Category Archives: New Testament

Valuing Jesus. Valued by Jesus. (Mark 14)

As I read this chapter, I marvel at Mary, sister of Lazarus and Martha. (See John 12:1-8.) She valued Jesus so much, she was willing to sacrifice some very costly perfume in order to honor Jesus. It makes me think: … Continue reading

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Be on your guard (Mark 13)

It’s hard to miss the repetition Jesus uses here when he talks about the last days. Three times, he says, “Be on your guard!” All three times, it’s different things we are to be on our guard about. The first … Continue reading

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A+? F? (Mark 12:13-17)

I wrote something very similar to this some time ago, and it probably gives a better explanation of  this passage’s context and what it is about. But today, I wanted to focus on something a bit different. Last Sunday, a … Continue reading

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Listen to him! (Mark 9)

I don’t find it much a coincidence that shortly after Peter had been arguing with Jesus over his mission, the Father said what he did. On that high mountain, for the first time, Peter, James, and John, caught a glimpse … Continue reading

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Who Jesus really is (Mark 8)

Who is Jesus, really? The disciples should have known. But somehow, they didn’t. It should have been clear to them after Jesus fed the 5000. But after Jesus calmed the storm, it’s clear that they still didn’t really know. (Mark … Continue reading

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The teaching we hold to (Mark7)

Jesus’ words strike me in this passage. Quoting from Isaiah, he says, This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. They worship me in vain, teaching as doctrines human commands. (6-7) And then he … Continue reading

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Making our Lord marvel (Mark 6)

Two verses strike me from this chapter. So they were offended at [Jesus]. (3) And, …he was amazed at their unbelief.” (6) To this day, people are offended at Jesus. At least when he makes claims of authority over our … Continue reading

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Jesus’ authority (Mark 1-3)

As I’ve been reading Mark this week, one word has come to mind: Authority. Namely, Jesus’ authority. You see it first in his message. The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news! (Mark 1:15) You … Continue reading

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Walking in the truth (3 John)

It’s hard to escape the word “truth” in this letter. John uses it six times in this very short letter. What is he talking about when he says, “the truth”? Most likely, he’s talking about the truth of the gospel. … Continue reading

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Who we sound like (I John 4)

I wish I could give a whole message on John 4, because there’s a lot of good stuff here. But let me focus on one thing. John says, They (the false prophets) are from the world. Therefore what they say … Continue reading

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God’s love? Love for God? (1 John 2)

After a flood of insights last week, it’s been a quiet one for me this week. Not that I haven’t learned anything, but nothing stood out to me that I haven’t already written about. But today, verse 5 stood out … Continue reading

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Humility (I Peter 5)

All of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another. (5) Here Peter addresses specifically the relationship between leaders in the church and their sheep. Leaders are to clothe themselves with humility to the people they are shepherding. Why? Because … Continue reading

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Saved with difficulty (I Peter 4)

Peter’s words in verses 17 and 18 really struck me, but particularly verse 18, where he says, And if the righteous person is saved with difficulty, what will become of the ungodly and sinner? The ESV puts it, “…the righteous … Continue reading

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Called to bless (I Peter 3)

There are many good things in this passage, but verse 9, struck me today. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a … Continue reading

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What are we drinking? (2 Peter 1-2)

“You are what you eat.” Or so the saying goes. In this case, Peter might change that to, “You are what you drink.” I talked in my last blog about living by the gospel. But what kind of things do … Continue reading

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Living by the gospel (2 Timothy 3)

One thing that Paul wanted Timothy to remind the Christians is to live by the gospel. What does that mean? It means that we daily remember the goodness and loving kindness of God toward us. That when we were lost … Continue reading

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Being faithful in what God has called us to do (Acts 6:1-7)

I have been continuing for the past couple of years to translate my original blog posts into Japanese, and am now in Acts. As I translated what I originally wrote, another aspect of this passage struck me. Obviously, the apostles … Continue reading

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Remember Jesus (2 Timothy 3)

I really love this passage, but two things really stand out to me. …be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (1) Paul doesn’t say, “Man up. It’s all up to you! So do it!” He says, “Be … Continue reading

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Standing in awe of God (I Timothy 6)

