reason for my hope

The Reason for My Hope: Salvation (Thomas Nelson, 2013)

Each chapter of Billy Graham’s book, The Reason for My Hope, leads to one conclusion: regardless of whatever you’re face, Jesus Christ provides the answer. Dr. Graham’s easygoing writing incorporates numerous stories and illustrations to support that the idea that our hope in life and after life comes by faith in Christ.

Why I Don’t Use My Holy Land Photos on My Blog

The Pictorial Library of Bible Lands makes my pics look like Polaroids.

I have taken thousands of pictures of Israel. Yet I hardly use any of my Holy Land Photos on my blog. Why? Because my pictures can’t compare with the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands.

Take a moment to watch this brand new video that explains better than I can what makes this photo collection the best there is.

I urge you to add these Holy Land photos to your Bible study or your teaching. I’m confident they will add richness both to your understanding of the Bible as well as to your ability to help others understand it better.

Want to read more of what I think about these photos? Click here.

NOTE: This photo collection has offered to give my readers a huge discount. Just enter this COUPON CODE at checkout and you’ll get 25% off any volume(s): STILES

(Offer expires on May 15.)

Question: Do you have this collection of Holy Land photos? What do you think of it? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

The northern end of Sea of Galilee.

(Photo: The northern end of Sea of Galilee. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

 

Kursi—Choosing Between People, Pigs, and Priorities

Why is it sometimes we regret the wrong things?

Sometimes in the swell of our emotions, we make promises we don’t mean. On one occasion, two individuals approached Jesus and declared they would follow Him wherever He went.

Kursi—Choosing Between People, Pigs, and Priorities

(Photo: The steep slope at Kursi beside the Sea of Galilee. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

But Jesus’ response to them indicated that their hearts were more devoted to comfort and to family than to Him (Matt. 8:19-22). It happened in Jesus’ day, and it happens in ours.

We’ve all done it. Sometimes we’ll express our spiritual desires in terms that really boil down to boasts:

  • I’ll have my quiet time every morning for the rest of my life.
  • I’m willing to follow God wherever He leads me.
  • I will love people more and need them less.

Overwhelmed by the moment, we’ll express our feelings in terms of commitments we’d like to do. But often, we come to regret our words.

The problem is we’re regretting the wrong thing.

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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

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com)

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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When Your Life is Wasted for God’s Glory

When I see a life on fire for God snuffed out in its prime, I confess I wonder what goes on in the mind of a sovereign God. So much potential. So much to offer. All that potential—gone.

When Your Life is Wasted for God’s Glory

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com)

Have you ever known a young, gifted individual who loved the Lord but whose life came to a sudden end—with all that potential wasted in an early death?

I have. We are not the first to scratch our heads at God’s grand plan—that includes what seems like life wasted.

Why do you think Jesus invited James into the inner circle of disciples only to allow his execution so soon after the church got its start?

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Mount Sinai—Why You Need God’s Word First

At first it didn’t make sense. God redeemed Israel out of Egypt in order to lead His people into the Promised Land. But the journey to Canaan began, remarkably, by God leading the Hebrews away from it.

Mount Sinai—Why You Need God’s Word First of All

(Photo: The Mountains of Sinai from Jebel Musa. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Instead of taking them east to Canaan, the Lord directed them southeast for three months to Mount Sinai. There God entered into a covenant with Israel and gave them His commandments.

True, God could have led them straight to Canaan. After all, what better place to receive the Holy Bible than in the Holy Land? But the Lord wanted them to have His Word before they walked in His plans for their future.

This principle hasn’t changed for us.

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Truths You May Have Missed About Struggle in the Christian Life

We had no idea what following Jesus would demand when we started out. Oh, we thought we knew. We had hopes. We had great ideas.

Truths You May Have Missed About Struggle in the Christian Life

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com)

We thought the Christian life meant that once we believed in Jesus, if we walked obediently, certain things would happen:

  • God would bless us
  • Protect us
  • Put us at ease
  • Basically dote on us as His children.

To some extent, we still expect that. But God wants to give us something greater than those things.

Much greater.

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let the journey begin

Let the Journey Begin: Finding God’s Best for Your Life (Thomas Nelson, 2015)

Although I’m not a big fan of gift books, Let the Journey Begin: Finding God’s Best for Your Life, may be an exception.

I began the book with skepticism. After all, this volume contains old content printed first in various Lucado books, then repurposed and as a gift book in 1999 and again in 2009. So, another reprinting and repackaging?