I’m often asked about the tone of our national discourse. Not since the Civil War, people tell me, has our nation been so divided. Well, I remember the riots of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and I’m not sure how to compare the social temperature of various generations. But I’m as troubled as anyone about today’s angry rhetoric, divisive speech, racial unrest, and cultural … [Read more...] about A Biblical Checklist for Difficult Conversations
Learn about God’s grace and forgiveness available through Jesus Christ while finding encouragement in Scripture. Discover principles for godly living.
We all encounter difficult seasons and circumstances in our life. Perhaps the desires of our heart long to be fulfilled. Perhaps we are struggling through family or financial difficulties. Perhaps we’ve been confronted with a sudden loss or diagnosis that has shaken our world to its core. When we face difficult times, how do we hold on to hope? King David knew a … [Read more...] about 5 Psalms for Hope in Hard Times
Change the oil in the car. Cook at home more often. Get adequate sleep. Play with the kids. Balance the budget. Walk the dog. Read the Bible. With so many worthwhile things to do, we often struggle to fit everything in. According to LifeWay Research, most Americans have a favorable view of the Bible, but only 57% say they’ve read at least half of it.1 We may feel … [Read more...] about 15 Benefits to Reading Psalms and Proverbs
I want to begin by asking you a question: Why are you here? I’m not asking why you live in a certain area or how you found my blog. What I’m asking is, Why has God placed you on this earth? The process of developing a vision for your life begins by answering this fundamental question. It’s very difficult to live a meaningful life without a sense of purpose, a dream … [Read more...] about Why Are You Here? Discover Your God-Given Purpose
Moses was a murderer. David was the youngest of eight brothers. Gideon hid from his enemies. Paul persecuted Christians. Thomas was a doubter. God uses unlikely candidates to build His kingdom, and Scripture is filled with examples. In modern times, William Carey (1761-1834), a poor Englishman with almost no formal education, started a revolution in international missions … [Read more...] about Plodding Is Underrated… and Here’s Why
What would we do without the variety of containers we use every day? Plastic milk and water jugs, glass jars, plastic containers of all sorts, cotton and canvas bags, wooden and cardboard boxes, large and small. We don’t think twice about what a benefit they are. But think about biblical days, especially in the Old Testament. They had one kind of container that served a … [Read more...] about What It Means to Be Clay in the Hands of the Potter
If you’ve ever put on a pair of jeans that you haven’t worn for months, you may have been surprised by a difference in the way they fit—or maybe they didn’t fit at all! Gradual changes can escape your notice, which is why it’s important to track your spiritual journey. Sure, there are life-changing moments that produce immediate transformation, but more often change occurs … [Read more...] about 8 Reasons Why I Journal—and Why You Should Too
The reality of outward trials and inward temptations calls for something more than an initial experience with God. His wisdom is needed every day. Colossians 1:9 records Paul’s prayer for the church of Colossae, a prayer that makes an important distinction. He prays that the Colossians will be “filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” As … [Read more...] about Plan to Read the Bible in 2020
The Lord wants you to study Him. Is the word study a scary concept in your life? You’re not alone. I hear it often: “I did enough studying when I was in school,” or “I hated school, and I still have nightmares about taking tests,” or “Well, that counts me out. I never could concentrate on anything.” The Soul of Discipleship To all these concerns and more, my answer … [Read more...] about What Does It Mean to Be a Disciple?
Second Peter 1:3-11 is a remarkable passage of Scripture. It starts with a promise, ends with a blessing, and lists eight things we need to add to our faith to move from the promise to the blessing. What is this promise? Peter vows that those who intently pursue spiritual growth “will never stumble” on their journey “into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus … [Read more...] about 40 Bible Verses for Navigating God’s Promises and Blessings
We’ve all done it. Maybe we promised to take the kids to the movies, but the show they wanted to see was sold out. Perhaps a traffic jam caused us to miss an important celebration. Or maybe a long overdue coffee date had to be rescheduled because of an illness. We don’t intend to break our promises, but sometimes unforeseen obstacles make it impossible to keep … [Read more...] about What Does the Bible Say About God’s Promises?
