God Brings Low the Pride of the Arrogant God Wants Us to Celebrate Him and What He’s Done for Us As Isaiah moves forward in his sweeping prophecy, he devotes a section to the city of Tyre. Tyre is a city of prominence, a center of trade and commerce. God doesn’t like their self-sufficiency and […]
Is It One Woman Who Anoints Jesus or Four Different Women? The Four Gospels Each Have a Story of a Woman Who Worships Jesus Each of the four accounts of Jesus’s life—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—give a story about a woman who anoints Jesus with expensive perfume, but the details in each report vary. It […]
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The Near Death Experience of Jonah Live a life of obedience and without regret in order to finish strong Most people know the story of Jonah: God sends Jonah to help Nineveh. But Jonah gets in a boat headed in the opposite direction. God sends a storm to get Jonah’s attention. Jonah implores the crew […]
Obadiah Proclaims Justice The book of Obadiah in the Bible contains a prophecy about the nation of Edom. Among other things, Edom is criticized for their pride. The primary issue, however, is not what they did, but what they didn’t do. Theirs is not an act of commission, but of omission. Specially, the gripe that […]
Nineveh, Part II: How Patient Should God Be? The prophetic book of Nahum is essentially a sequel to the book of Jonah. Both focus on the people of Nineveh. Jonah proclaims doom and destruction on them. They have a change of heart (repent). And God relents. A century or so later, they have forgotten all […]
Be Careful What You Say: Advice for Prophets and to Us The book of Deuteronomy has a curious passage about prophecy. It teaches if a prophet says something God didn’t instruct him or her to say, the prophet must be executed. That should certainly cause prophets to be careful with their words, saying only what […]
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Jonah and the Big Fish You likely know the story of Jonah: He tries to run from God, Spends a 3-day “time out” in the belly of a large fish (the Bible doesn’t say it’s a whale), Is given a second chance, Then does what God commands, albeit with a bad attitude He proclaims, “Forty […]
Bible Verses That Give Us Comfort When the World Gives Fear Consider These Passages about God’s Provisions for Us Over the past few weeks, I’ve shared verses with my friends through my email newsletter. These passages can encourage us during challenging times. And readers have responded by sending me their verses that they find especially […]
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God’s Sovereignty At Work In the story of Jonah, we see God’s sovereignty at work, with God exercising control over nature. Here’s what God does: He sends a wind (Jonah 1:4). He calms the sea (Jonah 1:15). He provides a fish to shallow Jonah (Jonah 1:17). He commands the fish to deposit Jonah on dry […]
Who Are We to Judge? We May Have It Backwards Though the Bible tells us to judge, who we’re supposed to judge may shock you When Paul writes to his friends in Corinth, he has much to say because they struggle with many things, including judging others. He spends a whole chapter in his first […]
An Army of Angels to Protect Us The young girl gazes out into the desert. Something comes towards her. It is Solomon, her lover, traveling by carriage. He is accompanied by a protective band of weapon wielding warriors, tested and poised for whatever threat awaits them. With Solomon—and his army—she will be protected. In a […]
The Bible Gives Us Eight Things to Think About As Followers of Jesus We Must Focus Our Attention Paul encourages the church in Philippi to focus their thoughts (Philippians 4:8). We should do this too. But what should we think about? Fortunately, Paul gives us a list. We are to pursue these ideas. Think about […]
God’s Spirit To Be Poured Out On All People Many passages in the New Testament of the Bible quote parts of the Old Testament, which was written hundreds of years before. In some versions of the Bible, footnotes—added by the translators—refer us to the original text. One verse, however, cites the source from the text. […]
Avoiding the Rebellion of Korah While the story of Cain killing his brother may be commonly known, the rebellion of Korah is quite obscure. Korah was from the tribe of Levi; he and the other Levites were assigned God-given tasks to serve in the temple; they were set apart for this. However, they were not […]
Do We Allow the World to Control Our Thoughts? The Holy Spirit Gives Us a Sound Mind to Counter Fear Through the Holy Spirit we have a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Sound mind means self-discipline, self-control, sound judgment, and wise discretion. We can claim all these as the Holy Spirit’s provision to us. In […]
Joel and the Locust The book of Joel is classified as one of the Bible’s prophetic books, as it contains a foretelling of the future. After multiple reads, however, this short, 3-chapter book begins to emerge more as poetry than prophecy, revealing multiple levels of meaning awaiting the patient reader to unveil and discover. The […]
Can You Be a Spiritual Mother to Someone? Some people don’t have biological offspring, but everyone can have spiritual descendants Paul wraps up his letter to the church in Rome with a long list of people Most of these names stream past our eyes as unfamiliar. We’re tempted to skim. But slow down. Consider Rufus […]
Do We Live in a Spirit of Fear or Spirit of Freedom? When the Events of Our World Cause Us to Be Afraid, God Provides the Antidote We live in a time where there is much to fear. Whether by mandate or out of personal concern, we cower in our homes afraid of what is […]
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Do We Answer When God Calls? When God calls people to him, some come and others run away As the prophet Hosea wraps up his writings, he gives us some insight into the heart of God. He writes that the more God called his people, the more they ran away from him (Hosea 11:2). When […]
What Does God Think of Prostitutes? While I can’t definitively answer this question about prostitutes, the Bible does give a clear indication—and the answer may surprise you. Through the prophet Hosea, God says: “I will not punish your daughters when they turn to prostitution…because the men themselves consort with harlots and sacrifice with shrine prostitutes—a […]