sun-468

weekly words

The Steps of Change

            Jonah 3:5-9 The Steps of Change   Jonah chapter 3:5-9 presents the response to the message offered by Jonah to the Ninevehites. Jonah’s message was “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” And in this we see three things that lacked in this message: First they were only…

“Heirs to a promise”

                    Galatians 3:15-19 “Heirs to a promise”   A few years ago an article appeared in a Salt Lake City news paper: Max Melitzer, a 60 year-old homeless man, was tracked down by a private investigator and was told that his recently deceased brother had left…

“Forgiveness”

                Exodus 34:1-9 “Forgiveness”   In Exodus chapter 32:19 Moses had thrown down the first set of tablets when he saw the Israelites worshiping the golden calf. But the real question was what would God’s response be to their failure and repentance? Here in the first 9 verses…

“LOOK”

                      2Timothy 2:11-13 “LOOK”   In 2 timothy chapter 2 Paul used three metaphors of how to “Hold fast the pattern of sound words” when the world is falling apart all around you. If the believer is to leave a lasting impact upon the people…

“Presence verses presents”

                Exodus 33:1-3 “Presence verses presents”   In Exodus chapter 32 Israel had fashioned an idol and began to worship it like the heathens do and God caught them in the act. Three thousand of their countrymen were into it so much that they refused to stop and rioted;…

“He called her woman”

          Genesis 2:18-25 “He called her woman”   In Genesis chapter 2:18-15 we have a great event for men that took place on the 6th day of creation. First in verses 18-19 we read that something was not good. The word means incomplete and God list two reasons how Adam was incomplete…

“Three Stooges, here”

    Matthew 8:27, 29 “Three Stooges, here”   In Matthew 8:18-22 Matthew records for us two excuses for not following Jesus. First, there was in the story of the “certain scribe” that came to Jesus which illustrates the truth that people fear that if they put Jesus first it may cost them materially. Second, in…

“Hassel Free Salvation”

              Romans 4:13-16 “Hassel Free Salvation”  In Roman’s chapter 4 Paul brought before his readers; Abraham as a witness that God grants by unmerited favor, self worth and value apart from works. What makes Abraham all the more remarkable as an example of a man of faith is what…

“Three marks of God’s anointing”

        2 Samuel 5:1-3 “Three marks of God’s anointing” In Deut. 17:14-20 prior to Israel having a king God knew that one day they would follow after the nations of the world so He gave Moses specific qualifications for Israel’s kings and the most important one is given us in verse 15…

“Nicodemus”

                    John 3:1-2 “Nicodemus” The “New Birth” is the theme for the 3rd chapter of John and ought to be the theme of our lives as well. British evangelist George Whitefield once wrote a letter in the 1700’s to inventor and statesman Benjamin Franklin writing, “I…

“A concealed matter”

                  Exodus 29:4, 7, 21 “A concealed matter” Proverbs 25 verse 2 makes a very puzzling statement when it declares, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.” My first reaction to that truth…

“Discovering our resources”

                Ephesians 1:15-18a “Discovering our resources”   Ephesians chapter 1 verses 4-14 has the distinction of being the longest sentence in the Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Reading as one sentence cause the reader to realize that Paul was transfixed upon what God has done on behalf of…

“A prayer for maturity”

              1 Thessalonians 3:10-13 “A prayer for maturity” In Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians he explained how the church was born and cared for be writing about the work of leadership. He wrote of how the young believers could survive by “clinging to the word of God, fellowshipping with…

“Can you hear me now?”

          1 Samuel 28:3-15 “Can you hear me now?” 1 Samuel is a book of the tale of two kings and the last of the Judges and the first of the Prophets (Samuel) knew them both well: Saul, whom the nation wanted, was a man that elevated human potential, a man…

“Ordinary instruments for extraordinary work”

            Judges 3:1-31 “Ordinary instruments for extraordinary work” During the 350-year period of the book of Judges God used 11 men and one woman to deliver the nation. Biblical heroes don’t come from human courage, ingenuity, or wisdom but from a faithful God who empowers His servants. When God goes…

“Seek, Follow, Go”

            Matthew 4:12-25 “Seek, Follow, Go” In Matthew chapter 4:18-22 we read of the second stage of Jesus’ invitation to His future disciples. What I found interesting in this is to see Jesus’ continual progression in His invitation towards them: John 1:35-42 SEEK 4:19 FOLLOW 28:19 GO First, in John…

“Hold the pickles”

          Hebrews 5:11-14 “Hold the pickles” Introduction Vs. 11 Prolonged immaturity Vs. 12-14 The cause of the problem   Introduction   We come to a pivotal section in our letter to the Hebrews, and the third warning of the letter where the writer warns the reader not to reject spiritual maturity….