You’ll have to forgive me if I seem to be beating the same drum at times. But this is one drum that I’ve been trying to keep in mind, because if I don’t, I’m likely to forget it. I was … Continue reading

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Words of grace, seasoned with salt (Colossians 4)

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt. (6) I don’t know about you, but those words are hard for me to live out. “Always gracious.” When I’m annoyed, are my words still gracious? When I’m angry, are my … Continue reading

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How our awe of God affects our attitudes (Philippians 4)

I did want to write one last thing (for now about our awe of God). It should affect our attitudes. It strikes me that with Euodia and Syntyche that was one thing they were lacking in their spat with one … Continue reading

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Rejoicing in the Lord (Philippians 3)

Recently, I preached a message on standing in awe of God. And so as I have been reading through Philippians, I see that theme everywhere. It struck me as I read chapters 3 and 4, that in rejoicing in the … Continue reading

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The grace of ministry (Philippians 1:7)

When I was reading Philippians 1 this week, it struck me that Paul saw ministry as a grace he received. He said, “you are all partners with me in grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation … Continue reading

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Working out your own salvation (Philippians 2)

I was reading John 21 yesterday, and as I read this passage, I was reminded of it. Paul told the Philippians, Therefore, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, so now, not only in my presence but even … Continue reading

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Partakers of grace (Philippians 1:7)

I’ve been meditating this morning on Philippians 1, but especially on verse 7.  It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of … Continue reading

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Spiritual amnesia (Ephesians 1)

It is so easy to forget as Christians. We forget how much God has blessed us. We forget how he chose us before the foundation of the world. We forget the riches of his grace that he has lavished on … Continue reading

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Take pleasure? (2 Corinthians 11-12)

2 Corinthians 12:9 is probably one of the most famous in the Bible. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.” I wonder, though, how often we notice Paul’ application … Continue reading

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Who we are pointing to (2 Corinthians 10)

It’s so easy to compare ourselves with others. I do it all the time. We say things like: “I read my Bible every day.” “I pray.” “I fast.” “I tithe.” “I sacrifice for the church.” And then we look at … Continue reading

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For you know… (2 Corinthians 8:9)

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. Take some time to meditate on those words. Memorize … Continue reading

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My God. My Father. (2 Corinthians 6-7)

It’s been a fun week: I caught the flu on Saturday and only yesterday have started to get back into normal life. Anyway, whenever you look at this kind of passage, particularly 6:16-7:1, it’s easy to focus on the commands: … Continue reading

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A word to think on (2 Corinthians 1:12)

This verse struck me as I read this, and it’s one I’m trying to memorize. Let’s try to do this without looking. For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we have behaved in the world with … Continue reading

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Approved. Chosen. (Romans 16)

In Paul’s greetings, two things stood out to me today. He says of a man named Apelles: “he is ‘approved in Christ.’” And of a man named Rufus: “he is ‘chosen in the Lord.’” The truth is, both things can … Continue reading

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In honor of the Lord (Romans 14)

As I read this passage, today it was verses 5-9 that strike me. In telling the Romans not to quarrel about things that are not a matter of God’s word, but a matter of conscience, Paul says, One person judges … Continue reading

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Peace (Romans 13)

As we face the new year, Paul’s words strike me. Besides this, since you know the time, it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep, because now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. … Continue reading

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True worship (Romans 12)

What is worship? I used to think it was just singing songs. But to Paul, it was so much more. He says, Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies … Continue reading

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The grace on which we stand (Romans 11)

Happy New Year all! I realize I haven’t been blogging much the past couple of weeks because of the winter holidays, but God willing, I should be starting to get back into the swing of things again. It is so … Continue reading

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Under grace (Romans 6)

I was just thinking of Paul’s words in Romans 6:14 and what they mean. For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under the law but under grace. That is not the most easy sentence to understand. … Continue reading

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When Jesus comes again (Revelation 11)

This time of year, Handel’s Messiah is very popular, and of course one of the most famous songs is the Hallelujah Chorus. One of the lines comes directly from this chapter in verse 15. The kingdom of this world has … Continue reading

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To become like him (I Corinthians 15)

There are lots of good stuff in this chapter. I particularly like verses 9-10. But this being the Christmas season, it is verses 48-49 that strike me. In those verses Paul compares the first man Adam with the second man … Continue reading

