Read: Colossians 4:2-15 | Bible in a Year: Proverbs 30–31; 2 Corinthians 11:1-15 He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. Colossians 4:12 A friend told me about a group of people who share a strong bond of faith in Christ. One of them, a 93-year-old woman, said, “I feel like I can call any of you at 2 a.m., and I don’t even have to apologize if I feel the need for any type of assistance.” Whether the need is prayer, practical help, or someone to be there duringRead More →

God’s Compass Read: Psalm 119:105-112 | Bible in a Year: Proverbs 22–24; 2 Corinthians 8 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. Psalm 119:105 During World War II, small compasses saved the lives of 27 sailors 300 miles off the coast of North Carolina. Waldemar Semenov, a retired merchant seaman, was serving as a junior engineer aboard the SS Alcoa Guide when a German submarine surfaced and opened fire on the ship. The ship was hit, caught fire, and began to sink. Semenov and his crew lowered compass-equipped lifeboats into the water and used the compasses to guide themRead More → Words and Actions Read: Matthew 21:28-32 | Bible in a Year: Proverbs 19–21; 2 Corinthians 7 Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18 The email from the student in my college writing class expressed urgency. It was the end of the semester, and he realized he needed a better grade to participate in sports. What could he do? He had missed some assignments, so I gave him two days to complete those papers and improve his grade. His response: “Thank you. I’ll do it.” Two days—and the deadline—passed, and no papers appeared. He didn’tRead More →

God’s Plans September 8, 2015 Read: Joshua 5:13–6:2 | Bible in a Year: Proverbs 3–5; 2 Corinthians 1 An army officer may have an overall plan, but before each battle he has to receive and give out new instructions. Joshua, a leader of the Israelites, had to learn this lesson. After God’s people spent 40 years in the wilderness, God chose Joshua to lead them into the land He had promised to them. The first stronghold they faced was the city of Jericho. Before the battle, Joshua saw the “commander of the Lord’s army” (probably the Lord Himself) standing opposite him with His swordRead More →

Ripples of Hope September 7, 2015 Read: 1 Peter 1:3-9 | Bible in a Year: Proverbs 1–2; 1 Corinthians 16 In 1966, U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy made an influential visit to South Africa. There he offered words of hope to opponents of apartheid in his famous “Ripple of Hope” speech at the University of Cape Town. In his speech, he declared, “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring,Read More →

To Be Continued . . . September 6, 2015 Read: 1 Corinthians 15:50-58 | Bible in a Year: Psalms 148–150; 1 Corinthians 15:29-58 Growing up in the 1950s, I often attended the Saturday matinee at a local movie theater. Along with cartoons and a feature film, there was an adventure serial that always ended with the hero or heroine facing an impossible situation. There seemed to be no way out, but each episode concluded with the words “To Be Continued . . . ” The apostle Paul was no stranger to life-threatening situations. He was imprisoned, beaten, stoned, and shipwrecked as he sought toRead More →

Love Locks September 5, 2015 Read: Ephesians 4:29–5:2 | Bible in a Year: Psalms 146–147; 1 Corinthians 15:1-28 “Love Locks” is a growing phenomenon. Thousands of people in love have attached these love padlocks to bridges, gates, and fences around the world, including France, China, Austria, Czech Republic, Serbia, Spain, Mexico, and Northern Ireland. Couples engrave their names on a padlock and then attach it in a public place to symbolize their everlasting love. Authorities of some landmarks frown upon them because of the danger they can cause if too many are attached. Some think they are acts of vandalism, while others view themRead More →

People Power September 4, 2015 Read: Ephesians 4:7-16 | Bible in a Year: Psalms 143–145; 1 Corinthians 14:21-40 A man was boarding a train in Perth, Australia, when he slipped and his leg got caught in the gap between the train carriage and the station platform. Dozens of passengers quickly came to his rescue. They used their sheer might to tilt the train away from the platform, and the trapped man was freed! The train service’s spokesman, David Hynes, said in an interview, “Everyone sort of pitched in. It was people power that saved someone from possibly quite serious injury.” In Ephesians 4, weRead More →

The Tyranny of the Perfect Read: 1 John 1:5–2:2 | Bible in a Year: Psalms 140–142; 1 Corinthians 14:1-20 Dr. Brian Goldman obsessively tried to be perfect in treating his patients. But on a nationally broadcast show he admitted to mistakes he had made. He revealed that he had treated a woman in the emergency room and then made the decision to discharge her. Later that day a nurse asked him, “Do you remember that patient you sent home? Well, she’s back.” The patient had been readmitted to the hospital and then died. This devastated him. He tried even harder to be perfect, only toRead More →