“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…”  – 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 Christ is Risen! He is Risen, indeed! Once you grasp the truth of the Resurrection, there will be a passion in your life to worship the Living Lord. There will be a freedom and a lightness … Read More

At the Cross

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” – Galatians 2:20 What does it mean to be crucified with Christ? In effect, it means to be on the cross of Christ. Do you recall what I have said is true about someone on a cross? An individual on a cross cannot come down off the cross or turn around and go back. An individual on a cross is facing in … Read More

In Good Hands

“And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into Thy hands I commit My Spirit.’ And having said that, He breathed His last.”– Luke 23:46 As we go to the Cross, we recall that the Gospels record the “seven last words” of Jesus from the Cross. When we study these statements, we begin to comprehend, better perhaps than in any other biblical account, the very heart of God. The final word from the Cross is one of the … Read More

In the Garden

“When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the ravine of the Kidron, where there was a garden, into which he Himself entered, and His disciples.”– John 18:1 In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus asked the Father, “If Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me.” What do you think Jesus saw in that cup? I think He saw Hell itself. He saw all the trash, the chicanery, the hypocrisy, the sin…all the filth of … Read More

A Restored Relationship

“For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.”– I Timothy 2:5-6 In Genesis, we are told that Adam and Eve walked with God in the Garden of Eden. Can you imagine the fellowship and joy they experienced! But that all ended when they disobeyed God and ate from the forbidden tree. It is here we learn … Read More

He Paid For It

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear…”– 1 John 4:18a Have you ever been in a store where there was a sign that read, “If you break it, you’ll pay for it?” Usually the store is filled with all kinds of fragile things made of glass or pottery, and you tend to walk through the store on tiptoe, fearful that you may break something. God doesn’t operate that way. If He had a store, it … Read More


“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me.’”– John 14:6 What a wonderful word picture Jesus has given us in this verse. One day, I was in one of those giant superstores, and I needed to find something. When I asked a clerk where it was, she said, “Follow me, and I’ll take you there.” I told her that wasn’t necessary and to just give … Read More


“And as He was now approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, saying, ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’”  – Luke 19:37-38 What is a Christian? It is someone who has had his own Palm Sunday experience. Did you know that? If … Read More

Don’t Stifle Yourself

“But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” – 1 Peter 3:15 Whether you ever saw the television show “All in the Family” or not, you are probably familiar with Archie Bunker’s catchphrase to his overly talkative wife, Edith: Stifle yourself! Stifling may be good for some situations, but never in the case … Read More

Don’t Sit and Soak

“Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which I also was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:12 Many people end up just auditing church for a lifetime. They sit, and soak, and listen, but they stay on the bench. The Apostle Paul realized there is more to the Christian life than that. He understood that the life of adventure … Read More

Show Me

“And a second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” – Matthew 22:39 One day, someone went to Jesus and asked, “What is the number one commandment?” Jesus replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” The crowd would have probably said, “Good answer!” Every Jewish boy might have answered the question in the same way. But then Jesus added a second commandment. The … Read More

Open-Door Opportunities

“At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open for us a door for the Word, to declare the mystery of Christ…” – Colossians 4:3 Fanny Crosby was one of the most prolific hymn writers in history. Although blind from infancy, she composed thousands of songs and poems, became a teacher, and worked in rescue missions. While some may have regarded her blindness as a closed door in her life, Fanny used her blindness as an opportunity to … Read More

Symbols that Teach

“Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” – 1 John 2:15 In the New Testament, there are several symbols for the Kingdom of God. Jesus says it is like salt, like light, like water, like leaven, and like a key. What do these five things have in common? One thing: penetration. Salt penetrates meat to preserve it. Light penetrates darkness to illumine it. … Read More

The Power of a Story

“What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and, indeed, our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. ” – I John 1:3 One of the greatest witnesses in all the Bible is a Samaritan we know as the “woman at the well.” During her encounter with Jesus, she learned He was the Messiah, who had come to offer the living water of eternal life. She … Read More


“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” – 2 Corinthians 2:14 When God does business in a heart, there is a sweetness that goes up from it. There is also a radiance, a joy, and a spontaneity that goes up as well. I think there is something special you experience in the presence of people who pray and love … Read More

Fully Devoted

““…rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer.” – Romans 12:12 A country doctor had a sign over his office door that read, “First visit $25. All other visits $10.” A man who was known to be pretty frugal went to see the doctor. He greeted the doctor by saying, “It’s good to see you again.” The doctor proceeded to examine the man but didn’t say anything. When the doctor finished the exam, the man was upset and asked what … Read More

Out of the Cage

“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” – 2 Corinthians 3:17   One summer Bob Bartlett, a wonderful explorer, filled a boat with rare birds, put them in cages, and began to transport them to America. Somewhere in the Atlantic, the boat encountered rough water, and one of the birds got loose. They watched the bird fly away to apparent “freedom.” But, several hours later, the bird returned. He couldn’t find any … Read More