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Just a choice? (1 Corinthians 13)

One thing I have often heard (and taught for that matter), is that love is not a feeling, it’s a choice. After all, how can you command a feeling? And yet God commands us to love. As I think on … Continue reading

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Having heaven’s perspective (Revelation 4)

One thing that will happen when we finally see God face to face is that we’ll have heaven’s perspective on who he is. How do they see him? Holy, holy, holy, Lord God, the Almighty, who was, who is, and … Continue reading

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Truth, but not love. Love, but not truth. (Revelation 2)

Considering the theme of the last blog I wrote, the need for us to walk in truth and love, I find this chapter very apropos. For in it, we see the problem of having truth but not love, and of … Continue reading

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Two indispensable things (2 John 2)

As  I read this passage, I find two indispensable things that must be part of a true Christian’s life: truth, and love. John says, Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, … Continue reading

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The one who keeps us (I John 5:18-20)

We know that everyone who has been born of God does not sin, but the one who is born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are of God, and the … Continue reading

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No cause for stumbling (1 John 2)

The one who says he is in the light but hates his brother or sister is in the darkness until now. The one who loves his brother or sister remains in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling … Continue reading

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Faithful…and just? (I John 1:9)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I have read this verse hundreds of times, and taught on it multiple times, but something struck me … Continue reading

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By his righteousness, by his power, by his promises (2 Peter 1)

The more I read this chapter, the more Peter’s words strike me. He says in verse 2, May grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. How many of us know … Continue reading

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The love of God and the endurance of Christ (II Thessalonians 3)

I wrote something similar to this post last month, but as I was writing this for my church today, and there are a few additional points, I thought I’d put it here too. All of us face trials at one … Continue reading

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Regarding Christ as Holy (I Peter 3:15)

I was just meditating on these words today from Peter.  …but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy. (I Peter 3:15) The context here is of not fearing persecution for following Christ. Peter says, “Don’t fear what other … Continue reading

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Let us sing praise (James 5:13)

As today is Thanksgiving in the States (as I write this, anyway), James words struck me as I read them. Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises. I think most people are … Continue reading

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The hope of holiness (I Thessalonians 3-4)

I wrote on this passage not too long ago, but my church’s reading plan brought me back to this, and as I read it this time around, something else struck me about Paul’s words to us about holiness. I think … Continue reading

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Living by the law that brings liberty (James 2)

As I was reading this passage, something connected for me that I had never seen before. I can’t say for certain that it was what James had in mind when he wrote this, but considering his Jewish background, it wouldn’t … Continue reading

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Faith, hope, love (I Thessalonians 1)

No, the scripture reference is not a mistake. It is indeed I Thessalonians 1, not I Corinthians 13. The truth is, faith, hope, and love are three things that Paul often links in his letters. I Corinthians 13 just happens … Continue reading

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The reason for our hope (Hebrews 9-10)

We saw in my last post that in Jesus we find rest because Jesus himself finished the work of salvation for us. And in these chapters (and for that matter, in the previous chapters as well), the author of Hebrews … Continue reading

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Striving…to rest (Hebrews 3-5)

I’ve been reading these chapters over and over, and as I do, I wonder, how much do we rest in Jesus? The writer of Hebrews says, Therefore, a Sabbath rest remains for God’s people. For the person who has entered … Continue reading

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Ignoring the word of Jesus (Hebrews 1-4)

In my last post, we saw how Paul told Timothy, “Remember Jesus Christ.” Here we see similar words by the author of Hebrews: “Consider Jesus.” (3:1) I have probably read Hebrews dozens of times, but as I’ve been reading it … Continue reading

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Remember Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2)

“Remember Jesus Christ!” Paul cries out in verse 8. How well we would do to remember Jesus Christ in our daily lives. Put another way, remember Jesus the Messiah, our Savior, descendant of David, who was crucified for our sins … Continue reading

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Living with a clean conscience (Acts 23)

Paul’s words are very striking in verse 1. My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day. How many of us can say the same thing? That our consciences are clear before God? … Continue reading

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What we have in Jesus (2 Timothy 1)

Paul wrote this letter not long before he was put to death by Nero. It’s that fact that makes his first words to Timothy more than a little meaningful. Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will, for the … Continue reading

