Category Archives: New Testament

A life of rest (Matthew 11)

Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your … Continue reading

Posted in Gospels, Matthew, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Say the word (Matthew 7-8)

“Say the word.” Those words ring in my heart. They are words that recognize the authority of Jesus. An authority that the people marveled at, and even his own disciples marveled at. (7:28-29; 8:27.) It’s an authority that instantly brought … Continue reading

Posted in Gospels, Matthew, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Where our eyes are focused (Matthew 6)

Here in Japan, we often talk about how 99% of the population don’t know Jesus. And in that environment, Jesus’ instructions on how we should pray becomes all the more urgent. Your kingdom come. (10) But as I looked at … Continue reading

Posted in Gospels, Matthew, New Testament | Tagged | Leave a comment

Living by the Word of God (Matthew 4)

Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. (4) Jesus’ words strike me on two levels. We live in a world where the world is trying to impress its values … Continue reading

Posted in Gospels, Matthew, New Testament | Tagged | Leave a comment

Living as Jesus did (Matthew 3)

I can’t help but notice in this passage that Jesus sets us an example for how we should live as Christians. In getting baptized, though he had no sin to repent of, Jesus showed that he was submitting himself to … Continue reading

Posted in New Testament, Pauline epistles, Romans | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The one who saves his people (Matthew 1)

I heard news today of a well-known former pastor who has now renounced his faith and is now going down a different path. And the question that is often asked at this kind of time is, “What happened? How could … Continue reading

Posted in Gospels, Matthew, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Handpicked (Acts 22)

I find Ananias’ words to Paul very interesting. The God of our ancestors has appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One, and to hear the words from his mouth, since you will be a witness for … Continue reading

Posted in Acts, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Angry at evil? (Acts 17)

This past week, in Japan (where I live), a terrible incident happened in which 34 were people were killed due to an arsonist who set fire to an anime studio called Kyoto Animation. A friend of mine, who is an … Continue reading

Posted in Acts, New Testament | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How people respond to the gospel (Acts 17)

The response of the Atheniens to Paul’s message on Mars Hill is interesting to me. Paul gave a marvelous presentation on who God is and was starting to give the message of the gospel when he was forced to stop. … Continue reading

Posted in Acts, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The hand of the Lord (Acts 12)

Yesterday, we saw the hand of the Lord reaching out to lead and empower his people. Today, we see it in three other ways. We see his hand reaching out to save, rescuing Peter from prison. We see his hand … Continue reading

Posted in Acts, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The hand of the Lord (Acts 11)

Verse 21 really struck me today. The Lord’s hand was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord. It’s really easy to look at this chapter and see how the hand of the Lord was with … Continue reading

Posted in Acts, New Testament | Tagged | Leave a comment

Taking God lightly (Acts 5:1-11)

This passage is not a comfortable one. But I don’t think we should be avoiding uncomfortable passages. God put them there for a reason. Here you have God striking down Ananias and Sapphira for their sin. Why? Not only did … Continue reading

Posted in New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

In order for our souls to be refreshed (Acts 3)

Last Sunday, I gave a message at church, and I talked about the phrase from Psalm 23:3: “He renews my life.” “Renews” is a word that can translated many ways: “restore” (ESV), “refresh” (NIV), but most often is translated “bring … Continue reading

Posted in Acts, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

United in prayer (Acts 1)

Recently, I’ve been thinking of the importance of God’s people praying together. And so verse 14 really struck me today. They all (the Christians) were continually united in prayer. How often are we, God’s people, united in prayer? How often … Continue reading

Posted in Acts, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Our hope (Luke 21)

In this passage, Jesus predicts a dark time in Jerusalem’s history when the city would fall to the Romans, many Jews would be killed, and many Christians would be persecuted. Jesus’ words would be fulfilled in 70 A.D. But he … Continue reading

Posted in Gospels, Luke, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

A small thing (Luke 16)

I saw a couple of new things today as I read this passage, but I’ll focus on one today. Jesus said, Whoever is faithful in very little, is also faithful in much, and whoever is unrighteous in very little is … Continue reading

Posted in Gospels, Luke, New Testament | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Losing our flavor (Luke 14-15)

In the last part of Luke 14, Jesus said, Now, salt is good, but if salt should lose its taste, how will it be made salty? It isn’t fit for the soil or for the manure pile; they throw it … Continue reading

Posted in Gospels, Luke, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

My prayer (Luke 11:1-4)

