And they set the ark of God upon a new cart…. (2 Samuel 6:3a)
David’s heart was in the right place. He wanted to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. So, he put the Ark on a new cart, purpose-built for the sacred duty of moving it to its proper home. It was a huge affair. For the occasion, David called in thirty thousand of his choicest men, and like the Philistines had done before them (1 Samuel 6), the people of David manhandled the Ark and put in on the cart. Continue reading
Sometimes we literally have to ask ourselves, “Where does my dependence lie? The Christian answer, of course, is to say, “My dependence is on God,” but is it really? Continue reading
For a lot of years instead of my personal walk with God being like a river growing deeper and wider with each passing day, it was more like a stagnant pond that was gradually drying up under the heat of the sun. Thankfully, the goodness of God leads us all to repentance and by His grace I learned again what it is to truly walk with Him. Continue reading
The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all. (Proverbs 22:2)
We are to be stewards, not victims, of our circumstances. Because our lot in life is ordained of God. That we are not necessarily foreordained to remain in our current state is clear from the lives of people like Paul and Joseph. Paul said: “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound” (Philippians 4:12). He’d personally experienced both feast and famine and learned to be content in either circumstance. As for Joseph, he went from second-in-command in his own household, to prisoner in Egypt, to second-in-command of Egypt. The key in the lives of both these men was how they stewarded their circumstances. Who they were was not defined by their current socio-economic status. They were defined by whom they worshiped and honored with their lives. Their God was unchanging, so regardless of where and how they found themselves, they also were unchanging.
(1) Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
(2) Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
(3) But Jonah rose up to flee…
Jonah had a problem. God had a vision for the people of Nineveh and Jonah turned a blind eye to it. This vision problem of Jonah’s wasn’t a handicap. It wasn’t a misunderstanding. It wasn’t even that Jonah could not see God’s point of view. It was that he would not see it. He had an “I” problem: “I want vengeance. I want the Ninevites destroyed. I want my prayers answered my way.”
Most of the miracles of Christ were public affairs. Some were actually performed in private, like the healing of Jairus’ daughter (Luke 8:40-41; 49-54), but all of them were requested publicly in some way. When Mary spoke to Jesus about providing more wine for the wedding in Cana (John 2:1-12), it was in earshot of some of the guests. When the blind man asked to be healed of his blindness, he was not shy at all: “Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me!” he shouted (Luke 18:35-43). Even the lepers who were considered unclean and could not be in public places without declaring themselves unclean were very public about their request for healing: “They lifted up their voices, and said, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us’” (Luke 17:11).
Such was not the case when it came to the woman with the issue of blood. Continue reading
Left to myself, I cannot truly know God. Even the consciousness of a supreme being comes from the hand of God, put there in the heart of every human being by the Creator Himself (John 1:4). The only way I can hope to grow and nurture that spark of understanding is to seek God out in His word.
Preaching against worldliness may be passé in the modern church, but with Christ it has never gone out of style. When He introduces Himself to the church at Pergamum, Jesus describes Himself as “He which hath the sharp sword with two edges.” He was not giving them a warm welcome. He was reminding them that He is Judge and Executioner, and that His judgment begins in His own house. Pergamum was a worldly church and Jesus was having no part of it because “the friendship of the world is enmity with God” (see Ephesians 2:16). Continue reading
The Letters to the Seven Churches: Background
This letter from John was written to the seven key churches of Asia Minor (modern Turkey). They were representative of the churches throughout the region and were chosen, in part, because they were located in the key cities of Asia Minor’s seven postal districts, making them central points for disseminating information. The order in which these churches are listed is the same order as the postal route. When a messenger arrived at Miletus, he would travel north to Ephesus and then follow a clockwise route to the other six cities. So, when Jesus delivers His messages to the churches, He begins with Ephesus. Continue reading
Praise and worship of God is easy when things are going our way. It’s not so easy when we are in the midst of trial. John wrote Revelation to people who were suffering tremendous persecution. When Jesus appeared to John on the Isle of Patmos, John himself was under duress. In the midst of all that, Jesus showed John that He is the God worthy of all glory and honor. Why? Because God is constant, so our worship and praise of Him should be constant also. Because Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, He is worthy of my worship and my praise, not because of what He’s done for me lately, but because of the character of Who He is. Continue reading