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Setting our eyes on God (I Timothy 6)

Paul says in verse 17, to not set our hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God. And as I read that, I thought about what Paul had just said in the previous verses about this God we are … Continue reading

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How Paul thought (Acts 20)

Paul’s words to the Ephesians always make a big impression on me. But here are a few things you might want to do after reading this passage: Read  Ezekiel 33:1-10 and then reread Acts 20:20-27. How did Ezekiel’s words influence Paul’s … Continue reading

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Prayers that every believer needs (2 Thessalonians 1-2)

As I was reading 2 Thessalonians today, Paul’s prayers really touched me. The things that he prayed for the Thessalonians is what I need prayer for. They’re what every Christian needs prayer for. He said, We always pray for you … Continue reading

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Children of light (I Thessalonians 5)

One small note. Yesterday, I said I was talking about chapters 2-3; actually, it was 3-4. (And thus we can see that there are benefits to having chapter and verse divisions after all. It keeps us on the same page. … Continue reading

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Holiness (I Thessalonians 3-4)

If there is one theme at the end of chapter 3 and the start of chapter 4 (which is why it was probably a bad idea to break this section up with the chapter division), it’s holiness. Time and again, … Continue reading

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A prayer of worship (Colossians 1-2)

I must admit, I don’t worship nearly enough as I should when I read the Bible. But this time, I couldn’t help myself. Lord, as I look at this passage, I can’t help but worship you. Jesus, you are the … Continue reading

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Living by grace (Philippians 4:9)

Do what you have learned and received and heard from me, and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. Those are pretty remarkable words, don’t you think? “Do you want the God of peace to … Continue reading

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Rejoicing in Jesus (Philippians 3)

“So on a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your walk with God this week?”  I used to hear this question a lot when I was in high school in the discipleship group I was in. A … Continue reading

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The affection of Christ (Philippians 1:8)

For some reason, this verse struck me as I read it. For God is my witness, how deeply I miss all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:8) Oftentimes, we talk about the “love of Christ” for … Continue reading

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What mark Christ’s people. What marks Christ’s church. (Ephesians 4)

Twitter, Facebook, Line, and other social networks can be a wonderful thing. But one thing I have noticed recently is a certain lack of Christ-like character in the things Christians sometimes post, particularly to one another. In Ephesians 2-3, Paul … Continue reading

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A God-centered salvation (Ephesians 1-2)

One thing I have been doing the last couple of days as I have read Ephesians 1-2 is noting all the “hims” and “his”s that are there, and really thinking through, “Who is this talking about, the Father, the Son, … Continue reading

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Losing our blessedness (Galatians 3-4)

What then has become of your blessedness? (3:15, ESV) That’s a good question. Many Christians today have lost their blessedness. Why? They’ve forgotten who they are. And they’ve forgotten how they came to be what they are. What do I … Continue reading

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Out of step with the gospel (Galatians 2)

Verse 14 really strikes me. …I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel… (14, ESV) Obviously, in this context, Peter’s conduct was out of step with the gospel in that by his actions, … Continue reading

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A grace and love that is not weak (2 Corinthians 12-13)

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (13:13) Those are extremely famous words. But I wonder how often they are misunderstood. Some people think … Continue reading

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Characterized by surpassing grace (2 Corinthians 9:14)

There are more than a few famous verses in this passage related to giving. But today, it was one less often quoted verse that struck me today. In talking about how people would respond to the generosity of the Corinthians, … Continue reading

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Because we are loved (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1)

Something struck me as I read this passage for perhaps the thousandth time. A single word: beloved. Paul says in chapter 7, verse 1, Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and … Continue reading

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The glory of Yahweh (2 Corinthians 3:7-18)

The glory of Yahweh. Those words bring up a lot of images to my mind. You find those words repeated time and again in the Old Testament. (For those of you who don’t know, whenever you see LORD in all … Continue reading

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The grace shown us in ministry (II Corinthians 2:14-3:6)

It’s been a slow week in terms of blogging for me this week. I suppose I shouldn’t feel bad about it since I made no guarantees about how often I would blog. I think that for me, this has been … Continue reading

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A challenge for men (I Corinthians 11:3-4)

