How Bold Are You? (Acts 3-4)

Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. (Acts 4:29) What you do in the face of opposition speaks significantly of what you believe.  People who are uncommitted to a belief system rarely stand up for what they believe when pressure comes because they don't want to face pain or difficulty from something they're not ... [Continue Reading]

Do Hard Things (Luke 23)

But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. (Luke 23:23) When the angry mobs pull out their pitchforks and torches it's easier to let them prevail than it is to stand up against them with reason and right thinking.  After all, standing up to a mob could be dangerous, and you never know if they may turn on you.  Perhaps ... [Continue Reading]

Are You In the Closet? (Mark 11; John 12)

...for they loved human praise more than praise from God. (John 12:43) The miracle involving raising Lazarus from the dead was a pretty convincing sight for those who hadn’t yet decided what they thought of Jesus.  It’s hard to deny the deity of a man who is able to bring someone else back to life.  John (as well as other Gospel writers) tells us that the Pharisees wanted ... [Continue Reading]

A Crowd Pleaser (Matthew 20-21)

The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!”  “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”  “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (Matthew 21:9) There's a reason why people enjoy pleasing the crowd: it opens the door to acceptance.  As people, we're acceptance magnets.  Our hearts gravitate to environments of ... [Continue Reading]

Confessions of a List-maker (Luke 10-11; John 10:22-42)

A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.  So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. (Luke 10:31-32) I'm curious if you've ever done this before.  Have you ever seen a need and realized that you really want to have nothing to do with it?  So instead of coming up ... [Continue Reading]

How Extreme Will You Be? (Matthew 5-7)

If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away.  It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.  And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away.  It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. (Matthew 5:29-30) I've known ... [Continue Reading]

How Far Will You Go? (Mark 2)

Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on.  When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” (Mark 2:4-5) How far are you willing to go for a friend?  And do you believe that Jesus is the solution to all ... [Continue Reading]

Not Exactly Timid (Matthew 3; Mark 1; Luke 3)

But when [John the Baptist] saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers!  Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? (Matthew 3:7) There are times when it's important to timid in our response to others, and then there are times to speak the truth.  What I find fascinating about John the Baptist is that ... [Continue Reading]

A Nice Story (Luke 1; John 1:1-4)

Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this?  I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” (Luke 1:18) Sometimes it feels like things just aren't going to work out for me.  Yes, I've heard about what God has done in the past for other people, but it seems unlikely that He'll show up in my situation.  And yet, there's something about reading the story of ... [Continue Reading]

Defending What’s Right (Nehemiah 10:28-39; 11:1-2; 12:27-47; 13)

But I warned them and said, “Why do you spend the night by the wall?  If you do this again, I will arrest you.”  From that time on they no longer came on the Sabbath. (Nehemiah 13:21) It is believed that Edmund Burke once said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.”  Sadly, the great temptation of many good men and women is ... [Continue Reading]