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 […]
Do You Know What Your Mission Is? How closely do you do the things God tells you to do? Paul travels to Ephesus to tell people about Jesus. As a Jew it seems logical that he would go to his own people first to share this good news. He does. He goes to the local […]
The Four Parts of the Great Commission A few weeks ago we looked at Jesus’s final instructions as found in each of the Bible’s four biographies of him. Melding these together, we came up with three steps. First is to follow Jesus, second is to wait for Holy Spirit power, and three is to go […]
How to Deal with Religious Opposition Paul and Barnabas respond to hostile nonbelievers with boldness and perseverance In the Old Testament, the Israelites, God’s chosen people, are a set apart nation. They are to keep separate from the other nations around them and if they will, God promises to bless them. They also look forward […]
About Jesus: The Bible Points Us to Jesus Though the Gospels focus on Jesus, we see him throughout the Old and New Testaments In reading the Bible, we see that God the Father is the star of the Old Testament. In parallel fashion, Jesus is the focus of the New Testament, especially in the Gospels […]
Don’t Fight Against God Too many people fail to see God at work and instead oppose those who follow him into his new ways Jesus warns his followers what awaits them. First, they’ll get kicked out of their church and then people will kill them. Their opponents will do so in the name of religion, […]
The Last Words of King David Discover the Fitting Capstone of King David’s Life In the last recorded words of King David, we learn more about him and his relationship with God. David’s words may come across as bragging, but remember that God said David was a man after his own heart (1 Samuel 13:14 […]
Two Kinds of Baptism John baptizes with water and Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit The third chapter in the book of Matthew focuses on John the Baptist and makes the transition to Jesus, the star of the rest of the book. This chapter also contains some teaching from John. He quotes Isaiah and calls […]
Tell the Truth Lying to Achieve a Better Outcome May Backfire Mortally wounded in battle, King Saul commits suicide. A young man, an Amalekite, later happens upon the scene and concocts a plan that he’s sure will bring him a reward. His strategy, however, isn’t to tell the truth about what he saw. Instead he […]
There’s a Time to Wait and a Time to Act Fear Causes Saul to Make a Bad Decision Though God chose Saul to be the first king over Israel, Saul has some character flaws that lead to his undoing. One time the Philistines come up against Saul and his army. Overwhelmed by the force opposing […]
Is Jesus Waiting for You? The Son of Man Stands to Welcome Stephen Into Heaven Stephen stands before the Sanhedrin. His testimony becomes a sermon, which smartly recaps the story arc of the Old Testament, starting with father Abraham and spilling over into the New Testament, ending with a sacrificial death of Jesus. Though I […]
How Do We React to the Glory of the Lord? We should Fall on Our Faces in the Presence of God’s Glory A man brings Ezekiel to the temple. The glory of the Lord fills the place. Overwhelmed, Ezekiel falls facedown, worshiping the Almighty. How often do we encounter the glory of the Lord? How […]
Build Up a Wall and Stand in the Gap Discover How One Person Can Make a Difference In the book of Ezekiel, God said he looked for one person who could make a difference. One person who could build up the wall and stand in the gap for his people. But God could find no […]
Sermons in the Book of Acts There are a number of sermons (teachings, messages, and proclamations) found in the book of Acts. While the definition of what constitutes a sermon and the precise number of them may be open for debate, I put the number at eleven. There are three from Peter, one from Stephen, […]
Who is the Son of Man? Jesus or Us? The phrase son of man occurs in 178 verses in the Bible. Sometimes son is written with an uppercase S and other times with a lowercase s. When used with an uppercase S, the references are to Jesus, as seen in all four gospels (28 times […]
Women in the Bible: Orpah Orpah Begins a Journey but Then Returns Home Orpah is the widowed daughter-in-law of Naomi and sister-in-law to Ruth. When Naomi decides to return to Judah, her daughters-in-law start out with her, but Naomi releases them. She encourages them to return to their mothers and find new husbands. Though Ruth […]
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