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Such Great Faith

Jesus gave some of the most coveted compliments to the most unlikely of people. In Luke 7, a centurion discovers Jesus and implores Him to come and heal his dear servant. The account ends with the servant healed but Jesus making the comment to the following crowds, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel” (Luke 7:9). What types of qualities characterized this centurion’s faith and made it great in the eyes of…

Inconceivable!

In James 1:14-15, James explained the process that leads to the birth of sin. “Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.Then,when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin.” It’s interesting to note that temptation isn’t something that enters into people; rather, people enter into temptation. Jesus instructed His disciples to ask God to not lead them “into temptation” (Luke 11:4; Matthew 6:13). As Jesus entered the garden to pray, He warned…

Craving Perspective in the Valley

People in the valley often have little perspective on how big the mountains really are, how long the range is, or what is waiting on the other side. Isn’t it wonderful to know that whatever valleys life tries to shove us into, God has provided perspective we badly need, yes, even crave? What really gets you down? Maybe economy, politics, sorrow, trouble, rumors, falsehood, families, wars, persecution or simply dread of the future? What valley are you walking through? The…

“On Sale, NOW!”

The holidays are almost over. Everyone will soon be settling back into a rhythm that will take most people through the remainder of the winter and through the first part of spring. However, every day I check my “junk email” account, I see hundreds of email subject lines from hundreds of different companies such as this: “Christmas sale! You don’t want to miss this event.” “Treat yourself NOW!” “Don’t miss an EXTRA 40% off year end.” After months of Christmas…

Home, Sweet Home

The headline reads, “Archaeologists Believe They’ve Unearthed Jesus’s Childhood Home (Popular Mechanics, December 1, 2020).” Professor Ken Dark has been credited with making what has been described as “an astonishing find.” It seems that after 14 years of examining a particular dwelling in modern-day Nazareth, Professor Dark has become convinced that it is the house in which Jesus was raised. It’s interesting to note that a convent of nuns carried out excavations at the site from 1888 until the 1930’s,…

An Important Question

The question asked in Psalm 116:12, “What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me?”, could only come from the lips of humans. Humans alone are endowed with the ability to be concerned about gratitude and its obligations Two thoughts might be considered in regard to that question. They are telling when we relate them to ourselves. GOD’S BENEFITS Do we acknowledge God’s “benefits” toward us? Some spend more time complaining about what they do not…

They Gave Till They Heard “Stop Giving”

It was a plethora! In fact, the two lead craftsmen of the tabernacle said that they had, “more than enough for doing the work of the Lord” (Ex.36:5). What a statement to be made about God’s people. There was work to be done, there was a godly plan to be executed, and the people were right there with what was, “sufficient to do all the work, and more” (Ex. 36:5). How does that happen? The Lord committed a charge. Through…

Peddlers or Preachers?

“You have no desire to help anyone as a preacher. You just want to get rich off of us!” As a preacher, the apostle Paul had to defend himself against those who accused him with words like the above statement. As a preacher, it hurts when accusations are made like that. In fact, he had to confirm his work and apostleship again to some of the very people he had helped and converted (2 Corinthians 2:14 -3:3)! Notice some things…

Your Example Matters!

It’s not just the doctrine, it’s the examples! While in the midst of the study of Daniel, we have been deep into the prophecies of chapters 7-12 for the last several weeks. The whole book reminds us of the chief doctrine, “God rules in the kingdoms of men” (4:17), but Daniel’s life (and the lives of his friends) are examples of what a steadfast confidence of that fundamental truth looks like. Said another way, Daniel is exhibit A for this:…

What’s in the Mix?

Years ago, when the Betty Crocker Company first began selling their cake mixes, they offered a product which only needed water. All you had to do was add water to the mix which came in the box, and you would get a perfect, delicious cake every time. It bombed. No one bought it and the company couldn’t understand why, so they commissioned a study which brought back a surprising answer. It seemed that people weren’t buying the cake mix because…

When Small Fires Become Big Fires

A few weeks ago, I was burning the wood from two trees that had to be cut down. I’d piled the wood as far from any other tree as possible, but the fire was so hot that a branch about 30 feet above and off to the side of the fire started to smoke in several places. Even though I was spraying water on the fire the whole time and had wet down the nearest trees, the heat continued to…

Consider Job

Feeling sorry for yourself? Is it because of the “inconvenience” you have had to suffer during recent days? Wouldn’t honesty force most of us to say that is about all we have experienced? The question God asked Satan two times (Job 1:8, 2:3) might be worth thinking about if you are feeling sorry for yourself. Remember how it began? “Have you considered My servant Job. . . ?” Why should we consider Job? For one thing, we will see a…