable to move, to walk and to live freely. A lame is always dependent on others to carry them. Fear, hurt, pride, selfishness makes us dependent on others, too.

Jesus is asking a very simple question: Do you want to get well?

We might think that this is a crazy question to ask from a lame – of course he wants to get well! Who wouldn’t?

Well – maybe you. Maybe me.

Jesus is asking the same questions from us: do you want to get well from your fear, from your hurt, from your pride or from your selfishness – from everything that paralyzes you?

Of course this is the first question Jesus is asking, because He can only free you from the things you want to get freed from. He won’t give make you well unless you want it.

How can you get well, healed?

First, you need to want to get well.

Lot of people don’t want to get well, because they don’t think they can get well. They are so used to their invalidity, their inability to live differently and freely that they can’t even imagine a different life. They rather stay lame in their fears, in their pride, in their self-pity, in their selfishness. Jesus can change your life, but he won’t unless you want it.

Do you really want to leave behind fear, self-pitty, self-absorbency, self-dependency, pride, selfishness – all those things that are making you invalid, lame, unable to live and move freely? Or you actually like those things and can’t imagine your life without them?

Second, you need to obey to the most scandalous command and do what seems impossible and absolutely unnatural to you: “get up and walk”.

Jesus gave an outrageous command to this person that didn’t make any sense. Jesus told him to do something he never did in the past 38 years. “Get up and walk!” Start moving! Impossible from his own strength. He doesn’t have any ability nor strengths to do this. He is lame. He lost the capacity of walking, so he can’t do it.

But Jesus speaking into his life gave him back this capacity. He just needed to obey to Jesus’ words.

God’s Word brings healing. God’s Word really creates things in our lives we didn’t have before. God’s Word gives back to us the capacity of things we’ve lost decades ago. God’s Word makes us able to do things we were never able to do. God’s Word makes us able to do that seems impossible for us to do.

Jesus’s word spoken into our life embraced with FAITH and OBEDIENCE makes us to do what’s impossible for us: makes the lame walking, the fearful to be courageous, the one who got hurt forgiving, the selfish to live for others, the prideful to become humble, the lazy to work hard.

What is the impossible thing you can’t do, because you never had the capacity or the ability to do it? Is it living without fear? Is it living without being overly anxious about your children? Or to forgive to someone? Or to break out from an addiction? Resolving a conflict? Sharing your faith? Asking for forgiveness from someone? Living by faith?

We are all born lames: we can’t not fear, we can’t forgive, we can’t be free from addictions, we can’t not be prideful, we can’t not hurt others and ourselves, we can’t not be selfish.

But Jesus’ personal word spoken into our lives received by faith makes us able to do what seemed impossible before: we can be humble, we can ask forgiveness, we can live without fear, we can be not selfish, we can start sharing our faith.

Jesus’ word spoken into our lives will have an impact on us like on this lame who was able to walk. We will do things that doesn’t come from our natural abilities. We will do things we were not born with. We will do things against our fear. We will do things we were not trained to do. We will do things that are supernatural to us.

One thing we need to do though: embrace with faith the impossible command He tells us to do.

Get up and walk!

Faith – Risk – Pain – Betrayal

When the Son of Man returns, will he find faith on earth? 
– Luke 18:8


Faith is taking risks.

Faith is saying ‘yes’ to do the impossible
with the nothing you have,
just because your Master said so
– like feeding the 5,000 with the 2 fish and 5 loaves (Mk 8).

Faith is leaving behind the well-known, the fame, the respected name;
the home where everybody knows who you are and what you did
– just as Abraham did.

He choose the unknown over the well-known, the uncertain over the certain,
the alien over the indigenous.
He left behind everything he could have become.
Rejected the place
which served him as a reference of frame.

By faith he made a decision that left him alone or misunderstood,
risking his reputations, his friendships, his home, his respect
and all his circle of influence.
By faith he made a decision which easily could led him to nonsuccess.

Faith is facing our greatest fears
and acting as if those wouldn’t even exist.

Faith is investing your talents and not preserving them (Mt 25:14-30).

