“What Will Steady Us in Tough Times?” November 16

 

What Will Steady Us in Tough Times? - When God asks you to trust Him in the difficult things: when He doesn’t seem to be answering your prayers, when your child isn’t getting better, when the finances still seem impossible, when the doctor hands you a bad report … where will you go? Where will you find hope? What will you believe about God?When God asks you to trust Him in the difficult things: when He doesn’t seem to be answering your prayers, when your child isn’t getting better, when the finances still seem impossible, when the doctor hands you a bad report … where will you go? Where will you find hope? What will you believe about God?

Trusting God makes all the difference in times of suffering. What can we learn about God that will steady us in tough times?  Continue reading

“Are You Playing Spiritual Games?” November 14

 

Are you playing spiritual games? - God will not play spiritual pat-a-cake with us by allowing us to seek His help while we continue turning to our idols and self-efforts. If God doesn't seem to be answering our prayers, maybe we need to ask ourselves, "Am I playing spiritual games with God?"God will not play spiritual pat-a-cake with us by allowing us to seek His help while we continue turning to our idols and self-efforts. If God doesn’t seem to be answering our prayers, maybe we need to ask ourselves, “Am I playing spiritual games with God?”  Continue reading

“Could We Be Worshiping Idols?” November 11

 

Could We Be Worshiping Idols? - After one of the most powerful promises in the New Testament, the Apostle Paul warns us, "Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry." Idolatry? Could I be worshiping idols? Could you? Don't think so ... where do we run for pleasure, satisfaction, rescue, or escape? What are our “if only’s” and “I must’s”? Could there even be "good things" that have become idols in our lives? How can we be sure that we don't have false gods, things we're depending on more than God Himself? Things that have become more important to us than they should? God warned the nation of Israel over and over to repent and turn from idolatry. Their refusal to do so took them into captivity and cost them the loss of their land, their homes, their freedom, and often their families. What about our nation? It's obvious to anyone who understands spiritual truth that we are on a downhill slide morally, but is it possible that idolatry, magic, and witchcraft have gone on behind closed doors in the highest places in our nation? Some of what I'll be sharing today may seem far-fetched or even political, but that's not my intention. We are called to be watchmen and when we see danger coming, the blood of others is on our hands if we refuse to sound the alarm. After one of the most powerful promises in the New Testament, the Apostle Paul warns us, “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.”

Idolatry?

Could I be worshiping idols? Could you? Don’t think so … where do we run for pleasure, satisfaction, rescue, or escape? What are our “if only’s” and “I must’s”? Could there even be “good things” that have become idols in our lives?

How can we be sure that we don’t have false gods, things we’re depending on more than God Himself? Things that have become more important to us than they should?

God warned the nation of Israel over and over to repent and turn from idolatry. Their refusal to do so took them into captivity and cost them the loss of their land, their homes, their freedom, and often their families.

What about our nation? It’s obvious to anyone who understands spiritual truth that we are on a downhill slide morally, but is it possible that idolatry, magic, and witchcraft have gone on behind closed doors in the highest places in our nation?

Some of what I’ll be sharing today may seem far-fetched or even political, but that’s not my intention. We are called to be watchmen and when we see danger coming, the blood of others is on our hands if we refuse to sound the alarm.  Continue reading

“Religious Addiction” November 10

 

Religious Addiction - Can religion become an addiction? Can it offer an escape from reality? And if so, what would a religious addiction look like? Also, read about how the Israelites tried to justify living life their own way, then avoid the consequences of doing so, and how we might be doing the same thing today? Can religion become an addiction? Can it offer an escape from reality? And if so, what would a religious addiction look like?

Also, read about how the Israelites tried to justify living life their own way, then avoid the consequences of doing so, and how we might be doing the same thing today?  Continue reading

“Does Salvation + Time + Knowledge = Spiritual Maturity?” November 9

 

Does salvation + time + knowledge = spiritual maturity? - Does salvation + time + knowledge = spiritual maturity? Does it come from years of church membership? From learning how to use Bible software or getting 10 devotionals in your in-box? Does it come with a degree in theology? Or from attending Bible studies week after week? If not, what does it take?Does salvation + time + knowledge = spiritual maturity? If not, where does it come from? From years of church membership? From learning how to use Bible software or getting 10 devotionals in your inbox? Does it come with a degree in theology? Or from attending Bible studies week after week? If not, what does it take?  Continue reading

“No Ordinary Book, No Ordinary Throne Room” November 8

 

