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When Everything is Against You

Papa Jacob’s dust covered, heavy-hearted sons returned to Israel from Egypt. With trembling voices, they reported that an Egyptian ruler imprisoned their brother Simeon. The ruler would only release Simeon on the condition that Jacob’s youngest son, Benjamin, traveled to Egypt.

Jacob’s elderly, anguished voice cried out, “You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more, and now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is against me,” Genesis 42:36! Read More→

Hurt But Not Harmed

I used to question the Bible promise, “No harm befalls the righteous,” Proverbs 12:21. How could this statement be true? After all, wasn’t Jesus hurt? Haven’t all believers felt pain?

For a long time I simply read that, “No harm befalls the righteous” without believing it. Then one day, I understood the difference between being “hurt” and being “harmed”.

The Bible doesn’t promise that we will never hurt; it promises that we will never be harmed. The pain of hurting will be turned into a blessing for those God loves. Did not Father transform Jesus’ pain into the victory of resurrection? In fact, Jesus looked forward “to the joy that was set before him,” Hebrews 12:2. He anticipated benefit from pain.

Dear friends, be encouraged; hurting is never fun, but neither is it harmful for those who belong to Jesus.

What Wild Flowers Prove

One November we drove out to Padre Island.  I expected brown dreary winter vegetation on the dunes and pastures.  What a surprise!  Instead of gloom there was glory.  Countless millions of brilliant yellow wild flowers carpeted every inch of the vegetation zone.  I’ve never seen Padre Island robed in such gorgeous apparel.  No matter where you looked fields of flowers stretched to the horizon. Read More→

When Your Life Goes Backwards

The Lord commanded Moses to enter Pharaoh’s palace and deliver a shocking order to the world’s most powerful ruler: “Let My people go so they may serve me!,” Exodus chapters five and eight. Reluctantly, Moses obeyed God. Undoubtedly, Moses expected life to move forward. He imagined Pharaoh conceding to God’s command, releasing the Israeli slaves and sending them on their way to the Promised land. However, life went backwards. Read More→

Demystifying Speaking in Tongues

We can’t read the Book of Acts and avoid the subject of speaking in tongues.  The word tongues means languages.  Basically, the Holy Spirit’s powerful presence enabled Jesus’ followers to speak to God in languages they had never learned.

Acts 2:4 shows 120 followers of Jesus filled with the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues.

Acts Chapter 10 records Peter’s ministry to a group of non-Christians in Cornelius’s home (See Acts 10:46.) These people received Jesus as their personal Savior and then spoke in tongues when the Holy Spirit came upon them.

Then we read about the Apostle Paul’s visit to a city in Turkey named Ephesus.  There he met twelve followers of John the Baptist who accepted Jesus as their Lord.  Subsequently, “When Paul placed hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues” (Acts 19:6 NIV).

Speaking in tongues was a part of the early Christians’ experience.  What’s it all about? Read More→

Choosing the Effect of Life’s Events

The thing we call time carries us through life’s events. Life started with the even humans call birth. Ordinarily, routine events fill our days: meals, conversations, buying groceries, attending church.

On the other hand, many unexpected and unpleasant events muscle their way into our lives. You don’t choose these. In fact, you don’t even want them. Nevertheless, they come. Read More→

Hold On, Your Day is Coming!

Recently, I switched our television from one major network to another. I probably spent three to five minutes listening and seeing what ABC, CBS and NBC broadcasted at that time. That’s all it took; I was angry! These network programs were all together ungodly, anti-Christian and immoral.

The anger I felt toward sin and this sinful world then turned into grief. I found myself actually mourning over the sin all around us. I read the words of an earlier child of God, “Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed,” Psalm 119:136. To those who arrested him, Jesus pointed out, “This is your hour when darkness reigns,” Luke 22:53. Sin will dominate the earth until Jesus returns. We must accept this and not be overly upset, discouraged or disheartened by sin’s control of the world in which we now live. Read More→

Vivifying Your Relationship with Jesus

“One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon,” Acts 3:1.

Peter and John made an appointment with God. We call their appointment prayer. For these Christian brothers prayer time wasn’t a vague religious idea. Prayer time occupied an appointment in their daily schedule. They didn’t purpose to spend time with God when they got around to it. They set aside a definite portion of their day for prayer.

Why pray? Because our relationship with God grows dull and inactive when we don’t spend time with him. On the other hand, when his Spirit touches our human spirit during prayer time, our relationship becomes vivified. He rekindles our love for him, our confidence in him soars, a new determination to seek him fills every particle of our person, his nearness floods our thoughts with peace and joy.

People who pursue a vivified relationship with Jesus live victorious lives in the last days.

Our Personal Comforter and Encourager

God is a person. Humans can fellowship with this divine person. He isn’t distant, unknowable or remote. Humans can experience God, fellowship with him and enjoy his presence. His wonderful presence imparts hopefulness to our hearts, courage to our minds and joy to our emotions. Read More→

Becoming Everything God Needs

Couple Praying TogetherYour spouse is a gift from God to you.  Genesis Chapter 2 illustrates God’s original design for marriage.  He created two humans and put them together: Adam, God’s gift to Eve and Eve, God’s gift to Adam.  Nothing’s changed—your spouse is God’s gift to you. Read More→