The Exemplary Prayer Life

As I was reading through the book of Nehemiah recently, my attention went toward Nehemiah’s habit of praying through every circumstance he faced. Amidst the fascinating story of the return of Jewish exiles to rebuild the ravaged city of Jerusalem, there is this portrait of a leader who constantly relies upon God’s strength, protection andContinue reading “The Exemplary Prayer Life”

Motives in Ministry

Ministry in the kingdom of God can be tremendously fulfilling and joyful. We live to feel the Lord’s smile upon us. We long to know that he is blessing our work with fruitfulness for his glory. It’s  one of the best feelings in the world. But Christian ministry is also fraught with many hazards, asContinue reading “Motives in Ministry”

Messengers

“The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place” (2 Chron. 36:15) When I lived in New York City in the 1980’s, it seemed that bicycle messengers were everywhere, weaving adroitly through multiple lanes of traffic, miraculouslyContinue reading “Messengers”

Trusting God and Loving People

A few weeks ago, while on a trip, I heard in a radio interview the statement, “We are never commanded in Scripture to trust people, only to love them. We are commanded to trust God and to love people.” This arrested my attention, and I have been chewing on it ever since. More than justContinue reading “Trusting God and Loving People”

Praise as Ascent

Having been a praise and worship leader for many years, I have been motivated to study the Bible’s exhortations about bringing praises to God. To comprehend the attitude of heart that God seeks in his worshippers, I seem to come back consistently to the imagery of pilgrimage, ascent, and bowing down in the presence ofContinue reading “Praise as Ascent”

How Did Joseph Get So Smart?

Paul admonishes and exhorts the Corinthians about a great many things in his two epistles to them. Beginning his first letter is a lengthy discourse on the wisdom and power of God, contrasting them with man’s words and “the wisdom of this world.” As I read these passages this morning, I began thinking about Joseph,Continue reading “How Did Joseph Get So Smart?”

Devotion and Distraction

We live in a time and a culture of distraction. This is so much the case that there are now signs on the highways reminding drivers to avoid driving while distracted. This usually refers to texting on cell phones, but they could add eating a burrito, changing your clothes, applying mascara, disciplining your kids inContinue reading “Devotion and Distraction”

Be Reconciled!

Paul taught in his second letter to the Corinthians that Christ-followers have been given a “word of reconciliation” and a “ministry of reconciliation.” I am going to attempt to present my understanding of these concepts, as well as some application. I offer this caveat: As with other deep theological truths, there is great mystery here,Continue reading “Be Reconciled!”

Choosing and Being Chosen

Recently I have been reflecting on how people make the choice to become Christ-followers. What I have remembered through my study is that we are chosen before we choose. I am not a staunch Calvinist by any means. I believe that all men and women are free to choose their respective paths in life, andContinue reading “Choosing and Being Chosen”

The Folly of Man

In my journey through the Bible this year, I have recently found myself in the books of Kings, and it has not been pretty. Such seemingly relentless violence, depravity, idolatry, rebellion, and apostasy propagated by the kings of Israel and Judah! It has left me asking Holy Spirit why some of these stories are includedContinue reading “The Folly of Man”