Growth only comes through risk-taking faith.
The two options we face are growth or grave.
We either grow or we die
– just as the useless servant as he gave an account.

Faith is moving, stepping out
not knowing where the road will lead you,
focusing on the One you follow and trusting that He will hold you
because what ultimately matters is not the course,
but the King whom you follow.

Faith is knocking on closed doors with the hope
that your relentless pounding unfolds the locking.

Faith is embracing the pain.

By faith Abraham embraced the pain
that came with leaving behind his reference of frame.

By faith he made hard decisions that hurt those he loved the most.

Faith leads to tears over the hard decisions you make.

Faith comes with lots of losses before it brings the many gains.
“Come and you will see” – says Jesus (John 1:39).
You can’t switch that array.

Faith is moving without seeing.

First embrace the pain of going,
then you can enjoy the beauty of seeing.

Faith is trusting that the One who called you
will wipe away the tears you shed
over the many losses you had.

Faith overcomes betrayal

Being betrayed is when love, care, help,
protection, attention and time is promised,
without ever given.

Being betrayed is to be left alone with your fear and pain.

Being betrayed is being unknown, unrecognized and unappreciated
for your tireless service and for the sufferings you endured
for the common good.

Being betrayed is being misunderstood
regarding your motives and the heart of your move.

Betrayal always leaves
a cold and empty hole
in the center of your soul,
a deep crack and break
that makes your heart ache.

Betrayal always leads to death.
That was the case with the Lord
when Judas with a kiss turned him over to be thorn.

Something dies when someone betrays us: a relationship, a trust, a future or a hope.
Something is lost and deeply wounded, which loss can’t be recovered, and which scar will leave it’s mark.

Betrayal is a big part of my story, too:
My father left me wounded, orphaned and doomed.
Trusted friends pierced my heart with their lying words while stabbing my back.
And the country that I call my home robbed our past and took our wealth.

But faith overcomes betrayal, as Christ defeated death,
through His resurrection
the losses and wounds,
the tears and pains,
the marks and scars
will all vanish away.

When the Son of Man returns, 
will he find faith on earth? 
I hope and pray that my faith
will put a smile on the Face,
which was distorted by the pain
caused by my betrayal.


A few weeks ago our daughter moved to England to go to university. Many things stirred up in us as parents: was it wise from us to support this decision? Did we prepare her well to live in a foreign culture and succeed alone in a multicultural mega-city of 12 million people? The feelings of pain over saying good-bye and missing each other and the concern over her safety is mixing in us along with the excitement over her progress. This led Edina and I to think through everything we would like to tell  her. We wrote a letter that I gave to Rahel before I left her alone in London.

This letter is personal, but I’ve decided to publish it here, because:

  • First, it reflects truths that we deeply believe in and determines our lives;
  • Second, the generation of our daughter is a terrifically left-alone generation. Most of them  don’t have a supportive family and cultural background and grew up in a moral, emotional and relational vacuum while they are looking for help, guidance and encouragement in life. The convictions verbalized in this letter can help them find direction and encouragement. They need to feel that they are important, loved and cared for – even if many of them have not experienced that.
  • Third, more and more people are going through the same experience as their kids are finding their way to maximize their talents in this fluid and migrating world and decide to leave their home country. This letter gives an opportunity to look into our personal spiritual and emotional journey and might serve as an encouragement for those who are walking in the same shoes as we are.

Our Dearest Sweet Little Girl,

There are things in life we want them to go on forever and we don’t want them to get to an end. But they inevitably elapse. Your childhood and life together with us is such: we want it to go on forever!

There are situations in life when words don’t come easily. What could we say when we go through something we’ve never experienced before? It’s indescribable what we feel: you were born from us, lived among us and in us, and now it feels like something is ripped out from the very middle of our being! We want to keep you at home and spend every moment with you because you are such a wonderful gift! Yet at the same time we wish with all of our might and prayer what is best for you and what is God’s will for your life! We gave freedom to you to make this important decision about your future and we support you with all of our means. You made a very good decision when you chose England to continue your studies. Don’t look back and question your decision even when loneliness, homesickness and the missing of your family tantalize your heart. You are walking on the path God ordained you to – walk on it faithfully with Him. He will be faithful to you in every moment!

