Read: 2 Corinthians 11:1-4 | Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 32–33; Hebrews 1 The Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. Exodus 34:14 In 2014 a University of California researcher used a stuffed dog to show that animals are capable of jealousy. Professor Christine Harris asked dog owners to show affection for a stuffed animal in the presence of their pet. She found that three-fourths of the dogs responded with apparent envy. Some tried to get attention with touch or a gentle nudge. Others tried to push between their owner and the toy. A few went so far as to snap at theirRead More →

Read: Ecclesiastes 9:13-18 | Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 27–29; Titus 3 Words of the wise, spoken quietly, should be heard. —nkjv Ecclesiastes 9:17 My niece’s husband recently wrote these words on a social media site: “I would say a lot more online if it weren’t for this little voice that prompts me not to. As a follower of Jesus, you might think that little voice is the Holy Spirit. It isn’t. It’s my wife, Heidi.” With the smile comes a sobering thought. The cautions of a discerning friend can reflect the wisdom of God. Ecclesiastes 9 says that the “words of the wise, spokenRead More →

Read: Hebrews 10:32-39 | Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 15–17; 2 Timothy 2 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. Hebrews 10:34 Early in September 2011, a raging wildfire destroyed 600 homes in and around the city of Bastrop in central Texas. A few weeks later an article in the Austin American-Statesman newspaper carried this headline: “People who lost the most, focus on what wasn’t lost.” The article described the community’s outpouring of generosity and the realization of those who received help that neighbors, friends, andRead More →

Read: 1 Corinthians 13 | Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 12–14; 2 Timothy 1 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2 I heard the saddest words today. Two believers in Christ were discussing an issue about which they had differing opinions. The older of the two seemed smug as he wielded Scripture like a weapon, chopping away at the things he saw as wrong in the other’s life. The younger man just seemed weary of theRead More →

Read: Ezra 9:1-9 | Bible in a Year: Isaiah 62–64; 1 Timothy 1 Ezra . . . was a teacher well versed in the Law of Moses. Ezra 7:6 “He thinks he’s really something!” That was my friend’s assessment of a fellow Christian we knew. We thought we saw in him a spirit of pride. We were saddened when we learned that he soon was caught in some serious misdeeds. By elevating himself, he had found nothing but trouble. We realized that could happen to us as well. It can be easy to minimize the terrible sin of pride in our own hearts. The moreRead More →

Read: Hebrews 11:8-16 | Bible in a Year: Isaiah 43–44; 1 Thessalonians 2 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 In January 1915, the ship Endurance was trapped and crushed in the ice off the coast of Antarctica. The group of polar explorers, led by Ernest Shackleton, survived and managed to reach Elephant Island in three small lifeboats. Trapped on this uninhabited island, far from normal shipping lanes, they had one hope. On April 24, 1916, 22 men watched as Shackleton and five comrades set out in a tiny lifeboat for South Georgia,Read More →

Read: Isaiah 40:25-31 | Bible in a Year: Isaiah 39–40; Colossians 4 Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you. Psalm 55:22 A man worried constantly about everything. Then one day his friends heard him whistling happily and looking noticeably relaxed. “What happened?” they asked him in astonishment. He said, “I’m paying a man to do my worrying for me.” “How much do you pay him?” they asked. “Two thousand dollars a week,” he replied. “Wow! How can you afford that?” “I can’t,” he said, “but that’s his worry.” While this humorous way to handle stress doesn’t work in real life, asRead More →

Read: 1 Peter 2:13-25 | Bible in a Year: Isaiah 30–31; Philippians 4 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate. 1 Peter 2:23 I had been driving for almost half an hour when my daughter suddenly wailed from the backseat. When I asked, “What happened?” she said her brother had grabbed her arm. He claimed he had grabbed her arm because she had pinched him. She said she pinched him because he had said something mean. Unfortunately, this pattern, which is common between children, can show up in adult relationships too. One person offends another, and the hurt person shoots backRead More →

Read: Job 19:1-21 | Bible in a Year: Isaiah 28–29; Philippians 3 My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Job 42:5 My friend Meaghan is an accomplished equestrian, and I’ve been learning some interesting things about horses from her. For instance, despite having the largest eyes of all land mammals, horses have poor eyesight and can see fewer colors than humans. Because of this, they can’t always identify objects on the ground. When they see a pole, they don’t know if it’s a pole they can easily step over or a large snake that might harm them. For thisRead More →

Read: John 15:10-20 | Bible in a Year: Isaiah 26–27; Philippians 2 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. . . . And I too will love them and show myself to them. John 14:21 When I was a young boy, my mom warned me that I should never play with fire. Yet one day I decided to see what would happen if I did. Taking a book of matches and some paper, I went out into the backyard to experiment. With heart beating fast, I knelt on the ground, struck the match, and set the paper aflame. SuddenlyRead More →