What Do You REALLY Want? (John 5)

When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6) Sometimes what we think we want isn't actually what we really want.  The fact is, we're often content with life the way it is, and because it's "normal" we've become accustomed to it.  It's only in the late hours of the night ... [Continue Reading]

Heart Surgery (Nehemiah 7:1-5, 66-73; 8-9)

They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the Lord their God. (Nehemiah 9:3) There's a sense in which spending time reading the Bible is like allowing God to perform open heart surgery on your life.  Some read the Bible for the sake of simply ... [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]

It’s a Game-Changer (Daniel 1-3)

The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory... (Daniel 2:37b) Certain things in life are game-changers, aren't they?  When you get married, have a kid, get a driver's license, or whatever other thing you can think of, those events change your life in an incredible way.  You can never and will never look at life the same. Daniel's comments ... [Continue Reading]

More Than Words (Joel)

Rend your heart and not your garments. (Joel 2:13a) Have you ever told God, "I'll never do _________ again"?  It's actually a relatively easy thing to say to Him.  Sometimes the statement comes as a kind of bargaining chip to get God to give us what we want or to do as we desire.  Other times, it's a statement of regret in the midst of seeking His forgiveness for ... [Continue Reading]

Healing River (Ezekiel 45-46, 47:1-12)

Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river.  Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail.  Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them.  Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing. (Ezekiel 47:12) All good stories end with hope, don't they?  I watched a movie a number of years ago ... [Continue Reading]

What it Means to be Facedown (Ezekiel 42-44)

[The priests] are to teach my people the difference between the holy and the common... (Ezekiel 44:23) To be facedown is an act of submission.  It communicates a sense of reverence for the one to whom you're bowing.  From God's perspective, the ultimate one to whom we should be in submission is Him.  We may want to submit ourselves to other people and things, but those ... [Continue Reading]

God’s Ultimate Goal (Ezekiel 4-6)

You will be a reproach and a taunt, a warning and an object of horror to the nations around you when I inflict punishment on you in anger and in wrath and with stinging rebuke.  I the Lord have spoken. (Ezekiel 5:15) On reading these chapters from Ezekiel, a person might be tempted to believe that God is a god of retribution - one who is seeking to smite those who offend ... [Continue Reading]

Who’s Responsible? (Ezekiel 1-3)

And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words.  Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions.  Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people. (Ezekiel 2:6) Charles Stanley is credited as saying, God takes full responsibility for the life wholly devoted to Him.  In ... [Continue Reading]

Restore Us (Lamentations 4-5)

Restore us to yourself, Lord, that we may return; renew our days as of old... (Lamentations 5:21) Lamentations reveals the suffering hearts of the Israelites.  Whereas it's true that they had been warned for many centuries about their wandering away from God, and the punishment that they faced they largely brought upon themselves, it's still impossible to read of their ... [Continue Reading]