“On word Christian Soldier”

      2 Timothy 1:1-2  “On word Christian Soldier”   In Paul’s 2nd letter to his protégé Timothy around the year 66-67 AD after the apostle had been rearrested and imprisoned in Rome; confined to a little 20 foot in diameter prison cell awaiting his death by the hands of Caesar Nero (who himself…

“Oh Lord stuck in Ai again”

      Joshua 8:1-8 “Oh Lord stuck in Ai again” Joshua chapter seven started with the ominous words, “But the children of Israel committed a trespass regarding the accursed things”, and this was what led to their defeat in the land of promise at Ai. But when you look at the first words of…

“A word to Impala’s: Jump”

      Philippians 2:12-18  “A word to Impala’s: Jump” Mark Twain once wrote, “Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.” In Philippians chapter 2 Paul wrote concerning the “Good example” of the incarnation of Jesus; looking at His “renunciation”, “humiliation” and “exaltation”.  In Philippians chapter 2:12-18…

“To boldly go”

    Acts 14:1-6 “To boldly go” Acts chapter 14 records Paul and Barnabas on their 1st missionary journey. They became world travelers discovering new lands and peoples. To borrow a phrase, they were “boldly going where no man has gone before”. Paul would in in 2 Cor. 5:20 describe his journey as being “ambassadors…

“What If?”

  1 Corinthians 15:14-20 “What If?” Have you ever stopped to ponder the critics questioning of Christianity: “What if Christianity is not true?” That’s the topic Paul takes up in 1 Corinthians 15:12-20! The “what if’s” of Christianity are recorded as 7 times in 8 verses the word “if” pops up. In verses 14-19 Paul…

“A captive with a cause”

  Ephesians 3:1    “A captive with a cause”   In the 2nd chapter of Ephesians, Paul marveled at the work of reconciliation where He took the US’s and THEM’s and created a new race called the “In HIM’s”! In the 3rd chapter we realize just what this means. If you read the gospels you…

“Delivering the land into your hand”

Judges 1:2-8   “Delivering the land into your hand” Judges chapter one verses 3-19 contains the description of the conquest of the promise land beginning in the southern region of the country. This section reads like a military report and just states the facts with no additional commentary leaving only hard to pronounce names and…

“Go after it”

Joshua 3:1-2 “Go after it”   Joshua chapter 3 verses 1-5 hold the clues to entrance into the land of promise; a road map of faith and surrender that if followed 40 years earlier would have granted entrance to a generation that perished in the wilderness. In Deut. 6:23 Moses told the nation that “He…

“Exhale”

2 Timothy 3:16  “Exhale” Almost everyone is familiar with John 3:16 but there is another famous 3:16 verse and its found in Paul second letter Timothy. In the final two verses of chapter three Paul writes of the uniqueness of the word of God. But there is an unfortunate translation from the Greek to the…

“Introduction”

    Hebrews  “Introduction” It’s not often that I start a new book of the Bible so I thought this would be a great time to share some of the things that go into preparing for a study. The book we are going to study is known as: Hebrews. There are specific steps that must…

“Alternate Facts”

    Acts 21:17-40 “Alternate Facts” Watching a recent news program, I heard a phrase I had never heard before to explain how to people observing the same thing can come up with vastly different opinions, they call this “Alternative facts”.  I got me to think about the awful experience of being miss understood. I…

“No, because of Who you know”

    Romans 6:1-2  “No, because of Who you know” When I look at personal failure, or sin in my life I see two things that I need to pay more attention too: I need to be more aware that may greater problem isn’t some event, it’s in my ignorance that I have a choice….

