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]

Confessions of a List-maker (Luke 10-11; John 10:22-42)

A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.  So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. (Luke 10:31-32) I'm curious if you've ever done this before.  Have you ever seen a need and realized that you really want to have nothing to do with it?  So instead of coming up ... [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]

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]

Be Careful What You Say (Ezekiel 11-13)

This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! (Ezekiel 13:3) Have you ever told someone that you "have a word from the Lord" or that "God told me to tell you this"?  I'm not saying that you should never say those things, but you must be careful in doing so.  The prophets in Ezekiel are condemned for ... [Continue Reading]

The “I” Will (2 Kings 5-8)

After Naaman had traveled some distance, Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said to himself, “My master was too easy on Naaman, this Aramean, by not accepting from him what he brought.  As surely as the Lord lives, I will run after him and get something from him.” (2 Kings 5:19b-20) The "I" will says, this is about me.  Regardless of what's good and right, the ... [Continue Reading]

Losing What Isn’t Yours (1 Kings 12-14)

Even after this, Jeroboam did not change his evil ways, but once more appointed priests for the high places from all sorts of people.  Anyone who wanted to become a priest he consecrated for the high places.  This was the sin of the house of Jeroboam that led to its downfall and to its destruction from the face of the earth. (1 Kings 13:33-34) Christian leadership is ... [Continue Reading]

Inclusive Exclusivism (Joshua 23-24)

Do not associate with these nations that remain among you; do not invoke the names of their gods or swear by them. You must not serve them or bow down to them.  But you are to hold fast to the Lord your God, as you have until now. (Joshua 23:7-8) There are several paradoxes within the Christian faith, and one of those is inclusive exclusivism.  Early on in the days of ... [Continue Reading]

Instilling Faith (Deuteronomy 11-12)

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 11:18-19) Parents have an enormous responsibility of passing their faith on to their children.  I ... [Continue Reading]

The Buck Stops Here (Exodus 19-22)

If, however, the bull has had the habit of goring and the owner has been warned but has not kept it penned up and it kills a man or woman, the bull is to be stoned and its owner also is to be put to death. (Exodus 21:29) You might be tempted to think that President Truman was the first person to take responsibility for his own actions with his famous statement, "The Buck ... [Continue Reading]