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]

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]

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]

Merry Christmas (Isaiah 11)

...for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:9b) Isn't it amazing that much of the earth pauses today to celebrate the birth of a Jewish carpenter?  I don't know if you've given that idea much thought, but it's worth thinking about.  Nearly 2000 years after his death, millions of people still take a reprieve from ... [Continue Reading]

The Afterglow Never Lasts (Ecclesiastes 1-4)

For the wise, like the fool, will not be long remembered; the days have already come when both have been forgotten.  Like the fool, the wise too must die! (Ecclesiastes 2:16) Given enough time, everyone will be forgotten.  It doesn't matter how great you are or how big your afterglow is, there will come a point in time when you are not the topic of everyday conversation, ... [Continue Reading]

Careful What You Count (2 Samuel 24; 1 Chronicles 21-22)

David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done.  Now, O Lord, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.” (2 Samuel 24) There are some things that are very valuable to count.  For instance, I was leading a group of students on a trip to Chicago ... [Continue Reading]

On the Throne (1 Samuel 7-9)

But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord.  And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. (1 Samuel 8:6-7) God allows us to have things that are outside of His plans for our lives.  Though He's omnipotent, He allows ... [Continue Reading]

Controlling God (1 Samuel 4-6)

When the [Israelite] soldiers returned to camp, the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the Lord bring defeat on us today before the Philistines?  Let us bring the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Shiloh, so that he may go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies.” (1 Samuel 4:3) There is a human tendency to believe that God can be managed.  Rather than seeking to do ... [Continue Reading]

Keeping Your Head in Check (Judges 7-8)

The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’” (Judges 7:2) It's not that God wants weak people, per se.  In fact, as you look at some of the people that God has used over time, there have been some very strong people (like Samson, David's mighty men, Saul, ... [Continue Reading]

Radiating God’s Glory (Exodus 34-35)

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord. (Exodus 34:29) There's something about being in God's presence that makes a difference.  After Moses spent time in God's presence, his face radiated with God's glory.  It wasn't Moses' glory - it was ... [Continue Reading]