Jerusalem’s Water Gate—Where the Source of Truth Gushed

Why You Need to Wall Off Your Time with the Bible

The best way to make sure we respond positively to the opportunities God provides us is to prepare ahead of time for them. But how do we anticipate those moments? The Lord has shown us how.

Jerusalem’s Water Gate—Where the Source of Truth Gushed

(Photo: Scribe copying the Scriptures. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

At the end of the exile, God moved the heart of the pagan King Artaxerxes to allow Ezra—a scribe and priest—to return to Jerusalem in 458 BC. Fourteen years before Nehemiah returned to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, Ezra returned to rebuild the people. He did it by calling them to return to the Word of God.

Ezra shows us both how to prepare for the opportunities God provides and how to protect ourselves from what threatens them.

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Avoid High Places if You’re Looking for God

We need one thing more than anything in our spiritual climb.

We start strong. Determination and strength come easily. Finally, we reach the summit in our Christian lives—only to find life in high places often lets us down.

Avoid High Places if You’re Looking for God

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We followed the rules. We stayed in line. We walked the straight and narrow. So what happened?

The path we followed led to a false summit.

It happens when we forget this one thing.

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You Have a Spiritual Freedom You May Not Realize

Juneteenth offers an essential reminder to our spiritual lives

Freedom from anything begins by knowing you are free. Juneteenth is short for June 19th—a state holiday in Texas. It commemorates the day in 1865 that good news arrived: all slaves were free.

You Have a Spiritual Freedom You May Not Realize

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But the news wasn’t new at all. The slaves had been set free long before, but that freedom had been a secret for two and a half years.

  • When Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, effective on New Years Day, 1863, the act freed all slaves.
  • But many southern masters kept the information a secret from their slaves.

Juneteenth teaches us something important about freedom: it’s useless unless you know it’s true and you live like it.

As a Christian, you have a spiritual freedom you may not even realize.

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3 Lessons I Learned the Day I Dipped Snuff

Why we should want God to give us what He wants to give us.

Riding in the in cab of my father’s truck one day, I noticed a round can on his dashboard. Having seen him stick the stuff in his mouth and spit, I asked if I could do it too.

3 Lessons I Learned from the Day I Dipped Snuff

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“Sure,” he said, “let me help you.” He cracked the can of Copenhagen, grabbed a generous plug, and pulled back my bottom lip. “There you go.”

I sat there with a “peench” between my check and gum, as Walt Garrison used to say. Of course, the plug was so huge I could barely close my mouth. It didn’t take long for the juices to start squirting in my mouth.

And down my throat.

I learned 3 lessons from that day.

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What to Do When God’s Will is the Other Way

Following God’s will is a wonderful thing. That is, when God leads us the same direction we’re already going. The hard part comes when the Lord changes our course.

What to Do When God’s Will is the Other Way

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When God leads in a direction that seems exactly the opposite of the way He should lead, we’ll get logical in a hurry.

  • We find statistics to explain why it won’t work.
  • We’ll even quote Scriptures to support our bents.

For example, in an attempt to discredit Jesus, the Pharisees claimed, “no prophet arises out of Galilee” (John 7:52). Oh really? The prophet Jonah came from Gath-hepher, located right beside Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth!

It’s easy to forget about this minor prophet who ran from God. It’s easy because we often do the same.

Here’s how to avoid that.

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How to Stop Looking for God in the Wrong Places

The world makes promises it can’t keep. It says the reason we’re unhappy is that we just haven’t found the right whatever yet. But if we keep looking, we’ll find it.

Looking for God in the Wrong Places

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The right spouse, the right hairdo, the right salary, the right entertainment system, the right church, the right pastor, the right Bible, the right seminar, ad infinitum . . . ad nauseam.

You don’t have to be without Jesus to fall into the trap. Even those of us who do believe in Jesus can chase those shadows.

We may not know we’re looking for God. But we are.

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Walk the Path of Wisdom without Falling Off

The connection between between the first steps we take in making a decision and its final outcome often seems unrelated. Walking the path of wisdom or the way of foolishness has domino effects far greater than we can imagine.

Walk the Path of Wisdom without Falling Off

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For us, a disciplined intake of Scripture certainly promises wisdom. But wisdom offers a course of action, not just a course of instruction.

The book of Proverbs reveals the outcome of the pathways we are walking. And it tells us how to stay on the path of wisdom.

Here’s how.

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2 Ways to Find Balance in the Christian Life

One of our greatest challenges is finding balance in the Christian life. Think of a person on a tightrope. There’s never a point where they just stroll across effortlessly. Balance requires continual effort.

2 Ways You Can Find Balance in the Christian Life

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Have you ever noticed that somehow Jesus balanced it all? The demands of His work and ministry left Him exhausted at times, of course—yet somehow He found time to get it all done.

Jesus perfectly balanced the demands of life—with the same 24 hours we have.

Here’s how.

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Still Searching for the Garden of Eden?

Trying to find the location of the Garden of Eden has given Bible students and scholars an unending quest. The Bible describes Eden as “in the east” and in proximity to a river that became four rivers.

Searching for the Garden of Eden

(Photo: Euphrates River. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Only two of the four rivers we know the locations of today (Gen. 2:8, 10-14). The Tigris and Euphrates rivers flowed through biblical Mesopotamia (modern Iraq).

But just because the location of the garden remains indefinite, it doesn’t mean we can put it anywhere we want. The best and most honest scholars put a question mark in the atlas beside the location of the Garden of Eden.

Searching for the Garden of Eden doesn’t end with its location. Many people live their lives on a quest for the delights of Eden—for an ideal life.

Here’s why that quest is just as futile as finding its location.

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The Secret to Getting What You Want Out of Life

Wouldn’t it be nice if road signs told us more than simply which way to turn? Just once I’d love to see a sign that reads: “THIS ISN’T THE ROAD TO GETTING WHAT YOU WANT OUT OF LIFE.”

The Secret to Getting What You Want Out of Life

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If we had such a sign—and we believed it true—we’d immediately stop and turn around.

The Word of God gives us that sign. It tells us the results of a certain path. But it also gives us other directions.

It tells you the secret to getting what you want out of life.

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