READ: Zechariah 11, Acts 10-11, 3 John BEAUTY AND BONDS Generosity of heart is a prayer that God answers (Acts 10:2, 4). A gracious heart takes the greatest joy when others walk and grow in the truth (3 John 4). A stingy heart restricts the ministry of others and seeks to minimize their influence. Barnabas…

READ: Proverbs 17, Luke 5, 1 John 4 REACTIONARY LOVE It is humbling to realize that our love for God is reactionary. John is brutally clear that we don’t initiate love for Jesus. “We love Him, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). There is a sneaky sort of pride which is self-congratulatory about loving Jesus….

READ: Psalm 78, Hosea 7, Luke 6, 1 Corinthians 13  LIMITING GOD “Again and again they tempted God and limited the Holy one of Israel.” (Psalm 78:41) It seems unthinkable that we can handcuff God. How can the Omniscient be limited? One of the mysteries of God is that He sometimes limits Himself to the…

READ: Psalm 76, Hosea 1-3, Luke 4, 1 Corinthians 11 LIKE THE LOVE OF THE LORD Not many of us begin our missions career by being told to marry a prostitute. Old Testament prophets had it rough: walk around naked, cook on dung, not mourn the death of their wife, all the while speaking the…

READ: Psalm 62, Ezekiel 19-21, Mark 6, Romans 13  LOVE PAINS Love inflicts pain, even as it does no harm (Rom. 13:10). True love repeatedly disappoints, hurts, confronts, refuses, and disciplines. This is certainly how God has loved us, and we should not expect to love others without hurting them. Love hurts but does not…

READ: Psalm 45, Jeremiah 28-30, Matthew 17, Acts 24 GLADNESS “You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness.” (Psalm 45:7) This Messianic reference reminds us that gladness is derived from both love and hate. Our view of righteousness is often linked to austere puritan killjoys;…

READ: Psalm 44, Jeremiah 25-27, Matthew 16, Acts 23  WINNING ENEMIES If you speak God’s Word, you will have enemies. Jeremiah was told to “stand… speak…do not diminish a word” (Jer. 26:2). As a result of his fidelity to God’s person and message, he was threatened with death: “When Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that…

READ: Psalm 22, Isaiah 25-27, John 15, Acts 1   GOD’S FIERY CENTER God says of Himself: “Fury is not in me” (Isaiah 27:4). The fire at God’s center is love, not wrath. Yes, it is true that “God is angry at the wicked every day.” Yes, at the cross wrath and mercy meet.  Yes,…

READ: Nehemiah 10-11, Psalm 145, Luke 12, 1 John 4 THE BLESSING OF CURSE “Everyone who had knowledge and understanding–these joined with the brethren their notables, and entered into a curse and an oath to walk in God’s law…to observe and do all the commandments of the Lord our God.” (Nehemiah 10:28-29) Scripture has this awe-inspiring holism…

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