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]

How Bold Are You? (Acts 3-4)

Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. (Acts 4:29) What you do in the face of opposition speaks significantly of what you believe.  People who are uncommitted to a belief system rarely stand up for what they believe when pressure comes because they don't want to face pain or difficulty from something they're not ... [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]

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]

Of Sowers and Soil (Matthew 8:14-34; Mark 4-5)

“Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed.” (Mark 4:3) Sowing seed is an incredibly important role for a farmer.  If he wants to reap any kind of harvest, then he needs to sow some sort of seed - he can't simply hope to reap a harvest in a field where no planting has taken place.  So he (or she) must sow diligently.  However, not all seed falls in a place that will ... [Continue Reading]

Flashback: Gentle Jesus? (John 2-4)

To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” (John 2:16) I grew up with pictures like this of Jesus.  Our old sanctuary had stained glass images of him with sheep or on the cross.  Pictures in the hallway had children sitting on his lap.  I don't remember dogs in the pictures as depicted above, but they probably ... [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]

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]

The Opportunity is Now (Esther 1-5)

And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14b) Does anything happen by accident?  Does God put circumstances in our lives for no purpose?  Does He give us our jobs, our neighbors, or other relationships for no reason at all?  Or perhaps He uniquely places us where we are for the opportunities He has in store for us. The ... [Continue Reading]