The Election

Posted: October 11th, 2016 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

If you live in America, and even if you don’t, you know we’ve got an election coming up soon. By all appearances, it’s a tight race. And both sides seem to be terrified at the thought of the other side winning.

To be honest, I find myself easily getting caught up in it. And depending on the headline, video, poll or meme, I may feel encouraged or discouraged. At peace or anxious. Hopeful or despondent.

But those up and down emotions based on the circumstances of the day are a good indicator I have my mind set on the wrong thing. Negative emotions like fear, worry, anxiety and insecurity are like the warning lights on the dashboard of my car. They’re letting me know I’ve got a mindset problem.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:5-8)

Paul contrasts the mind controlled by the flesh with the mind controlled by God’s Spirit. The flesh is that part of us that insists on going its own way, not God’s way. It’s a desire to live life independently of God. Whereas the mind controlled by the Spirit leads to life and peace, the mind controlled by the flesh leads to death and hostility toward God.

So what does any of this have to do with a presidential election?

CLICK HERE to read the rest of this post.


Ask God to Surprise You

Posted: December 11th, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

 Ask God to Surprise You

20 Days of Believing God (Day 7)

I just sent an email to my subscribers and suggested they plan a surprise for their spouse this weekend. Nothing elaborate. Just to be intentional about meeting each other’s needs. Surprising each other is a fun way to keep the mystery and excitement alive.

Just when I think I’ve seen it all…Robyn will do or say something that surprises me. And I love that! It means I don’t have her figured out. It means she’s growing and changing…as I hope I am. By the way, being committed to your personal growth is a great way to head off any potential boredom in your marriage.

If you think about it…you’re really not married to the person you exchanged vows with on your wedding day. You’ve both changed. You’ve learned and experienced new things. Don’t ever stop. Keep growing.

So back to the subject of this post. Would you ask God to surprise you?

You may have one of two reactions to the idea of asking God for a surprise.

The first is: “Whoa! Be careful what you ask for!”

The second is: “A surprise from God? Bring it on!”

Your reaction reveals a lot about how you view God.

The first reaction tells me you view God as someone who really isn’t on your side. Someone who’s looking for any excuse to throw a problem into your life. Ask Him for a surprise and you’re asking for trouble.

The second reaction tells me you view God as a loving Father who delights in His children. You know He loves you and wants only the best for you. Ask Him for a surprise and you begin to anticipate His goodness being expressed toward you.

If asking God for a surprise makes you nervous, let me encourage you to meditate on the following passages. Your view of God may need a realignment.

“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”  (Luke 11:11-13)

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”  (Zephaniah 3:17)

Does God use trials and difficulties in our lives? Absolutely. He uses them to conform us to His image and strengthen our faith. That’s not my point here. We’re talking about how you and I view God.

So how about it? Are you up for asking God to surprise you? This is certainly a good season for presents and surprises. Ask God for one. See what He does.

Leave a comment if you’re in. I’ll join you in asking!

And believe He always has your best in mind. He’s not looking for an excuse to give you a scorpion.

One last thing…if the idea of asking God for a surprise feels selfish and instead you feel you should be doing something for Him…can I lovingly suggest that maybe you’re not seeing God as a gracious Father who delights in you. Maybe it feels like you need to do whatever you can to try and please Him.

Here’s a thought…could it be you’re already pleasing to Him? And He’d really enjoy surprising you with His goodness?


Is God Really Good?

Posted: December 7th, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

 Is God Really Good?

20 Days of Believing God (Day 3)

I had an appointment one day to meet a friend for lunch. It turned out he forgot about the appointment, but it gave me a chance to talk with one of the servers I knew. As we talked, she told me about her son and how he’d turned his back on God.

Her son was angry, because of some difficult circumstances that had occurred in his life. He was blaming God and feeling like God had let him down.

Can you relate to his feelings?

I can.

I’ve gone through some hard times where nothing I did seemed to work. Difficult circumstances got worse, not better. When I was sure things couldn’t get worse…they did. I felt not only humbled, but humiliated.

I got angry. At God. I thought I was doing everything I knew to do to walk by faith and please Him. Rather than blessing me for it, He seemed to delight in making things harder.

I was angry. Very angry. It didn’t stop there though.

My anger turned to bitterness. My heart was filled with it. It infected my thoughts, my feelings and my words. My relationship with God suffered. My influence for God suffered. There was more though.