I am fully aware that this part of the passage seems to be addressing more of a problem with the Corinthian women than with the men, but being a man, it’s these words that strike me the most. But I … Continue reading

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Selfishness and pride (I Corinthians 8)

If there is one theme that I’m consistently seeing in I Corinthians, it’s the problem of selfishness and pride in the Corinthian church. And so time and again, Paul tries to bring them back to what is central: God. That’s … Continue reading

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Keeping a pure heart (I Corinthians 5, Psalm 19)

Today I was reading I Corinthians 5 and Psalm 19, and as I meditated on them, the two passages connected in my heart. In I Corinthians 5, Paul was talking about sin in the church and the need to discipline … Continue reading

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Who we are answerable to(I Corinthians 4)

Last Sunday, I gave a message at church, and one thing I shared was that so many times people are swept away by the expectations of others, and even themselves. As a result, they get weighed down by those expectations, … Continue reading

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Not ready (I Corinthians 3)

“You’re not ready yet.” Those are pretty piercing words, don’t you think? That’s what Paul told the Corinthian church. “There’s so much I want to teach you. There’s so much more I want to build on that foundation I laid…but … Continue reading

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What does the Bible say? (Romans 4:3)

As I read this passage, I thought of something a famous pastor was telling his congregation not too long ago. He was ranting, “Here’s a question we gotta quit asking…What does the Bible say, what does the Bible say, what … Continue reading

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What we take for granted (Romans 1)

I think as a life-long Christian I sometimes take for granted the things that I read in the Bible. It’s almost as if when I read it, I say in my mind (if unconsciously), “But of course.” I wonder, though, … Continue reading

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Devoted to the Word (Acts 18:5)

I was reading this passage in the ESV, and this translation struck me, Paul was occupied with the word… What does that mean, “occupied with the Word.” Well, it doesn’t mean that he was simply holed up in his house … Continue reading

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What we do with what we learn (Acts 17)

One more thought on this passage. Luke writes of the people in Athens, Now all the Athenians and the foreigners residing there spent their time on nothing else but telling or hearing something new. (21) It reminded me of what … Continue reading

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An unknowable God? (Acts 17)

In this passage, we see that the Athenians worshiped an “unknown god.” Basically this was their way of covering their bases. They didn’t want to upset any god unintentionally. But the truth was, when they actually heard who this God … Continue reading

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God’s irony (Acts 11:19-30)

When I read this passage today, something struck me. The whole reason why there was a Gentile church in Antioch and other places outside of Israel was that Saul had persecuted the church, causing the Christians to scatter from Jerusalem. … Continue reading

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The whole gospel (Acts 10)

Something struck me as I read Acts 10: the gospel message of Peter. He talked about how Jesus had come with power, healing the sick and doing good. He then talked about how Jesus was crucified and subsequently resurrected. And … Continue reading

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What’s in our hearts (Acts 8:9-24)

When I was looking at the story of Simon, it made me think about what’s in my heart. In my church, I have a very visible position when I teach. And so it’s very easy to desire honor and praise … Continue reading

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Praying for our leaders (2 Samuel 23:3-4)

I was just reading this passage with my wife this evening, and verses 3-4 really struck me. The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me, his word was on my tongue. The God of Israel spoke; the Rock of Israel … Continue reading

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How we see God (2 Samuel 22:26-27)

This past Sunday, I was preaching on the Sermon on the Mount, and in particular, Matthew 5:7-8. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (ESV) I wonder … Continue reading

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Clinging to what we shouldn’t (Joshua 7)

As I read the first few words of this chapter, these words struck me. The Israelites, however, were unfaithful regarding the things set apart for destruction. (1) It says here that the Israelites were unfaithful. How? Because of how they … Continue reading

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Hearts set on the highway (Psalm 84)

I love this psalm. It is a beautiful psalm from start to finish. I could spend days meditating on it. But here’s what struck me today. Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways … Continue reading

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Calling evil, “evil” (Deuteronomy 19)

I’m thinking about my next message I’ll be giving at my church, where Jesus talks about “eye for eye, tooth for tooth” versus forgiveness. I think one thing that many people don’t realize is that “eye for eye, tooth for … Continue reading

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Unhitched? (Or, is the Old Testament still relevant to us?)