Our Sweet Little Girl, you are a specially wonderful person! You have a uniquely kind personality, a wonderful spirit, a deeply compassionate heart and an opened, very clever mind. Guard these characteristics, but especially protect your heart because that’s the source of every life. Nurture yourself with the truth of God, with His Word. Pick carefully who do you listen to. There are many lie-speaking mouth out there who are turning astray people’s mind and heart. Don’t let the evilness of men and the difficulty of life shatter the beauty of your spirit! Beware of the evilness of men. Men without God are ungodly, selfish, lier, adulterer, greedy and are able and willing to do every kind of evil. Be sound and careful! You have to learn to protect yourself from the evilness out there.

As we are looking back to the wonderful 19 years we’ve spent with you and to the 9 months we were awaiting you in tears praying for your health we can’t do anything but worship and praise the Almighty that He gifted us with you! Our wedding passage was Romans 8:32: “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” At that time we didn’t know how wonderful that “all things” are gonna be which He promised to give to us with Him. You are one that wonderful gift we have received together with Jesus! We were waiting you in tears as we have heard that you will be born handicapped. Now we farewell in tears. And the time in-between is the miracle itself! There is not one moment – from the miracle of your birth up to today – that we wouldn’t want to live through again! Yes, we would like to live through the whole 19 years again: the joyful laughters, the grieves cries, the painful disappointments, the fun games, the adventures excursions, the common discovery of the world and the Word, the deep, lengthy discussions and prayers together. In and through all of that somehow God wonderfully was forming you! What an endless joy it was for us to be a tool in God’s hand in forming such a wonderful person like you are!

But the majority of our task came to an end. We’ve tried to give the best of our efforts, knowledge, abilities and love despite of our deficiencies, mistakes and weaknesses. When we look at you, joy and peace overwhelms our heart. We are convinced that we gave what we could. Now, new people, new experiences, new situations need to come to bring your life, your character and your relationship with God to a next level. God wants to use new tools in your formation. That’s why we are giving you back boldly into the hands of the Lord who entrusted you as a gift to us for a short time. We can’t run your race for you – this is your race, but we will be there at the edge of the field to watch and help your race. You can always count on us. We will always be there to help you up when you fail, to rejoice with you in your successes and to advise you at the crossroads of your life. There is one thing we can’t do: walk your path and make your decisions for you. Your path is awaiting for you to walk on it and you can do it with the Lord! God is storing wonderful things for you on this road if you are faithfully clinging onto Him! Use wisely all the gifts you got!

Remember: God is enough! He is enough in every situation! You do not need anything else, but His grace! Now the Lord wants you to deeply experience, like never before that He is enough, that He is your life, your Nurturer, your Love, your Everything!

Remember: God’s word is the food of your soul and the light on your path. He nourishes us daily and shows to us only the next step.

Be blessed, our Dear Little Girl! May God protect all your steps! May His light shine upon you in every moment! May His love cheer your heart! May his joy fulfill your soul! May His wisdom guide your mind! May He lead you in your decisions! May He bless all your work!

With deep love until the grave:

Daddy and Mommy

The Struggling Church of Europe

The Church in Europe struggles for survival – there are ample evidences of that. 

Europeans are the most secularized people-group  in the history of mankind living on the least evangelized Continent of the World. The reasons are many-folded.

The growth the early church experienced in the Book of Acts is enshrouded in fog and at best it’s only wishful thinking and a desire of some obsessed, irredeemable optimists – among them I hope to count myself.

But there were reasons why the church in the Book of Acts experienced growth. Those reasons puts a mirror in front of us. Obviously, we can’t ignore the special timing of God’s grace poured out on the start of the church. This God-element can’t be forced. But for sure the leaders and Apostles of the early church modeled something that contributed to growth. There are some key, returning, always present elements in their ministry which was always present when growth has happened either through missionary journeys or in local settings.