“Merry Christmas

    Matthew 1:18  “Merry Christmas” In Matthew chapter 1 verse 18-25 we are given the birth of Jesus Christ, a story most are quite familiar, or are we? Matthew, a converted tax collector uses his pin to give us an extremely important history lesson as to Jesus entrance into humanity. He painstakingly through out…

“The basis of unity”

  1 Corinthians 1:10  “The basis of unity” Paul writes in the first 9 verses of 1st Corinthians, fives things that he thanked God for on their behalf. Having done so in the 10th verse he makes an appeal based upon grace and offers to come alongside them to help them back to the ground…

“Avoiding the halls of discouragement”

        1 Samuel 27 “Avoiding the halls of discouragement” In the 26th chapter of 1st Samuel the final words of Saul to David are, “May you be blessed, my son David! You shall both do great things and also still prevail.” Two things become quite apparent as we read the 27th chapter…

“How to lead”

    Exodus 17:5 “How to lead” Having just witnessed our election of a new president I found it interesting to look at the advice and council that Moses wrote down of his own experience of how to lead a divisive nation through the wilderness of life. The book Exodus serves as “leadership Manuel” and…

“Perfectly Imperfect”

  2 Corinthians 3:1-6 “Perfectly Imperfect” The apostle Paul faced a dilemma in addressing the Corinthian believers in his 2nd letter to them because some had verbally attacked him. It is highly unlikely that he would be considered a success today, when you look at these facts: He spent most of his ministry in jail…

“New Surroundings by Joy”

  Exodus 15:25 “New Surroundings by Joy” The 15th chapter of Exodus records a spontaneous song that broke out after God destroyed the Egyptian army at the parting of the Red Sea. The song was to commemorate the faithfulness of God in the past but it was also to remind the Israelites of God’s faithfulness…

“We have met the enemy”

    Judges 2:1-10 “We have met the enemy” Three themes in Judges are repeated over and over: God never breaks His promises God’s people continually break theirs And that there are always consequences for God’s people breaking their promises Sociologists write on the “secondhand experience” and its effects on society; as the 2nd generation…

“Guided by God”

      Exodus 13:19-20 “Guided by God” In the 12th and 13th chapter of Exodus God institutes the Passover with a great amount of detail. It is clear from reading these two chapters that the Lord wanted the Israelites to realize that what they were about to partake in had a far more important…

“Déjà-vu”

        Judges 2:11-23 “Déjà-vu” Webster’s dictionary defines the word “déjà-vu” as “a feeling that one has seen or heard something before, usually something unpleasantly familiar”. Judges chapter 2 verses 11-23 presents a very puzzling reoccurrence in the life of the nation of Israel. I wonder if Israel experienced some “spiritual déjà-vu” as…

“Biblical repentance”

      Exodus “Biblical repentance” One of the many themes of the 9th chapter of Exodus that fascinates me is both the ways of how God warns Pharaoh and the Egyptians of the consequences of their rebellion, as He does so both by grace and by judgment. In the 20th and 21st verses of…

“To build our character”

      2 Thessalonians 2:1-7 “To build our character” In Paul’s second letter to the church in 2 Thessalonica chapter 2 verse 1, he addresses an area that they had become confused about “…the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him”. Biblical prophecy was not put forth for Christians…

“Free from me”

      John 8:31-36 “Free from me” In John chapter 8 we are told that it was the day after the feast of the Tabernacles and Jesus had come early that morning into the temple when the religious leaders came dragging a half naked woman caught in the very act of adultery. Jesus set…

“Trouble in the Vineyard”

      Joshua 7:1-9 “Trouble in the Vineyard” Joshua chapter 7 records the only defeat and casualties listed in the book of Joshua that records conquests for the nation of Israel and it was brought about by in the little area of Ai and by the compromise of a man named Achan. And the…

“Mounts or Monuments?”

    Joshua 4:1-9 “Mounts or Monuments?” In Exodus 15 Moses wrote a song of victory with the opening stanza as “I will sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!” This song of redemption of how the Lord delivered His people led…

“A prayer for more of Jesus”

  Ephesians 3:16-19 “A prayer for more of Jesus” In Ephesians chapter 3 verses 16-19 Paul offers up a fourfold prayer of revelation to get what we know in our minds about Jesus into our heart and lives. Before we look at these four things we need to realize two things: That they are progressive…

“The Greatest Gift”

  1 Corinthians 13:1-3 “The Greatest Gift” In 1st Corinthians chapter 13 verses 1-3 Paul speaks on the preeminence of love over every other spiritual gift. By doing so he elevates the “fruit of the Spirit” above that of the “Gifts of the Spirit”. And the reason for this is that “love” is the motive…

“Christian Leadership”