Normally, I don’t do this, but I’d like to interact with some things that a well-known pastor in the States was saying in a message about a week ago. This pastor was preaching from Acts 15, and while I agreed with … Continue reading

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Barely seeing (I Samuel 3)

Yes, I know I wrote on this fairly recently. But sometimes the 3 different Bible-reading plans I’m using overlap, and today happened to bring me back here. And it struck me even more strongly today than it did the last … Continue reading

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Angry at God? (James 1)

Sometimes we get angry with God because of the trials we go through. We shout, “Do you really hate me that much? Do you WANT me to walk away from you?” But James reminds us of something important. God is … Continue reading

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Going beyond what God has said (Numbers 22-24, 2 John)

My daily reading and my church’s Bible reading plan (2 different things) have a certain parallel that I found interesting. In Numbers, God tells Balaam that when he goes with the men of Balak (who wants Balaam to curse Israel), … Continue reading

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Resting in grace (I Peter 5)

Two blogs in one day. Pretty unusual, but I wrote something for my church, and I figured I might as well share it here as well. You know it’s easy as we’re facing trials and struggles in our lives to … Continue reading

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A God who understands (Leviticus 13)

Last Sunday, one of our preachers was giving a message on Mark 1:40-42, in which Jesus healed a leper. And since I was going through Leviticus anyway, I decided to look again at the passages on the lepers. And in … Continue reading

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Epilogue (Or: “About this blog”)

This blog has recently been posted on our church’s website, so for anyone who is new to this blog, this is what you should know. First, this blog was made to be a “devotional commentary” on the Bible. As such, … Continue reading

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A new venture

Well, it’s been some time since I posted anything on this blog. As I mentioned in my last post, as far as I’m concerned, except for some minor editing and occasional changes to previous posts, I’ve pretty much left this … Continue reading

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The end of all things (this blog)

I started this blog on May 26, 2011. By the grace of God, I have been able to post something on this blog almost every day since then. This blog makes 1,766 total posts which means I could officially rename … Continue reading

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Revelation 22:7-21 — Because Jesus is coming soon

If there is one theme throughout these final verses of Revelation, and indeed of the Bible itself, it’s that Jesus is coming soon. He says it in verses 7, 12 and 22. What should our response be to this? We … Continue reading

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Revelation 21-22 — What cannot enter heaven

Yesterday, we talked about the glory of heaven and of God’s people. We saw all the wonderful things that will be in heaven. But there is one thing that cannot be a part of heaven: sin. And anyone who lives … Continue reading

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Revelation 21-22 — Here comes the bride!

No, we are not yet finishing up Revelation in this post. We’re going to spend forever in heaven someday. We might as well spend a few days talking about what it will all be like. 🙂 It’s very ironic to … Continue reading

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Revelation 21:1-7 — When all scripture is finally fulfilled

We’ve been going through the whole Bible from beginning to end over the past four years. And in this chapter, we see the culmination of all things, where all scripture is finally fulfilled. We started in the garden of Eden where … Continue reading

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Revelation 20:11-15 — Two books

I love reading books. It became a lot more convenient to read when I got my Kindle Fire. Now, I can carry around any number of books, including a number of different Bibles without putting a strain on my back. … Continue reading

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Revelation 20:1-10 — Why people do evil

Why do people do evil? Does the devil make them do it? Are they simply products of their environment? The injustice, poverty, and the evil around them has so shaped them that they simply have no choice? Or is there … Continue reading

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Revelation 19:9-10 — The spirit behind prophesy…and all we say and do

I must admit, I can finally see the finish line after all these years of blogging. And it’s very tempting to just rush ahead and finish this as quickly as possible. But John thought it necessary to take a small … Continue reading

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Revelation 19 — When justice comes

I was reading a letter from an elementary school that my friend in Hawaii posted on Facebook today. It talked about how a child going to school was accosted by a stranger who threatened to kidnap her. A high school … Continue reading

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Revelation 17-18 — When you put your hope in this world

Here in this passage, we see the fall of the great prostitute Babylon, which John later defines as “the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.” (17:18) As we’ve seen before in chapter 14, John and his … Continue reading

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Revelation 16 — Though judgment falls

We saw in chapter 14 the warning of eternal judgment that would fall on all those who rejected God, and instead took the mark of the beast. And like I said earlier, there are those who really get upset at … Continue reading