We’re constantly aware of what the world thinks. Our self-images are fragile, and we become upset if someone criticizes us.… We seem to need a lot of affirmation. But when we focus on the favor of God, His affirmation and love for us become the foundation of our self-esteem. We have value and worth because He made us, He is preparing a place for us, He is coming again for us, … [Read more...] about How to Experience God’s Blessing
Samson was betrayed by a beautiful woman. David was hunted by Saul and eventually by his own son. Job lost his family and fortune. All but one of the disciples were martyred. It’s no secret: God’s people experience pain and hardship. How can we be at peace when our world is crashing in around us? The Bible offers wisdom that has the power to steady us in any … [Read more...] about Daily Scriptures for Finding Inner Peace
Our pain is real. Even a quick look at the Bible bears witness to the fact that we aren’t the first to walk down the difficult roads of disappointment, persecution, and bitterness. In God’s Word, we find hope for stormy times. Whenever I have suffered, the psalms have been a source of strength and healing. Are you facing a bend in the road? An unexpected diagnosis? A … [Read more...] about Why Does God Allow Suffering?
Perhaps the only thing worse than experiencing adversity firsthand is watching a loved one go through difficulties. What can you do? What should you say? Should you say anything at all? Each circumstance requires sensitivity and prayer. There are no easy answers, but God’s Word provides reliable advice for every situation. Here are a few pointers to get you … [Read more...] about 7 Biblical Answers for Dealing With Adversity
Inner peace seems illusive at times. The consistent overflow of information and entertainment that bombards us, added to the fast-paced lifestyles we are pressured to lead, can put us on the edge of our sanity and keep us there. While we are living in this zone, it’s usually not a question of whether we are praying but how we are praying. When we’re under pressure, our … [Read more...] about 7 Prayers for Inner Peace
Have you fallen into bad spiritual habits? God has equipped His children with everything they need to live victoriously, but many Christians miss out by falling into habits that disconnect them from God’s power, perspective, and presence. The first step to overcoming any obstacle is to identify it. Give yourself a check-up and prepare to transform your spiritual walk by … [Read more...] about 8 Habits That Are Destroying Your Walk With God
Of all the voices we hear in a day, none is more essential to how we live our lives than the voice of Jesus! Throughout history there have been many great orators and countless inspiring speeches, but none can compare to the words of Jesus. No one ever spoke as He did. His words are perfect, infallible and unfailing, always truthful and trustworthy. He never spoke a … [Read more...] about 3 Ways to Hear the Voice of Jesus
One of the questions I’m regularly asked is, “Pastor, can I commit a sin that God cannot forgive?” Jesus addressed the topic in Mark 3:20-30. According to Jesus, there is one thing a person can do for which there is no forgiveness either in this age or in the age to come: blaspheming against the Holy Spirit. But what does it mean to blaspheme the Holy Spirit? Let’s look … [Read more...] about Is There a Sin God Cannot Forgive?
Put simply, godliness is living a fruitful, obedient Christian life. It is one of seven qualities we are instructed to add to our faith after we become Christians. There are sixteen references to godliness in Scripture. All of them are in the New Testament, and most of them occur in 1 Timothy and 2 Peter. Let’s examine what it is, what it’s not, its prerequisites, its barriers, … [Read more...] about What Is Godliness?
When you think about climbing a mountain, what comes to mind? Do you envision breathtaking vistas from the mountaintop or breathless wheezing along the way? As different as they are, both perspectives capture aspects of the same journey. Reaching the summit requires grit and determination. Spiritual growth is no different. It demands perseverance, but the view from the top is … [Read more...] about 7 Steps to a Closer Walk With God
A Case for Simple Faith Jesus told a story about a wayward son who wasted his inheritance on wild living and ended up destitute. Filled with guilt and shame, the young man returned to his father’s house in hopes of working as a servant—he didn’t dare believe he could return as a son. When the boy arrived home, his father rushed to greet him, threw his arms around him, and … [Read more...] about Is Faith Enough?
The Bible is packed with powerful, life-transforming promises. God has given us this vault of infinite riches to be an instruction book for life. Why, then, do we often feel drained and powerless? Imagine a house on a pretty lot, surrounded by shrubs and flowers. A state-of-the-art power plant stands next door. That plant can produce enough energy to power the entire … [Read more...] about 10 Powerful Prayers Packed With Promise
Advice columnist, Ann Landers, when asked if there was a common denominator among the thousands of letters that came to her, said that the great overriding theme of all the letters was fear—fear of nearly everything imaginable until the problem became, for countless readers, a fear of life itself. Yet Proverbs 3:25-26 commands, “Do not be afraid of sudden terror, nor of … [Read more...] about The Bible’s Powerful 3-Step Process for Banishing Worry and Fear
4 Aspects of God’s Faithfulness Every Christian Should Remember In case of emergency—break glass. No doubt you’ve seen signs bearing these words. Painted bright red, they stand out from their surroundings to grab our attention, offering a lifeline when disaster strikes. Whether it’s a means of turning off the gas line or accessing an AED or activating an alarm, emergency … [Read more...] about When You Feel Discouraged … Do THIS Immediately
Walking the Persistent Christian Journey The Christian life is a journey of persistence and endurance. Each morning when we wake up, we have no idea what the day will bring—a flat tire, a troubling phone call, a medical diagnosis. The question isn’t whether we’ll have trouble but when and how. Following the example of Ernest Shackleton’s expedition to Antarctica, we … [Read more...] about 5 Biblical Strategies for When Life Is Hard
As a child, where did you go for answers? As a teenager, who was your “go-to” person? In your career now, do you have a mentor who helps you find the answers you seek? When Moses didn’t know what to do with the Israelites in the wilderness, his father-in-law, Jethro, told him how to organize the people into a functioning nation (Exodus 18). When David became the king of Israel, … [Read more...] about Trusting God When Your Prayers Aren’t Answered
Recently a young, single woman quit her job in the city and moved back to her small hometown, abandoning her career and leaving a place of service in the church she had joined. When asked why, she replied, “I just got tired of eating supper alone.” No one is immune from it. Even one of the most brilliant men who ever lived, Albert Einstein, complained, “It is strange to be … [Read more...] about 3 Ways to Overcome Loneliness
Paul Jergan’s bend in the road came in the middle of the night, May 1, 2001, when he was jolted from bed by the ringing of the phone. Half-asleep, groping in the darkness for the phone, he muttered a groggy “hello.” A half-second later he was fully alert. It was the emergency room of a distant hospital. Paul’s son, Travis, a university student in another state, was in critical … [Read more...] about 4 Ways to Meet God in Hard Times
The setting is the peak of the Cold War. America and an unnamed superpower have both developed a new technology called miniaturization, allowing any object to be temporarily shrunk to microscopic size. A scientist named Benes makes a breakthrough—a way for miniaturization to last indefinitely. But his life is threatened by a blood clot in the brain. If he dies, the secret to … [Read more...] about 5 Surprising Reasons God Allows Adversity
“I pray and talk to God, but I must be doing something wrong. I can’t seem to make wise decisions, and I have trouble knowing what God wants me to do in various situations.” Can you relate to this thought process? We can find ourselves stuck in holding patterns because we can’t decide what to do. I am reminded of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher’s comment … [Read more...] about 5 Principles for Biblical Decision Making
The husbands and wives who committed themselves to founding the fledgling republic that became the United States of America sacrificed dearly for their cause— particularly the leaders of the first Continental Congress. John Adams, for one, endured long months of separation from his wife and children. Massachusetts was their home, but the demands of statehood kept him in … [Read more...] about Love Letters from God
When it comes to membership in the human race, worry is part of the package. But it also proves to be a useless and unhealthy vice. Corrie ten Boom used to recite a little couplet: “Worry is an old man with bended head, carrying a load of feathers which he thinks are lead.” She understood that anxiety is ultimately foolish because it concerns that which isn’t. It lives in a … [Read more...] about Overcoming Anxiety: How to Win Against Worry
To give thanks is an action and rejoice is a verb and these things are not mere pulsing emotions. While I may not always feel joy, God asks me to give thanks in all things, because He knows that the feeling of joy begins in the action of thanksgiving. —Ann Voskamp1 Through the Lens of Thanksgiving We enjoy clearer vision when we look at life through the lens of … [Read more...] about In Everything Give Thanks
Temptation is a fork in the road. It’s choosing which road to travel: the high one or the low one. Wouldn’t life be easier if there were no forks, no decisions to make—if the road were simply a straight and narrow path? But the Bible gives us no magic formulas for that kind of life. It assures us that we’ll come to those forks regularly, and we must choose where to step. Some … [Read more...] about 20 Verses for Taming Temptation
There's more to revolutions than meets the eye. Journalist Barbara von der Heydt, a television correspondent in Germany in 1991, reported on the peaceful revolution that undermined the Soviet Union. As she interviewed people throughout Russia and Eastern Europe, she came to a startling conclusion. The most overlooked part of the story, she realized, was the nature of the … [Read more...] about How to Change Your Life From the Inside Out
Relying on past success is a recipe for destruction—just ask the city of Sardis. Strategically located on the banks of the gold-laden Pactolus River, Sardis was once the prosperous capital of Lydia’s empire. At its peak, history suggests Sardis’s king Croesus financed construction of the Temple of Artemis—one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Croesus’s father, King … [Read more...] about 4 Steps to Reviving Your Faith From John’s Letter to the Church of Sardis
Modern church life is quite different than life in the early Church, but believers today should emulate the faithfulness of the church at Philadelphia. Christ commended the believers for four principles that are often lost among the practices and programs of modern church culture. Although Christ addressed Revelation 3:7-13 to the church in Philadelphia as a body, His words … [Read more...] about 4 Signs of Faithfulness From John’s Letter to the Church of Philadelphia
The American philosopher Mortimer Adler (d. 2001) wrote and edited scores of books, including the 60-volume Great Books of the Western World series. So no one questioned his qualifications when he wrote one of his most popular volumes, How to Read a Book—a guide to getting the most out of any book. If it helps to have a plan for reading books written by human authors, how … [Read more...] about 3 Ways to Read Your Bible
Some students of God’s Word have been reading and studying the Bible as long as I have or longer — more than six decades now. If so, you’ve noticed the same thing I have: Bibles have changed. Not the text of Scripture, but what’s included along with the text has changed. A Ribbon Runs Through It When I was young, everybody pretty much had the same Bible: a large, black, … [Read more...] about How to Study the Bible
6 Strategies For Safeguarding Your Mind The original video games that appeared in the seventies and eighties weren't rocket science. They required some hand-eye skills, yes. But intellectually speaking, they were marketed to young people, not Ph.D.s (though plenty of Ph.D.s played them at night after their children were in bed!). Pong (1971) was a black-and-white game of … [Read more...] about How to Defeat Satan
You Cannot Sin Away the Grace of God "God's grace is available to rescue you from whatever you've done. I have people say to me, 'Dr. Jeremiah, if you knew what I've done in my life...' It does not make any difference what you've done. It doesn't make any difference how far you feel you're away from God. God's arms of grace are long and reach out to all. You cannot … [Read more...] about How to Become a Christian
No subject has occupied the minds and pens of poets, authors, songwriters, and novelists more than the subject of love. But our culture is confused about the nature of true love—and Christians also oftentimes confuse the true nature of God’s love. The Bible states that God is love (1 John 4:8; 1 John 4:16). Not only that but love is mentioned in the Bible about five hundred … [Read more...] about “God Loves You” Download this Free Coloring Sheet
1 John 5:11 Have you ever doubted your salvation? Perhaps your faults or failures have made you wonder if God has changed His mind about you. The good news is eternal life is a gift from God, not contingent who we are, but on our believing in who Christ is. So how do we stand steadfast in this knowledge? One of the greatest ways to remain assured of salvation is by … [Read more...] about An Assurance of Salvation Verse to Know by Heart
Know how to survive a dirty bomb? How to start a fire using a glass bottle? How to preserve food? Have you stockpiled cans of beans and tins of meat? Do you own a solar-powered flashlight? How about your contact list—do you have a hard copy in case our electronics crash? What about a first aid kit and toolbox? Have you studied wild mushrooms and edible insects? Know how to … [Read more...] about What Does the Bible Say About Fear of the End Times?
What does it mean to wait on the Lord? To wait means to pause, to soberly consider our own inadequacies and the Lord's all sufficiency, and to seek counsel and help from the Lord and to hope in Him. Waiting involves submission to the Word of God, the will of God, and the ways of God. Waiting is saying, “I’m not going to do this on my own. I’m going to do this in the strength … [Read more...] about 4 Answers Revealing How to Wait on the Lord
Can a saved person ever be lost? Can you lose your salvation after you’ve become a Christian? No. But you can lose the joy of it, can't you? You can lose the productiveness of it. If you aren't living for the Lord, your salvation is "like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames" (1 Corinthians 3:15 NLT). Who would want to do that? Let's go on. Let's be the people God … [Read more...] about 4 Answers to Your Questions About Salvation
Minnesota is famously known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and the staggering beauty of Minnesota’s vast northern terrain thrills visitors. But all that beauty comes with danger. Reverend S. B. Shaw tells of a farmer who lived on the edge of one of those lakes. One evening after sunset he was on the water when a sudden gust capsized his sailboat. The man tried to swim for shore; … [Read more...] about Practical Encouragement for Proclaiming God’s Word
I don’t see this as often as I used to, but it still happens. I’m talking about the occasional sighting of a car pulled off the side of the road with its hood up, steam billowing from the engine compartment. Besides the obvious embarrassment associated with such an event, there’s the resulting hassle of getting our car towed to the shop and having the problem repaired. What … [Read more...] about The 4 Reasons You Feel Spiritually Drained and How You Can Avoid Them
What advice would you give these people? SITUATION 1: In World War II, a patrol of Soviet soldiers captures a German woman who was foraging for food for her three children. Her husband is already in a POW camp in England, and she is taken to a POW camp in Russia. When her husband returns to Germany, he locates their children but is unable to find his wife. The wife, interred … [Read more...] about Why Your Circumstances Don’t Define Your Spiritual Growth
If you like “The Amazing Race” or “Survivor,” you might be interested to know that so-called reality TV had its beginnings in old black-and-white programs like “Candid Camera.” These were unscripted shows with hidden cameras and microphones designed to show people reacting to practical jokes. One episode showed a new secretary at a desk with drawers that kept popping open. … [Read more...] about The Unexpected Way to Transform Your Life for the Better
The respected author, Gordon MacDonald, tells how a rebuke from a friend saved him—thousands of times over—from hurting others and making a fool of himself. He was in Japan on (ironically) a speaking tour with a close personal friend of his, a man several years his senior. As he and his friend were walking down a street in Yokohama, the name of one of their mutual friends came … [Read more...] about The Power Of The Tongue: How To Keep Yourself From Saying Something You’ll Regret
On March 16, 2012 (I’m withholding names and places to protect the already embarrassed and guilty parties!), a boyfriend (age 24) and girlfriend (17) sped out of the downtown area where they lived. They were in separate cars, driving at a high rate of speed, and weaving in and out of traffic—obviously chasing, or trying to elude, one another. The young woman had a male … [Read more...] about Understanding the Difference Between Righteous and Sinful Anger
Let’s do a little geology to get started: The surface of the earth is made of giant plates (the Pacific Plate, the North American Plate, the South American Plate, the African, Arabian, Eurasian, Indian Plates—and so on). These plates that form the earth’s crust sit atop the mantle, which is semi-molten—a thick liquid, if you will. Hard plates, sitting atop a molten foundation, … [Read more...] about How To Prevent Spiritual “Earthquakes” In Your Life
Can I interest you in something Ugly? Oh, wait, I meant to say Ugli. That’s the name of a delicious Jamaican fruit, so-called because of its wrinkled skin and pock-marked texture. It looks like it is rotting. As a cross between a grapefruit, an orange, and a tangerine, Ugli fruit has a sweet and juicy pulp that’s winning fans every day. It was discovered growing wild in Jamaica … [Read more...] about What It Really Means to Bear Fruit and How to Produce It in Your Life