The anger and bitterness turned to cynicism. I no longer trusted God. I didn’t believe He really had my best interests in mind. That being the case, I saw no reason to trust Him. He wasn’t going to come through anyway. So what was the sense? I concluded that the best thing to do was to simply lower my expectations of Him. If I didn’t expect much then I couldn’t be disappointed.

That period in my life was over fifteen years ago, but I can still feel those emotions surface once in awhile. It’s kind of like having a virus that lies dormant for years, then becomes active again.

As long as we’re being honest, I have to confess I still wrestle with those feelings. Sometimes the virus rears its ugly head and really takes a toll on my faith.

Maybe you can relate. You might be in a season like that now. If so, let me suggest you meditate on these two verses today.

“As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless.”  (Psalm 18:30)

“For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” (Psalm 100:5)

God’s ways are perfect. I may not understand them. I may not even like them. But it doesn’t change the fact that they’re perfect. He’s also good, loving and faithful.

We’ve got to view our circumstances through that lens. We can’t view God’s character through the lens of our circumstances. He won’t look very good and we’ll only feel confused.


Why I was SO Annoyed at My Wife

Posted: December 6th, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

 Why I was SO Annoyed at My Wife

20 Days of Believing God – Day 2

A number of years ago, my wife, Robyn, ruined the floors in three rooms of our house. It was thousands of dollars in damage. Money we didn’t have.

I won’t even go in to how she did it. That’s not important. The floors were ruined.

Can you blame me for feeling annoyed with her? (That’s the kind way of saying I was angry!)

You’d probably feel the same way if your wife (or husband) did what she did.

There was a problem though with how I was feeling. What I didn’t mention was that the damage to the floors occurred in my dream. None of it was real.

That didn’t stop me from waking up in the middle of the night and feeling annoyed with her though…until I realized the truth.

So why was I so upset? After all, it was only a dream.

Because my mind was not able to distinguish between what was real and what was not. I believed something was true, when in fact it wasn’t. The wrong thought then led to a wrong feeling.

Our thoughts are powerful and will determine how we feel and act today. What are you believing? About God? About your circumstances? About yourself? Is it true? Or do you just think it’s true?

This is key: sometimes we can believe something for so long that we just come to believe it’s true. When, in fact, it’s not.

If you don’t know the truth, then your feelings, actions and words will be based on something false. How you treat your spouse or children or co-workers is based on what you believe.

How you respond to your financial situation today will depend on your beliefs, as well. Do you believe God sees your situation? That He understands what you’re facing? Do you believe He’s true to His promises?

Romans 12:1-2 says:

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

We will only experience the good, pleasing and perfect will He has for us as we allow Him to change the way we think.

So what does God have to say about you and your circumstances today? What does He say about Himself?

You need to know if you’re going to experience the life He has for you.


20 Days of Believing God

Posted: December 5th, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

 20 Days of Believing God

Maybe I’m the only one who needs this, but I suspect I’m not. If you need it too, then I invite you to join me.

In believing God.

For 20 days. Between now and Christmas. Or whenever you can join us.

So what are we going to believe?

Well, let’s start with what we’re NOT going to believe.

NOT our circumstances. The disappointing medical report. The balance in our checking account. The current condition of our marriage. The strained relationship with a child. The threat of a lay-off.

NOT our feelings. Worry. Fear. Anxiety. Insecurity. Inferiority. Doubt. Discouragement. Despair.

NOT the news. Terrorism threats. National debt. Violent crimes.

NOT the opinions of others.

NOT our own negative self-talk. “I’ve failed.” “I’ll never make it.” “This will never work.” “I’m not good enough.”

Instead…

Let’s start by believing God is good, faithful and loving and that He is for us.

“If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” (Romans 8:31-32, 38)

Let’s believe that no matter what we’re facing that God is at work in our lives for our good. That He is for us, not against us. That He is bringing about His perfect plan in our lives. That nothing will ever separate us from His love.

If you’re like me…it’s a battle. Everyday. Every moment sometimes. To believe God and not what I see or hear or feel.

It’s worth the fight though. God is pleased by faith. He moves in response to it. We experience Him when we believe Him.

In addition to believing His character, there may be something else you’re believing Him for. A health issue? A financial need? A solution for a struggling marriage? Wisdom for an upcoming decision?

Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name. You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.” (John 16:23-24)

What will you ask God to do over these 20 days? What you believe Him for?