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Revelation 14-15 — God’s glory in judgment and salvation

I have said many times before that I believe we will have to face antichrist. What I am not so sure about is if we’ll face God’s final wrath poured upon the earth as seen in the 7 bowls. My … Continue reading

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Revelation 14:6-11 — A final warning

I have said more than once over the past five years I’ve been writing this blog that God is patient, but that his patience will not last forever. And here in this passage, I think we see that patience just about … Continue reading

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Revelation 14:1-13 — We who belong to God

We saw in chapter seven, 144,000 of God’s people being sealed in preparation for the judgment to fall on unbelievers. Then in chapter 13, we saw the people of the beast receiving their own mark. And whoever did not receive that mark was … Continue reading

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Revelation 13:11-18 –A need for wisdom and insight

We now hit the second beast. This one comes out from the earth. He has two horns like a lamb, but spoke like a dragon. In short, he looked innocent, like the Lamb of God, himself. But his words were … Continue reading

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Revelation 13:1-10 –A need for endurance and faithfulness

There’s a lot going on in this passage, and as usual, there’s a lot of debate over what it all means. There are two beasts that appear with the dragon (Satan). And to keep this short(er), I’ll take on these two … Continue reading

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Revelation 12 — A beaten foe, a wrathful foe

“But why must we suffer? Why must we go through persecution? Why wouldn’t God just take us out from it all?” If you’ve been reading through Revelation with me, especially if you believe we will be raptured before all the … Continue reading

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Revelation 11 — From bad to worse…to salvation

I mentioned earlier that I was in deep waters trying to explain these things. The waters just keep getting deeper. 🙂 There’s a lot of disagreement among Christians about what this chapter all means. Again, all I can say is my … Continue reading

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Revelation 10 –Sweet words, sour words

Yesterday, I asked the question: how does heaven see judgment? And the answer was, “not with joy, but with solemnity.” When the 7th seal was about to be opened, all of heaven, usually a place of joyful celebration, fell silent. Today’s … Continue reading

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Revelation 8-9 — The gravity of judgment

How does heaven see injustice? And how does heaven see judgment when it comes? I think we find both answers here. Normally, heaven rings with the worship of the cherubim, seraphim, the elders, and all the saints. But when the … Continue reading

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Revelation 6:15-7:17 — Those who will stand on the day of wrath

At the end of chapter 6, in looking at the events coming with the sixth seal, the great and small of the earth cry out to the mountains and the rocks, Fall on us and hide us from the face … Continue reading

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Revelation 6:9-11 — How long until justice comes?

We jumped the fifth seal yesterday because it takes a slightly different perspective from the other five we looked at. Seals 1-4 and seal 6 all have to do with the judgments going on upon the earth. Here in seal 5, … Continue reading

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Revelation 6 — The beginning of the end

I am now officially in deep waters. For that matter, so is everyone else who starts trying to comment on these passages. The number of interpretations for these passages are legion. All I can I say is that many of … Continue reading

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Revelation 5 — The one on whom all God’s plans rest

I have to admit, until recently, I had never really thought about Revelation as being centered around the gospel. But we saw very early on in chapter one, that Revelation starts with the gospel, and here now we see that it … Continue reading

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Revelation 4 — Honoring our King who sits on the throne

“I am a friend of God,” says one contemporary worship song. “We are children of God,” proclaims the apostle John in one of his epistles. (I John 3:1) And yet while both are true, one thing that we should never … Continue reading

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Revelation 3:14-22 — Self-sufficent, indifferent, and useless

When my daughter was really young, I would often come home and when I did, she would come running to greet me with a happy, “Daddy!” But nowadays, I’ll come home, and if I’m lucky, I’ll hear her say, “Okaeri” … Continue reading

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Revelation 3:7-13 — Never shut out

All of us know what it is to be shut out. To be left out by others and snubbed. I remember walking up to a bunch of guys in high school, and one guy turned to me and said, “What … Continue reading

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Revelation 3:1-6 — If we are caught unprepared

The city of Sardis was supposed to be a near impenetrable city. But twice it fell. Why? Because their watchmen were asleep on the job. And here Jesus uses their own history to try to wake up the church that … Continue reading

