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 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 →

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 →

1 Peter 5:6-7 Our heavenly Father is interested in every detail in our life. If we want Him to work in a particular area—whether relationships, finances, vocation, habits, or something else—we must be willing to let go of our control and give over to Him whatever He asks of us. We may think we have no attachments that come between us and the Lord, but He knows our hearts. One Sunday as I was about to preach a sermon along these lines, He showed me something I hadn’t yet surrendered. I realized I needed to deal with it, or I wouldn’t be able to preach theRead More →

Nehemiah 1:1-11 Nehemiah demonstrates power in prayer. As a servant to King Artaxerxes of Persia, he had no right to request leave to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls, much less to requisition materials and protection. Yet knowing the nature of the God he served, Nehemiah did not hesitate to act boldly and ask the king for what was needed. His prayer began, “I beseech You, O lord God of heaven” (Neh. 1:5). Lord, when it appears in all capital letters, denotes the word Jehovah (a form of Yahweh, the Hebrew name for God). It means “God who is eternal in His being”—conveying that everything everywhere is inRead More →

Matthew 18:21-35 Conflict is part of life. It may originate from misunderstandings, a difference of opinion, or deep convictions. But oftentimes, discord stems from envy, pride, or hunger for power. No one can control another person’s response to conflict; we’re accountable only for how we handle it. Sadly, many people have unhealthy reactions to disagreement. Some ignore the issue or pretend it doesn’t exist. Others place blame while defending themselves. These negative responses often indicate one of three underlying scenarios. First, past hurts can leave a person emotionally insecure and unable to handle criticism. Second, a perfectionist sets such high benchmarks that he can neverRead More →