I can’t guarantee things will work out like you want. I CAN guarantee this won’t be easy. The moment you choose to be intentional about believing God and being grateful for who He is and what He’s already done for you…you’ll encounter resistance. Opposition. A thousand reason to not believe Him.

Don’t quit though. Keep believing. Choose to believe that His plan is better than yours.

If you want to join me, I encourage you to grab a partner. Find someone you can do this with. It’s really tough to go it alone. Check back each day for encouragement to keep believing or you can subscribe to new posts in the sidebar box.

On another note, my new video marriage course is on sale through midnight on Saturday. CLICK HERE for more info.


Does God Test Us?

Posted: January 31st, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

In Mark 6, a huge crowd has been following Jesus. It’s now late in the afternoon. His disciples come to Jesus and tell Him to send the people away so they can buy food at the nearby farms and villages.

Instead of doing that though, Jesus says, “You feed them.”

Naturally, the disciples ask, “With what?”

That would be my question. Some of us with an attitude might have said, “Seriously? Seriously, Jesus? Are you for real? Come on, there are thousands of people here.”

Jesus simply replies by asking, “How much bread do you have? Go and find out.”

When the disciples return, they report to Jesus they have five loaves of bread and two fish. So Jesus has everyone sit down in groups, He blesses the food and gives it to the disciples to distribute. There was so much food left over they filled twelve baskets. Mark tells us over five thousand men and their families were fed.

I don’t know how much time has passed, but in Mark 8 there’s another large crowd gathered around Jesus. This time, the disciples don’t approach Jesus with the problem, He calls them and says, “I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will faint along the way. For some of them have come a long distance.”

I would have loved to be there to watch that scene play out. The circumstances are identical to last time. Large crowd. No food. What do we do?

It’s playing out like when a parent is helping a young child with homework. “Okay, let’s try it again. Two plus two equals…”

But the child isn’t quite catching on yet.

“Now think about it for second, if I have two apples and then I add two more…how many apples do I have?”

The parent stares hopefully at the child. The child stares cluelessly at the parent. The answer is so obvious. But still the child isn’t getting it. Like the disciples. Like you and me.

His disciples replied, “How are we supposed to find enough food to feed them out here in the wilderness?”

Apparently, they don’t remember how things worked the last time. Not one of the twelve thinks to say, “Hey Jesus, You don’t have to send them away hungry! I have an idea! Do that thing You did last time! Remember? Remember that time You made all that extra bread and fish? Just do that again.”

I don’t know about you, but I can’t be too hard on the disciples. I don’t remember things God does either. It’s like I’m Lucy in “50 First Dates.” God may have done something great for me yesterday or last week, but I don’t remember it. All I can see is the unmet need today and so I get worried and anxious.

If it was a test, the disciples didn’t do so well. They didn’t remember what Jesus had done in the past, so they didn’t see He could be counted on in the present.

As He did the previous time, Jesus asks, “How much bread do you have?”

This time they come up with seven loaves of bread and a few small fish. And as He’d done the last time, Jesus multiplies what they have and feeds the entire crowd of four thousand people. The disciples gather the leftovers and fill seven baskets this time.

Faith is a big deal to God. He wants to be trusted. He’s pleased by our faith. So don’t be surprised when tests come. Don’t get discouraged when the circumstances seem stacked against you and there’s no way out. God has been faithful in your past. He will be faithful in your present.

And He will be faithful in your future.


How to Believe God

Posted: January 21st, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Since I know many of you read these posts by email, you probably haven’t been to my actual blog site in awhile. If you are on the site right now, you’ll see that the sub-title to this blog is, “A continuing journey…”

And that’s what believing God is for me. A continuing journey. Some days I do better than others. Some hours I do better than others. Some minutes too. Maybe you find like I do that one minute you feel sure and confident in God’s promises and the next minute you feel like He doesn’t even understand what you’re going through.

What it really boils down to are my thoughts. My thoughts determine my feelings. They dictate how I respond to other people, to God and to life.

When I believe what’s true, I experience peace and joy regardless of what’s happening around me. When I believe what I see around me, I easily become anxious, worried and fearful.

My mind must be in a constant state of renewal. Otherwise, I will always default back to believing what I see, not what God says is true. That’s why there’s no substitute for regularly being in God’s word. In it, He reveals Himself, His purposes and His ways. He shows me what He’s like and what’s important to Him. He encourages me, corrects me and instructs me.