Divine Math

“But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.” – Luke 10:40   Far too often we relate to Martha and feel that we are too busy to take time to pray. But I have found that something supernatural happens the moment you spend time in Bible study and in prayer. Just as Jesus took the loaves and fish and multiplied them, He can multiply the time we spend with Him. Try it. Spend quality time with God … Read More

A Good Habit

““…let Thine ear now be attentive and Thine eyes open to hear the prayer of Thy servant which I am praying before Thee now, day and night.” – Nehemiah 1:6   Before undertaking a major challenge, Nehemiah prayed “day and night.” In other words, he prayed “without ceasing.” That is the picture of someone with a hacking cough that goes on all throughout the day until it becomes a habit. We just do it unconsciously. This is how we ought to pray. … Read More

A Blank Check

“And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” – John 14:13   The little secret in this verse is the phrase, “in My Name.” In other words, what we ask for in prayer must be in accordance with the character of Jesus. We can confidently pray in the Name of Jesus. We know He is involved, that He is in the middle of the situation, and that His will is … Read More

Melted & Molded

“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth.” – John 16:13   I love the old hymn, “Spirit of the Living God.” In it there is a prayer that says, “Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.” That prayer should be on our lips every day. Melt. Does God need to melt away any barriers or prejudices in your relationships? Mold. Is there anything God needs to shape in you so He can … Read More


“There is no one holy like the Lord; indeed, there is no one besides You, nor is there any rock like our God.”– 1 Samuel 2:2 Remember that God has said, “Be still and know that I am God.” So, take a time out to get your priorities right and recall that our number one priority is to seek the Kingdom of God. How do we do that? The answer: Worship. Sit at the feet of Jesus, submit to His … Read More

Rough Sailing

“Where can I go from Thy Spirit? Or where can I flee from Thy presence?” – Psalm 139:7  When God instructed Jonah to go to Nineveh, we read that Jonah, instead, went to Joppa and boarded a ship to Tarshish. Let me tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that the minute you decide to walk away from God and the plan He has for your life, you are going to find plenty of ships going in the wrong direction. The Devil’s Travel … Read More

The Sound of Silence

“My soul waits in silence for God only; from Him is my salvation.” – Psalm 62:1 How at ease are you with silence? Do you have to have a little background noise or media distraction when you are by yourself? Solitude and silence are considered spiritual disciplines of the Christian faith. They are inseparable partners that enable us to surrender control and learn to trust our Heavenly Father, who sees and knows all. So, let me encourage you to spend 10-15 … Read More

Just Breathe

“In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat – for He grants sleep to those He loves.” – Psalm 127:2 Stress leads to burnout, and burnout often leads to depression. How does that happen? We take on more and more things – more meetings, more activities – that sap our energy and demand our best. We think, “I can handle this, I’ve got it together.” Doctors tell us that stress – not heart disease or … Read More

God’s Smoke Detector

“And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life’s span?” – Luke 12:25 Anxiety is like smoke. When anxiety comes into your life, follow it to its source in the way you look for the source of smoke. Anxiety comes when we take something that is good, and we put that in the place of God. We take a good gift from God – our vocation, our children, a hobby – and we make that … Read More

I Want! I Want!

“’For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope…’”– Jeremiah 29:11 Poet/artist William Blake has a classic etching featuring a little man climbing a ladder toward the moon. The caption to the picture is “I Want! I Want!” If we’re honest, we identify with Blake’s little man. We come into this world “wanting.” We’re restless, so we climb and want, and … Read More

Take a Coffee Break

“And after He had sent the multitudes away, He went up to the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.”– Matthew 14:23 When I was a boy, we had an old radio that had been in our family for a long time. On occasion, static would come on that radio, and my dad would just smack the side of it to make the static go away. Could it be that when storms or … Read More


“…not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another.”– Hebrews 10:25 One of the oldest living things in the world is the Sequoia tree. You never see a sequoia tree by itself. These trees grow in clusters, with their roots intertwined with the roots of other trees so they can withstand even a strong storm. That sounds a lot like the fellowship of the church, doesn’t it? We come together in worship, we … Read More

Open Your Mouth

“Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If any man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.’”– John 7:37 To understand spiritual thirst, imagine an individual in the desert. His canteen is empty, his lips are parched, and he is desperate for water. Just as God provided water in the wilderness to quench the physical thirst of His people, Jesus offers living water to quench our spiritual thirst. … Read More

God Understands

“How can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?”– Psalm 137:4 The Israelites were in captivity in Babylon, and their captors asked them to sing one of the songs of Zion. But the Israelites wept instead. When the Babylonians asked what had happened to their song, they replied that they had “hung their harps” on a willow tree because they felt God had forsaken them. Let me ask you: is your harp on a willow tree today? In … Read More


“I stretch out my hands to You; My soul longs for you, as a parched land.”– Psalm 143:6 We all go through droughts – dry periods in our lives. This was true of David in our scripture passage. His dryness was not due to a physical thirst for water. Instead, David was spiritually parched. He said his cure was to “spread out his hands” to God, meaning he prayed. When we are parched, praying is not high on our priority … Read More

Measuring Up

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…”– Ecclesiastes 9:10 In Mississippi, where I was born, there is a little town by the name of Soso. Years ago, when they were building the railroad, a group went ahead to scout out a place where they could set up camp. Upon returning, they were asked if they had found a good spot. And they replied, “We found a place. It has some water, but not enough. It … Read More

How’s Your Appetite?

