January 24, 2021

Disobedience with Good Intentions Is Still Disobedience

“Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand” (Exodus 2:12). Read Exodus 2:11-15. About forty years before God called Moses to deliver His people out of slavery in Egypt, Moses decided to be the people’s deliverer all on his own. Moses, the adopted Hebrew son of Pharaoh’s daughter, took matters into his own hands. One day, he saw an Egyptian abusing one of his fellow Israelites, and so, with righteous anger, Moses struck the Egyptian dead and buried him in the sand. He did this without praying and without seeking the mind of God. Though Moses’ intentions may have been admirable—defending the weak—his actions were contrary to the Word of God. That’s why he acted in secret and buried the consequences of his sin. How many of us grab for the first opportunity that comes, without praying, only to be disappointed? When we take matters into our own hands, […]
January 17, 2021

Put It All in God’s Hands

  “But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and placed it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile” (Exodus 2:3). Read Exodus 1:22-2:10. Many people don’t know what to make of Moses’ mother placing her son in a basket on the Nile. Without understanding the situation properly, it can seem reckless—cruel even. But this was not a careless act. It was a calculated move. Moses’ parents, Amram and Jochebed, trusted the Lord, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t strategic in their actions. They diligently worked out a careful plan. They thoughtfully prayed. And so, when they could no longer hide their son, Jochebed placed Moses’ basket at the right bend in the river at just the right time. It wasn’t a coincidence that the basket drifted near to the place where Pharaoh’s daughter was bathing. It […]
January 10, 2021

Entrust Your Children to the Lord

“By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict” (Hebrews 11:23). Read Exodus 1:8-16. It’s not a secret that I am deeply concerned about the emerging generation. When I consider the increasing hostility toward the Christian faith these young people will face, I become discouraged. But very quickly, the Holy Spirit reminds me that God is mightier than all the devil’s schemes. In fact, I am now convinced that the darker it gets, the brighter the light of our children will shine. Of course, this is not the first dark time in human history. The devil has been at work since the beginning, opposing the people of God. Just think about the situation into which Moses was born. The population of the Hebrews had increased so greatly in Egypt that Pharaoh decided that every Israelite baby boy needed to […]
January 3, 2021

Faith That Leads to Obedience

“By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith” (Hebrews 11:7). Sometimes God calls us to work that requires us to give up something we hold dear. Other times He asks us to step out of our comfort zones in order to share His Gospel with others, whether one-on-one with a neighbor or by speaking to a large group. It is natural to feel some resistance to the difficult and self-sacrificing tasks that God calls us to, but in the end, we must obey God. Read Genesis 6 and 7. Can you imagine the concerns and questions that Noah had when God told him to build the ark? Regardless of any misgivings Noah may have felt, Scripture clearly tells us that “Noah did all that the Lord commanded him” (Genesis […]
December 27, 2020

Courageous Faith

“Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. . . . the world was not worthy of them” (Hebrews 11:36, 38). Courage is one of the greatest manifestations of faith. Courageous faith is confident that God cannot and will not make a mistake. Courageous faith knows that God cannot be wrong. Courageous faith is confident that God can never be defeated. n Hebrews 11:30-40 we are told of several Biblical heroes who demonstrated great courage: . . . who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. (Hebrews 11:33-34) Sometimes courageous faith leads to dangerous situations. The people listed in this passage did not always conquer the enemy without any injuries: Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and […]
December 20, 2020

The Price of Conviction

“[Moses] regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward” (Hebrews 11:26). God’s Word is filled with the stories of His saints suffering greatly for their faith. But far from discouraging believers today, these lives lived out in enduring faith emit a sweetness that draws us to the Lord Jesus each day. The author of Hebrews wrote: I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. . . . There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better […]
December 13, 2020

Loving Through Giving

“On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, . . .” (1 Corinthians 16:2). Read 1 Corinthians 16:1-4. Jesus often taught on the subject of money. In His Sermon on the Mount, He said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, . . . But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:19-20). Brothers and sisters, what you give to the Lord will always bear dividends—here and now, and ultimately for all eternity. At the end of his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul addresses the subject of giving. At first this seems a strange place to bring it up. He moves immediately from the triumph of the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15 to the triumph of the collection plate in 1 Corinthians 16. But when we understand that our giving is an extension of our faith […]
December 6, 2020

Our Love Is Not in Vain

“Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58). Read 1 Corinthians 15:1-28. When the first crop of the season ripens, it’s an exciting day for a farmer. The farmer has diligently prepared the fields, sown the seeds, and tended the seedlings. If the firstfruits are good, then the farmer can have confidence that the rest of the harvest will be good as well. On Easter morning, Jesus became the firstfruits of a much greater harvest. His body had been sown like a seed, but it was then raised new, glorious, and indestructible. What is true of the firstfruits will be true of all who trust in the name of Jesus: One day, all the dead in Christ will be raised to new life in Him. The Corinthian Christians believed that Jesus had been raised from the dead, but they weren’t so sure […]
November 29, 2020

Cultivate an Undivided Heart

“You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons” (1 Corinthians 10:21). Read 1 Corinthians 10:14-22. Corinth was a dark, entangling pagan culture. But God freed the Corinthian Christians, calling them to salvation through Christ Jesus. As God’s chosen people, the believers in Corinth were to witness to the Truth of the Gospel in their society. But instead of witnessing, they fought over leadership, doubted Paul’s apostleship, and treated the Lord’s Supper as an opportunity to boast. With such behavior, they were poor ambassadors for Christ, distracting others from the Gospel message. Some of the Corinthian believers were even dining at the temples of false gods—attending the temple festivals. Paul had already addressed the issue of eating meat sacrificed to idols, declaring it a matter of conscience (see 8:4-8), but in this chapter, Paul addresses a different scenario. Some Corinthian […]
November 22, 2020

Be Content with What God Has Given You

“And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). Read 1 Corinthians 10:11-13. The Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years under Moses’ leadership. They had none of the distractions of our modern lives—no smart phones, no social media, no 24-hour news cycle. They were told to do one simple thing: follow God. As they walked, they followed God’s physical manifestation—cloud by day, fire by night. Yet, despite God’s physical presence and awesome provision, they still grumbled and set their hearts on evil things, falling into temptation (see v.6). They were discontent with the wisdom, provision, and very presence of Almighty God. Contentment is not something we’re born with; it’s something we learn. We must train ourselves to be satisfied, and we do this by simply counting our blessings. When we […]
November 16, 2020

True Talk

November 15, 2020

Deal with Your Pride

“Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did” (1 Corinthians 10:6). Read 1 Corinthians 10:1-10. Sin comes in many shapes and sizes, but deep down, every sin sprouts from the same seed: pride. Beneath every moral failure is a desire for me, my, mine. No one is immune from this brokenness. Even people who have witnessed miraculous signs and experienced God’s intervention in their lives still succumb to the lure of pride. This is Paul’s warning to the Corinthians—and us. He points us back to the people of Israel, whom God rescued out of Egypt. Although they witnessed God’s power firsthand, they yielded to temptation over and over again. As a result, most of them died in the wilderness—never to step foot in the Promised Land. The surest way to fall into temptation and sin is to place our confidence in ourselves. That’s what the Israelites did. They even […]