Several years ago, I put together an eBook called, “I Believe God: a 40-day adventure.” It’s meant to be used as a daily devotional to help you focus on what God says is true and enlarge your capacity to believe Him. If you’d like a copy, you can get it by clicking here. It’s available in multiple formats, so it’s easy to read on whatever device you have. The suggested price is 99 cents, but I’ve set it up so you can set your own price. You can even make it free if you want.

In addition to my mind being renewed, the other critical element to believing God is having the encouragement of others. There’s no way to make it alone. And not only do you and I need others, they need us, too. I know there have been times when I’ve been talking with a friend and I hear myself speaking truth. Sometimes hearing my own words reminds me I really believe what I’m saying.

So if you want to believe God in a greater way, let me suggest you grab a friend and go through the 40-day devotional together. Talk, text or email each other daily to encourage and pray for each other. Choose to intentionally believe God together for forty days and see what happens.

If you do it, I’d love to hear from you. You can email me here.


Pulling Back the Curtain

Posted: February 12th, 2014 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Curtain Pulled Back 300x204 Pulling Back the Curtain

Do you ever wonder why God does some of the things He does? Or doesn’t do other things?

I do.

Do you ever ask, “Why God?” or “God, where are You?”

I do.

Let’s be honest, we don’t have God figured out. And never will. In fact, in Isaiah 55:8-9, God says:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

This is His universe. It’s His story. He’s under no obligation to explain Himself to us.

Sometimes that can make life painful or confusing, especially when our prayers go unanswered. We pray for things that mean a lot to us, but nothing happens. At least not anything we can see. It can feel like God isn’t listening or if He is listening that He doesn’t care.

In John 11, I believe God pulls back the curtain and lets us see what He’s up to during those times when life seems to be falling apart and He doesn’t seem to be showing up.

Lazarus, a friend of Jesus, is sick. So naturally, his sisters, Mary and Martha, send word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” That’s a really interesting way to talk about someone. “The one you love.” Obviously, there’s a special friendship there.

Naturally, the sisters, just as you and I would, expect Jesus to come and heal their brother. That’s not what Jesus does though. Instead, He pulls back the curtain for us and gives us a glimpse into the spiritual realm. He lets us see He’s up to something far bigger than just healing someone. In verse 4, Jesus says, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s son may be glorified through it.”

Jesus pulls back the curtain with the words “so that.” What’s really going on here? The sickness will not end in death “so that God’s son may be glorified through it.” With that being the primary mission, what happens next in verses 5 and 6 makes sense…

“Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days…”

The whole story hinges on the word, “So.” Lazarus is sick. He’s loved by Jesus. His sisters, Mary and Martha, are loved by Jesus. “So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, Jesus immediately departed for Bethany.”

No, that’s not what happens. Jesus doesn’t immediately depart. He waits. For two days.

Two days may not seem like very long, but it is when someone you love is dying before your eyes. It’s a long time when you’re crying out for God’s help, but no answer appears. Most likely, you’ve prayed for something for much longer than two days. Maybe it’s been two months. Or two years. Or ten.

When the answer we want doesn’t come or doesn’t come quickly, it’s easy to lose heart, isn’t it? It’s easy to give up. Sometimes we begin to question God’s love and goodness. I’ve done that. I’ve doubted Him. And I’ve gotten angry. I’ve allowed disappointment with life to become disappointment with God.

But behind the circumstances you and I are facing, there’s always something bigger going on. The big story is God’s glory. When God shows up by either changing our circumstances or giving us the peace and endurance to keep going…He is glorified. Those around us get to see God at work.

The story of Lazarus continues though and we get to see the curtain pulled back again.

When Jesus gets ready to leave for Bethany, He tells His disciples, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.”

He does it again. He pulls back the curtain and lets us see what’s really going on. He says He’s glad He wasn’t there to heal Lazarus, so that they would believe.

When you and I face painful or confusing circumstances, when life throws more at us than we think we can handle, let’s remember God is at work growing our faith. He wants us to see Him at work so our capacity to trust Him grows.

God sees your situation. He knows the desire of your heart. He’s aware of the unmet need. He’s not unconcerned. He loves you deeply. So…maybe He hasn’t answered your prayer yet…or in the way you wanted Him to, so that He will be glorified and so that you will believe. Will God always answer the way we want? No, but when He doesn’t, we still have the promise of His peace.

Whatever you’re facing today…remember to pull back the curtain and take a peek at what God is up to.


What Are You Believing God For?

