When threatened with persecution

Injustice, suffering, and persecution are normal and will happen in this world. That doesn’t mean persecution is right; but it does mean that nothing unusual has happened when someone is ostracized, condemned, persecuted, or even martyred for having faith in Christ. To be a follower of Christ is to live with the expectation that one […]

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Remember God’s Promises

  Trials are regular and normal.  Disappointment is inevitable.  Failure is common.  One skeptic rightly noted, “In times like these it’s good to remember that there have always been times like these.”  If we expect a trouble-free life, we will never be satisfied. However, the goal in life is not to avoid trouble and trial, […]

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God is a rewarder

I always enjoyed school and learning — I suppose in large part because I have also always been curious about just about everything.  “How does that work?” is still a common question from me in conversations. But the year I was in fourth or fifth grade, I was particularly motivated to do well.  My parents […]

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You need perseverance

Near the end of his life, John Calvin suffered from tuberculosis. In his weakened condition his doctors urged him to rest and adopt a slower pace in his work. He refused, saying, “Bear with me, that God will find me watching and busy at His work until my last sigh.” So the doctors and his […]

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Jesus Christ learned obedience

The writer of Hebrews says of Jesus, “Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered” (Heb 5:8). There has been much debate about what that exactly means.  In his recent (and excellent) book, The Man Christ Jesus, Bruce Ware offers two explanations: 1) Although Jesus was a Son, and […]

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Keep loving others

At the beginning of the last chapter of Hebrews, the writer says, “Let the love of the brethren continue.”  In other words, keep loving your brothers in Christ. But the command is not generic.  The author provides numerous illustrations of what this love should look like; he offers many ways in which we can fulfill […]

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“Pray for me”

“Now may the God of peace [who is the author and the giver of peace], who brought back from among the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood [that sealed, ratified] the everlasting agreement (the new covenant), strengthen (complete, perfect) [and] make you what you ought to be [and] […]

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Running with endurance

“…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Heb. 12:1b; NASB) File this under strange, but true (and a little funny).  The following statements were taken from registration sheets and comment cards returned to the staff of the Bridger Wilderness area: Trails need to be wider so people can walk holding […]

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Where is your faith?

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1; NASB) “Where is your God now?” It is a hard question, often asked under the most burdensome circumstances.  Job’s friends and wife asked the question.  And even though they didn’t ask it, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Esau, Joseph, Moses, […]

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“Come on in”

“Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,…let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Heb. 10:19, 22; NASB) Normally my office door stays wide open […]

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A better sacrifice

A small boy was consistently late coming home from school.  His parents warned him one day that he must be home on time that afternoon, but nevertheless he arrived later than ever.  His mother met him at the door and said nothing.  His father met him in the living room and said nothing. At dinner […]

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He’s sitting down

It is a regular temptation to overvalue certain possessions.  When we drive a new vehicle off the car lot, we forget that within a few years, we will certainly be driving it back onto that lot with a certain measure of discontentment, seeking a new and better source of transportation.  Similarly, we are prone to […]

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A great high priest

As believers in Christ, we don’t often think about priests. We think about them when we read the Old Testament — particularly the Pentateuch — and as we read through and attempt to comprehend the various duties of the priests and the function of the Law in Israel’s spiritual life.  It all seems rather confusing […]

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He promised

Two children standing beside swings on a playground are in earnest discussion.  One seven-year-old is attempting to persuade his buddy of his intention to follow through on a promise.  He has failed to convince his friend when he utters words that have convinced children for decades:  “I cross my heart and hope to die if […]

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