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Revelation 2:12-29 — Tolerating evil in our midst

Tolerance. It used to have such a good meaning. It used to mean that even if we disagreed with someone, we could still love them and at the very least have a civil relationship with them. Now it means that … Continue reading

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Revelation 2:8-11 — Though we may go through trial and tribulation

I mentioned a couple of blogs ago that these letters to the churches were meant to prepare us for the antichrists and tribulations to come . And again, I know many of you who read this believe that we won’t … Continue reading

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Revelation 2:1-7 — If the church has not love…

We now come to the first admonition to the church in Ephesus. Jesus actually has a lot to praise them for. They were working hard for him. In the face of hardships, they persevered and didn’t grow weary. (2a) More, they … Continue reading

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Revelation 1:10-20 — In order that we might be prepared

I was intending to dive straight into chapter 2 today, but I felt there was something that I needed to say before we started. By far, the parts of Revelation that are preached most often in churches are chapters 2 … Continue reading

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Revelation 1:9-20 — The one to whom we must give account

Judgment day. It is coming for all of us. And it comes first and foremost for us who believe. This is something that we see from this passage to the end of chapter 3. In his vision, John hears a … Continue reading

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Revelation 1:4-8 — The gospel behind Revelation

This being Easter Sunday in the States, I suppose it’s only fitting that we see the gospel here in this passage. Most people don’t think of Revelation being a book about the gospel. But it is. And we see it … Continue reading

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Revelation 1:1-3 — That we may know God’s blessing

Happy Easter from Japan! And welcome to the book of Revelation! I think for a lot of people that try to read this book, they think, “Why Revelation? Why do we need it? It’s so obscure and difficult to understand. … Continue reading

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Jude 22-25 — When others fall

As much as it is important to contend with those who would attack the faith, we must care for those who have been affected by these attacks. So Jude tells us first of all to be merciful to those who doubt. … Continue reading

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Jude — Recognizing those we contend with

The problem with deception is that it is by its nature difficult to detect. That’s why it can be so easy for false teachers to slip into the church. They don’t come out blaring to the church, “I am a … Continue reading

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Jude — Contending for the faith

I love how Jude, the brother of Jesus opens this letter. To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ. (1) This phrase bookends with the last two verses. To him … Continue reading

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III John — Walking in truth and love (part 2)

As we look at III John, we see many of the same themes that we see in II John, and for that matter in I John: those of truth and love. Here, though, we have a very practical application of … Continue reading

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II John – Walking in truth and love

Here we have a very short letter, written to a church that the apostle John lovingly calls, “the chosen lady,” probably in reference to the church being the bride of Christ. And I don’t think you have to look very … Continue reading

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I John 5:16-21 — A sin that leads to death

John has a somewhat curious thing to say in verses 16-17. He says, If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those … Continue reading

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I John 5:13-15 — When we have confidence in God’s love

I have to admit, it seems at times that John jumps around a lot in his thoughts. And the jump between verses 13 and 14 seems a bit startling as well. How do we go from talking about the confidence … Continue reading

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I John 5:6-13- The testimony of God

It is very interesting to me that God in trinity testifies to the way of salvation. I’d never really thought about that before. John tell us, This is the one who came by water and blood — Jesus Christ. He … Continue reading

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I John 4:9-10 — The love God has for us

I said yesterday that I wanted to get back to some verses from chapter 4 that I skipped a couple of days ago. And they are absolutely vital because it goes back to something I said yesterday. I said yesterday … Continue reading

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I John 5:1-5:5 — If we truly know and love God (part 2)

Just a quick note. There were some verses in chapter 4 that I skipped last time and I really want to get back to. But before I go there, I want to complete my thoughts from yesterday. As I said … Continue reading

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I John 4:7-5:1 — If we truly know and love God

Jesus once said of false prophets, By their fruit you will recognize them. (Matthew 7:16) And while Jesus was specifically talking about false prophets, we can say the same of all those who claim to be Christians. Many people claim to … Continue reading

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I John 3:24-4:6 — Testing the spirits

There are many today who claim to follow Christ, to have the Holy Spirit, and to preach the gospel. The question we always need to be asking, however, is if they follow the true Christ, have the true Holy Spirit, … Continue reading

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