Tag Archives: changed lives

(Joshua 1-5) The Forever Miracle

Do you believe in miracles? Some people read things like the Israelite’s crossing of the Jordan River, and because it would be impossible, write it off as fantasy, folk-lore, imagination. Others come up with what they think are plausible answers like the pull of gravity on that particular day at that exact time…

What these people don’t seem to understand is, if the event could be explained, it wouldn’t be a miracle. If we can understand the “how” of it, it isn’t miraculous. So the question again is, do you believe in miracles?

Do I believe the Jordan River water stopped flowing, that a new generation of Jews crossed over on dry ground like their fathers had crossed the Red Sea? I do.

Can I explain it from a scientific perspective? No.

Have I ever seen river water stop flowing like reported in the book of Joshua? Never.

Then why in the world would I believe it to be true?

Because I believe in the God of the Bible. And because I believe in Him, it’s not that hard to believe in miracles. In fact, I’ve seen even greater miracles than the Jordan River crossing.

Every time a sinner repents and is changed from the inside out through the blood of Jesus, there’s a miracle. There is no greater miracle than true repentance because it’s eternal. All other miracles had a time frame. Not so salvation.

It’s the forever miracle.

July 27; Where Is Your Bible?

Jeremiah 16-17; 2 Kings 22:3-20; 2 Chronicles 34:8-33

I find it ironic and sad… and prophetic that Hezekiah found the Book of the Law tucked away inside the temple. The Law that should have been cherished, protected, read, studied, and obeyed was right there, untouched and unused.

I’m wondering where we have placed God’s Word ourselves. Is it tucked away in our bedside tables, gathering dust on our bookshelves, in boxes somewhere in our attics?

I’m wondering where the Church has placed God’s Word. Is it tucked behind tolerance, love, political correctness, fear? Have we set it aside as irrelevant, tradition, or flawed?

Hezekiah discovered God’s Law right there in God’s House. It had been there all the time, but neglect had rendered it ineffective. In the very place where God should have been honored, His Words were tossed aside like yesterday’s news.

When Hezekiah read God’s Word he didn’t just put it back where he found it. He did something important… he shared it! He took it to the king.

After the king heard the Word he also did something important… he repented. Then he encouraged others to repent as well. That Law of God was able to do what God had intended.

It changed lives.

But it had to be used by God’s people in order for it to do that. They read it, obeyed it, told others about it, and made it the standard for living. People don’t just “get” God by having a Bible in the home, or by going to church on Sunday, or by having a mother who is a child of God. People “get” God when they accept what it is He says through His Word.

So, where is your Bible, dear one?

Where is your Bible, Church?

January 26; Quick To Judge

Genesis 33-35

Wow. People are so eager to think the worst of Jacob. I read what several Bible scholars had to say about these chapters in Genesis and heard some call him a liar, a deceiver, a man who took advantage of people for his own gain. Some say he probably smiled while lying to Esau’s face, knowing he had no intentions of following his brother anywhere. Others suggest he pitched his tent right inside the Promised Land so it would technically be obeying God. But what he was really doing was taking advantage of the thriving commerce close by so that he could get richer and richer. Some criticized Jacob for being a weak and indulgent father, and that’s why Dinah was promiscuous, and her brothers were able to murder so many people, then justify their brutality by saying, “They deserved it.”

Now, I don’t know what Jacob was thinking any more than the next guy. But as far as his so-called deception of Esau – I don’t see it. I don’t read where Jacob said anything like: “Thanks, Bro. I should be home next Thursday,” then headed north like he’d planned all along. In fact, Jacob DID eventually go home. And I don’t read that Esau acted like a man who’d been deceived yet again.

Maybe – just maybe – Jacob thought about it, then realized the land couldn’t sustain both his and Esau’s holdings, so he turned north to be sure he didn’t infringe on Esau’s territory.

Maybe – just maybe – he’s settled just inside the Promised Land because his little family were exhausted and needed somewhere to call home. Maybe Jacob took the first opportunity to get settled so he COULD go home to see his dad and brother.

I’m not even going to try to defend Jacob’s parenting skills. But I’m also not going to assume Dinah was “asking for it,” when she went to make friends of the women.

You might say I’m way off base because none of that is recorded in Scripture. And you might be right. Scripture doesn’t tell us Jacob’s thoughts and motives. So why believe the worst?

I don’t now why this matters to me. Except we are told not to judge, aren’t we? I can see Jacob’s sins demanding God’s judgment. But I can’t judge his heart or his motives unless Scripture lets me in on those details.

So, think what you want to think about Jacob. He may have still been the deceiving, lying, self-seeking guy he was in his youth. But maybe he wasn’t.

Maybe that guy who went forward last Sunday to give his heart to the Lord is still the mean drunk he was before. But maybe he isn’t.

Maybe that lady who claims to have found Jesus is still the lying manipulator she always was. But maybe she isn’t.

I don’t know. But maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to judge.


Isaiah 8-11; Radically Changed

Isaiah talks about Jesus. Some of these verses are very familiar prophesies about the coming of the Messiah. So beautiful!

I pulled out Matthew Henry and read his take on these passages. Then I reread the chapters in Isaiah to see if I could see what Henry saw. I absolutely love what the prophet shares about what Christ brings to us, what Christianity is all about. God changes human nature when that nature is laid at the foot of the cross.

In chapter 11, Isaiah uses word pictures to describe the person who encounters Jesus. He speaks of wolves and lambs, leopards and goats, calves and lions… all living in harmony. The most vicious of animals no longer vicious. Cobras without venom, harmless vipers when the world is full of the knowledge of the Lord.

Or, when your world is full of the knowledge of the Lord.

Henry says this:

“This is fulfilled in the wonderful effect of the gospel upon the minds of those that sincerely embrace it; it changes the nature, and makes those that trampled on the meek of the earth, not only meek like them, but affectionate towards them.” (Commentary in one Volume; Zondervan Publishing House, 1961; p 845)

Has God radically changed you? Or is there still a bit of that wolf, that leopard, or that viper in you? Embrace the Gospel. Let Jesus transform you into that person who loves like Jesus loves, who has compassion and kindness toward others.

Would it change your family dynamics if you did that? How about your workplace, your neighborhood, your church? Would it effect your prayer life? Your Bible study? Would it effect how you view yourself?

The radical change that comes from a right relationship with the Messiah is always, ALWAYS change that is good!