I found 3 Constant Elements of Growth that were present almost every time we read about growth or expansion: 

  • 1. Proclamation
  • 2. Persecution
  • 3. Prayer


We see in the ministry of Peter and Paul that the main vehicle to reveal and to expand God’s truth was speaking. The proclamation that led to growth involved initiation, reasoning, persuasion and debates. Multiple times we read expressions like: speaking boldly, reasoning, persuading, debating. Without proclamation we don’t see significant growth in the Book of Acts. Of course many other things has happened, but proclamation was needed to start, create something new and generate growth.

Speaking is a key vehicle (but not the only) to reveal and to expand God’s truth. The ability to speak, to communicate and to create something by speaking is a key element of our “imago dei”, God’s image in us.

Proclamation led to creation. God created matter-time-energy (impersonal elements) and soul-mind-personality (personal elements) by proclamation. In this first creation act God was the one who both proclaimed and performed the execution of creation through His Word. The law of “proclamation leads to creation” has not changed. 

Proclamation is necessary for a new creation. God creates a new, eternal life in the doomed bodies by giving us the responsibility to PROCLAIM His Word, the gospel. Through OUR proclamation HE creates a new eternal life in the doomed bodies, He creates new, living communities (the Church) and restores broken societies. In this new work of creation we proclaim and He performs the execution. God involves us in His creating act by entrusting us the proclamation part of creating new life in people. 

The Devil is utilizing this law of “proclamation leads to creation” very effectively to mislead people. Think about this: how does the world expands it’s influence? By proclamation: by aggressively spreading their own “truth”, brainwashing masses by words and pictures using the very powerful vehicle of the Media. Words of lies can create new beliefs, new convictions, new systems or even new societies. Words will lead to new actions in people’s life. Andy Andrews in his book, called “How to kill 11 million people?” points out well that the Nazis used words to lead people to false beliefs which led to the horror of the Holocaust.

The Church’s response to this aggressive attack of words is to be less and less vocal about the gospel and about the truth. While it’s essential to support our words with our deeds and actions, deeds without words will not lead to new creation (Rm 10:17) and will not produce growth. If we want to expand the influence of the gospel, it will not happen without proclaiming the truth of the gospel.


In Acts the growth that happened through PERSUASIVE PROCLAMATION is almost always followed by PERPETUAL PERSECUTION. Truth and lies are conflicting. Why would we think that we can represent the truth in an environment saturated by lies and not assuming raging conflicts? We wish to live in political correctness so we would not experience the anger, the hatred, the extrusion from the majority who are hurt by the truth. Jesus promised that the truth we proclaim will cause major conflicts and our life will be threatened. Jesus was crucified not for what he did (healing, feeding), but for what He SAID (He is the Son of God)! His proclamation contributed more to his death, than his action. They couldn’t find anything bad in his actions, but they hated his words! His truth-telling was shadowed his truth-acting so much that people hated him more for what He said than loved Him for all the good what He did. If He was hated for what He said, than we are gonna be hated as well  no matter the good we will do. Lies can’t stand truth no matter how loving truth is. 


Both proclamation and persecution was saturated with the prayers of the Saints. A lot of the prayers we read about in Acts happened in the context of proclamation and in the context of the persecution that was triggered by proclamation. The recurring focus of the prayers were protection, boldness in proclamation and worship. 

Seeing these 3P (Proclamation, Persecution, Prayer) I have a better guess why the church in Europe struggles. 

We had been silent for so long about the truth. We had been deluded by lies, corrupted by privileges given by the governments and remained silent when governments became evil and injustice arose. (I’m still trying to comprehend what led to the ineffectiveness and silence of the church as the two most evil ideologies –  the Nazi and the Communist – swept through our Continent leading to 100 million violent death.) We remained silent when our children were fed with lies in the schools. We remained silent when the basic morales of the society were rewritten. And most of the time we are silent because we are afraid to be outcast from the society. At best we pray in our safe buildings.

This summer Edina and I took a visit to a Catacomb in Rome. Fascinating experience. The early Christians were forced to live under the ground – they were outcast from their society. They were not willing to worship what their society worshiped and they were willing to take this conflict to the point were their only chance was to go and live 30 feet under the ground! But they were able to change what was above the ground!

