Thoughts On Marriage

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Genesis 37-38 & Matthew 19

Old Testament: Genesis 37- Such Comfort

Genesis 37:35
“And all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted, and he said, ‘For I shall go down into the grave to my son in mourning.’  Thus his father wept for him.”

2015/01/img_1348.jpgDealing with the death of a loved one is perhaps the most difficult part of life. Since God created us for life, and it was sin that brought death into the world, we were never really designed to handle death. No matter what, death seems to be unexpected, and the emotions that arise within us are more than we can bear. I recently heard Greg Laurie say, death is often more  … Read More

 

Genesis 38- Busted

Genesis 38:24
“And it came to pass, about three months after, that Judah was told, saying, ‘Tamar your daughter-in-law has played the harlot; furthermore she is with child by harlotry.’ So Judah said, ‘Bring her out and let her be burned!’”

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Our sin always looks worse on someone else.

Judah, after the death of his wife, and in the loneliness of that condition, stumbled in his walk with God, committing fornication with a young woman. While we do not read of his reaction to this, it is highly likely he was ashamed, and at least somewhat remorseful. I can imagine he confessed his failure, and may have even… Read More


New Testament:
Matthew 19- Thoughts On Marriage

Matthew 19:4-6
“He answered, ‘Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?” So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.’”

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We understand that marriage was designed by God. He created man and woman, and designed marriage as the most intimate of all relationships. But why? What is the purpose of marriage? If we were to walk the streets and interview people, asking them, “Why did you get married?”, I think the most common reply would be, “I got married … Read More

Let It Go

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Genesis 35-36 & Matthew 18

Old Testament: Genesis 35- Go Back

Genesis 35:1, 2
“Then God said to Jacob, ‘Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there; and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother.’ And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, ‘Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments.'”

2015/01/img_1346.jpgJacob again hears the voice of God. This time he is being called to return to a place called Bethel, meaning “House of God.” This was the site of Jacob’s first encounter with the Lord. There, he had been the recipient of the great and precious promises that revealed the plans and purposes God had for his life. Decades have since passed, and Jacob has grown from a lonely bachelor, to a large and prosperous… Read More

New Testament: Matthew 18- Let It G0

Matthew 18:21
“Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’”

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I think Peter had a little more insight into the mind of God than he gets credit for. In the passage leading up to this, Jesus spoke regarding confronting those who are in sin. He spoke of going to a sinning brother, bringing others and going a second time, then telling the church of his sin, and finally treating the unrepentant as you would an unbeliever (which of course means that you want to do all you can to win them back to Christ). It is in response… Read More

Glimpse Of Heaven

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Genesis 33-34 & Matthew 17

Old Testament: Genesis 33- Face Of God

Genesis 33:10
“And Jacob said, ‘No, please, if I have now found favor in your sight, then receive my present from my hand, inasmuch as I have seen your face as though I had seen the face of God, and you were pleased with me.’

2015/01/img_1341.jpgI am sure we have all been complimented, at one time or another, for how we looked, or what we were wearing. Of all the compliments I have received, none has been quite like what Jacob said to Esau. After not seeing his brother for 20 years, Jacob said, “you look a lot like God.” Jacob is not saying God is a … Read More

Genesis 34- Double Standard

Genesis 34:14
“And they said to them, ‘We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one who is uncircumcised, for that would be a reproach to us.'”


If this verse were standing alone in Scripture, it would warrant our unwavering obedience. One of the great pitfalls for Israel, and for us, is when we get involved in unhealthy and ungodly relationships. This has been the downfall of godly men and women throughout the ages, and we would do well to consider ourselves and make sure we are not becoming unequally yoked together with unbelievers. That being said, this verse does not stand alone. The same voices that uttered this statement, also, devised a plan to wipe out the people of Shechem, because … Read More

New Testament: Matthew 17- Glimpse Of Heaven

Matthew 17:1
“Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; . . .”

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This event had a tremendous impact upon Peter. Years later, when writing his first epistle, Peter recounts this event and how amazing it was to witness. I think some of its value is in the fact that it is a portrait of what awaits… Read More

The Champion

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Genesis 31-32 & Matthew 16

Old Testament: Genesis 31- God In My Pocket

Genesis 31:34
“Now Rachel had taken the household idols, put them in the camel’s saddle, and sat on them. And Laban searched all about the tent but did not find them.”

2015/01/img_1336.jpgLater in Israel’s history, the Law of God will be imparted, and idolatry will be forbidden. One of the main reasons is,  a manmade icon cannot adequately represent an infinite God. No matter how skilled the worker, or how beautiful the image, it will be a poor representation of God. The actions of Rachel reflect that idea, as she sits on her… Read More

Genesis 32- The Champion

Genesis 32:28
“And He said, ‘Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.’”

2015/01/img_1338.jpgThe Bible is filled with fascinating stories and amazing promises. I think it is safe to say, the most amazing events ever recorded are written in the pages of our Bibles. Of all these stories, this one records perhaps the most striking statement of them all,

” . . . you have struggled with God and prevailed.” 

The same truth is … Read More
New Testament: Matthew 16- Gates Of Hell

Matthew 16:18-19
“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘prevail’ as,

“to gain ascendancy through strength or superiority, . . .to triumph over.”

