READ: Ecclesiastes 7, John 2, Revelation 18 TONE DEAF Father Macarius was a church leader in the early days of Christianity in Egypt. A young believer approached him and asked him what it meant to live the crucified life, what it meant in effect to live dead. Macarius had him go to the grave of a…

READ: Proverbs 21, Luke 9, Revelation 1 AWARE Jesus is continually perplexing people, particularly the ruling classes (Luke 9:7). The poor seem to have an easier time in understanding Jesus, probably because they have the humility to accept God’s self revelation, while the rich and self-reliant have the hubris to think they can describe God…

READ: Psalm 147, Mark 1, Hebrews 11  HEALING PRAISE Healing is an activity participated in by the receiver. We tend to approach healing as something God does in isolation. Yet the scriptures are clear that faith interacts with sovereign power when the human body or emotions are restored. There is another way that we can…

It’s a holiday throughout the Muslim world. It’s Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims are in Mecca, the most holy city in Islam. Young and old, rich and poor, male and female, they all wear white robes as a symbol of purity and equality. Pilgrims recite the…

READ: Psalm 81, Hosea 10, Luke 9, 1 Corinthians 16 STEADFASTLY SET YOUR FACE  Our Arab city has been troubled this week: demonstrations turning ugly, rival factions of Muslims attacking each other, and violence between security forces and civilians. The Christian minority has been targeted and many churches and Christian institutions have been attacked. To…

READ: Psalm 63, Ezekiel 22-24, Mark 7, Romans 14  BETTER THAN LIFE The lovingkindness of Jesus is better than life (Psalm 63:3). The description of God’s thoughts and actions towards us (Hebrew = hessed) is so magnificent that it cannot be explained by one English word, nor can it be compared to what humanity considers most precious. The…

READ: Psalm 55, Lamentations 4-5, Matthew 27, Romans 6 SUSTAINED God’s intention for us is not mere survival–He wants us to thrive. As we draw ever closer to the return of King Jesus, thriving will become more and more of a challenge. War, famine, sickness, trouble, and evil all are going to increase. It is the height…

READ: Psalm 34, Isaiah 61-63, Matthew 6, Acts 13  STAYING LITTLE John the Baptist is one of my favorite biblical characters because he stayed little all the way to the end. Luke records this rare feat for us in Acts 13:25: “As John was finishing his course, he said, ‘Who do you think I am? I am…

READ: Psalm 26, Isaiah 37-39, John 19, Acts 5  THE JOYS OF EARTH Before the things of earth grow strangely dim, we who still walk this fallen planet would be wise to enjoy its joys. Unusual as it sounds, there are some privileges of earth that heaven does not afford–deliverance, praise in pain, and suffering shame…

READ: 2 Chronicles 19-21, Psalm 132, Mark 15, James 4 IN PRAISE OF PRAISE Some battles can only be won by praise. Better said, the battle is often for our praise. Will we praise the Lord in the face of adversity and challenge? If the devil can steal our praise (or corrupt it), he has accomplished his…

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