More Than Words (Joel)

Rend your heart and not your garments. (Joel 2:13a) Have you ever told God, "I'll never do _________ again"?  It's actually a relatively easy thing to say to Him.  Sometimes the statement comes as a kind of bargaining chip to get God to give us what we want or to do as we desire.  Other times, it's a statement of regret in the midst of seeking His forgiveness for ... [Continue Reading]

What it Means to be Facedown (Ezekiel 42-44)

[The priests] are to teach my people the difference between the holy and the common... (Ezekiel 44:23) To be facedown is an act of submission.  It communicates a sense of reverence for the one to whom you're bowing.  From God's perspective, the ultimate one to whom we should be in submission is Him.  We may want to submit ourselves to other people and things, but those ... [Continue Reading]

Fresh Starts (Ezekiel 40-41)

He brought me to the portico of the temple... (Ezekiel 40:48a) A few days ago a woman came into my office seeking counsel.  Without going into the details of the story, it was clear that she was facing consequences from choices that she had made over time.  Those consequences were weighing her down, and it was hard for her to believe that God could forgive her.  I was so ... [Continue Reading]

Just When You Thought All Hope Was Lost… (Ezekiel 36-37)

This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.  I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life.  Then you will know that I am the Lord. (Ezekiel 36:5-6) There are moments in time when life feels hopeless, aren't there?  The ... [Continue Reading]

The Watchman (Ezekiel 33-35)

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes ... [Continue Reading]

Being Found Faithful (Ezekiel 7-10)

Then the Lord called to the man clothed in linen who had the writing kit at his side and said to him, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.” (Ezekiel 9:3b-4) God's glory is so great, so wonderful, and so pure that it far surpasses the glory of any other ... [Continue Reading]

Know Thyself (Lamentations 1-3)

Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord. (Lamentations 3:40) When is the last time you examined your ways to see if they are in line with God's ways?  I find that living in a sinful world means that my heart is prone to wander.  There are so many little "g" gods that demand my allegiance, and it's easy to give into them before I even realize ... [Continue Reading]

It’s All About You (2 Kings 20-21)

“The word of the Lord you have spoken is good,” Hezekiah replied.  For he thought, “Will there not be peace and security in my lifetime?” (2 Kings 20:19) We live in a "me" generation where everyone believes that the world revolves around him or her but not around anyone else.  "Have it your way!" the Burger King slogan goes.  "I'm loving' it" says McDonald's.  "Indulge" ... [Continue Reading]

The Damaging Nature of Pride (Isaiah 37-39; Psalm 76)

Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord Almighty: The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon.  Nothing will be left, says the Lord. (Isaiah 39:5-6) Pride is dangerous.  Without realizing what he's doing, the proud person makes decision based on the ... [Continue Reading]

Sowing and Reaping (Hosea 9-14)

Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you. (Hosea 10:8) Have you ever wondered what you get when you plant apple seeds?  Apple trees.  Do you know what you get when you plant pumpkin seeds?  Pumpkins. Here's a more serious ... [Continue Reading]