Father. When others see me today, let them see you. Don’t let your name be blasphemed because of me and my actions. May your name be honored as holy in my life today. Father, give me your perspective. Don’t let … Continue reading

Posted in Luke, New Testament | Tagged | Leave a comment

The most important thing (Luke 10:38-42)

I have read the story of Mary and Martha many a time, and it never fails to make me stop and think. Think about what Luke says. “Martha welcomed him into her home.” (38) And yet when he entered, she … Continue reading

Posted in Luke, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How a true “5” thinks (Luke 7)

Recently at my church, we’ve been talking about how God sees us as “5”s. (In Japan, a perfect grade in a report card is a “5,” similar to an “A” in western culture.) In other words, God looks at your … Continue reading

Posted in Gospels, Luke, New Testament | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Though we were unclean (Luke 5)

Throughout this passage, we see Jesus cleansing those who were “unclean.” He of course cleansed the leper of his disease, but more importantly he also cleansed Peter, the paralytic, and Matthew of their sins. But it’s Peter that I want … Continue reading

Posted in Gospels, Luke, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

If you want to live the Christian life (Luke 4)

Living the Christian life is not always easy. If fact, most times it is not. We face all sorts of trials, temptations, and hard choices every day. People sometimes reject us because we are Christians. And sometimes, they place all … Continue reading

Posted in Gospels, Luke, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Our foundation (Luke 3)

I’ve talked about Jesus’ baptism before in a previous blog, talking about how when the Father looked upon Jesus, he said,”You are my Son. I love you. I am well pleased with you.” And one of my points was that … Continue reading

Posted in Gospels, Luke, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A God who does not doubt our love (John 21)

This is a very famous passage in which three times Jesus asks Peter, “Do you love me?” Why did Jesus ask this? Because he doubted Peter’s love? That would have been a reasonable response by Jesus. After all, Peter had … Continue reading

Posted in Gospels, John, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Behold the Man! Behold your King! (John 19)

Pilate’s words strike me. “Behold the man!” (5) What did the Jews see that day? They saw God incarnate, bloodied, beaten, a crown of thorns on his head, and in a purple robe. Amazing love! How can it be, That … Continue reading

Posted in John, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Truth (John 17-18)

Back in John 10:26-27, Jesus said to the Jews, But you don’t believe because you are not of my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me. We see Jesus saying something similar to Pilate … Continue reading

Posted in Gospels, John, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Changing yourself? (John 15)

When Christians struggle with sin in their lives, one thought often pops up in their minds. “I have to do better.” It is of course good to want to be victorious over sin. But that way of thinking can also … Continue reading

Posted in John, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Believing in yourself? Believing in Jesus? (John 13-14)

“You can do it! Believe in yourself!” How often do we say that to people? Peter certainly believed in himself. He said, “Even if I have to die, I will follow you. Even if everyone else runs away, I won’t.” … Continue reading

Posted in Gospels, John, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Knowing who we are and where we’re going (John 13)

In this passage, we see Jesus doing the lowly job of washing his disciples’ feet. That included Peter, who Jesus knew would deny him. That included Judas, who Jesus knew would betray him. And that included the other ten disciples, … Continue reading

Posted in Gospels, John, New Testament | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

To be where Jesus is (John 12)

There are a lot of things I could talk about from this passage, but verse 26 struck me, probably because I talked about it this past Sunday. Jesus said, If anyone serves me, he must follow me. Where I am, … Continue reading

Posted in Gospels, John, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Ramping up our faith (John 11)

Martha’s faith was pretty remarkable when you think about it. Even though Jesus had delayed in coming when her brother was sick, and as a result her brother died, her faith in Jesus never wavered. So many people in her … Continue reading

Posted in Gospels, John, New Testament | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What are you seeking? (John 7)

I don’t mean for this to be a series or anything, but I keep seeing this question throughout John. (Maybe because I’m preaching on this question on Sunday). In verses 37-38, Jesus cries out, If anyone is thirsty, let him … Continue reading

Posted in Gospels, John, New Testament | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

What are you seeking (John 6)

I asked the question last week, “What are you seeking?” We see this theme again in today’s passage. At the start of this passage, many people were seeking for Jesus. Why? For healing. (2) Then in verse 24, they went … Continue reading

Posted in Gospels, John, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The water we’re drinking (John 4)

Jesus’ words to the Samaritan woman strike me here. If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water. (10) … Continue reading

Posted in Gospels, John, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Only by the Spirit (John 3)

