A Goal of Growing (Romans 14-16)

Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. (Romans 14:1) Within the Christian life lies the goal of growth.  And not only should we be concerned with growing personally, but we should be concerned with the growth of others, as well.  Therefore, those who are more mature in their faith must be careful to keep from placing stumbling ... [Continue Reading]

Comforted to Comfort (2 Corinthians 1-4)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) Why does God allow us to go through difficult circumstances?  That's a common question that people have when it ... [Continue Reading]

God’s Grace Is Enough For You (Mark 16)

But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee.  There you will see him, just as he told you.’ (Mark 16:7) There are moments in time when we're all tempted to believe that God could never love us because of something that we've done in the past or present.  Such thinking is not from God, however.  In fact, one of my favorite parts of the ... [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]

How Much Do I Trust? (Matthew 9-10)

Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” (Matthew 9:2) Trust seems like such a simple thing, and in some respects it is.  It's simple to trust that the chair I'm sitting in won't collapse under my weight.  After all, I have lots of experience sitting in chairs.  It's ... [Continue Reading]

Don’t Forget to Celebrate (Esther 6-10)

So the Jews agreed to continue the celebration they had begun, doing what Mordecai had written to them. (Esther 9:23) Celebrations are an important part of life.  If it weren't for celebrating, we might get caught up in the negative things that keep us frustrated and disillusioned.  By celebrating, we can remember that there are good things happening, even when life comes ... [Continue Reading]

Be Careful, It’s Your Heart (Zechariah 6-10)

In your hearts do not think evil of each other. (Zechariah 7:10b, NIV84) One of my favorite movies at Christmastime is Holiday Inn with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.  In the movie, Bing sings a song called "Be Careful, It's My Heart."  Aside from being a love song, there's an important lesson to learn about the fragility of our hearts. When someone hurts you, it ... [Continue Reading]

Just When You Thought… (Ezra 5-7)

May God, who has caused his Name to dwell there, overthrow any king or people who lifts a hand to change this decree or to destroy this temple in Jerusalem.  I Darius have decreed it.  Let it be carried out with diligence. (Ezra 6:12) There are times in life when a situation looks impossible.  The way out seems unfathomable, and we just don't know what to do.  In fact, ... [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]