Now, we live above the ground and pretty much lost our impact on what’s above the ground.


When we don’t understand God…

“Christ didn’t come to the world so that we could decipher him but that we could hold onto him…” / Dietrich Bonhoeffer /

A few weeks ago a family we love lost a son in tragic circumstances. Godly, wonderful, good people and a horrible thing has happened to them.

Why bad things are happening to good people? Why good things are happening to bad people? We don’t understand that.

Jeremiah also had a hard time understanding what God was doing with him and why he had to do certain things just out of obedience. In Chapter 32 he was commanded to buy a piece of land. He had to invest into a country that was going to be destroyed. He had to announce the judgment of God on the country and than he had to do something that communicated the opposite of this message. He felt trapped and confused.

What did Jeremiah do with his doubts and questions? He worshiped God before he shared his doubts with Him. He turned his doubts and questions into a worship! He was focusing on who God is and not on what he didn’t understand about Him.

Jeremiah’s example encourages us to follow a path when we have doubts, questions and pains:

  1. Share your doubts and questions with God! When you don’t understand Him, turn TO HIM and don’t turn away FROM HIM. If you turn away from Him how do you hope to get an answer, a solution and comfort? Nothing is waiting for you, but hopeless despair, anger and bitterness when you decide to turn away from God.
  2. Worship Him even when you don’t understand Him!  Not understanding Him doesn’t mean He is less powerful and loving! Our limited understanding and knowledge doesn’t make Him limited in power and in love.
  3. Don’t question His character, His power and His motivation just because you don’t understand something He is doing in your life or in the world. Not understanding Him is not a reason not worshiping Him. Our limited knowledge and experience can’t be the judge of our Creator. When we make decision that our kids don’t understand or appreciate that doesn’t mean that we don’t love them. And it hurts when they assume that and question our love toward them. God’s character is not dependent on our experience.

When we envelope our doubts with worship than our soul will find peace. Bonhoeffer saw it well: Christ – first and foremost – has not promised that we will decipher Him, but that we would find hope and comfort in Him.


Mt 27:15-26 – I am innocent!

“I am innocent” says Pilate (v24.)

What a distorted seen! The truly and only innocent, the Son of God is standing there in silence. And his judge, who is truly guilty is loudly shifting blame and proclaiming that he is innocent.

How in the world could he convince himself that he is innocent when he knew:
– the motivation behind why they want to kill Jesus – (v. 18. – “he knew that it was out of envy…”)
– the fact that Jesus was innocent – (v. 23. – “what evil has he done?”…)
– that his wife got a godly message to stay away from this – (v. 19. – “have nothing to do with that righteous man…”)

Pilate is a leader who knew the motivation, knew the facts, received godly warning but still decided to please men and thought he can remain innocent. He can’t. Pilate had plenty of evidences, support and power to make the right decision. At that moment he was in charge and he was responsible. Nobody else was there to make that decision. Nobody else was there to be fully responsible. But he had ignored facts, motivations, godly warning and decided to give in to the pressure coming from the crowd and than shifted blame and responsibility. He shifted the blame on the circumstances and on the pressure. It’s something we all face. The decision Pilate made seemed a democratic decision. There are definite dangers in democracy. A very democratic crowd crucified the Son of God. The danger of democracy is that the crowd can be persuaded by corrupt leaders. (See v. 20.)


We are fully equipped to be fully responsible.
– God always (even at the most critical situations) gives enough evidences, support and power to help us to make the right decision.
– Because God supplies everything we need to make the right decisions and act responsibly, we don’t have any platform to point fingers, to shift blames, and to declare ourselves innocent. Circumstances, pressure from others are not an excuse not to make the right decisions and not to behave according the will if God.

The lack of owning responsibility (or finding excuses) leads to distorted view of self: “I am innocent.” And not owning our true reality hinders us from finding true grace. Only when we are willing to face the brutal reality about ourselves we are able to start understanding wonderful reality of grace.

A truly repentant person doesn’t seek any excuse, but fully owns his sin.