I live in a country, Japan, where less than one percent of the population is Christian. It’s been that way as long as I can remember. And it can be easy to despair. To wonder if things can ever change. … Continue reading

Posted in Gospels, John, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

What are you seeking? (John 1)

“What are you seeking?” That was the question Jesus asked two men who had just left John the Baptist, and were following Jesus from a distance. At this point, these two men knew almost nothing about Jesus. All they knew … Continue reading

Posted in Gospels, John, New Testament | Tagged , | 1 Comment

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

Posted in Gospels, Mark, New Testament | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Gospels, Mark, New Testament | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Gospels, Mark, New Testament | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Mark, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Mark, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Gospels, Mark, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Gospels, Mark, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Gospels, Mark, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in General Epistles, III John, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in I John, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in General Epistles, I John, New Testament | Tagged | Leave a comment

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

Posted in General Epistles, I Peter, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in General Epistles, I Peter, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in General Epistles, I Peter, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in I Peter, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in II TImothy, New Testament, Pauline epistles | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Acts, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in II TImothy, New Testament, Pauline epistles | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in II TImothy, New Testament, Pauline epistles | Tagged | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Colossians, New Testament, Pauline epistles | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Pauline epistles, Philippians | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Pauline epistles, Philippians | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Pauline epistles, Philippians | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Pauline epistles, Philippians | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Pauline epistles, Philippians | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Ephesians, New Testament, Pauline epistles | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in II Corinthians, New Testament, Pauline epistles | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in II Corinthians, New Testament, Pauline epistles | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in II Corinthians, New Testament, Pauline epistles | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in II Corinthians, New Testament, Pauline epistles | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in II Corinthians, New Testament | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Pauline epistles, Romans | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Pauline epistles, Romans | Tagged | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Romans | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Romans | Tagged | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Romans | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Romans | Tagged | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Revelation | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in I Corinthians, New Testament, Pauline epistles | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in I Corinthians, New Testament, Pauline epistles | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Revelation | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Revelation | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in General Epistles, II John, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in General Epistles, I John, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in General Epistles, I John, New Testament | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

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

Posted in General Epistles, I John, New Testament | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in General Epistles, I Peter, New Testament | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in II Thessalonians, New Testament, Pauline epistles | Leave a comment

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

Posted in General Epistles, I Peter, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in General Epistles, James, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in I Thessalonians, New Testament, Pauline epistles | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in General Epistles, James, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in I Corinthians, New Testament, Pauline epistles | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in General Epistles, Hebrews, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Hebrews, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Hebrews, New Testament | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in II TImothy, New Testament, Pauline epistles | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Acts, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in II TImothy, New Testament, Pauline epistles | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in I Timothy, New Testament, Pauline epistles | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Acts, New Testament | Tagged | Leave a comment

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

Posted in II Thessalonians, New Testament, Pauline epistles | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in I Thessalonians, New Testament, Pauline epistles | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in I Thessalonians, New Testament | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Colossians, New Testament, Pauline epistles | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Pauline epistles, Philippians | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Pauline epistles, Philippians | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Pauline epistles, Philippians | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Ephesians, New Testament, Pauline epistles | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Ephesians, New Testament, Pauline epistles | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Galatians, New Testament, Pauline epistles | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Galatians, New Testament, Pauline epistles | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in II Corinthians, New Testament, Pauline epistles | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in II Corinthians, New Testament, Pauline epistles | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in II Corinthians, New Testament, Pauline epistles | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in II Corinthians, New Testament | Tagged | Leave a comment

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

Posted in II Corinthians, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in I Corinthians, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in I Corinthians, New Testament | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in I Corinthians, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in I Corinthians, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in I Corinthians, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Romans | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Romans | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Acts, Books of History, New Testament | Tagged | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Acts, Books of History, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Acts, Books of History, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Acts, Books of History, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Acts, Books of History, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Acts, Books of History, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Books of History, I Samuel, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Books of History, II Samuel, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Books of History, Joshua, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Books of Moses, Deuteronomy, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Acts, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Books of History, I Samuel, New Testament, Old Testament | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in General Epistles, James, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Books of Moses, New Testament, Numbers | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in I Peter, New Testament | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Leviticus, New Testament | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in About this blog, New Testament | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament | Leave a comment

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

Posted in About this blog, New Testament | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Revelation | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Revelation | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Revelation | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Revelation | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Revelation | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Revelation | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Revelation | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Revelation | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Revelation | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in New Testament, Revelation | Tagged , , | Leave a comment