The Danger of Jealousy (Acts 13-14)

When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy.  They began to contradict what Paul was saying and heaped abuse on him. (Acts 13:45) Jealousy is a powerful motivator, but it isn't a positive one.  More often than not, jealousy leads people to make foolish decisions because their hearts are twisted into believing that they deserve something that they don't ... [Continue Reading]

What is Your SQ? (John 13)

Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. (John 13:3-4) In most cases, powerful people use their power for their own glory and for their own ascension to greater power.  Right now my mind goes to the ... [Continue Reading]

Being Great (Matthew 19; Mark 10)

“Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.” (Mark 10:43b-44) Death has a way of bringing certain things to light, doesn't it?  Have you ever been to a funeral for a person who wasn't that great of a person?  People get up and try to express in words their feelings now that he or she is gone. ... [Continue Reading]

Humble or Humiliated? (Luke 14-15)

“For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11) Humility isn't something that is lauded in our culture.  In fact, the advent of YouTube, Vine, and other self-promotion avenues on the Internet encourage people to draw attention to themselves.  The problem in having the world's attention is that, when you ... [Continue Reading]

Keep Your Stones to Yourself (John 7-8)

When they kept on questioning [Jesus], he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7) It's amazing how quickly people turn against one another.  Just watch an episode of “Survivor” or “The Bachelor,” and you'll see people who are seemingly friends suddenly ready to attack one another.  In the ... [Continue Reading]

Like a Child (Matthew 18)

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.  And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:2-3) When Jesus’ disciples were fighting about who was the greatest, Jesus used the teachable moment as an opportunity to help them understand something incredibly ... [Continue Reading]

The Life of a Servant (Matthew 17; Mark 9; Luke 9:28-62)

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35) There's something unattractive about being a servant.  The hit TV show, "Downton Abbey," has shown the life of the servant class from the old British society, and while being a servant carried a level of respect among the working class ... [Continue Reading]

A Call to Die (Matthew 16; Mark 8; Luke 9:18-27)

For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. (Mark 8:35) Sometimes we make the way of following Jesus far too easy.  It was an amazing moment when Jesus was meeting with His disciples, and He questioned them, “Who do you say I am?”  Peter impulsively gave the right answer: “You’re the Christ.”  ... [Continue Reading]

The Value of Learning (Ezra 8:15-36; 9-10:17)

So I summoned Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah and Meshullam, who were leaders, and Joiarib and Elnathan, who were men of learning... (Ezra 8:16) Never stop learning.  Once you stop learning, you stop growing.  And once you stop growing, well the end is near. What's remarkable about the men Ezra chose is that they are designated as ... [Continue Reading]

Big Decisions (Zechariah 1-5)

Do not be like your ancestors, to whom the earlier prophets proclaimed: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Turn from your evil ways and your evil practices.’  But they would not listen or pay attention to me, declares the Lord. (Zechariah 1:4) Life is full of decisions.  What time should I wake up?  What should I wear today?  Do I work out or be lazy?  The list goes on ... [Continue Reading]