A Great Responsibility (Romans 8-10)

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?  And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?  And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? (Romans 10:14) It might be argued that the most important thing about a person is what he or she does with and believes about Jesus.  The early Church thought this was so important that ... [Continue Reading]

Flashback: It’s An Event (Acts 1-2)

But God raised [Jesus] from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. (Acts 2:24) Some people claim that only the ignorant put their faith in God and believe in Christianity.  From my perspective, it’s the opposite.  Consider the situation: a guy named Jesus was walking the earth, claiming to be the Son of ... [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]

Mourning into Dancing (2 Kings 24-25; 2 Chronicles 36)

As the Lord had declared, Nebuchadnezzar removed the treasures from the temple of the Lord and from the royal palace, and cut up the gold articles that Solomon king of Israel had made for the temple of the Lord. (2 Kings 24:13) There are sad moments in the lives of God's people.  Perhaps one of the saddest moments for Israel was the destruction of the Temple that Solomon ... [Continue Reading]

In the Hands of the Potter (Jeremiah 18-19, 21)

So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel.  But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. (Jeremiah 18:3-4) Clay is such an interesting medium.  The master potter works with diligence to form it into whatever he or she desires.  It's not until the ... [Continue Reading]

Mourning as Motivation (Jeremiah 7-9)

Since my people are crushed, I am crushed; I mourn, and horror grips me. (Jeremiah 8:21) Mourning can be a great motivator.  When you mourn for something, you recognize that things are not what they should be - they need some sort of restoration.  That perspective can be a motivational force for good - so that you can be a part of the restorative process. Mourning is ... [Continue Reading]

In Common (Isaiah 49-53)

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6) Did you know that, no matter where you're from, no matter what kind of lineage you have, and regardless of your socio-economic status you have something in common with every other person on earth?  Whether you're rich or poor, ... [Continue Reading]

Restoration (Psalm 48; Hosea 1-4)

I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’  I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.’” (Hosea 2:23) There's something beautiful about old, broken things being restored, isn't there?  I believe that, when we see such beauty, we get a taste of what's to come ... [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]

Beauty from Ashes (1 Samuel 1-3)

Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her.  This went on year after year.  Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. (1 Samuel 1:6-7) It seems that brokenness is often a character trait of those who are going to be used by God.  Why?  Perhaps it's because ... [Continue Reading]