As a pastor and fellow student of God’s Word, I have been asked this question countless times, and of course, I have asked it myself. Thousands of books and sermons have attempted to answer this question, but there is really only one book that’s needed—the Bible. The full answer spans from the front cover to the back. In one sense it’s a simple answer, on the other it’s complex.
Recently, I had the incredible privilege of visiting Israel. This was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream that I believe God placed on my heart back in my early teenage years.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that I wish I could pack every member of the church on a plane and fly them out to Israel! Here are ten reasons why I believe a tour of the Holy Land is well worth your time and investment.
If I were to challenge you to quickly give me a list of biblical sins, would you include flattery? When we think of the many different kinds of sin noted in scripture, we often overlook the sin of flattery because it’s subtle, sounds positive, and makes the hearer feel good. Yet flattery is indeed a sin. Why?
Life is not meant to be a carnal competition between spiritual siblings. We all serve a unique role in the body of Christ, so let’s not undermine, discourage, or attack each other. Let’s not be jealous of one another’s gifts and ministries, as if we’re adversaries playing on opposing teams.
Our enemy wants to divide and conquer us, but may we never allow him the satisfaction.
We’ve all heard or seen the phrase “not of this world” or a similar statement that we are “in the world, but not of the world.” These catchy phrases look great on t-shirts and bumper stickers, but what do they really mean, practically speaking, in the life of a believer?
Have you ever tried grasping for the wind? It’s an exercise in futility because it will leave you empty-handed every single time.
Solomon had done it all, seen it all, had it all and realized in the end that everything temporary that the world offers ultimately leads to disappointment. So is there anything available to us that won’t leave us feeling empty-handed?
Some would say that love is a feeling, an emotion, or perhaps just a chemical reaction in the human brain. Others would say that love is a frame of mind, a commitment that is chosen to be lived out day after day.
Yet, despite an abundance of thoughts and opinions, this is a question that continues to mystify mankind because we all have a sense that love is greater and better than the answers the world presents to us.
What does the Bible say regarding fearing God? It says in Proverbs 1:7 that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” To be wise we must fear God first. It’s the first step toward attaining godly wisdom. And what is godly wisdom? Simply put, it is wisdom that brings us to a deeper knowledge and understanding of who God is and how He wants us to live our lives. But what does fear have to do with it?
Every person is challenged by worry and anxiety in their lives. Yet, worrying does not change our circumstances and can actually cause us emotional, physical, and spiritual harm. Worry always robs us; it never adds anything of value to our lives. So how do we overcome it?
Have you ever felt that there was no way God could use someone like you?
You may think that people don’t ever listen to what you have to say, or maybe you don’t have the right background or education; maybe you think you’ve made too many mistakes, are too young or too old; or perhaps you’re a baby Christian.
Marriage isn't easy. I know from firsthand experience. I spent nearly the first decade of mine trying to figure out why I couldn't seem to get my own way. I often wondered, Why isn't this working out the way I expected?
Then one day it hit me like a ton of bricks. Marriage isn't supposed to be about me.
A new year means new resolutions. How about reading through the ENTIRE Bible? That may seem like a daunting or even impossible goal, but it's far easier than you may think. You just need to approach it the right way...
Years ago, when Juanita and I were first dating, I was in a rush to deliver the Christmas gifts I had bought for her. Unfortunately, less than a mile out of the driveway my truck began to overheat. I had a tough decision to make, but I knew what I needed to do. I cranked up the heater full blast and drove thirty-five miles to Juanita’s house!
Next time we sit down with our families to exchange gifts—whether it’s for Christmas, a birthday, or whatever the occasion may be—please be reminded of the most precious and beautiful present of all, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. May He be the only treasure that our hearts truly desire and seek.
Thousands of years ago, wise men sought Him. Today, may wise men (and women) seek Him still.
Bitterness leads to hatred, revenge, and even death—the death of joy and relationships.
It can even lead to diminished physical and emotional health, or cause a person to make dangerous decisions that may put their very life at risk. Job 21:25 says a “man dies in the bitterness of his soul.” So how do we deal with bitterness?
Imagine you are a witness to the last meal that Jesus shared with His disciples the night of His betrayal. Not long before, multitudes were praising Him shouting “Hosanna!”
Suddenly, Jesus stands up from supper, picks up a towel, pours water into a basin, and begins to wash their feet. Can you imagine the look of shock on the disciples’ faces when Jesus, their Lord, stoops down to wash and dry their dirty feet?
It is no coincidence that the Bible begins early on with this statement regarding marriage—“Therefore, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). The imperative tone and the order of the verbs in this verse are not a coincidence. In God’s wisdom and sovereignty, He has spelled out the sequence of actions necessary for establishing and maintaining an amazing marriage.
I think we can all agree that it's easy, even natural, to thank God during seasons of goodness and abundance, but what about during the hard times? Do we only thank God when we "feel" like it, or do we maintain a constant mindset of gratitude?
Life is certainly a combination of positive and negative experiences, the good and the bad, but the secret to maintaining a thankful perspective in difficult circumstances may surprise you!
One of the most remarkable verses in scripture tells us that “without faith it is impossible to please Him [God], for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Clearly, we can see what a high value God places on faith. So much that not only will God be pleased when we exercise faith, but He will also reward our faith!
Do you ever get discouraged when you observe people who don’t care for anyone other than themselves seemingly experiencing continued success? Then there are the nameless masses who often go unnoticed, whose random acts of kindness appear unrewarded or unrecognized. It gets even more discouraging when it seems that God isn't paying attention either.
Although we can never forgive as completely or as perfectly as God does, we are required to follow the example He has set. In our natural strength we will always fail because such humility and compassion do not come naturally, but we are still expected to extend the same mercy to others that Christ continually extends to us. After all, how can we so willingly receive God's mercy, yet be unmerciful to others? Jesus was very clear that if we want to be forgiven, we must forgive others.
There are just some scriptures whose depth of meaning baffle my very understanding. Of course, the reason is that as a human being, I naturally tend to view the world in the context of my own personal experiences. Yet so much of what God wants us to learn through His Word defies human experience.