God said to Israel, “I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people” (Leviticus 26:12 NASU). The middle two phrases present an expression of the covenant relationship between the Lord and His people. In an earlier blog we covered the first major concept (“I will . . . be your God”) and discovered whom we should serve. Now we turn to the second major concept (“you shall be My people”) and how we should live for Him.
Jesus taught His disciples, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).… Continue reading
One of the benefits of getting older consists of gaining perspective, being able to put the past into its proper place in order to better understand the present. Fifty-four years of studying the Bible also has its benefits—primarily in more clearly understanding the continuity that exists between the Old and New Testaments. As I was reading through the Bible this past year, Isaiah 62:5 (“as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you”) called to mind the picture in Revelation 21:2 when John beheld the New Jerusalem descending from heaven “prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”… Continue reading
A lot of media attention directed toward the Middle East. Stories and coverage of ISIS, Syria, Israel, Iran, and Iraq fill the headlines and social media. Every presidential candidate has a view and advocates his or her distinct policies for the region. Everyone has an opinion. Every opposing view is stupid. This is the only consensus in the discussion. Yet among the discussion has grown a troublesome rhetoric from Christians, “We need to nuke ISIS.” “We need to nuke Iran.” “Israel should nuke ’em all.” Let me be clear. God is not on board. I’m sure everyone who says this has rationalized the rhetoric, but it was not derived from Scripture.… Continue reading
Whenever I am asked to be a part of a pastoral Q&A with kids or youth, there is one question that is bound to be asked: “what is your favorite Bible verse(s)?” My usual response: “all of them.” 🙂
Seriously though, there is a set of verses that when I first read them as a teenager, they jumped out at me and I have clung to them ever since. Today I would like to offer some encouragement by pointing out a why these verses are so special to me in my spiritual walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 12:1-3, “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.… Continue reading
Okay, I am going to admit the elephant in the room. I want to be great. When pastors talk with each other about their vision and future ministry — it is envisioned as great. As a church planter, I never think, “I hope our church is adequate;” “I hope my ministry is sub-par;” or “May our legacy be good.’ No, I want our church to be great! In fact, I do not know a single person who wants to be mediocre. Even the 35 year old male living with his parents playing video games dreams of being great! Why do we not talk about this?… Continue reading