Thoughts and Insights

Devotionals and Short Sermons

Have Faith in God

Have Faith in God

“Have Faith in God.” These words from Jesus follow immediately after observing that the fig tree that Jesus had cursed earlier in the day had indeed withered and died. They immediately precede the statement by Jesus in which he said, “I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be...

Prepare to Engage

Prepare to Engage

Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. John 17:18 (NLT)

Last week, we began to examine our options as we confront the forces of evil comprised of the world, Satan, our adversary, and our fleshly nature. In last week’s article, Resistance Is Not Futile, we learned...

Resistance Is Not Futile

Resistance Is Not Futile

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. Make them holy by your ...

Engaged: Fulfilling the Mission

Engaged: Fulfilling the Mission

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Matthew 28:19–20 (NIV)

Jesus spoke these words just before His ascension to describe the church’s primary miss...

Values, Missions

Dealing With Criticism

Dealing With Criticism

“To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person.” Luke 6:27–28 (The Message)

Recently I was in conversation with several pastors. One of t...

Fully Equipped

Fully Equipped

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16–17 (NIV)

The car salesman exclaims, “This car is fully equipped. It has every option.” The car...

The Silence in Between

The Silence in Between

It is good that he waits silently For the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3:26 (NASB 2020)

I do not want to put you on the spot or embarrass you, but do you read the ending first when reading a book? Reading the end of a book first would be a serious breach of protocol for some people. For ot...

Without Holiness...

Without Holiness...

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14 (NIV)

Is holiness a subject that anyone should bring up in “polite company?” If they even know what you are talking about, there is a good possibility that they will not have...

We Want to See Jesus

We Want to See Jesus

 “Sir, we want to see Jesus.” John 12:21

In the days leading up to the crucifixion, some men wanted to see Jesus. They did not approach him directly but instead sought to use Philip as an intermediary. We cannot be sure, but perhaps they felt uncomfortable, as Greeks, to approach Jesus. Philip, h...

Encouraged: Words and Deeds

Encouraged: Words and Deeds

We pleaded with you, encouraged you, and urged you to live your lives in a way that God would consider worthy. For he called you to share in his Kingdom and glory. 1 Thessalonians 2:12 (NLT)

Words and concepts often have surface meanings that belie vast depths and rich significance. As a studen...

Empowered to Empower

Empowered to Empower

And look, I am sending you what my Father promised. As for you, stay in the city until you are empowered from on high.” Luke 24:49 (CSB)

Some people will remember the American Express slogan from the 1970s, “Don’t leave home without it.” It was a successful campaign that ran for 25 years. Al...

And Time Shall Be No More?

And Time Shall Be No More?

The concept of eternity is often beyond the capability of our intellects to grasp. Surveying Christian history, we find conflicting thoughts and ideas about time and how it intersects with eternity. On the one hand, James Milton Black, who wrote “When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder,” penned the word...