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]

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]

An Unfinished Work (John 17)

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. (John 17:17) Is there ever a point in time when you felt like you had all of the answers to your life's questions and that you had "arrived" so to speak?  It seems like every year I grow older I look at myself from the year before and think "man, you were really dumb back then."  I look at my way of thinking and my thought ... [Continue Reading]

Too Hard? (John 6)

On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” (John 6:60) In most things that matter in life, you will face adversity of some kind.  There will be a point in time where you'll need to make a decision of whether or not the sacrifices are worth the reward.  The same is true when it comes to faith.  It's better to understand all ... [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]

I’m Busy Right Now (Nehemiah 4-6)

"I am doing a great work and I cannot come down..." (Nehemiah 6:3b) Have you ever found in your life that the urgent has a tendency to push out the important?  It never ceases to amaze me how, when I'm doing something important, someone or something tries to get in the way and stop me from accomplishing the task.  Even in the last several weeks, I've had some very ... [Continue Reading]

Today (Ezra 1, 3-4)

But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. (Ezra 3:12) Today is different than yesterday.  What happened yesterday may have impacted my today, but that is all history.  It can't be changed, relived, or even removed. ... [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]

Who’s Responsible? (Ezekiel 1-3)

And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words.  Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions.  Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people. (Ezekiel 2:6) Charles Stanley is credited as saying, God takes full responsibility for the life wholly devoted to Him.  In ... [Continue Reading]

The Truth Will Set You Free… (Jeremiah 20, 22-23)

When the priest Pashhur son of Immer, the official in charge of the temple of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things, he had Jeremiah the prophet beaten and put in the stocks at the Upper Gate of Benjamin at the Lord’s temple. (Jeremiah 20:1-2) "The truth will set you free, but first it may make you miserable" - so said the poster at my Grandma's house when I ... [Continue Reading]