How to Love God (1 Kings 3-4; 2 Chronicles 1)

Solomon showed his love for the Lord by walking according to the instructions given him by his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places. (1 Kings 3:3) Sometimes it's hard to know how to love a God we cannot see, feel, or touch.  God's invisible qualities make it challenging to even remember that His presence is with us.  With ... [Continue Reading]

The Manipulation Trap (1 Samuel 27-29)

So Saul disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. “Consult a spirit for me,” he said, “and bring up for me the one I name.” (1 Samuel 28:8) When things don't go the way we want in life, it's tempting to try and manipulate our way into a different outcome.  Such was the case with Saul as he visited a witch in order to ... [Continue Reading]

A New Normal (1 Samuel 21-23)

That day David fled from Saul and went to Achish king of Gath.  But the servants of Achish said to him, “Isn’t this David, the king of the land?  Isn’t he the one they sing about in their dances: “‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands’?” (1 Samuel 21:10-11) Sometimes the circumstances of life bring about a new normal in our daily living.  These ... [Continue Reading]

The “God Game” (1 Samuel 15-17)

“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord?  To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22) It's tempting to play games with God as if we have Him all figured out.  The game goes like this: God, I know you'll forgive me if I ask you to, so I'm going to do what I want now and then ... [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]

Rethink Your List (Judges 5-6)

“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” (Judges 6:15) I've got a whole list of reasons for why God shouldn't use me.  I talk too much.  I'm a hypocrite.  I care too much about myself.  I don't exemplify a servant's heart.  I have too many opinions.  The list goes on an ... [Continue Reading]

No Excuses (Deuteronomy 1-2)

"In spite of this, you did not trust in the Lord your God..." (Deuteronomy 1:32) The Israelites had problems with trusting God.  Though they had moments of clarity, it sure seems like their journey was one marked more by getting things wrong than by getting things right.  The baffling part of their lack of trust is that God revealed Himself to them in such incredible ... [Continue Reading]

Life’s Unknown Paths (Exodus 4-6)

Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?” (Exodus 4:1) I have come to the conclusion that God does not reveal the paths that lie ahead of us for the simple reason that we’re not fully capable of welcoming them with open arms.  The rational part of my brain likes to examine everything in minutiae, and such ... [Continue Reading]

No Joke (Genesis 19-21)

So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters.  He said, “Hurry and get out of this place, because the Lord is about to destroy the city!”  But his sons-in-law thought he was joking. (Genesis 19:14) I think this story is one of the most tragic ones of the Old Testament.  God attempted to show mercy to Lot's future sons-in-law before ... [Continue Reading]

Pleasing God (Genesis 4-7)

Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. (Genesis 5:24) Trust is the key to any relationship, and Enoch was a man of trust.  Rather than doubting God or living life his own way, he trusted God and lived in a way that was pleasing to Him.  How do we know this?  We know because Enoch never experienced death.  Rather than losing life ... [Continue Reading]