| September 19 2023
Have you ever found it easier to gloss over a problem than to face it head on? I know I have. For example, just recently it was pointed out to me that I was being rather self-centered when I got an attitude and went on a rant about what someone else was doing to annoy me. In that moment, it would have felt easier to make excuses and avert my eyes, rather than look in the mirror that was being held up for me. But God wants us to keep our eyes open, and when He brings something to our attention related to our behavior or character, we must remember that it’s for our benefit, so that we can change and grow.
| August 22 2023
How Far is Too Far?
Do you ever find yourself wondering just how far you can go before you’re actually sinning? We can keep things vague here, but maybe, like so many, you’ve pondered the question of whether something is really so bad, or if it’s okay to do X as long as you don’t go further and do Y. But as it turns out, when our mentality is to focus on how much we can get away with before we’re really in the doghouse with God (so to speak), we’re totally missing the point.
| August 15 2023
Bible Math: Less Me = More God
Getting to know God - The One True God, Creator of everything- is pretty much the ultimate. It is the greatest, highest, most desirable thing ever. And God Himself wants us to know Him, and to experience the life, peace, joy, and love that are all a part of a relationship with Him. So what stops us from receiving all of that if God wants to give it to us? Sometimes, it’s simply a little bit of arithmetic:
| July 25 2023
Fact: When God made you, He did not make a mistake! He formed each of us perfectly for the life He intended for us, no matter what we or anyone else says or thinks. When we put credence in the idea that we are somehow defective, we set ourselves up for problems.
| July 18 2023
Standing Strong in Troubles
Sometimes it can feel like the hits just keep on coming. One trial comes and before it’s even over we’re dealing with another one. And maybe yet another one after that. It can be disorienting and difficult to keep perspective, which is why it is vital that we hold onto our faith in those seasons.
| July 11 2023
That’s quite a command- “Be strong and courageous.” It is what God said to Joshua as he was about to lead the children of Israel into the promised land, and it’s just as relevant to our own lives today. Whether we are facing a physical danger or the threat of being rejected by those around us, it takes courage to go ahead and do the right thing.
| June 27 2023
Love: The Ultimate Litmus Test
Even when we know what the Bible says is right or wrong, how do we know what to do or say about it? Not just in our own behavior, but when responding to the culture around us and the actions of others- when do we speak up? When do we stay silent? When is it more important to make peace and when is addressing injustice the priority? How do we know? It turns out, it’s less about the situation itself and more about the heart of God:
| May 30 2023
Taming the Tongue
The things we say to and about people are so important, and it can be very easy to lose sight of their significance. A few words can wreak havoc on someone's self-esteem or send them on a path of destruction, whether it’s name-calling, put-downs, or being mean and hurtful in any way- and that includes online as well as in-person. The Bible’s perspective on this is one of love because everyone is precious to God, no matter what they have done or even how they feel about God Himself.
| May 23 2023
You've got a Purpose! Praise God!
What an amazing statement! God not only sees us, but He has a specific plan- a GOOD plan- for each of us. It’s true that it doesn’t always feel that way… As it turns out, the prophet who wrote that scripture was delivering a message to the people of Israel at a time when they were feeling pretty hopeless. But God gave both them and us that clear message to help us all face the future with confidence no matter what.
| May 9 2023
Equipping Us For A Supernatural Life
Why do we go to church? The Bible teaches us to meet together to encourage each other (Hebrews 10:25), but is it simply a social gathering to get together with friends and do nice things? No, it’s much more than that. It’s meant to be a place we can go to get what we need to live the Christian life God has called us to. It is not just a Sunday meeting but the corporate body of believers gathering together to teach, learn, worship, and grow in faith so that we can put that faith into action. And God appoints certain men and women to provide what we need in order to be successful:
| May 2 2023
I Can Help God?!