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”– Matthew 5:6 Have you heard of the “rule of threes”? This rule states that we can go without air for about three minutes, without water for about three days, and without food for about 33 days. If that is the case, most of us have never experienced true physical thirst or hunger. What Jesus is saying in this Beatitude is that we need to be thirsty … Read More

Are You Thirsty

“As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for Thee, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God?”– Psalm 42:1-2 In these verses, we are given a picture of a deer running from those who would hunt down the animal. He has been running so long that thirst has set in and he is at the point of exhaustion. David states that his desire to … Read More


“And this do, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.”– Romans 13:11 How can you honor God in times of corporate worship? Start praying with the person who prays, singing with the person who sings, reading the Scripture on the screen, and getting involved in what’s happening in the service. Tune in and say, “Lord God, speak to me. I need … Read More

Talking to You

“I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have preserved my life.”– Psalm 119:93 We are Phi Beta Kappa in rationalization, in being defensive, and in blaming others. We put things in our closet of forgetfulness rather than deal with truth, even when it is piercing and accurate. I remember a cartoon years ago. It showed the pastor, and his arm was about 30 feet long. It extended all the way to the back row of the church. … Read More

Without Delay

“Thus says the Lord, ‘In a favorable time I have answered You, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.’”– Isaiah 49:8 The more you hear the truth and refuse to respond to it, the tougher it gets to respond and to live by it. Think of your conscience as a square. Every time you sin, that little square turns and the corners of that square get knocked off, and there is pain. As you continue to sin, … Read More

Spiritual Battles

“…for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.”– 2 Corinthians 10:4 In every life there is a Jericho. You know what that is? It is that thing that would block you from becoming all that God wants you to be. Whether it is a besetting sin, a habit, or an attitude, our Jericho will block our way to the full blessing of God. As long as we try to … Read More

Hopelessly Stained

“’Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be as wool.’”– Isaiah 1:18 You are about to make an all-important presentation at work when you notice it: an ink stain the size of a baseball on your crisp white shirt. There is nothing you can do to hide or remove the mark. You are hopelessly stained! Every … Read More

Be Patient

“However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it was shaved off.”– Judges 16:22 Samson’s hair began to grow again! That’s great news, becauseit tells us that forgiveness is God’s business. But it also tells us that restoration is a process that takes time. Even after forgiveness has taken place, it will take time to rebuild those spiritual disciplines in our lives. It also takes time to rebuild broken relationships. But don’t become impatient about this. Recall … Read More

The God of Second Chances

“The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness.”– Lamentations 3:22-23a Lou Gehrig was one of the greatest baseball players in history. He was a gentleman in the game, and never argued balls and strikes with an umpire. On one occasion, however, after taking a pitch that was called “strike three,” he had a word with the umpire before heading back to the dugout. After the game, reporters asked … Read More


“Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in holy array.”– Psalm 29:2 God has given us seven days in each week, but He asks us to take one day out of the week to rest, to reflect, to recover, and to worship Him. Don’t treat this day like every other day of the week. Sunday should be a joyful time, a privileged time. Set aside this special day to give honor and glory to … Read More

Number Your Days

“So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.”– Psalm 90:12 Recently, I was talking with a man who is at church whenever the doors are open. He told me he had been away from the Lord for 64 years, and now that he has found Christ, he wants as much of Him as he can possibly get. You see, he is making up for lost time – for the years that … Read More

Higher Ground

“For I am confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”– Philippians 1:6 My dad had a country store. Every year, we would close down the store to take inventory. It was a tough job because we had to count every single thing in the store. Sometimes we need to be bold enough to take a searching inventory of our lives as well. If you’re … Read More

An Independent Audit

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts…”– Psalm 139:23 Corporations have long recognized the value of an independent audit to uncover any financial wrongdoing and identify assets and liabilities. This kind of honest, intentional assessment makes positive change possible. In the same way, through the process of confession, we are “independently audited” by God Himself. When our wrongdoing is revealed, we become aware of our need for forgiveness in specific areas. Then, … Read More

Do You Love God?

“And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.”– I John 2:3 Do you love God? I would be quite surprised if you said “No.” In fact, I believe most people would reply, “Yes, I most certainly love God.” But, there is a simple test that tells us how much we really love God. The test has nothing to do with church attendance, or time spent in prayer or Bible study or … Read More