Micah 6:6-8 There’s a simple message from God that is repeated over and over throughout Scripture—He delights far more in our efforts to know Him than in any gift we might offer Him. God created us with a deep desire to be known, so it shouldn’t be difficult for us to understand that seeking Him expresses our love better than words ever could. We begin to take advantage of our great privilege to personally know God when we receive His free gift of new life through Jesus Christ. From that moment on, we are filled with His Holy Spirit. Jesus, our Mediator, spanned the gapRead More →

Psalms 150 Most of us have some idea what being in love feels like. When we’re apart, we constantly think about the object of our affection and look forward to spending time together. We often relate stories and describe attributes so everyone knows how wonderful this special person is. In a word, we praise our loved one. First Samuel 13:14 describes King David as a man after God’s own heart. One way he sought to honor his beloved Lord was to offer Him praise. The book of Psalms records David’s worship in words, with sentiments such as “Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, myRead More →

1 John 1:9 At times people are bound by guilt long after the feeling should have been resolved. For some, this is appropriate because they refuse to give up the sin that brought it on. Others suffer the weight of false guilt because they harbor shame that doesn’t belong to them. Whatever the root cause of your self-condemnation, the battle plan remains the same. Victory over guilt begins with understanding that the Savior took our shame to the cross and paid our penalty. Without Jesus, this would have been impossible because there is no way that we could pay for our own sin. But weRead More →

Psalms 119:17-24 The idea of applying biblical principles is often misunderstood. It’s not simply a process of hear, believe, apply—as if one were putting on a new doctrine like a borrowed overcoat. Two steps are missing between believe and apply: explore and discover. To explore a biblical principle means studying Scripture to understand what the surrounding context is, what the principle means for us, and what it reveals about God. Furthermore, we must consider how this lone principle relates to the rest of the Bible. Digging into the Word softens hearts and minds so that the new doctrine can be planted deeply. As we plowRead More →

Psalms 25:4-5 On the road of life, crucial decisions are like intersections that call for us to choose which way to go. If we barrel through without seeking the mind of Christ, the road we pick may lead to regret and heartache. Although the Lord is ready and willing to offer clear direction, He doesn’t always give it quickly. Knowing that He has good reason for withholding immediate instruction can help us wait patiently at the intersection for His guidance. At times, God leaves us in our confusion because He wants to get our attention. When everything is running smoothly, we tend to forget theRead More →

Joshua 1:1-9 Most people would be pleased to accept the honor of leading a nation. Perhaps Joshua felt that way, too. But there’s no doubt that he was very aware that leading the Israelites out of the wilderness would be a daunting task and responsibility. Yet he was determined to obey God no matter what. The Hebrew people were a difficult bunch. Not only did they grumble about food, water, safety, and rules; they also questioned Moses’ leadership and, almost as soon as his back was turned, rebelled against God. Now Joshua—a man they once threatened to stone (Num. 14:10)—was poised to lead these waywardRead More →

Philippians 2:9-11 When Christ has first place in our lives, we will experience many blessings. These include . . . A quiet spirit. As we turn our attention to the Lord and meditate on His Word, He “leads [us] beside quiet waters,” where we find rest for our souls (Ps. 23:2). The Holy Spirit will help us shut out the noise of worldly distractions so He can provide assurance of our Father’s love and support. With a quieted heart and mind, we will be able to discern what God is saying to us. A stronger faith. Studying Scripture will enlarge our view of God andRead More →

Luke 10:38-42 Jesus had great affection for Martha, her sister Mary, and her brother Lazarus (John 11:5). One day He sent word to them that He and His disciples were coming to visit. The women started preparing their home, as there was a lot to accomplish before the men arrived. Martha, however, in all her busyness, lost sight of the importance of spending time with the Lord. But let us not be quick to judge her. We know that in our relationship with Jesus, He is to have first place above all else in life. Thoughts, attitudes, and actions are to flow out of ourRead More →

Judges 7:1-7 Have you ever felt backed into a corner, with the odds stacked against you? In situations like that, Christians too often refuse to acknowledge an important truth. That is, they fail to recognize that God may actually be orchestrating their challenging circumstances. You may think, No way. God protects me from such things. The world and Satan are doing this to me. Perhaps. Yet maybe, just maybe, God is trying to tell you something—and He first needs to get your attention. Time and again in Scripture, we see that the Lord uses difficulties to build our faith. It’s easy to trust Him whenRead More →

Revelation 4:1-11 God is without sin. There’s no evil in His thoughts, motives, or actions. Because of His holy character, He is against all iniquity. He truly loves the sinner, but He despises sin. The heavenly Father’s holiness is revealed not only in His moral purity, but also in His separateness from all evil. Because of His righteous character, He cannot tolerate or ignore sin. His justice requires that wrongdoing be paid for, and the only acceptable payment is death (Rom. 6:23). Only faith in Jesus Christ bridges the gap between holy God and sinful man. The Son of God, having lived a perfect life,Read More →