Epaphras Wrestles in Prayer The letter to Philemon ends with a list of supporting players who send their greetings and implicitly endorse Paul’s missive of reconciliation. First up is Epaphras, who by being singled out, stands alone in noteworthy acclaim. Simply and succinctly, Paul notes that Epaphras is “my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus.” The […]
With God’s Help Joseph Can Interpret Dreams God Reveals the Meaning of Dreams to Joseph Joseph (son of Jacob, in the Old Testament) is in a world of hurt. His life has spiraled downward. The favorite son of his father, his jealous brothers stoop to selling him as a slave to some passing traders. Joseph […]
What Can Ten Righteous People Do? The Bible includes the account of Abraham discussing the future of Sodom with God. Abraham is torn, he knows the city is corrupt and warrants punishment, but he also carries concern for his nephew Lot who lives there. In a series of bold moves, Abraham asks God if he’ll […]
God’s Lost and Found: Our Heavenly Father Watches and Waits for Us The Parable of the Lost Son Shows God’s Unconditional Love Jesus teaches us of his Father’s unconditional love in a parable. Some people call this story “The Prodigal Son,” but calling it “The Lost Son” is more accurate (Luke 15:11-32). In this allegory […]
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What Did the First Church Do? Just days after Pentecost, the people who follow Jesus begin to hang out. This is the first church. What did they do? Luke records four key things: They learn about Jesus (think of this as a new believer’s class; after all, they were all new believers). They spend time […]
The Origin of Purim Early each spring our Jewish friends celebrate Purim. The origin of Purim is found in the book of Esther, which is a beautiful and moving story: In a rags to riches manner, Esther was whisked from obscurity to become queen. From her new position of access and influence, she was able […]
Does God Receive Our Actions as a Memorial Offering? Cornelius is a commander in the Roman army; he’s also a man of faith, who prays often and gives to the poor. One day, during his afternoon prayers, he has a vision. An angel appears to him and says that God has received his prayers and […]
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We Must Avoid the Love of Money How We View and Handle Money Matters to God—and to Us Paul writes to his protégé Timothy, warning him that the love of money is the source of all manner of evil. An unhealthy preoccupation with wealth is especially risky for followers of Jesus, for their pursuit of […]
Who Was Supposed to Build God’s Temple? Nathan’s Prophetic Words May Carry a Double Meaning Once King David has his kingdom established, he wants to build the temple for God and tells the prophet Nathan. Nathan gives him his blessing to proceed, but later God gives Nathan a different message. Nathan returns to David and […]
How Soon They Forget God and the Things He Told Them to Do So, Moses receives ten commandments from God and teaches them to the people. God gives other directions and instructions, too, which Moses also passes on. But the people begin to disregard and forget God and what he told them to do. This […]
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What Kind of Person Are You? Paul affirms Tychicus as a dear friend, faithful minister, and servant of God Tychicus is a character in the Bible who most people don’t know. His name occurs only five times, once in Acts and four times in Paul’s letters. The letter to the Colossian church is one example. […]
Do We Have a Positive Influence on Others or a Negative One? The Evil Queen, Her Good-Bad Grandson, and the Influential Priest In today’s passage we read about Queen Athaliah, her grandson Joash, and the priest Jehoiada. Here’s their story. The Evil Queen Athaliah Athaliah’s son Ahaziah is King. As with most mothers, she influences […]
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If You Could Ask God for One Thing, What Would It Be? Solomon Asks God for Wisdom to Lead Well and God Grants It God appears to Solomon and offers to grant him a request. This isn’t a genie-in-a-bottle situation; it’s the all-powerful God showing his love and appreciation. Solomon makes a wise decision. He […]
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Be Like Berea: Are You of More Noble Character? Examine the Scriptures every day to see if what people say is true The book of Acts tells about the early church, with the latter two thirds of it focused on Paul’s travels and interactions with the various city branches of Jesus’s church. One brief stop […]
Pouring Out a Drink Offering to God During a time of war, there is a curious story of King David. He mentions that he is thirsty for water from a specific well. Three of his mighty warriors break through enemy lines, draw water from that well, and return to David with it. However, instead of […]
May We Receive the Right Hand of Fellowship We talked about the four times Paul said to “Greet one another with a holy kiss.” In another curious reference, mentioned only once, he mentions receiving “the right hand of fellowship.” In modern day context, this phrase seems like a euphemism for a handshake, but I doubt […]
Why Does God Sometimes Withhold His Blessings from Us? We Must Put God First Before Worrying about Ourselves In the short book of Haggai, the prophet has a message for the people and an application for us today. God, through Haggai, chastises his people. They live in nice homes, while God’s home—the temple—sits in shambles. […]
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3 Lessons from the Early Church Dr. Luke describes 3 characteristics of the Acts 4 church The book of Acts unfolds as an historical narrative of the early church, the activities of the first followers of Jesus and those who join them. For the most part, Acts simply describes what happens, with little commentary and […]
Judgment and Punishment Will Come God Doesn’t Give Empty Threats; He Will Do What He Says He Will Do God has expectations for his people. The Old Testament of the Bible covers this. The first five books of the Bible, often called the Law of Moses, details God’s expectations. He tells the people what to […]
Elisha Goes All in to Follow Elijah Elisha’s Total Commitment to Follow Elijah Leaves No Option to Go Back After Elijah has a meltdown of sorts, God reassures him that he is not alone and gives him several things to do. One of those tasks is to anoint his successor, Elisha. Elijah finds Elisha plowing […]
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