The Law of Sowing and Reaping (Galatians 4-6)

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. (Galatians 6:7) Have you ever tried to plant something?  My wife, Kari, has an uncle who is a farmer.  One day we went out reaping the harvest of corn with him in his big farm machinery.  It was pretty fun.  I learned an important but simple lesson: if you plant corn seed then you have corn grow.  ... [Continue Reading]

Flashback: Heirs of Abraham (Galatians 1-3)

If you spend time reading through the Bible you quickly find out that the Israelites are God’s chosen people.  They weren’t chosen because of anything special about them but because of God’s gracious generosity.  Their story is really a story of trust because Abraham, in his wisdom, trusted God from the beginning, and it was counted to him as righteousness.  His bold trust ... [Continue Reading]

Get Out of the Way! (Acts 15-16)

“It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.” (Acts 15:19) There has always been a tension in the church between grace and truth.  In reality, such a tension shouldn’t even exist.  Too often we think that we need 50% grace and 50% truth, but Jesus, the embodiment of both, was 100% of each.  He was all grace ... [Continue Reading]

Your Move (James 4-5)

Come near to God and he will come near to you. (James 4:8a) Your relationship with God is up to you.  If you want to be close to Him, then the only thing stopping that from happening is your willingness to put forth time and effort.  James tells us that if we draw near to Him, then He will draw near to us. Among the twelve disciples, Jesus had three that were closest ... [Continue Reading]

Be Slow (James 1-3)

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. (James 1:19-20) I’m a hurried sort of person.  There’s always one more thing to do on my list and one more place to go… typically a place to which I am running about 5-10 ... [Continue Reading]

The Danger of Jealousy (Acts 13-14)

When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy.  They began to contradict what Paul was saying and heaped abuse on him. (Acts 13:45) Jealousy is a powerful motivator, but it isn't a positive one.  More often than not, jealousy leads people to make foolish decisions because their hearts are twisted into believing that they deserve something that they don't ... [Continue Reading]

Who Gets The Glory? (Acts 11-12)

They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.”  Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died. (Acts 12:22-23) Any time a leader becomes idolized by the people he or she is leading, that leader finds him or herself in a very dangerous position.  The danger is this: when we praise ... [Continue Reading]

Flashback: A U-Turn Life (Acts 9-10)

There are a lot of reasons why I believe that the resurrection of Jesus is an actual event that took place, and one of those is the conversion of Saul.  In order to understand the significance of the change of heart that took place in Saul’s life you have to understand his background.  Saul was a Pharisee who had been trained rigorously in Judaism.  Not only was he a ... [Continue Reading]

It’s Epic (Acts 7-8)

To this [Stephen] replied: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham... (Acts 7:2a) Epic is a funny word that gained popularity several years ago.  When I worked with teens on a regular basis, I began hearing “it will be epic” or “that’s so epic.”  What’s funny is that those “epic” things they referred to really weren’t that ... [Continue Reading]

Fighting God (Acts 5-6)

Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone!  Let them go!  For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail.  But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” (Acts 5:38-39) There are people, who with good intentions, end up opposing God.  It’s a scary thought, ... [Continue Reading]