Posted: January 23rd, 2014 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Early in his reign as king over Israel, God appeared to Solomon and said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”

Jesus once asked a blind man, “What do you want me to do for you?”

Solomon asked for wisdom and knowledge so he’d be an effective leader. Not surprisingly, the blind man asked to see.

What would you ask for?

1 John 5:14-15 says…

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him.

Jesus said…

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Jesus also said…

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

And…

Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

I’ll confess, I have had a hard time with these passages. I’ve struggled to believe they’re really true. Haven’t we all prayed for things we believed were God’s will, but didn’t get?

I have. You probably have too.

So what are we to do when we pray for things we believe are God’s will, but nothing happens?

Let me suggest five things…

1. Regardless of what happens, don’t doubt God’s love, God’s goodness or God’s faithfulness. One of the greatest sins I commit is when I mistake disappointment with life with disappointment with God. We live in a broken world. Bad stuff happens. To all of us. No one is immune to hardships. We will never understand (at least in this life) everything God does or doesn’t do, but we can’t allow our pain, confusion or disappointment to lead to questioning His character. I’ve done that. It leads to a bad place.

2. Don’t give up. Some prayers aren’t answered right away. Some are answered after many years. It’s easy to become discouraged and quit, to stop believing, to lower our expectations of God, so we won’t feel disappointment. I’ve done that too. Frankly, I believe it’s offensive to Him when we lower our expectations of Him.

3. Remember that when He doesn’t answer the way we’d hoped, His peace and comfort are available to us no matter what we go through. It also could meant He’s got something better planned for us. Either way, we can’t lose.

4. Know that faith pleases God (Hebrews 11:6). We often talk about getting to know God better, well, here’s something we can know for certain about Him: He likes to be trusted. When we believe Him instead of our circumstances, it gives Him pleasure.

5. Be sure to seek more than just an answer to prayer. Seek God. I have made the mistake of intently seeking an answer to my prayer, but not intently seeking Him. Then once the answer came, I stopped seeking. Why? Because I had what I wanted. There’s nothing wrong with praying hard and long for what we want, but it can’t take precedence over seeking God Himself. I started the year by suggesting we make delighting in God our top priority for 2014. When we do, an answer to prayer wouldn’t cause us to stop seeking, but would motivate us to seek Him even more.

Is there a goal or desire or dream you’ve given up on?

What is it?

What are you believing God for?


There’s No Place Like Home

Posted: September 29th, 2013 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

We’ve only lived here for five years, but I love my hometown of Fayetteville, Arkansas, the home of the University of Arkansas.

DSCN1159 300x225 Theres No Place Like Home

I also love the Jersey Shore, where I grew up, about sixty miles south of New York City. I wish I could get back there more often than I do.

DSCN1111 300x225 Theres No Place Like Home

My dad grew up in Mifflintown, Pennsylvania. When we’d go there to visit, he always called it “going up home.” It had been many years since he’d lived there, but he still thought of it as home.

As Dorothy said, there’s no place like it.

I think Jesus would agree…just not for the same reasons. He had a busy couple of days. He spoke to a storm and made it stop. He cast demons out of two men. He healed a woman who’d been suffering for twelve years. And He raised a 12-year-old girl from the dead. Then He decides to go to his hometown. The account of what happens when He arrives is found in Mark 6.

On the Sabbath, Jesus went to the synagogue and began to teach and the people asked, “Where did this man get these things? What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing?

Mark records that “many who heard Him were amazed.” The Greek word for amazed is a strong one. It’s the same word that means “to strike out, expel by a blow, drive out or away.” The meaning in this case is “to be struck with amazement, astonished, amazed.” They were blown away by Jesus’ teaching.

Then something happens. They start to grumble. “Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.

They’d grown up with Jesus. He was the carpenter. They knew His family. Jesus is no big deal, they thought. Amazement turned to offense. And offense led to doubt.

Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.

The Greek word for “amazed” here is different than the one used earlier. This word means “to wonder or marvel.” Jesus is filled with wonder. He marvels at their extraordinary lack of faith. And their lack of faith meant He could not do any miracles there.

Think about that for a minute. Jesus could not do any miracles there except heal some people. Now healing people sounds like a big deal to me, but it sure sounds like Jesus could have and would have done even more if they’d believed. But they didn’t. And they missed out.

I wonder how much more might God want to do in our lives if only we’d believe? How much might we be missing out on?

Maybe a good prayer for us would be, “Jesus, help me be amazed by You…so You won’t be amazed by me.”