The Overflow of the Heart (Matthew 12:22-50; Luke 11)

For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. (Matthew 12:34b) We're pretty good at censoring our words (although even that is a practice that's somewhat waning in our culture), but every once in a while a person slips.  Out comes this expletive or nasty thought that surprises everyone around us, including ourselves.  Where did it come from? Jesus said that, from the ... [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]

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]

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]

Just When You Thought All Hope Was Lost… (Ezekiel 36-37)

This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.  I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life.  Then you will know that I am the Lord. (Ezekiel 36:5-6) There are moments in time when life feels hopeless, aren't there?  The ... [Continue Reading]

The Watchman (Ezekiel 33-35)

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes ... [Continue Reading]

A Different Perspective (Isaiah 54-58)

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9) We have to admit that there are moments in time when we don't really understand what God is doing.  From our perspective, life should go the way we ... [Continue Reading]

Sowing and Reaping (Hosea 9-14)

Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you. (Hosea 10:8) Have you ever wondered what you get when you plant apple seeds?  Apple trees.  Do you know what you get when you plant pumpkin seeds?  Pumpkins. Here's a more serious ... [Continue Reading]

When God Can’t be Found (Hosea 5-8)

When they go with their flocks and herds to seek the Lord, they will not find him; he has withdrawn himself from them. (Hosea 5:6) Whereas a person may believe that it's possible to move so far away from God that, when he or she finally does seek Him, He isn't to be found, such a belief simply isn't true.  Those who desire to truly know God can find Him when they pursue ... [Continue Reading]