Sometimes It’s Not About You

I was listening to music yesterday, and a song came on that made a reference to the fact that it was not Moses who brought Israel into the Promised Land, but Joshua.

I always felt sorry for Moses. I mean, here he put up with the Israelites for 40 years and faithfully obeyed the LORD – except for one mistake, which cost him entry into Canaan. It never did seem quite fair, and I’m pretty sure Moses felt the same way.

But all of a sudden the thought struck me out of nowhere: maybe Moses’ punishment wasn’t so much about him, as it was about a symbolic message to us!

Let me explain: Continue reading

Seek. Do. Teach.

For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel.

Ezra 7:10, NKJV

As I was reading the book of Ezra, this verse jumped off the page to me.

Seek. Do. Teach.

Three things that every believer should be doing – and in that order.

Let’s examine each in a little more detail:

#1. Seek

We shouldn’t just casually read the Bible, picking up little inspirational truths that we happen upon, like shells on a beach.

We should be seeking after God and His ways, actively pursuing Him. The Hebrew word used in Ezra 7:10 for “seek” is “darash,” which literally means to “tread” or “frequent.” To me that implies a daily journey of seeking out what’s right and following it.

Rather than just happening to notice some shells on the surface of the sand, this is more like someone who Continue reading

I Don’t Want to Hear It

Also Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Please inquire for the word of the LORD today.”

Then the king of Israel gathered the [false] prophets together, four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?”

So they said, “Go up, for God will deliver it into the king’s hand.”

But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not a prophet of the LORD here, that we may inquire of Him?”

So the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is still one man by whom we may inquire of the LORD; but I hate him, because he never prophesies good concerning me, but always evil. He is Micaiah the son of Imla.”

And Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say such things!”

(2 Chron. 18:4-7, NKJV, emphasis added)

If you were about to head into battle, wouldn’t it be helpful to know ahead-of-time what your chances of success were?

That’s what Jehoshaphat thought.

But King Ahab was only interested in good news. If he was going to lose, he didn’t want to hear it.

As though not hearing it would somehow make it not true.

Begrudgingly, he called for Micaiah, and the prophet hesitatingly shared his prediction of doom: Ahab would die in the battle.

Furious, the king threw him in prison, went to war anyway, and died just as he had been told he would.

How many times are we as foolish as Ahab?

Continue reading

Prayer Warrior

“Prayer Warrior.”

It’s a “Christianese” term that makes me think of a godly old woman diligently running through her list of prayer requests each morning, while she sips on her cup of coffee. Or perhaps I picture great men of faith like George Muller, who brought every need before the Lord in prayer, trusting that God would always provide – and He did!

I’ve often thought of it as a special calling for certain people, as though some believers are given a special “gift of prayer.” Continue reading

‘Nominal Christian’ is an Oxymoron

Christianity isn’t about a profession of faith, but about following Christ. This excellent post from Christianity 201 demonstrates that well, and shows how our consumer attitudes have negatively affected our understanding of what it means to be a Christian:

Christianity 201

“The biggest threat to the church today is fans who call themselves Christians but aren’t actually interested in following Christ. They want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close that it requires anything from them.”
― Kyle Idleman, Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus


“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? (Luke 6:46 NASB)

The mechanism by which the hammers strikes the strings in an acoustic piano was, in its day, a revolutionary invention. To that point, no matter how softly or heavily one engaged the keys, the sound would always be heard at the same volume level. When this new keyboard action was created, the resulting instrument was called a pianoforte which literally (in Italian) means “quiet-loud.” An oxymoron.

This morning at Thinking Out Loud, we looked at the…

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