Tell Him to Go Away! (Matthew 4; Luke 4-5; John 1:15-51)

 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan!” (Matthew 4:10a) Did you know that you can tell Satan to go away?  In fact, that's the method that Jesus used to get rid of the Tempter on more than one occasion.  The great news for people who are trusting in Jesus' death for the forgiveness of sins is that we're not simply forgiven of our sins, but the power of sin is also ... [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]

Today (Ezra 1, 3-4)

But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. (Ezra 3:12) Today is different than yesterday.  What happened yesterday may have impacted my today, but that is all history.  It can't be changed, relived, or even removed. ... [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]

Bait and Switch (Ezekiel 17, 20)

There you will remember your conduct and all the actions by which you have defiled yourselves, and you will loathe yourselves for all the evil you have done. (Ezekiel 20:43) There's something about Charlie Brown, Lucy, and a football that makes me cringe every time I see it coming.  It's the same old story: Lucy baits Charlie Brown to kick the football, Charlie Brown ... [Continue Reading]

Being Clay (Isaiah 28-30)

Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, “You did not make me”?  Can the pot say to the potter, “You know nothing”? (Isaiah 29:16b) When I was in college, a friend of mine informed me that students were allowed to visit the art department in the evening and use potting wheels and clay.  I had very little prior experience "throwing clay," as it's called, so I ... [Continue Reading]

Listen Up (2 Kings 12-13; 2 Chronicles 24)

Although the Lord sent prophets to the people to bring them back to him, and though they testified against them, they would not listen. (2 Chronicles 24:19) When I was in elementary school my brothers and I loved playing in the creek near our house.  I remember one snow day when we adventured out, and I really wanted to walk on the ice.  My older and wiser brothers ... [Continue Reading]

Making Room for People of God (2 Kings 1-4)

[The Shunammite] said to her husband, “I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. Let’s make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us.” (2 Kings 4:9-10) If a person of God were to come your way, would you make room for him or her?  Would you welcome that ... [Continue Reading]

How to Get Lost (1 Kings 10-11; 2 Chronicles 9)

[Solomon] had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. (1 Kings 11:3) Have you ever found yourself asking the question, "How in the world did I get here?"  I remember a trip I took about 10 years ago.  I was actually taking a student home from a youth group activity, and he took me through lots of back roads to get to ... [Continue Reading]

The Afterglow Never Lasts (Ecclesiastes 1-4)

For the wise, like the fool, will not be long remembered; the days have already come when both have been forgotten.  Like the fool, the wise too must die! (Ecclesiastes 2:16) Given enough time, everyone will be forgotten.  It doesn't matter how great you are or how big your afterglow is, there will come a point in time when you are not the topic of everyday conversation, ... [Continue Reading]