No Ordinary Book, No Ordinary Throne Room - I've always enjoyed reading historical fiction. When I was a teenager I read a number of books based on stories about the kings, queens, and czars of Europe and Russia. Throughout history, monarchs came in every sort and personality, some good, some evil and they used their power accordingly. In medieval times, monarchs wielded what seemed like absolute power. Even today, kings and dictators in some parts of the world hold the power of life and death over their subjects. We, too, have a King. So, what can we expect when we come into His throne room? Are we to expect judgment and begrudging answers? Or are we to expect something quite different? And what is it about God's Word? How is it different from any other book? Why have so many tried to destroy it and why is it so vilified today? And personally, why does it have the ability to pierce our hearts in a way nothing else can? I’ve always enjoyed reading historical fiction. When I was a teenager I read a number of books based on stories about the kings, queens, and czars of Europe and Russia.

Throughout history, monarchs came in every sort and personality, some good, some evil and they used their power accordingly. In medieval times, monarchs wielded what seemed like absolute power. Even today, kings and dictators in some parts of the world hold the power of life and death over their subjects.

We, too, have a King. So, what can we expect when we come into His throne room? Are we to expect judgment and begrudging answers? Or are we to expect something quite different?

And what is it about God’s Word? How is it different from any other book? Why have so many tried to destroy it and why is it so vilified today? And personally, why does it have the ability to pierce our hearts in a way nothing else can?  Continue reading

“Do not be afraid of them!” November 6

 

Do Not Be Afraid of Them - Ezekiel was called to speak truth to a hard-hearted and rebellious people, but God gave him the strength he needed and told him, "Do not be afraid of them!" We live in a time when people have similar attitudes and responses to truth. Sometimes we suffer persecution, not just for what we say or do, but for who we are. Darkness hates the light. Sometimes our persecutors can be people close to us, even our own family members. What can we learn from Jesus about persecution? And what did Peter, who once denied his Lord, learn that can help us trust God and have the strength to do what He's called us to do?Ezekiel was called to speak truth to a hard-hearted and rebellious people, but God gave him the strength he needed and told him, “Do not be afraid of them!”

We live in a time when people have similar attitudes and responses to truth. Sometimes we suffer persecution, not just for what we say or do, but for who we are. Darkness hates the light. Sometimes our persecutors can be people close to us, even our own family members.

What can we learn from Jesus about persecution? And what did Peter, who once denied his Lord, learn that can help us trust God and have the strength to do what He’s called us to do?  Continue reading

“Making Amends for Your Past” November 4

 

Making Amends for Your Past - Is there someone from your past to whom you need to make restitution? Restitution is restoring or paying back something that has been lost, stolen or damaged. Is there someone you need to go to and seek forgiveness? Is there a letter you need to write or a call you need to make? Is there someone from your past to whom you need to make restitution? Restitution is restoring or paying back something that has been lost, stolen or damaged. Is there someone you need to go to and seek forgiveness? Is there a letter you need to write or a call you need to make?  Continue reading

“Have We Lost God’s Restraining Grace?” November 3

 

Have We Lost God's Restraining Grace? - In Jeremiah's day, God removed His restraining grace and let sin run its course because of their ongoing rebellion. What does the loss of restraining grace look like in a nation or an individual life? Could the same thing be playing out in our country or yours, wherever you live? The loss of His restraining grace leads to a downward slide into an increasingly godless society. Paul gives us a list of sins that occur near the bottom of that free fall: homosexuality, sexual immorality, unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil, envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice,  gossip, slander, hatred of God and His Word, lack of respect, pride, inventing all kinds of evil, rebellion against parents and all authority, lack of trustworthiness, and a lack of love and mercy. But the very bottom is when a society "approve[s] of those who practice them." Could we already be there and, if so, how should we respond?In Jeremiah’s day, God removed His restraining grace and let sin run its course because of their ongoing rebellion. What does the loss of restraining grace look like in a nation or an individual life? Could the same thing be playing out in our country or yours, wherever you live?

The loss of His restraining grace leads to a downward slide into an increasingly godless society. Paul gives us a list of sins that occur near the bottom of that free fall: homosexuality, sexual immorality, unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil, envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice,  gossip, slander, hatred of God and His Word, lack of respect, pride, inventing all kinds of evil, rebellion against parents and all authority, lack of trustworthiness, and a lack of love and mercy. But the very bottom is when a society “approve[s] of those who practice them.” Could we already be there and, if so, how should we respond?

Continue reading