Judges 4:1-4 “Christian Leadership” Harry Truman, the 33rd president defined leadership as, “The ability to get men to do what they don’t want to do and like doing it!” Christian leadership is dependent upon: Godly character Submission to biblical truth A servant’s heart The empowerment of the Holy Spirit Without the church fulfilling this role,…

“Crime and Punishment”

  Revelation 16:1-21 “Crime and Punishment” There is no greater area that God is falsely demeaned than when we read of Hs righteous judgment. In the 16th chapter of the book of Revelation John witnesses God’s righteous judgment upon the earth. There are two equally wrong perspectives with regards to God’s judgment: First, those that…

“The Art of Restoration”

  Philemon 1:1-10 “The Art of Restoration” The little letter of Philemon is a marvelous example of Christian diplomacy, which someone once described as “The art of getting someone to do something willingly that they wouldn’t normally do by force”. It serves as a great blueprint of how to negotiate change in the most difficult…

“The Exit”

  Exodus “The Exit” This Wednesday we we will be starting the book of Exodus. The name Exodus was given to the book at the time of it’s translation into Greek and means “exit or way out”. The Hebrew title follows the pattern of naming a book off of the first few words of the…

“Jig-saw Puzzle”

  Jonah 4:1-11 “Jig-saw Puzzle” When I read the Bible there are books and stories that would have been very different if I would have just stopped at the last chapter. I think we all like happy endings don’t we? We love success stories, where ordinary people do extraordinary things because of the goodness of…

“The Keys to staying together when the world is falling apart”

  Genesis 45-46 “The Keys to staying together when the world is falling apart” In Genesis chapter 45-46 Jacob passed through his “crises of faith” a stronger more peaceful man. In chapters 47-48 we see him at his death. For those of us Jacob types we might want to pay attention so that we can…

“A treasure hunt”

  Judges 1:2-3 “A treasure hunt” The book of Judges contains the description of the conquest of the promised land and begins in the southern region of the country and is the focus of chapter 1 verses 3-19. As a military report this chapter just states the facts and adds no commentary, it is left…

“A winning hand”

  2 Thessalonians 2:14-15 “A winning hand” In 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 verses 13-14 Paul encourages the Church at Thessalonica that was so persecuted it had begun to believe that it missed the rapture and therefor weren’t really believers. His words were meant to “Comfort their hearts and establish them in every good word and…

“What’s wrong with the Church”

  1 Timothy 1:4-5 “What’s wrong with the Church” In 1 Timothy chapter 1 verses 4-5 Paul defines biblical maturity for us by revealing to us two important things: What biblical teaching is and What biblical teaching produces: Vs. 4 Biblical teaching: Is that which builds up the individual believer into more and more the…

“THE IN HIM’S”

  Ephesians 2:14-17 “THE IN HIM’S” Have you ever noticed, as far as people are concerned, that there are really only two races of people? It does not seem to mater where on the globe people reside, what language they speak, their income bracket, education or age, there are only two nationalities, US an THEM!…

“The Race”

  1 Samuel 23:1-13 “The Race” There seems to be at times in my mind a formula to success in life that says, “If I seek the Lord and obey His leading in my life then the events of my life will follow my expectations”. David experienced this very dilemma not just once but over…

“What the church ought to be doing”

  Acts 2:42 “What the church ought to be doing” Acts is the continuation of what Jesus began to do and to teach as seen through His disciples. It began with Peter’s preaching concerning the person and work of Jesus, as 3000 wanted to know what they must do to be saved. In response to…

1 Corinthians Chapters 8-10

  1 Corinthians Chapters 8-10 In Paul’s 1st letter to the Corinthians it is apparent that the major reason for writing was to address seven questions the church wanted answers for. The gist of their 2nd question had to do with eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols, but the root of their question…

“Graceful in grace”

  As we are at the beginning of a new year with all the uncertainties of life, I find looking at the words of Jesus in the book of Revelation the most comforting and hope filled. The 20th chapter of the book of Revelation deals with life during the 1000-year reign of Christ upon the…

“Graceful in grace”

  Acts 16:1-5 “Graceful in grace” Christian liberty and grace can be a difficult hurdle to jump. While we Christians are under grace and not the law, there have been times when our freedoms have caused us to stumble. In Acts chapter 16 verse 1-5 Paul and his young convert Timothy faced just such a…