Steve's Blog

Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Ephesians 5:16–17 (NLT)

Getting older should change our perspective on life. When we are young, and the majority of our life is still in front of us, the value of time can be lost to us. One of my favorite quotations is from missionary C. T. Studd: “Only one life, ’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”

Whether we are young, or older (please not...

View all of Don't Waste It

Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2 (NLT)

June is the month when people speak of pride as though it were a good thing. The Bible paints a different picture concerning pride. Pride may actually be the deadliest of the seven deadly sins.

An attitude of pride was associated with the fall of Satan (Ezekiel 28:14–15; Isaiah 14:12–15). King Solomon in Proverbs repeatedly addresses the dangers of pride. Pride comes before disaster, and arrogance before a fall....

View all of Pride or Humility?

Isaac dug out again the wells that were dug during the lifetime of his father Abraham. The Philistines had closed them up after Abraham’s death. Isaac gave them the same names his father had given them. Genesis 26:18 (CEB)

It is noteworthy that two essential elements of life, breath, and water, are symbolic of the Holy Spirit. Understanding this relationship, the enemy of our souls seeks to disrupt our supply. In Isaac’s day, the Philistines, (representative of this world) sought to cut off t...

View all of Reopen the Wells

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

What causes anxiety? Living is the simple answer. Each day we are confronted with potential sources of anxiety. There are things we have no control over, but we can have anxiety over things that we “think” we have a measure of control. We can even have anxiety, but not know or understand the cause.

Regardless of the cause, anxiety is not good for our health, or well-being. Anxiety can cause elevated heart rates, high b...

View all of Carefree Living

Jesus replied with this story: “A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, ‘Come, the banquet is ready.’ But they all began making excuses. One said, ‘I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ Luke 14:16–20 (NLT)

Making excuses is a...

View all of No More Excuses

You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless? James 2:19–20 (NLT)

Faith and belief are closely interrelated in Scripture. At times, the words are used interchangeably in various translations. Jesus talked about “little faith.” Some people, along with demons, have enough faith to believe that there is one God, but “saving faith” must go f...

View all of Degrees of Faith

And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. Acts 20:22–24 (NKJV)

We see an echo in this passage with what Jesus experienced...

View all of I Will Not Be Moved

Then Jesus told this story: “A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.’ “The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you...

View all of Patient Fruitfulness

Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Philippians 2:14–15 (NLT)

As I write today, millions eagerly anticipate the upcoming solar eclipse. The bright light of the sun will be momentarily dimmed or obscured. The sun is usually the brightest light in our sky, illuminating the natural world. Specific cultural or entertainment centers...

View all of Bright Lights

As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him. When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen. “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!” But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!” He ...

View all of If They Keep Silent

I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. John 17:14–16 (NLT)

Jesus prayed for his disciples and us before he went to the cross. In preparation for his departure, he tells the Father that he has prepared the disciples by giving them the words of the Father. He a...

View all of In, But Not of

Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. Romans 13:1 (NLT)

As Christ-followers, we have dual citizenship. Peter tells us that we are citizens of heaven and earthly countries. As believers, how should we perform our civic duty? Some of them are prescribed to us by the country’s laws, but we also have responsibilities beyond those because we represent our Lord and Savior as his ambassadors...

View all of Dual Citizenship

Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 1 Corinthians 9:24 (NLT)

What Paul says in this verse could be challenging or discouraging, depending upon our perspective. What is our goal, and what is the prize? Nothing of significance is accomplished without a goal. To compete as an athlete in the Olympic Games requires dedication and sacrifice that does not occur accidentally or casually. The same thing is true of our spiritual lives.


View all of Running to Win!

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:12–14 (NLT)

Am I my brother’s keeper? Ever since Cain posed the question to God, humanity has wrestled with th...

View all of I Am My Brothers Keeper

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1 (NIV)

The apostle John warns us, “Do not believe every spirit, but to test the spirits to see whether they are from God.” False teachings frequently sound enticing and even close to the truth. Someone remarked, “Satan will use an ocean of truth to hide a teaspoon of poison.”

It may be true that some people will fall for any...

View all of This is a Test

Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil…Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground… Ephesians 6:10-11,13-14a (NLT)

The thought of boot camp provokes a variety of reactions. The reaction can range from satisfaction to horror. We need spiritual Boot Camp....

View all of Boot Camp

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6:33–34 (NLT)

Every generation faces challenges, but it is hard to imagine that life has ever been as hectic and fast-paced as it is today. For me, the weeks seem to fly by. Someone once said, “Time flies by when you are having fun.” But it passes by fast whether we are ha...

View all of Priorities

And the disciples went everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked through them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs. Mark 16:20 (NLT)

People will tell you that the power and capabilities that Jesus gave to his disciples were only for the early church. They will say the early church needed the credibility to demonstrate to an unbelieving world the validity of their claim. That Jesus died for the sins of all and was raised back to life again by the power of God. The world we li...

View all of Preaching Confirmed

The Lord is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident. Psalm 27:1–3 (NLT)

David lived a life filled with danger. He faced many life-and-death situations where he had to overcome his fears. Fear can...

View all of Should We Be Afraid?

And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives. Jude 22–23 (NLT)

Our mission field is filled with great opportunities while simultaneously confronting us with hazards and dangers. We need to see how important it is to keep our eyes on the Lord and draw close to him for our strength and support while we do our mission. 


View all of They Are Not All the Same

And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:5 (NLT)

Reactions to the new year are varied. Some people get excited about making new resolutions while we know of others who are more blasé, “Been there, done that.” We all know of individuals who have carefully made resolutions, only to see them forgotten before the end of the month.

Sadly, I am among those who h...

View all of New beginnings

He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. Luke 1:17 (NLT)

Advent, the weeks leading up to Christmas, is a time of preparation. In one sense, there are presents to purchase, homes to decorate, cookies to bake, and meals to prepare. For many people, it is a busy season; for others, it is also very stressful. There are expectations, sometimes beyond reason, that do not always match up with reality.

We do not want to minimize th...

View all of Preparations

She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem. Luke 2:38 (NLT)

Expectations are funny things. At times, we have “great expectations,” while we only anticipate disappointment or dread on other occasions. The Advent of Christ elicited hopeful expectations from Simeon and Anna. Granted, it is possible that they did not foresee a Messiah who would be cr...

View all of Expectations

In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles. Psalm 34:6 (NLT)

It is not unusual for children to have a sense of desperation this time of year. They have made their wish list, perhaps even written a letter to Santa Claus. The anticipation leading up to Christmas is excruciating. Will their desires come true? Will they try and sneak a peek? Do they secretly fear that they might be on the naughty list?

A sense of desperation brings things into focus. It...

View all of Desperation

The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. Psalm 51:17 (NLT)

We live in a world where the brokenness is evident. Some people realize their brokenness, while many do not. We need to understand three things about the brokenness in this world. At times, our sin is the cause of our brokenness; at other times, it is because we live in a fallen world under a curse. But finally, there is a brokenness that God can use to heal the world.


View all of From Brokenness to Brokenness