Did you ever think that it could be possible to actually help God? I mean, how could an omnipotent God actually need our help? Well it turns out, there is a way that we can offer assistance to the Lord Himself, and that’s by helping the people around us every day. Jesus put it this way:
| April 25 2023
An Eternal Investment
When you hear the term, “investment,” what do you think of? Maybe real estate or stocks? Precious metals or digital currency or even education? Well, as useful as these things may be, we can’t take their benefits with us when we leave this life. Thankfully, God offers an investment strategy that persists into eternity, and we would be wise to heed His recommendations. Jesus said,
| February 28 2023
Even If We Don’t Feel Like It
Our feelings can speak to us as loud as any truth or reason or evidence of any kind, which is why it is so important for us to know what we can hold onto when our feelings are running amok. I can feel worthless or superior, unloved or idolized, helpless or invincible. But no matter how I feel, the truth of who I am and how God sees me never changes:
| January 31 2023
More Than Just Reading
Reading the Bible is an essential discipline for us to grow and thrive in our walk with God. But beyond simply reading the scriptures, the Bible instructs us to meditate on the Word. For example, God gave this command to Joshua when he was to take over leading the people of Israel after Moses died:
| October 11 2022
Ahh, freedom! What a glorious word. Take a moment to think about a time when you felt especially free. Now consider: Jesus died so that we can be totally free, all the time. That is part of His promise to everyone who believes in and accepts Him. But freedom from what, exactly?
| September 20 2022
Good vs. Evil… It’s A Real Battle!
When we understand that the Bible is true, then we understand that not only is God real, but so is the devil. He hates you and me and every single person who ever lived. We see his work in unspeakable acts of violence and destruction in the world around us. He perpetuates all manner of misery through disease, poverty, mental illness, war, hate, chaos and confusion. Whether it’s in the headlines or in our own private lives, the devil is on the prowl to torment wherever he can.
| September 13 2022
A Gift From Jesus (POWER!!!)
Being a Christian, according to the Bible, is the same as being a disciple, or student or follower of Jesus. And following Jesus means practicing His teachings in all we do. That includes putting God first, laying our lives down for others, telling people about the Gospel, enduring persecution, and even doing miracles, just to name a few things that Jesus taught and demonstrated during His life on this earth. Sound like a tall order? Yep, it is. In fact, on our own, it’s impossible. Which is why, at the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry, He spoke of a very special gift God would give us: the Holy Spirit.
| September 6 2022
Truth & Love
Do you ever feel like the truth is being pitted against kindness and compassion? Like standing for truth is equated with disregard for the struggles of others, and showing love and mercy is equated with compromise? The reality is that according to the Word of God, these are not at odds at all. God is Truth, and God is Love, and He expects His people to stand for both
| August 30 2022
So many scriptures and Christian songs refer to surrender, and to Jesus being Lord. But how many of us have really stopped to consider what all of that really means? It can be easy to gloss over this concept, consciously or unconsciously, to avoid the simple truth that being a Christian means giving God control of everything.
| August 23 2022
Joy or Happiness?
Did you ever stop to consider the difference between joy and happiness? Or even realize that there was a difference at all? Well it turns out, there’s actually a pretty important distinction that can have a big impact on how we live our lives. It has to do with what they are based on. Happy means to be joyous based on circumstances. Joy, on the other hand, is:
| August 16 2022
Jesus is a FIRM Foundation
In construction, a solid foundation is key to building a sound structure. The well established practice of digging down to bedrock to place the foundation is as reliable today as in ancient times. This is because in order for a structure to be stable, it has to be secured to something stable. Even though the ground for a building site may seem suitable for construction at first, if it’s not solid rock, it will change when conditions change: in the presence of storm and flood waters, sand will erode, clay will swell and heave. If it is made from inadequate materials or not properly reinforced, the foundation itself will be the weak link.
| August 2 2022
Handmade by God
There is something remarkable about the miracle of life. You know that feeling of awe when you see a newborn? Even when they’re all wrinkled and messy, it’s no less awe-inspiring to see that tiny person enter the world. It’s amazing!
| July 26 2022
Praising the Lord feel Awkward?
Have you ever struggled with really praising God? Maybe, like me, you can’t carry a tune, and you feel a little out of place in a church service where everyone is singing together. Or maybe you’re so aware of all the bad things going on around you that you just aren’t feeling it. Yet, no matter what, God wants us to praise Him at all times. How are we supposed to do that?
| July 19 2022