In this social media age where memes are king, how many times a day do you see a graphic on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram of a proverbial quote against the backdrop of a sunset or a forest or a river, etc., etc.? Without casting any judgment on those who post these pictures, do you ever find yourself wondering if the person posting the quote actually abides by it, or even fully understands it?Read More
Getting Rid of Sinful Ways
We might call Simon a ‘shaman’ in our culture. He used evil powers to gain wealth and status in Samaria. But amazingly he becomes a baptized follower of Jesus. The man who was called “the power of God” recognizes in Jesus and the Gospel the true power of God.Read More witchcraft, evil ways
The earlier sections of Acts 8 indicate that Philip was having an exciting time sharing the gospel in the region of Samaria. Many people were responding. In the midst of this productive ministry God sends Philip some distance away to meet a single person. This individual has political status, is a Jewish proselyte, is learned enough to read the Hebrew text of Isaiah, and is Ethiopian.Read More witness, “God-thing”, appointments
Warning of Coming Wrath
In chapter 13, Isaiah describes the vision God gives him of the destruction of Babylon. He tells how the city that is now glorious and powerful will become a wasteland where wildlife roam.
Isaiah also clearly states how the destruction will come about: The Lord himself will muster an army.Read More violence, grace, God’s wrath, seriousness of sin
How reassuring the words of Isaiah 14 must have been to the nation of Israel! They were surrounded by powerful enemies who flourished. They’ve heard the proclamation of punishment against those enemies. And now Isaiah shares God’s promises to them, that he will have mercy on them and they will remain his chosen people.Read More plans, God’s unchanging character, the poor
A Complicated History
The people of Israel had a long history of conflict and trouble with Moab, their neighbor to the east. Moabites had enticed them into worshiping their gods (Numbers 25:1-2) and King Solomon had taken Moabite wives (1 Kings 11:1, 7). They had been oppressed by the King of Moab (Judges 3:12-30) and had been at war (2 Kings 3:27).Read More grace, forgiveness, understanding
How should we pray when hope is spent, there’s nowhere to turn, and nothing more we can do?
Asaph begins his entreaty in the dust of despair. A savage enemy has wreaked carnage. In the blood spattered, ember smoking aftermath of destruction, there’s nothing but desolation.Read More desperation, prayer, hope