God says not everyone’s invited. (Isaiah 55:1)

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters” (Isaiah 55:1) In this scripture, we can see at least three things: An invitation It is addressed SPECIFICALLY to those in need A promise for that need to be met and fulfilled This means that: Invitations call for a response Needs call for recognition Promises call for trust Therefore we …

When God Abandons You

“For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back.” (Isaiah 54:7) God is everywhere, but he is in some places more than most. This doesn’t really make much sense and that’s because our finite minds cannot fully understand or explain the Infinite God. Somehow, “more” of God’s presence was in the tabernacle and this …

Are You Spiritually Healthy?

What does it mean to be spiritually healthy? Let’s get a little more specific: Were you spiritually healthy yesterday? Answering this question is easy. Sure, it’s a little personal, but coming up with an honest answer is something most of us could do without much effort. The next question goes a little deeper:  Why did you give that answer? How …

Learn to Loose

Jesus gave up his rights, he willingly chose to loose when he could have won. He did this because it was the Father’s will and because his kingdom was from another place–not of this world. Under the unfair judgment of Pilate, Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my …

Seven Easy (and Essential) Habits for Reading the Bible Well

After fasting from food for forty days, Satan tempted Jesus and challenged him to make bread. Jesus quoted Moses and his response was earthshaking: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4) WHY WE READ THE BIBLE Life isn’t easy. We were either busy, stressed, or both. We …

The Wrong Way to Pray

“To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable:  “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this …

Can Anything Good Come From Feeling Hopeless?

The people in the Bible are far from perfect. It’s actually quite refreshing. Job asks a question and makes a declaration that don’t paint a pretty picture of faithfulness to God. Job was hopeless and it was real, raw, visceral: “Why then did you bring me out of the womb? I wish I had died before any eye saw me.” …

How to Actively Hear God’s Voice

I don’t like it when I’m treated unfairly. You probably don’t either. All of us react differently when we are attacked. I lean heavily toward a “passionate response.” That’s code (and rationalization) for fight fire with fire. It’s not very Christlike, and I’m working on it. I’m an assistant coach, and a few days ago, a parent had some constructive …

Does it matter that God is holy and just?

This teaching from Habakkuk is a call to praise the God who is not like us and has no tolerance for evil. Let us be holy like he is holy—uncommon in our world but not disconnected. Let us also take an inventory to see how much evil we tolerate in our own lives so that we can bring that to him in humility and repentance.

What God Can’t See

“Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.” (Habakkuk 1:13) A few questions for reflection: What does this scripture teach about God’s character? What is your initial response? How does this make you feel? Does this verse raise any questions or confusion?

Who Will Rescue Us?

“So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me… What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” (Romans 7:21-24) In this world, on this side of eternity, life is difficult and draining. Every failure creates conflicting feelings that are hollow …

Meet The Controllers

They fear the unknown and hate the unknowable. They answer questions without questioning answers. Greet you with a plastic face, Face their life with an iron fist, Fractured heart with empty joy. Predictable is comfortable is predictable. Cage the dragons, vanish the chaos! Make life safe like a roller coaster. Lock it down! Label it right! Get it figured out tonight! …

Who Is God? He is jealous.

“Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” (Exodus 34:14) Why is God’s name Jealous? Because he wants the hearts of all people to love and worship him. Why not use a different word? Because God’s desire for us is strong, intense. No single word can accurately describe God–in fact, not …

His Name is Jealous

“Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” (Exodus 34:14) Jealously is the intense demand for exclusive possession and/or devotion. In the original language of the Old Testament (Hebrew), the word for “jealous” ranges in meaning from “be zealous for” to “be envious of.” Human jealously is not the same as …

No Other Gods

Some thoughts for your personal reflection:   “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:2-3) In your own words, write a definition of worship. Read Exodus 6:6–8. What promises did God make to the Israelites? How did God help Israel? …

Fear, not Faith

32 [Jesus] said to [the demons], “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. 33 Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 Then the whole …

Bible Study: Galatians 3:1-4:7

Getting Started with Galatians 3:1-4:7 Begin with prayer: Ask God to make your heart pure, soft, and undivided. Confess your sins so you can receive his mercy and grace. Humble yourself so you can hear his voice. Release your worries so you can rest in his presence. First read: Read without pausing, to get an overall sense of the chapter. Second …

Bible Study: Galatians chapter 2

Getting Started with Galatians 2 Begin with prayer: Ask God to make your heart pure, soft, and undivided. Confess your sins so you can receive his mercy and grace. Humble yourself so you can hear his voice. Release your worries so you can rest in his presence. First read: read without pausing, to get an overall sense of the chapter. …

Who is Jesus?

He is God The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. Matthew 26:63-64 He became a person The Word [Jesus] became flesh and made his dwelling among us. John 1:14 He taught with authority …

Three principles from Jesus for every mission

Jesus said: These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust …