Worthy to Suffer

Persecution is part of being a follower of Jesus. He was “despised and rejected by men” (Isaiah 53). As His followers, we not only know the “power of His resurrection,” but also the “fellowship of His sufferings” (Philippians 3:10). Stephen was a respected man in his community, filled with the Holy Spirit, wise, and one through whom miracles and wonders were manifest. Yet, the truth he spoke was fiercely rejected, resulting in his arrest and eventual death by stoning. Truth confronts. Many people reject truth because they don’t want to face their… Read More

God Does Not Forsake Us When We Fail

David was a hard-working shepherd. David was a passionate worshipper. David was a respected leader. However, David also committed adultery, had Uriah killed, and displeased the Lord on several occasions. You would think that these sinful actions would have forfeited any promise for a significant role in God’s kingdom. If your reputation is ruined, is your legacy doomed? David’s road was certainly not an easy one. Sin indeed demands payment and comes with consequences. David faced heartache in both his family and his kingdom. However, God brought him through, eventually redeeming David’s… Read More

I Have Good News and Bad News

The word “gospel” means “good news.” But the good news is preceded by bad news. For a person to receive the free salvation that comes through faith in Jesus Christ, he or she must first face the sobering reality of their own sinfulness, wickedness, and brokenness. If a person is never convinced (convicted) of their sin, they will never cry out for a Savior. That’s why the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to first convince people of their sin (that’s the bad news), then convince them of righteousness through Jesus (that’s… Read More

Forgiven and Free

Even though I know I’m forgiven, sometimes I don’t feel forgiven.  Satan loves to bring up the past and try to get us to wallow in shame, condemnation, and self-judgment. Old mindsets try to creep back in and we find ourselves vulnerable to temptations we thought we had overcome. Sin lurks at the door – as either a temptation or as a heavy shadow from the past.  But Jesus has conquered sin! Not only has He redeemed you from the shame of sin; He has freed you from the grip of sin. I… Read More

A Long Dark Cave

A few years ago I led a trip to Israel. On one of our free days I took a group to Hezekiah’s Tunnel. From entry to exit the tunnel is about 300 yards long, with a few bends along the way. It was (and is) primarily a way for water to flow from one part of Jerusalem to another. Water came up to my thighs at one point.  The tunnel is just wide enough for people to walk through in a single file line and, although sections of the tunnel have high… Read More