“O Most High, when I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” (Psalm 56:2–3, NRSV)
You may have heard the claim that there are 365 references in the Bible to “fear not” or “do not be afraid.” However, a check of popular translations does not support this claim or is it a meme? I am not sure where this started or why someone felt the need to exaggerate, but does it really matter? On one hand, we can be grateful that it does appear well over 100 times in Scripture, but if God commands us to “fear not”...
But let the godly rejoice. Let them be glad in God’s presence. Let them be filled with joy. Psalm 68:3 (NLT)
Consider with me the relationship between faith and praise. With rare exceptions, we all know people who have “left the faith.” Have you ever heard of someone who has “left the praise?” Although I do not have any empirical evidence, I would contend that those who “lose” their faith probably “lost their praise” or joy first.
We have heard about building or increasing our faith (Jude 20...
View all of Never Lose Your Praise
“They will be in despair, and all the workers will be sick at heart.” (Isaiah 19:10, NLT)
It was Benjamin Franklin who said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Few people would dispute the wisdom of this advice, recognizing that if you can prevent a problem with a little effort in the beginning rather than spend a great deal of effort attempting to correct the problem later.
The question that we are confronting now is not about the efficacy of an ounce of prevention, but abo...
View all of An Ounce of Prevention
Outwardly, more than any time in recent memory, we are living in a period of uncertainty. Questions being asked include: “How many people will become ill or even die as the result of COVID-19?” Or “Will I lose my job and what will be the economic impact of the shutdown?” You undoubtedly have questions of your own.
Now think back with me 2000 years to the first Holy Week. We are followers of Jesus, but he has just been arrested and handed over to the authorities. Within a few short hours, Jesus...
View all of A Time of Uncertainty
For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. 1 Corinthians 16:9 (NKJV)
For some time now, I have been periodically coming back to this verse. I keep asking myself this question: “Does Paul see this as an opportunity in spite of many adversaries or does he believe that because there are so many adversaries, it is worth pursuing?”
It should go without stating, but I’ll state it nonetheless, wherever there is a great opportunity or an open door, we can be ce...
View all of A Door of Opportunity?
Then the LORD God said, “It’s not good that the human is alone...” Genesis 2:18 (CEB)
Six times “God saw that it was good” is declared during creation culminating in the last verse of Genesis 1, “God saw everything he had made: it was supremely good.” But at last, God looks at Adam and he laments, “It’s not good that the human is alone.” Certainly, there are times when we desire to be left alone and even need to be alone, but under normal circumstances we need to be around other people...
View all of “It’s not good that the human is alone.”
In these days of uncertainty, when people all around us are filled with fear, anxiety and worry, we as followers of Christ have an opportunity to demonstrate that “He who is within us, is greater than he that is in the world.”
It was Rudyard Kipling who said, “If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too!”
We should view the present situation as an opportunit...
View all of I Know Who Holds My Hand
Hope Over Fear
Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. Insofar as there is peace and order, it’s God’s order. So live responsibly as a citizen. Romans 13:1 (The Message)
Don’t stop meeting together with other believers, which some people have gotten into the habit of doing. Instead, encourage each other, especially as you see the day drawing near. Hebrews 10:25 (CEB)
There has been nothing in my lifetime that compares to the situation that we are now facing. On one hand, t...
It seems as though the word heresy sometimes gets thrown around with such ease and blatant disregard for fairness that it is almost completely lost its meaning. Something is not heresy simply because we disagree with it. Heresies and false teachings are real, but we must be careful about throwing labels around irresponsibly. There are many things that we will not completely understand until we have the opportunity to see the Lord face-to-face and in an ironic twist, there is a high probability t...
View all of Keeping Your Balance
Those of us who know and love the Scriptures are aware that they contain many words of comfort and encouragement. They contain words of hope and reassurance that are appropriate for every circumstance in life that we have or will encounter. Additionally, they provide correction and direction as they point us to God. The Psalmist told us, “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11 (NLT) Almost certainly we can recall Paul’s words to Timothy, “All Scri...
View all of Is a hug sometimes more effective than a verse?
Complete Followers of Christ
But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. 2 Corinthians 8:7 (NIV)
In baseball, they refer to a complete well-rounded player as a five tool player. A five tool player hits the baseball for average, for power, has good speed and base running skills, fields his position well, and throws well. In the history of baseball, there ha...
View all of Excel in everything
It is perceived that as we get older change becomes more problematic. Perhaps it is because we want to hold onto those things that are familiar and comfortable for us. This can be an obstacle to the fulfilling our commission to “go and make disciples among all nations.” Those who oppose us would like nothing better than to distract us from doing the ministry and mission that God has given to us. We must be able to lead, adapt and change. We must be able to distinguish between those things th...
View all of To Swim or to Stand