Staying the Course

Read: Genesis 50:20: You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. When life seems to be throwing an endless stream of curveballs and difficult circumstances, the temptation to either quit – or get frustrated with God – is high. It isn’t easy to hold on to faith when everything around us is crumbling. We may question why God isn’t intervening, why people of other or no faith seem to be having an easier ride than we are. In the storms of life, God can seem distant and uncaring, and our perception of Him as our loving Heavenly Father can be challenged. What do we need to do when we’re feeling this way? Ironically, the solution to the […]

An Anchor for Our Soul

Read: Hebrews 6:16-20 16 Now when people take an oath, they call on someone greater than themselves to hold them to it. And without any question that oath is binding. 17 God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. 18 So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. 19 This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. 20 Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High […]

Fixing Our Eyes on the Prize

Read: Hebrews 12:1-3 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. What Does it Mean? The writer of the book of Hebrews (no, we don’t know exactly who wrote it!) reminds us that we are “surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses” and, because this passage follows chapter eleven, which is […]

One Step at a Time – Learning to Walk with God

Bible Reading:1 Peter 2:1-5 2 1-3 So clean house! Make a clean sweep of malice and pretense, envy and hurtful talk. You’ve had a taste of God. Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God’s pure kindness. Then you’ll grow up mature and whole in God. 4-5 Welcome to the living Stone, the source of life. The workmen took one look and threw it out; God set it in the place of honor. Present yourselves as building stones for the construction of a sanctuary vibrant with life, in which you’ll serve as holy priests offering Christ-approved lives up to God. Bible Reading: Hebrews 5:11-6:3 11-14 I have a lot more to say about this, but it is hard to get it across to you since you’ve picked up this bad habit of not listening. By this time […]

Power in Your Corner – Your All-Sufficiency in Christ

Bible Reading: Ephesians 1:17-19 15-19 That’s why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn’t stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I’d think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength! Bible Reading: Ephesians 3:14-20 14-19 My response is to get down on […]

Good Cop, Bad Cop – The New Man and the Old

Bible Reading Romans 7:15-25 14-16 I can anticipate the response that is coming: “I know that all God’s commands are spiritual, but I’m not. Isn’t this also your experience?” Yes. I’m full of myself—after all, I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary. 17-20 But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will […]

Eating the Word of God

“Son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not join them in their rebellion. Open your mouth, and eat what I give you.” Then I looked and saw a hand reaching out to me. It held a scroll, 10 which he unrolled. And I saw that both sides were covered with funeral songs, words of sorrow, and pronouncements of doom. The voice said to me, “Son of man, eat what I am giving you—eat this scroll! Then go and give its message to the people of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and he fed me the scroll. “Fill your stomach with this,” he said. And when I ate it, it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth. ~ Ezekiel 2:8-3:3 (New Living Translation) The Bible often tells us that we […]

Never Stand Alone

As Christians, there are certain things that we need in order to grow into maturity in our faith. Like sapling trees or plant seedlings, we need nurturing. Of course, the most important nourishment we can give ourselves is Spiritual Food in the form of the Bible – a daily reading plan is often helpful – and prayer, the act of talking and listening to God. But whilst Spiritual food is essential, like seedlings and saplings, there is something else that we need: other Christians around us to support us as we grow. Sometimes it’s pride, sometimes it’s stubbornness, sometimes it’s just a sheer desire for independence – but for most people there are times when we just want to “go it alone”. We might convince ourselves that we don’t need others around us to help […]

Putting God First

Who is the most important person in your life? Your spouse or partner? Your kids? Your parents? In the world in which we live, those are probably the most natural and predictable responses. For some people, it may not even be a person that occupies the top spot in their lives – it might be their job, a pet or even an addiction. As Christians, however, we need to consider carefully our answer to this question – and the implications that our answers have on our faith walk. In Matthew 10:37, Jesus makes a statement that many Christians struggle to accept and / or apply to their lives. The NIV version says this: “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter […]

Why the Sinner’s Prayer is Not Enough

Do you want to go to hell? What would you do if Jesus walked into the room right now? I hear these questions being asked of non-believers, or those sitting on the fence between sin and salvation, all the time, and I recognize the validity of those questions – in some contexts. But in asking those particular questions in the course of evangelism, are we selling people short? I don’t believe that frightening people into making a declaration of faith that they neither truly believe nor understand is what Jesus intended when He gave the Great Commission. Yes, people need to be made aware of the consequences of living on the wrong side of the fence – but telling them that if they don’t pray the sinner’s prayer, they’re going to hell is not the […]