God’s Presence Sets Us Apart

“Your presence…sets your people…apart.” Ex 33:16 NLT The world expects Christians to be different from those who don’t profess to know Jesus, and that’s as it should be. Believers should set an example when it comes to serving others and showing love. Jesus said, “People will know…you are my followers if you love each other” (Jn 13:35 NCV). In the Old Testament when the Israelites broke God’s covenant by worshiping a golden calf, Moses pleaded with God not to give up on them. His argument was … [Read more...]

Consecrate Yourself to God

“Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” Jos 3:5 NIV On the threshold of the Promised Land, God said to His people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” When you consecrate yourself to God He will do things in you, with you, for you, and through you that will amaze you. We want to do amazing things for God, and that seems noble. But we’ve got it backwards. God wants to do amazing things for us. That’s His job, … [Read more...]

Are You Feeling Threatened?

“When they had prayed, the place…was shaken.” Ac 4:31 NAS Are you in an intimidating situation? If so, notice four things the disciples did when they felt threatened by the religious authorities of their day. (1) They brought God into the picture. “Lord, behold their threatenings” (v. 29). Have you talked to the Lord about it? If it’s not big enough to be a prayer, it’s too small to be a burden! God should be the first person you discuss it with, not the last. Prayer is the door through which … [Read more...]

The Blessing Comes by “Doing”

“I do Your commandments.” Ps 119:166 NKJV In his book Traveling Hopefully, Stan Mooneyham writes: “I will go, when—I will give, after—I will obey, but first—one can always find reasons for delay, and sometimes they may even seem to be valid reasons. A close friend of mine and I were called to preach about the same time, and we went to university together. I was out mutilating homiletics in rural Oklahoma churches during those four years of study, but my friend insisted he wouldn’t preach his … [Read more...]

A Truly Challenging Commandment

“This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.” Jn 15:12 NLT Jesus said, “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” (v. 11 NLT). What are these “things” that you must do to have His joy in life? Jesus tells us in the next verse: “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.” You say, “That’s a truly challenging commandment!” Yes, and you’ll have to do a lot of growing and maturing … [Read more...]

Reasons to Be Thankful

“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God…for you.” 1Th 5:18 NKJV Gratitude doesn’t come naturally to us, but grumbling does. No one had more cause to grumble than Joseph. Abandoned, enslaved, betrayed, and estranged. Those are the chapter titles for his life story. Yet when he talks about it you won’t hear a tinge of bitterness. Instead, you’ll hear the opposite. In naming his two sons, he makes them living, breathing, lifelong testimonies of his gratitude to God. “Joseph named … [Read more...]

Through the Wilderness

“He said, ‘Which way shall we go up?’ And he answered, ‘The way through the wilderness.’” 2Ki 3:8 The Israelites discovered that for them, the way into the Promised Land was through the wilderness. One Bible teacher refers to it as “God’s killing field.” He says: “In the wilderness experiences of life, the things that cause you to stumble in your walk with God are permitted to die. There He weeds out those who want only a superficial relationship from those who long to know Him intimately. It’s … [Read more...]

Stay Focused (Part 2)

“I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down.” Ne 6:3 NIV When it came to rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, Nehemiah discovered that not everyone around him wanted him to succeed. To stop the work, his enemies used two things—threats and rumors. Nevertheless he rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem in less than two months. How did he do it? He stayed focused on what mattered and refused to be distracted. “They were scheming to harm me; so I sent messengers to them with this reply: ‘I am … [Read more...]

Stay Focused (Part 1)

“Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.” Pr 4:25 NIV Years ago an airliner crashed into the Florida Everglades. On its approach to the Miami airport, the light indicator for proper deployment of the landing gear failed. They flew circles over the swamps of the Everglades while the cockpit crew checked to see if the gear truly had not deployed, or if the bulb in the signal light was defective. When the flight engineer tried to remove the signal light assembly it … [Read more...]

How “Hungry” Are You?

“He satisfies the…hungry with good things.” Ps 107:9 NIV Successful people are often just people who were a little hungrier and thirstier for success than the rest of us. What we desired, they pursued. Napoleon was born in poverty. His classmates made fun of him in school. But he devoted himself to his books, excelled in his studies, and became the brightest student in class. Before his life was over, he conquered much of the world! If a seedling tree has to fight its way up through rocks to … [Read more...]