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This verse has always fascinated me. Jesus is promising He is the one who will build the church. Since the church is not a building, but people, He is saying, He will add the living stones to the church of God. Jesus is also telling us, the devil and his forces seek to prevail against the church. The Bible gives us just … Read More

Ministry Principles

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Genesis 29-30 & Matthew 15

Old Testament: Genesis 29- Dysfunctional

Genesis 29:26
“And Laban said, ‘It must not be done so in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn.’”

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All families have some level of dysfunction, but Jacob’s household was a mess. What started with a surprise unveiling the morning after the wedding, grew into a family with two wives competing for the love of one husband. As time moved on, things got worse rather than better. Children were born into the family out of wedlock, and his wives were making back room deals as to who was going to spend the night with Jacob. It is little wonder, when these kids grew up, they had emotional issues and were willing to sell a brother into slavery. What happened to this family to create… Read More

Genesis 30- Plotting And Scheming 

Genesis 30:32
“Let me pass through all your flock today, removing from there all the speckled and spotted sheep, and all the brown ones among the lambs, and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and these shall be my wages.”

2015/01/img_1334.jpgAfter faithfully serving Laban for twenty years, Jacob decided it was time to return to Canaan. As he prepared to depart, Jacob and Laban met together to discuss his future wages. They determined that all the speckled and spotted sheep would belong to Jacob and the rest would remain with Laban. Later, in Genesis 31, we find this idea was given to Jacob in a dream where the Angel of the Lord appeared to him. We find with Jacob, a vivid illustration of the promises of God being pursued in the arm of the flesh

Rather than trusting that God would provide whatever number of sheep He wanted him to … Read More

New Testament: Matthew 15- Ministry Principles

Matthew 15:36
“And He took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitude.”

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It is against the law to give away what you do not own. If it does not belong to you, it is not yours to give. That is one of the most basic principles that governs when serving Jesus. If we want to help others walk with the Lord, we must first receive from the Lord. The story of the loaves and fish illustrate that principle quite well. The disciples took what they had, brought that to Jesus; … Read More

 

Why Do You Doubt?

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Genesis 27-28 & Matthew 14

Old Testament: Genesis 27- It Must Be The Lord

Genesis 27:20
“But Isaac said to his son, ‘How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?’ And he said, ‘Because the LORD your God brought it to me.’”

Unknown-1.jpegIsaac was ill and thought death was at his doorstep, so he sent his son Esau into the field to hunt and make him his favorite meal. It was his intention, at the meal, to pass a blessing on to Esau. When Rebekah heard his plan, she came up with a scheme of her own. She knew God intended this blessing for Jacob, so she got an animal skin, prepared a meal, and attempted to deceive her husband. Jacob dressed for the part and brought the… Read More
Genesis 28- Terms And Condition

Genesis 28:20-21
“Then Jacob made a vow, saying, ‘If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God.’”

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Jacob has made a mess of things. His own ambitions have driven a wedge between himself and his family, he has been forced to flee for his life, and is now, just about homeless. With his head resting on a rock, he develops his own covenant … Read More

New Testament: Matthew 14- Why Do You Doubt?

Matthew 14:31
“O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

2015/01/img_1330.jpgAs Peter’s eyes left Jesus and began to focus on his surroundings, his great faith failed and he began to sink. In desperation he cried out, “Lord, save me” to which Jesus replied, first with a stretched out hand, then with gentle rebuke.

“O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

If I were in Peter’s… Read More

 

 

Shining Like The Sun

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Genesis 25-26 & Matthew 13

Old Testament: Genesis 25-When All Else Fails

Genesis 25:21-22
“Now Isaac pleaded with the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived. But the children struggled together within her; and she said, ‘If all is well, why am I like this?’ So she went to inquire of the Lord.”

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Have you ever heard the phrase, “When all else fails”? This seems to be the approach of many, as it relates to prayer. We often try everything at our disposal, before we ever come to the place where we truly plead with the Lord. It is almost as if life were a game show. We lean on our own strength, or use one of our life lines to ask the audience, or phone a friend, instead of taking advantage of the greatest resource available to every child… Read More
Genesis 26- Curse Or Choice

Genesis 26:7
“And the men of the place asked about his wife. And he said, ‘She is my sister’; for he was afraid to say, ‘ She is my wife,’ because he thought, ‘lest the men of the place kill me for Rebekah, because she is beautiful to behold.’”

2015/01/img_1326.jpgA few years back, an interesting term began to circulate through the church. The term I am referring to is “generational curse.” It meant families were cursed by the sins committed in generations passed. Once this diagnosis was given, an elaborate system was developed to rid the families of this curse. The basis for the curse was a poor understanding, and improper application of the idea that the sins of the fathers… Read More

 

New Testament: Matthew 13- Shining Like The Sun

Matthew 13:43
Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

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While explaining the Parable of the Tares, Jesus spoke of the harvest at the end of the age, when all humanity will be gathered together. In Revelation 19, we see this event unfolding. We see all of humanity standing before the throne of God, and the books opened. The first book we might call the ‘book of works’. It contains every sin committed, every idle… Read More