At Issue – Health

1 Samuel 4:18 Sure, we hate that our society tells us the “ideal” woman is 5’9’’ and weighs 110 pounds. We aren’t all meant to look like supermodels! Plus, we know that God loves us just the way we are. Of course that’s true … but hold on a second. Eli’s life illustrates the fact that how we treat our bodies has serious consequences. So instead of thinking skinny—let’s think healthy. Doesn’t God want us to care for the bodies he gave us? Continue Reading

When was the last time you heard from God?

1 Samuel 3:1–21 When was the last time you heard from God? Think about it. Has God’s still, small voice been drowned out by the hum of too much noise from work, family, church and friends? The adolescent boy Samuel was lying in the temple. It was still night because “the lamp of God had not yet gone out” (the lamp would not have been allowed to go out before morning). Samuel was probably lonely, having been separated from his family and Continue Reading

God’s power in your weakness

2 Corinthians 12:7–10 “Why won’t God heal me? Doesn’t he love me?” Perhaps you’ve asked similar questions. Maybe you’ve been frustrated because God didn’t answer a prayer the way you had hoped. Could it be that he is using those very difficulties to keep you dependent on him? Like placing sparkling diamonds on black velvet, our human weakness provides a contrasting backdrop against which God’s power can be displayed. Paul was faced with such Continue Reading

Femme fatale

Judges 16:4–22 A femme fatale is a woman who uses the powers of seduction to lure a man into a dangerous or compromising situation. One woman infamous for her influence was Mata Hari. At the turn of the twentieth century in Paris, Mata Hari created a fictitious persona and performed exotic Indian dances to great acclaim. Although her background was fabricated, Parisian society embraced her . . . and men were beguiled by her. Her sensuous dance Continue Reading

Never Too Old

Joshua 13:1–7 In the early 1900s, a desperate father prayed for his sick daughter: “God, spare her life and I’ll serve you with mine.” Miraculously, the girl recovered. The grateful father quit his job, packed his large family (along with a cow and some chickens) and moved to Texas for seminary. In his mid-30s, he became an evangelist who held tent revivals in Texas and Oklahoma. For many years, the pastor faithfully preached the gospel. Continue Reading

Once and for All

Leviticus 16:10, 20–22 In a dusty, desert wasteland, a man slowly unties a rope from the goat’s neck. His fingers trace the dried blood on the goat’s forehead, where a few hours before the priest had laid his hands. The transfer of sin is complete. All that remains is for it to be far removed from sight. The man slaps the animal’s rump and it jumps. It runs a few paces, then stops and looks back. “Go on,” the man yells. “Run. Run away!” He Continue Reading

Availability Check

Exodus 3:1–22 The good often cannibalizes the best. Think about it: How often do schedules, long to-do lists and our immediate line of sight trump the things we claim to love the most? A pile of laundry certainly seems insignificant the day a close friend wrecks her car or a parent falls ill. Certainly, life involves responsibility, but it also involves a need for responsiveness to urgent situations—a child struggling in school or a severely Continue Reading

Letting Go of the Familiar

Genesis 19:1–26 Letting go of the familiar is tough. Changing careers or colleges or moving to a new city can take an emotional toll on us. It’s even more difficult to leave behind old habits, attitudes and behaviors. Lot’s wife wasn’t able to let go of her home in Sodom, even though God sent angels to warn her family to run for their lives because judgment was coming. In fact, the angels’ warnings included such grave commands as “Don’t Continue Reading

Humble Competence

2 Corinthians 3:4–18 You probably know someone who overestimates her competence. She might be a member of your Bible study who has a subtle way of telling others how to run their lives. Maybe it’s a coworker who takes control of everything around her. On the other end of the scale are those (often women) who revel in false humility. They tell themselves and everyone else how incapable of anything they are. In contrast, there are those Continue Reading

No Distractions

1 Corinthians 7:1–17 What are you doing right now that is keeping you from enjoying what God has for you? Satan will turn this plot around in a number of ways. For example, he often tries to get us so bothered by the one thing we have been commanded by God not to do, that we spend far too much time thinking about it. Ultimately it distracts us from obeying God in other areas. We become so preoccupied with certain restrictions that God has Continue Reading